The Rolling Stones

The Rolling Stones

The Rolling Stones

The Singles (1971-2006)

Hip-O Records

The Rolling Stones have been around for roughly 800 years (at least they look like they’ve been around that long), so it stands to reason that they have a compilation or two under their thumbs. This one, however, is excessive even for a band known for its excess. The Singles (1971-2006) is a grotesque 45-disc collection of over 100 tracks, and even with all that, it still is lacking.

Eighteen of the first 20 discs (which I hesitate to call them since this is a digital only set) have only two tracks each with only one remix and two live tracks. Doesn’t sound too bad until you consider that for some reason “Fool To Cry” is on both Discs nine and ten and “When the Whip Comes Down” is on Discs 12 and 13. They aren’t different takes that I can gather. It’s the exact same song twice. It is after the 20th “disc” that things start getting really gluttonous.

How many different versions of “Harlem Shuffle” can you handle? You get six here. “Saint of Me?” Seven different mixes (mostly techno club mixes). “Out of Control” gets a whopping eight mixes including one instrumental mix. By the time you get to the end of Disc 45, this compilation has become a dance club (complete with mixes by Teddy Riley and, not a rock concert like the first half.

Don’t get me wrong, most of the Stones classics are here: “Start Me Up,” “She’s So Cold,” “Hot Stuff,” “Under My Thumb,” and “Anybody Seen My Baby?” just to name a few. But the rub is that you can get almost all of these as they were on the original albums on collections like Forty Licks and without the countless remixes and duplicates.

The Singles (1971-2006) is a compilation that is for completists only. Forty-five “discs” is extremely excessive and unnecessary when most of them only have a couple of songs on them. Unless you are a Rolling Stones nut or you love hearing the Stones go clubbin’, grab a copy of one of their countless other greatest hits albums and leave this bloated edition to some other sucker.

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