Wednesday, 5 October 2016

First look at The Rolling Stones In Mono boxset

It seemed like the longest pre-order of my life, but The Rolling Stones In Mono CD box finally arrived this morning and I'm currently dipping in with the 1964 calling card The Rolling Stones. So far so good, the debut album sounds fantastic and has a real crunch (Tell Me is playing as I type this and always puts me in the mood for Mean Streets). As for the packaging, the 15 discs come in a sturdy cardboard box with a flip lid that is closed shut with a little magnet. Very nifty. I've only briefly flicked thru the 48-page book but it looks fine. I'm not so pleased though with the individual album sleeves, which are glossy cardboard facsimiles of the original covers but the images are sometimes cropped from the original LP covers and the printing is a little weak, a little too dark or contrast levels pushed too hard. The Let It Bleed album has a queasy pinkish hue instead of the familiar creamy color.

On the plus side, the box has each of the albums housed in their own plastic sleeve (plus an inner plastic sleeve for the disc - so no rubbing when sliding the disc out). I've heard reports that the US edition doesn't come with the protective plastics which is a little shabby for Stateside buyers. Worth mentioning the Japanese box which seems a far more lavish production, the albums have been upgraded to 7-inch cardboard sleeves and look much more professional than their EUR/UK counterparts. The Japanese box comes with all the usual fetishistic Japanese ephemera but you'll have to shell out over €500 for it.

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