Rolling Stones - 'GRRR!' CD Review (ABKCO) ~ BrooklynRocks: NYC Music Blog

Friday, November 30, 2012

Rolling Stones - 'GRRR!' CD Review (ABKCO)

Rolling Stones - 'GRRR!' CD Review (ABKCO)
"GRRR!" is sound most Rolling Stones fans make when realizing they have to buy yet another greatest hits compilation to hear two new songs (of middling quality). If fans choose to trade up to the 'super deluxe edition' ($139.88 on Amazon), they can also get the official release of the 1963 IBC Demos along with a 1964 BBC session (both of which have been widely bootlegged and readily available for the past couple decades). With all of the economic pundits on the news attempting to forecast the country's economic direction (consumer spending, etc.) for 2013, a pure cash grab, like this box set, would seem to provide a good leading indicator.

Here is the track list for the three-disc set:
(Note: Also on Forty Licks - FL)

Disc 1:
1. Come On
2. Not Fade Away (FL)
3. It's All Over Now (FL)
4. Little Red Rooster
5. The Last Time (FL)
6. (I Can t Get No) Satisfaction (FL)
7. Time Is On My Side
8. Get Off Of My Cloud (FL)
9. Heart Of Stone
10. 19th Nervous Breakdown (FL)
11. As Tears Go By
12. Paint It, Black (FL)
13. Under My Thumb (FL)
14. Have You Seen Your Mother, Baby, Standing In The Shadow? (FL)
15. Ruby Tuesday (FL)
16. Let's Spend The Night Together (FL)
17. We Love You

Disc 2:
1. Jumpin' Jack Flash (FL)
2. Honky Tonk Women (FL)
3. Sympathy For The Devil (FL)
4. You Can't Always Get What You Want (FL)
5. Gimme Shelter (FL)
6. Street Fighting Man (FL)
7. Wild Horses (FL)
8. She's A Rainbow (FL)
9. Brown Sugar (FL)
10. Happy (FL)
11. Tumbling Dice (FL)
12. Angie (FL)
13. Rocks Off
14. Doo Doo Doo Doo Doo (Heartbreaker)
15. It's Only Rock 'N' Roll (FL)
16. Fool To Cry (FL)

Disc 3:
1. Miss You (FL)
2. Respectable
3. Beast Of Burden (FL)
4. Emotional Rescue (FL)
5. Start Me Up (FL)
6. Waiting On A Friend
7. Undercover Of The Night (FL)
8. She Was Hot
9. Streets Of Love
10. Harlem Shuffle
11. Mixed Emotions (FL)
12. Highwire
13. Love Is Strong (FL)
14. Anybody Seen My Baby? (FL)
15. Don't Stop (FL)
16. Doom And Gloom
17. One More Shot

So - what you have with GRRR! is a huge overlap with Forty Licks but Forty Licks included four new songs to GRRR!'s two. Unfortunately, another similarity to Forty Licks is that a number of tracks on GRRR! are edited versions - which makes little sense as none of this set's three discs clock in over an hour. The one thing GRRR! has going for it is that it presents the tracks in chronological order but...the problem with this is that you can quickly hear the quality of the Stones' output in decline as you get into the second half of Disc Three.

Now for the new tracks - "Doom and Gloom" is a decent mid-tempo rocker that is somewhat in the same vein as "Don't Stop". While Jagger's vocals are immediately recognizable, Richards teases but never never throws down any memorable guitar licks and there is nothing striking from the other members of the band so this sounds more like a Jagger solo track than "the new single from the Rolling Stones". "One More Shot" is a slower bluesier number that starts off with some strong guitar licks but the song fizzles into blandness as it never kicks into high-gear (no drive, no energy, weak chorus).

Jumping over to the bonus tracks on the 'super deluxe edition':

The Stones' IBC Demos (IBC Studios, Portland Place, London, March 11, 1963) mark the Stones' first trip into the recording studio where they recorded five blues numbers with engineer Glyn Johns. My biggest complaint is that I would have expected more than 15 minutes of bonus tracks given the high price point of this set.

1. Diddley Daddy
2. Road Runner
3. Bright Lights Big City
4. Honey What's Wrong
5. I Want To Be Loved

The tracks on the 7" EP were originally recorded for the BBC's "Blues in Rhythm" program (5/9/64):
1. Route 66
2. Cops & Robbers
3. You Better Move On
4. Mona

It is a sad statement when the bootlegger outdo the major label record companies as these tracks PLUS two Saturday Club Sessions and Chess Studio, Chicago sessions were included as bonus tracks on the Russian reissues of England's Newest Hit Makers and Now!.

"Ever get the feeling you've been cheated?" - John Lydon

Rolling Stones