Of all of the pop culture/sports institutions I have an affinity for, the English band that has been in business for nearly 60 fucking years tops the list. The world's greatest rock-and-roll band isn't just a tagline because the fellas who make up Rolling Stones back that shit up.
Over the last few years,
Mick the group has been doing that whole 'take a classic album, remaster it again, put it on wax and CDs, and oh, here's some outtakes, unreleased tracks, knick-knacks, and a live show as well' thing. If you don't want to drop that kind of cash for all the bells and whistles, the band also offers just the double-CD/LP version. And that's all I need.
I've said before that for as much as I like (old) music, I'm tone deaf and have a tin ear (shout-out to the Eartube Generation...do they still do those?). But when I listened to their 'new' "Exile On Main Street" version of this type of release a few years ago, I was blown away by how much better it sounded than the one I beat Columbia House for 31 years ago. Whatever audio shit they cleaned up was certainly noticeable. Drums were clearer, instruments I'm not sure I heard before were now audible, Mick and Keef's vocals were more pronounced. So picking up what can feel like another George Lucas-esque cash-grab was actually well worth it in this case. Not to mention this sick track that somehow didn't make the cut for "Exile"...
So now the fellas are doing the same with their underrated and underrappreciated follow-up to "Exile", "Goats Head Soup". Known primarily for the hits "Angie" and "Doo Doo Doo Doo Doo (Heartbreaker)", GHS has much more than those two greatest hits album fillers and actually presents a solid argument for the strongest post-"Exile" Stones album (it's a steel-cage match between GHS, "Tattoo You", and "Some Girls"). "Star Star" shows the Stones were naughty boys long before anyone else and could make a killer song about a...certain type; my college radio station had DO NOT PLAY!!! written prominently next to the title on the LP. But GHS passes the ancient Album Test: "can I put it on and just leave it on?". Prior to its September 4th re-release, the band dropped one of their unused tunes from that era "Criss Cross" and, like "Plundered My Soul" above, it's a better song than at least one on the actual album so you wonder why it ended up getting ghosted til now. Take a listen...
Their decades-later sloppy seconds are better than anything that passes for rock today. That's why their one-of-a-kind catalog is still listened to globally on a daily basis for the last six decades and will for as long as music is listned to. I still dabble in physical media and will grab this new version because, while my 30-something-year-old "Goats Head Soup" CD is still in pristine condition, the sonic difference is noticeable enough to want the upgrade. It's a better version of something you already love. To paraphrase Lance in PULP FICTION, you'll know where the extra $20 went.
It is true that if you take good care of your CDs, they'll last forever. I remember reading about them in my personally-subscribed PLAYBOY when I was about 14 (thank you, Publisher's Clearing House) and knowing that they were the future so, as an early early adapter, I got one that Christmas. And that shit lived up to the hype. Going from having to FF and REW on cassette tapes to having any song instantly at my finger tips because of FUCKING LASERS was pretty sick. They also made the all-important mix-tape game much easier as well.
The first Compact Disc that I purchased, as opposed to shoplifted*, was the STAND BY ME soundtrack. "Geez RA, pray tell, you weren't some annoying '80s hipster like Ducky in PRETTY IN PINK, were you?" Au contraire, fictional skeptic. Seeing Stephen King's "The Body" in cinema form when I was 14 was jolting in the best way. I just fucking loved that movie so goddamn much when it dropped and fell in love with everything about it, especially the music that I'd forever intwine with scenes I'd never forget. That's the beauty of a great soundtrack to a great film, it introduces you to or recalibrates in your mind some real kick-ass music you otherwise wouldn't find or like. And Big Cat wouldn't use a 60-year-old song for his intro music if it sucked.
Did I mention I'm a Stones fan? I wrote exactly one paper in high school and it was about them (they didn't call Columbus 'Charlestown High with a tie' for nothing). It was the best non-spelling bee schoolwork I ever did, in between eating Umberto's and getting shitfaced up the Flights with my paisans.
Fucking A, baby. That's a tremendous backhanded compliment from my teacher, just calling out my lack of ambition before even I knew about it. But that is also some fantastic 1989 Mac Mousepaint work by me on that tongue especially considering I have the drawing ability of a toddler. And yes, I self-reported my horrible prediction to @OldTakesExposed already. But I've never been so happy to be so wrong.
Now hit me, Keef.
*---denotes shoplifting record of 428-2