The Rolling Stones

No Stone Unturned [Bootleg]

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This unauthorized CD reissue of English Decca's October 1973 Rolling Stones compilation is superior to its legitimate original; not only have the producers found audio sources that easily outstrip the LP's master tapes for depth and richness, but they've included the original LP, EP, and single B-side sources for each of the original dozen songs. Then, to top it off, they've added seven more songs drawn from other B-sides, single edits of LP songs, odd stereo mixes ("What a Shame"), and one choice (albeit familiar) Chess Records sessions outtake ("High Heeled Sneakers"), also all drawn from sources superior to the legitimate LP or CD issues of the same cuts. It's possible here to differentiate the crunching, chugging rhythm guitars on "Child of the Moon," one of the group's relatively few totally successful ventures into psychedelia, and to just about hear the action on the guitars on "Little by Little." What's more, time has been kind to the original song lineup on No Stone Unturned, which for years was a thorn in the side of hardcore Stones fans for Decca's supposedly having wasted a very cool cover (a blowup of the "Jumping Jack Flash" picture sleeve) on such a scattershot assembly of material. But in the interim, the mix of blues and psychedelia heard here that so maddened some listeners and critics has become almost obligatory in the re-release of work by innumerable '60s garage punk outfits. In an odd sort of way, No Stone Unturned now comes off as no more demeaning to the Stones' legacy than any reissue of such Rolling Stones emulators as, say, the Chocolate Watchband is to their legacy; in fact, the mix of bluesy punk sensibilities and punkish psychedelia is remarkably bracing, coming from the originators. And the bonus tracks, which run the gamut from "The Spider and the Fly" to "Dandelion" (all in stunning sound), follow the same pattern, adding weight and depth to the original 12-track program. And that cover is still cool.

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