Friday, May 28, 2010

Rolling Stones 19: More Hot Rocks

The success of Hot Rocks—along with the Stones’ continued commercial viability—paved the way for its inevitable sequel a year later. More Hot Rocks took a different approach to the catalog, and not just by digging deeper. This is the set that separates the men from the boys, if you will. Casual fans may be happy with Hot Rocks in their racks, but when you see this one in someone’s collection, you know you’re dealing with an absolute Stones fanatic.
It starts out pretty straightforward. Side one features five singles that had already been included on Big Hits but left off Hot Rocks, anchored by “I’m Free”, which the band was still playing on tour in 1969. Side two is where the fun starts. “Out Of Time” gives way to “Lady Jane”, “Sittin’ On A Fence” and “Have You Seen Your Mother, Baby”. Granted, these were all on Flowers, but they’re still some of the most underrated songs from their middle period. The side closes with the back-to-back psychedelic punch of “Dandelion” and the absolutely diabolical “We Love You”.
Back in the days of the record changer, sides one and four were on the same disc, paired with sides two and three. That made it easy to keep flipping back and forth between the middle of the More Hot Rocks program, for a non-stop trip. “She’s A Rainbow” and “2,000 Light Years From Home” continue the nightmare, but the absolute peak of the set is “Child Of The Moon”, previously banished to a B-side. “No Expectations” and “Let It Bleed” close the circle acoustically. Andrew Loog Oldham’s obtuse liner notes somewhat explain side four, which consists of eight early tracks making their first US LP appearances. This is likely left over from the original idea to release an album of unreleased material. (Some forty years later, we’re still waiting for more unreleased material of any vintage.) Most are from the very early days, and a few are very odd covers.
More Hot Rocks is pointedly not a hits compilation, but still a worthy addition to a Stones collection. The current CD sounds great, and even adds three further rarities, but if you want to enjoy that continuous flow from side two to three, you’ll have to burn your own.

Rolling Stones More Hot Rocks (Big Hits & Fazed Cookies) (1972)—4
2002 SACD remaster: same as 1972, plus 3 extra tracks

1 comment:

  1. “Hot Rocks” was massively successful, and a lot of folks like me were converted to the Stones by that set. So, the infamous Allen Klein was going to waste any time coming up with a follow up. At least it isn’t cheap or tacky like, say, The Beatles’ “Rock n’ Roll Music”.
    “The Last Time”, my first ever Stones favorite, was a notable omission from the first collection. All the missing early hits are gathered up here, along with the fantastic B-sides “We Love You” and “Child of the Moon”. It would have been nice to have the long UK version of “Out of Time” here, but at least its not the massacre from “Metamorphosis”. I first heard “No Expectations” on the B-side of “Street Fighting Man”, so this is a fine choice. The only real dog on the set is the title track to “Let it Bleed”, a moronic timewaster. It takes up space which could have better been served by collecting up more U.S. B-sides like “I Wanna Be Your Man”, “Who’s Driving Your Plane?” and “Sad Day”.

    As for the tracks Klein and Oldham gathered up from U.K. singles, EP’s and albums, none of them are lost classics. They are listenable, anyway. The cover of “Come On”, their very first English single, is fun. And it’s a real shame that the early EP cut “Money” is SO distorted. The actual performance is a riot.
    I have the original 1986 CD issue. The sound is only so-so. I recommend finding the remaster instead.