Thursday, 3 March 2011

Rolling Stones 1989-2010

Detractors of the Stones will tell you how, in recent years, the group have become a bit of a parody. They will record a new album that sounds a bit like the last one, which gives them an excuse to tour again and make a load of money. This is rather lazy journalism though, and as anybody who has listened to a Stones LP post-“Exile On Main Street” would surely realise that the band are still capable of moments of genius.

The point that is true is the touring aspect. It is quite impressive to note that for every Stones studio album issued after the Mick & Keith “fight” of 1986, that a live album from the following tour has been issued. In this article, we will look at the Stones albums from this period (with any following live LP listed immediately thereafter), and all of the singles released. For each album, a selected UK pressing is listed (either the most easily available edition, or a notable rare pressing), whilst all of the band’s singles are noted across most formats. The only items not shown are singles which offer nothing that cannot already be obtained on those listed, so several items of interest to completists only are not shown. Coloured vinyl, picture discs and singles issued in unique sleeves are also shown for completeness where they are known to exist.

It’s worth pointing out that next month, the band will be issuing a Singles Box Set covering the period from 1971 to 2006. This will make quite a few of the formats, B-sides, sleeves, etc, available once more. The track listing I have seen suggests that whilst some of the “non-rare” tracks aren’t on there, most of the proper B-sides and remixes are. Any that seem to be missing are detailed below. Alternatively, some discs feature mixes and singles that were never issued in the UK, so a special feature on the box might be featured on this site in the future.

Steel Wheels (1989, CD, Rolling Stones Records CDV 2742, 1995 reissue)
Flashpoint (1991, CD, Rolling Stones Records CDV 2855, 1998 reissue)

And so, in 1989, with Mick and Keith friends again, the Stones regrouped for their best album since 1983’s “Undercover”. It would turn out to be the last studio album to feature bassist Bill Wyman, who would not be officially replaced, and bass would be provided by session men on future albums and tours. “Steel Wheels” had an energy and spark to it that harked back to the material the band had recorded in the 70’s, and was largely free of the slightly overproduced sound of “Dirty Work”, the flawed preceding record. Four singles were released from the LP, each of them the subject of quite ridiculous multiformatting, but despite “Rock And A Hard Place” being released on FOUR different CD’s and several vinyl editions, it still failed to dent the top 50 in the UK.

‘New’ B-sides appeared in the form of “Fancyman Blues”, “Cook Cook Blues” and “Wish I’d Never Met You” during this period, and the band set off on the gargantuan “Urban Jungle” tour that lasted through to 1990. A live video, “Stones At The Max” was issued thereafter, whilst a live album called “Flashpoint” appeared in 1991. Unlike previous Stones live albums, it concluded with a pair of new songs taped in the studio, “Highwire” and “Sexdrive”, both of which were also issued as singles. A limited edition version of the LP was issued in the States, where it came with a bonus “rarities” disc and a different cover, but these are now ultra rare so don’t expect to come across a copy cheaply.

Mixed Emotions (Chris Kimsey’s 12”)/Fancyman Blues/Mixed Emotions (7” Version) (12”, different colour p/s to all other editions, Rolling Stones 655193 6)
Mixed Emotions (7” Version)/(Chris Kimsey’s 12”)/Fancyman Blues (CD1, Rolling Stones Records 655193 2)
Mixed Emotions (7” Version)/Fancyman Blues/Tumbling Dice/Miss You (CD2 in circular tin, Rolling Stones Records 655193 5)
Mixed Emotions (7” Version)/Fancyman Blues/Shattered/Waiting On A Friend (CD3 in circular tin, Rolling Stones Records 655214 2)
Rock And A Hard Place (Dance Mix)/(Oh Oh Hard Dub Mix)/Cook Cook Blues (12”, Rolling Stones Records 655422 8)
Rock And A Hard Place (Michael Brauer Mix)/(Bonus Beats)/(7” Version) (2nd 12” in red logo p/s, Rolling Stones Records 655422 5)
Rock And A Hard Place (Dance Mix)/Cook Cook Blues/Rock And A Hard Place (Oh Oh Hard Dub Mix) (CD2, Rolling Stones Records 655422 3)
Rock And A Hard Place (7” Version)/Cook Cook Blues/Emotional Rescue/Some Girls (CD4, tongue shaped p/s, Rolling Stones Records 655448 5)
Almost Hear You Sigh/Wish I’d Never Met You/Mixed Emotions (7”, Rolling Stones Records 656065 7)
Almost Hear You Sigh/Miss You/Waiting On A Friend/Wish I’d Never Met You (CD2 in circular tin, Rolling Stones Records 656065 5)
Terrifying (7” Remix)/Rock And A Hard Place (7” Version) (7”, Rolling Stones Records 656122 7)
Terrifying (7” Remix)/Start Me Up/Shattered/If You Can’t Rock Me (CD2, different colour p/s, Rolling Stones Records 656122 5)
Terrifying (12” Remix)/Rock And A Hard Place (Dance Mix)/Harlem Shuffle (London Mix) (12”, Rolling Stones Records 656122 6)
Highwire (7” Version)/2000 Light Years From Home (Live)/Sympathy For The Devil (Live)/I Just Want To Make Love To You (Live) (CD1, Rolling Stones Records 656756 2)
Ruby Tuesday (Live)/Play With Fire (Live)/You Can’t Always Get What You Want (Live)/Rock And A Hard Place (Live) (12”, Rolling Stones Records 6568926)
Ruby Tuesday (Live)/Play With Fire (Live)/You Can’t Always Get What You Want (Live)/Undercover Of The Night (Live) (CD1, Rolling Stones Records 656892 2)
Ruby Tuesday (Live)/Harlem Shuffle (Live)/Winning Ugly VI (London Mix) (CD2, Rolling Stones Records 656892 5)
Sexdrive (Single Edit)/(Dirty Hands Mix)/(Club Version) (CD, Rolling Stones Records 657334 2)

Note: the “Terrifying” 7” seems to include nothing rare, but I recall being advised to buy my copy on the basis the A-side was a different mix to that on the CD edition, but I am not sure this is actually true. The “Sexdrive” remixes seem to be missing from the forthcoming boxset.

Jump Back: The Best Of The Rolling Stones 71-93 (1993, CD, Rolling Stones Records CDV 2726)

Don’t get too excited. Despite the title, the band had not gone back into the studio to tape some new songs, and this greatest hits set actually only covers the years 71-89. The record did not run in chronological order, but seemed to be designed to “flow” as if it were a regular LP. Edited mixes of certain tracks made the record - “Mixed Emotions”, “Fool To Cry”, “Rock And A Hard Place”, “Beast Of Burden”, “Hot Stuff” and “Miss You”, several of which were making their debut in the UK.

Despite the fact that the Stones have since issued a career spanning best-of covering the Decca and Rolling Stones Records years, “Jump Back” is still deemed to be an important part of the band’s history, as it has been reissued on several occasions since. Copies repressed in 2009 came in “tongue logo” stickered sleeves, but I believe all of these versions (and some earlier reissues) include the album version of “Miss You” instead of the edited mix that appeared on the original 1993 edition. No singles were issued from the album.

Voodoo Lounge (1994, CD, Rolling Stones Records CDV 2750)
Stripped (1995, CD, Rolling Stones Records CDV 2801)

With the release of “Voodoo Lounge”, the Stones were now as cool as they had ever been. The video for the first single from the LP, “Love Is Strong”, became an MTV regular, and critics fell over themselves to praise the album. The band appeared at the MTV Awards later that year to collect a special lifetime achievement award, and were treated like homecoming heroes by the crowd.

“Voodoo Lounge” was issued on Vinyl, CD and Cassette, but most of these formats were irrelevant as the CD issue featured an extra track not available anywhere else. It was an even better effort than “Steel Wheels”, and offered one of the all time classic Stones 45’s in the form of “Out Of Tears”. “You Got Me Rocking” and “I Go Wild”, the former sounding like it had stepped straight off “Some Girls”, were also released as singles, and more B-sides in the form of “The Storm”, “So Young”, “Jump On Top Of Me” and “I’m Gonna Drive” surfaced across the first three singles from the LP.

The subsequent tour saw the band delve deep into the back catalogue, opening most of the shows with one of their earliest singles, “Not Fade Away”, and also took to what has become a regular gimmick - a London “club” show, in an attempt to get away from the stadium shows and back to their roots. For this tour, the club show was at Brixton Academy on 19th July 1995, with details of how to get tickets being advertised on Virgin Radio on the morning of the 17th July - they were being exclusively sold at the now defunct Virgin Megastore on Tottenham Court Road. As well as a ticket, you got a wristband that you had to wear for two days before the gig itself! The show saw the band opt to play a noticeably different set - opening with “Honky Tonk Women” instead of “NFA”, playing “Live With Me” which had been absent from the band’s last Wembley Stadium show three days before, and dropping “Sympathy For The Devil” in favour of “Midnight Rambler”. The sound during the opening number, by the way, was absolutely atrocious but improved soon after.

The band covered Dylan’s “Like A Rolling Stone” at the Brixton show, which was then issued as a single later that year, as the Brixton show had been taped by the band. It was used to plug “Stripped”, a slightly odd live album which consisted half of tracks from the tour, and half of newly taped “in the studio” re-recordings, seemingly in thrall to the MTV Unplugged concept. A “proper” live video of the tour, “Voodoo Lounge - Concert Video”, was also released at the same time.

Love Is Strong/The Storm/So Young/Love Is Strong (Bob Clearmountain Remix) (CD1, Rolling Stones Records VSCDT 1503)
Love Is Strong (Teddy Riley Radio Remix)/(Teddy Riley Extended Remix)/(Teddy Riley Extended Rock Remix)/(Teddy Riley Dub Remix)/(Joe The Butcher Club Mix)/(Teddy Riley Instrumental) (CD2, “yellow” p/s, Rolling Stones Records VSCDX 1503)
You Got Me Rocking (Perfecto Mix)/(Sexy Disco Dub Mix)/(Trance Mix) (12”, Rolling Stones Records VST 1518)
You Got Me Rocking/Jump On Top Of Me/You Got Me Rocking (Perfecto Mix)/(Sexy Disco Dub Mix) (CD, Rolling Stones Records VSCDG 1518)
Out Of Tears (Don Was Edit)/I’m Gonna Drive/Sparks Will Fly (Radio Clean)/Out Of Tears (Bob Clearmountain Remix Edit) (CD1, Rolling Stones Records VSCDX 1524, housed in “tear” shaped sleeve - other formats feature same/less number of songs in normal packaging)
I Go Wild (LP Version)/(Scott Litt Remix)/(Live at Miami Joe Robbie Stadium, 25th November 1994)/(Luis Resto Straight Vocal Mix) (CD1, Rolling Stones Records VSCDX 1539, comes with four free postcards, other editions exist without them)
Like A Rolling Stone/Black Limousine (Live)/All Down The Line (Live)/Like A Rolling Stone (Edit) (CD, Rolling Stones Records VSCDT 1562)

Bridges To Babylon (1997, CD, Rolling Stones Records CDVX 2840, in “Cage” slipcase)
No Security (1999, CD, Rolling Stones Records CDV 2880)

In 1997, just two years after “Voodoo Lounge”, the Stones returned with “Bridges To Babylon”. Not quite as critically lauded as it’s predecessor, it nevertheless featured some good songs, and spawned another mammoth tour. The first single from the LP, “Anybody Seen My Baby?”, starred Angelina Jolie in the video. The limited edition version of the album in the UK included a slipcase that made the cover look like the lion on the front was “caged in” - when the slipcase was removed, the lion was thus “uncaged”.

The accompanying tour again spawned a live video, “Bridges To Babylon Tour 97-98”, but UK shows scheduled for 1998 were cancelled as the band claimed that performing the shows would have resulted in a £12million tax deficit. 1999 saw the release of a live album from the tour, “No Security”, which like “Stripped”, featured a new track recorded in live form - “Little Baby” was the final song on “Stripped”, “No Security” offered up “Corinna”. The band toured America to promote the LP, mainly performing in smaller venues, before playing UK stadium shows in 1999.

Each of the three singles issued in the UK were released as 7” Picture Discs, with each single also being issued on two other formats - usually both CD’s. Most of the three formats for all three singles offered up something collectable, but there would be no singles from “No Security”, other than promo releases.

Anybody Seen My Baby? (LP Edit)/(Soul Solution Remix Edit) (7” Picture Disc, Rolling Stones Records VS 1653, numbered)
Anybody Seen My Baby? (LP Edit)/(Soul Solution Remix Edit) (Cassette, Rolling Stones Records VSC 1653)
Anybody Seen My Baby? (LP Edit)/(Armand’s Rolling Steelo Mix)/(Soul Solution Remix)/(Album Version) (CD, Rolling Stones Records VSCDT 1653)
Saint Of Me (Radio Edit)/Anyway You Look At It (7” Picture Disc, Rolling Stones Records VSY 1667, numbered)
Saint Of Me (Radio Edit)/Gimme Shelter (Live)/Anybody Seen My Baby? (Phil Jones Remix)/Saint Of Me (Deep Dish Grunge Garage Dub) (CD1, Rolling Stones Records VSCDT 1667)
Saint Of Me (Radio Edit)/Anyway You Look At It/Saint Of Me (Deep Dish Grunge Garage Remix - Parts 1&2) (CD2, Rolling Stones Records VSCDX 1667, different p/s)
Out Of Control (Radio Edit)/(In Hand With Fluke [Radio Edit]) (7” Picture Disc, Rolling Stones Records VSY 1700, numbered)
Out Of Control (Radio Edit)/(In Hand With Fluke)/(In Hand With Fluke Instrumental) (CD1, Rolling Stones Records VSCDT 1700)
Out Of Control (Saber Final Mix)/(Bi-Polar At The Controls)/(Bi-Polar’s Fat Controller Mix) (CD2, Rolling Stones Records VSCDX 1700, clear case with “Tongue” logo on CD frontage)

Note: all of the 7” picture discs comes in clear sleeves, not picture sleeves.

40 Licks (2002, 2xCD, Rolling Stones Records CDV 2880)
Live Licks (2004, 2xCD, Rolling Stones Records CDVDX 3000, “Topless” p/s)

2002, and much excitement regarding this - the first Stones best of to include material from both the Decca and Rolling Stones Records labels. As the title suggests, it was a double CD set with 40 songs, but only 36 of them were hits, as the album included four new songs. Of these, “Don’t Stop” was issued as a single at the end of the year. A remixed version of “Sympathy For The Devil” was issued during 2003, which was obviously much worse than the original. A video was filmed for the song, and one format came housed in a lenticular sleeve which meant that when you moved it, the tongue logo moved as well. When Abcko released the Decca era singles across three CD Singles Box Sets a few years later, the remixed “Sympathy” made the final box set.

The band saw this album as a perfect excuse to head out on tour again, and promptly did so. A live DVD, “Four Flicks” was issued in 2003, and a live double CD, “Live Licks” was issued in 2004. It came in two sleeves - with the computer generated female model on the cover wearing either a two piece bikini, or appearing topless, depending on which version you bought. Again, new material appeared again - this time in the form of live versions of “The Nearness Of You” and “Rock Me Baby”.

Rather strangely for a greatest hits, numerous different editions of “40 Licks” exist. There is an impressive 12”x12” box set version which includes not an LP but the normal CD edition, with a ‘hologram’ style front cover. These originally came shrinkwrapped, and as I have never opened mine, I can’t actually tell you what is inside. The album was then reissued in 2003 in a new hardback (rather than plastic) sleeve, with the colour of the tongue logo that made up the front cover changed to green, whilst later pressings - now with a blue tongue - replaced “She’s A Rainbow” with the full length Neptunes remix of “Sympathy”.

Interestingly, this would not be the final Stones best of during the “noughties”. The band’s 1975 collection, “Rolled Gold”, was reissued in tarted up form a few years later, although this obviously was restricted to the Decca era material once again.

Don’t Stop (Edit)/(New Rock Mix) (Red Vinyl 7”, Rolling Stones Records VS 1838, numbered)
Don’t Stop (Edit)/(New Rock Mix)/Miss You (12” Version) (CD, Rolling Stones Records VSCDT 1838, different p/s)
Sympathy For The Devil (The Neptunes Full Length Remix)/(Full Phatt Full Length Remix)/(Fatboy Slim Full Length Remix) (12”, Abkco 0602498106150)
Sympathy For The Devil (The Neptunes Radio Edit)/(Fatboy Slim Full Length Remix)/(LP Version)/(Remix - Video) (Enhanced CD, Abkco 0602498106129, in “moving image” p/s)

“Sympathy” is missing from the forthcoming box, on the basis it was on Abkco’s “Singles 1968-71” boxset a few years ago.

A Bigger Bang (2005, CD+DVD, Rolling Stones Records CDVX 3012, reissue with extra tracks in double p/s)
Shine A Light (2008, 2xCD, Rolling Stones Records 1764747)

2005, and the Stones released what is - at the moment - their last studio LP. “A Bigger Bang” was greeted with excitable reviews, with plenty of “best one since ‘Exile’” statements being thrown around. A double A side single, “Streets Of Love”/”Rough Justice”, trailed the album’s release. The album was later reissued in a new “tongue logo” sleeve, with a bonus DVD, which included two new songs and much video footage.

A live DVD, “The Biggest Bang”, followed in 2007, but it was not until 2008 that a live album from the tour would surface. “Shine A Light” was actually a soundtrack album - Martin Scorsese had filmed the band at a pair of theatre gigs in New York at the tail end of 2006, and “Shine A Light” was the resultant film. It was, for the most part, just like watching a normal concert DVD, but the first ten minutes were spent with Marty and the band talking about what songs the band were or weren’t going to do, before the gig proper. “Bigger Bang” material was noticeably absent.

As before, “Shine A Light” included a new song - “Champagne And Reefer” - and as well as the soundtrack album, a DVD was also issued. The track listing was identical, but the four performances from the CD that had been taped at the first show were added as bonus features on the DVD instead. However, in a moment of sheer lunacy, the DVD/Film version of “Connection” was intercut with interview footage - quite why the decision was made to do this midway through what is quite a rare song for the band to play, is beyond me. Couldn’t they have done it through “Brown Sugar” instead?

Streets Of Love/Rough Justice (AA Red Vinyl 7”, Rolling Stones Records VS 1905)
Streets Of Love/Rough Justice (AA CD, Rolling Stones Records VSCDT 1905)
Rain Fall Down (LP Version)/(Will I Am Remix)/(Ashley Beedle’s Heavy Disco Vocal Re-Edit) (7”, Rolling Stones Records VS 1907)
Rain Fall Down (LP Version)/(Will I Am Remix)/(Ashley Beedle’s Heavy Disco Vocal Re-Edit) (CD, Rolling Stones Records VSCDX 1907)
Rain Fall Down (Will I Am Remix)/(Ashley Beedle’s Heavy Disco Vocal Re-Edit) (12”, Rolling Stones Records VST 1907)
Biggest Mistake/Dance (Part 1) (Live)/Before They Make Me Run (Live) (CD, Rolling Stones Records VSCDX 1916)
Biggest Mistake/Hand Of Fate (Live) (7”, Rolling Stones Records VS 1916)

Rarities 1971-2003 (2005, CD, Rolling Stones Records CDVX 3015)

Issued in 2005 just after “A Bigger Bang”, this record was an attempt to make available rare B-sides and remixes that were not available on any current Stones record. It was criticised by some in that it offered no genuinely new material, but the band stated that they had no desire to release or re-release poorer songs, which explained why some B-sides were missing, and outtakes were a no-no.

The album actually included some new rarities - the live version of “Tumbling Dice” was previously unissued in the UK, whilst the remixes of “Miss You” and “Harlem Shuffle” were edited down from their original 12” versions. There were no singles from the album, not surprising due to it’s nature - and the fact that “A Bigger Bang” was spawning the band’s then current 45’s.

The band’s only single since the release of “A Bigger Bang” was the result of an earlier album. In 2010, “Exile On Main Street” was reissued, with eight previously unreleased songs - the band obviously thought this lot passed muster - plus alternate versions of “Loving Cup” and “Soul Survivor”. Japanese pressings also included a different version of “All Down The Line”, only available in the UK as a download. It’s release coincided with the annual “Record Store Day”, and one of the new songs was issued as a limited 7”.

Plundered My Soul/All Down The Line (7”, Rolling Stones Records 273547 7)

And that - at the moment - is that. The Stones are reissuing “Brown Sugar” (again) for this year’s Record Store Day shindig, and there are rumours of a new studio album - plus rumours the band have split up for good. Let’s hope Mick N Keef haven’t had another bust up, because we still need The Stones.

Further reading:
Rolling Stones Official site:

1 comment:

  1. Note...the box set that was issued just after this blog was posted was revealed to be based (mostly) on UK and US 45's. It seems my multimix "Sexdrive" CD is some sort of European pressing, hence the lack of remixes in this box. There is an issue over missing US only remixes on another single, you can find ranting on Amazon about it if you want to know more about that!