Recent Purchases (Tuesday October 4th 2016)

Following in the footsteps of the Beatles (as usual) and Bob Dylan, The Rolling Stones have released a box set of their sixties studio output in mono. I was rather suckered into pre-ordering it, and my copy arrived on Tuesday.

In the sixties, mono was the predominant format for pop records, although jazz, musicals and classical albums had been available in stereo for some time. Even when released in stereo, that format only accounted for a tiny percentage of sales, and therefore much more time was spent on mixing studio mastertapes to mono than for stereo. Often the artist would not be present for the stereo mixdown and an album would be mixed in hours rather than the days spent on the monaural masters.

It turns out that all the singles and EP's up to Street Fighting Man (Decca's first pop stereo single) and all the 'proper' British albums were only released in mono prior to Aftermath. In America there were stereo versions of the many albums they cobbled together before Aftermath, but these were electronically faked stereo with added reverb and compression and are now fortunately consigned to history. The CD re-issues of these early albums were mostly mono with true stereo mixes of songs they recorded while touring in America at studios in Chicago or Hollywood. These had been mixed in mono and stereo by the sound engineers Ron Malo and Dave Hassinger. I quickly found that I already owned the mono versions of a majority of the tracks.

As stereo gained in prominence later in the decade, albums became stereo and mono (or stereo-playable-mono to cut down on pressing costs). The two most recent albums in the 15 CD's included in the set, Beggars Banquet and Let It Bleed are not proper mono mixes (apart from Sympathy For The Devil) but were released in so-called "folded down" versions of the stereo mixes, so are not exactly essential.

However, all the albums have been newly remastered using "Direct Stream Digital" that "uses extremely high sample rates to reproduce the full range of musical expression, far beyond the capability of ordinary recordings." Crikey! I hope my ears are up to appreciating the difference.

Many thanks to all for your very welcome responses to my arbitrary Blip milestone and new camera colour!

10.10.2016 (1423 hr)

Blip #1941 (#2191 including 250 archived blips)
Consecutive Blip #005
Day #2385 (443 gaps from 26 March 2010)
LOTD #1176 (#1300 including 124 on archived blips)

Taken with Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ60 compact

Recent Purchases series
CDs series

Lozarhythm of the Day:
The Rolling Stones - Goin' Home (Mono Mix) (recorded 3-8 December 1965, Hollywood CA)
From the album Aftermath. For this LOTD I wanted to include a mono mix that I didn't have before, but the ones that are new to this CD set haven't yet reached You Tube and the like. Goin' Home was recorded previously in an unreleased four minute take but when they recorded this version as engineer Dave Hassinger reached for the faders their producer-manager Andrew Oldham told him to let the recording stretch on, resulting in this eleven minutes plus version, now on CD in mono for the first time (I believe).

One year ago:
Bowood 2015 #43

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