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Rolling Stones reissue half-speed mastered vinyl editions of ten albums

Selection of albums get the half-speed mastered vinyl treatment

The Rolling Stones will reissue ten of their albums as standalone half-speed mastered pressings in May.

The selection includes two albums from the 1970s (It’s Only Rock N’ Roll, Black and Blue), all their long players from the eighties (Emotional Rescue, Tattoo You, UndercoverDirty Work and Steel Wheels) and then three of the four studio albums they’ve issued since then (Voodoo Lounge, Bridges to Babylon and A Bigger Bang).

All the albums are pressed on 180g black vinyl and have been mastered at half-speed at Abbey Road Studios (if you’d like to know more about the half-speed mastering process, then check out this SDE post). The last three albums in this batch are all double albums, hence the slightly higher price.

All of these albums were previously available as part of the Studio Albums 1971-2016 vinyl box that was issued in 2018, but this is the first time they’ve been available separately, where you can pick and choose.

These will all be issued on 26 June 2020 (was 8 May). Townsend Music are offering all ten albums (13 records in total) in a bundle at a special price.

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The Rolling Stones

it's only rock and roll - half speed vinyl

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The Rolling Stones

black and blue - half speed vinyl

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The Rolling Stones

Emotional Rescue - half speed vinyl

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The Rolling Stones

Tattoo You - half speed vinyl

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The Rolling Stones

undercover - half speed vinyl

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The Rolling Stones

Dirty Work - half speed vinyl

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The Rolling Stones

Steel Wheels - half speed vinyl

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The Rolling Stones

Voodoo Lounge - 2LP half speed vinyl

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The Rolling Stones

Bridges to Babylon - 2LP half speed vinyl

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The Rolling Stones

A Bigger Bang - 2LP half speed vinyl

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It’s Only Rock N’ Roll half-speed mastered vinyl LP

Side A
If You Can’t Rock Me
Ain’t Too Proud To Beg
It’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll (But I Like It)
Till The Next Goodbye
Time Waits For No One

Side B
Luxury
Dance Little Sister
If You Really Want To Be My Friend
Short And Curlies
Fingerprint File

Black and Blue half-speed mastered vinyl LP

Side A
Hot Stuff
Hand Of Fate
Cherry Oh Baby
Memory Motel

Side B
Hey Negrita
Melody
Fool To Cry
Crazy Mama

Emotional Rescue half-speed mastered vinyl LP

Side A
Dance (Pt. 1)
Summer Romance
Send It To Me
Let Me Go
Indian Girl

Side B
Where The Boys Go
Down In The Hole
Emotional Rescue
She’s So Cold
All About You

Tattoo You half-speed mastered vinyl LP

Side A
Start Me Up
Hang Fire
Slave
Little T&A
Black Limousine
Neighbours

Side B
Worried About You
Tops
Heaven
No Use In Crying
Waiting On A Friend

Undercover half-speed mastered vinyl LP

Side A
Undercover Of The Night
She Was Hot
Tie You Up (The Pain Of Love)
Wanna Hold You
Feel On Baby

Side B
Too Much Blood
Pretty Beat Up
Too Tough
All The Way Down
It Must Be Hell

Dirty Work half-speed mastered vinyl LP

Side A
One Hit (To The Body)
Fight
Harlem Shuffle
Hold Back
Too Rude

Side B
Winning Ugly
Back To Zero
Dirty Work
Had It With You
Sleep Tonight
Key To The Highway

Steel Wheels half-speed mastered vinyl LP

Side A
Sad Sad Sad
Mixed Emotions
Terrifying
Hold On To Your Hat
Hearts For Sale
Blinded By Love

Side B
Rock And A Hard Place
Can’t Be Seen
Almost Hear You Sigh
Continental Drift
Break The Spell
Slipping Away

Voodoo Lounge 2LP half-speed mastered vinyl LP

Side A
Love Is Strong
You Got Me Rocking
Sparks Will Fly

Side B
The Worst
New Faces
Moon Is Up
Out Of Tears

Side C
I Go Wild
Brand New Car
Sweethearts Together
Suck On The Jugular

Side D
Blinded By Rainbows
Baby Break It Down
Thru And Thru
Mean Disposition

Bridges to Babylon 2LP half-speed mastered vinyl

Side A
Flip The Switch
Anybody Seen My Baby?
Low Down
Already Over Me

Side B
Gunface
You Don’t Have To Mean It
Out Of Control

Side C
Saint Of Me
Might As Well Get Juiced
Always Suffering

Side D
Too Tight
Thief In The Night
How Can I Stop

A Bigger Bang 2LP half-speed mastered vinyl

Side A
Rough Justice
Let Me Down Slow
It Won’t Take Long
Rain Fall Down

Side B
Streets Of Love
Back Of My Hand
She Saw Me Coming
Biggest Mistake

Side C
This Place Is Empty
Oh No, Not You Again
Dangerous Beauty
Laugh, I Nearly Died

Side D
Sweet Neo Con
Look What The Cat Dragged In
Driving Too Fast
Infamy

58 responses to Rolling Stones reissue half-speed mastered vinyl editions of ten albums

  1. Ben says:

    Looks like the release date for the Stones reissues has been pushed back to June 26th.

  2. Jim says:

    does anyone have any links to pre order from Australia? we can usually do so from US Amazon but due to the coronavirus they won’t ship these. also, I love the Emotional Rescuer LP :)

  3. eric says:

    Comments here that the 2016 half speed master of Exile is different from the half speed in the box are flat incorrect. In numerous interviews Miles Showell at Abbey Road studios stated he received a high res transfer of Exile from which he created this the pressing that was used in both. He did not do this twice. Both certs that come with the Box and the individual release are the same. So, that makes Exile individually and not needed to be included in this reissue campaign.

  4. Marco Moor says:

    It would surprise me if Mean Disposition is added to Voodoo Lounge.
    To my knowledge it is only available on the 2010 box. It was not part of the half-speed box, will be nice if it is added on this release, but I think they made a mistake.

  5. bruce s kelso says:

    I wonder if the version of finger print file on its only rock n roll will be the correct pitch. it has been mastered to fast since the original issue .on the shm japanese cd it has the correct speed. I sincerely doubt that it will be , as for goats head soup deluxe ? I will be SHOCKED if any of the songs will not be tampered with. new vocals, guitars etc I am sure that is the case. what it could be is cd1 original mix remasterd with thru the the lonely nights as bonus. cd 2 the same as 1 but new mix.cd3 is all original alternate mixes ,rough outakes, and unheard songs with NO new overdubs. we shall see .

  6. Wayne Olsen says:

    I’m confined and bored so I’ll rank them worst to first.
    Undercover
    A bigger bang
    Bridges to Babylon
    Voodoo lounge
    Black and blue
    Dirty work
    Tattoo you
    Emotional rescue
    It’s only rock and roll
    Steel wheels

    • Evan says:

      steel wheels is effin awesome. sure, it’s no sticky fingers or let it bleed… and to compare it to most anything else in the stones catalogue is unfair and of course will make it seem vastly inferior… but just on its own, it really is a great album. if only for “almost hear you sigh.”

  7. Magoo says:

    What needs to happen next, is for the pressing to be demixed, as per the Cat Stevens recent vinyl.
    On 166g virgin vinyl, pressed by nun’s in the northern hemisphere.
    Also various coloured vinyl, randomly selected by region/country.
    And finally different coloured stickers on the covers that indicates the level of rarity.
    I’ll stop now, I just wish the record company’s would.

    On a serious note : Someone, somewhere must be buying them.
    Their are several people on this site, who would run a record company far better than most of the idiots still operating them today.

    Stay warm.

  8. Harry says:

    Why not Some Girls as half speed master release?

  9. John McCann says:

    Hi Paul,any chance you could do a feature called,,,get your shelves out for the lads and ladies, where you show us your amazing collection,thanks John.

  10. Rob O'Connor says:

    Clearly, Paul is correct in saying Emotional Rescue was released in 1980, since it was!

    The funny thing about ER is that it’s the one Universal brick-walled CD that benefits from the ridiculous remaster. Where Some Girls and Tattoo You sound awful, with “Beast of Burden,” especially, sounding like there’s zero room to breathe, the tracks on ER have added life that’s mostly due to the rhythm section of Charlie Watts and Bill “Wyman” Perks being boosted to the front of the mix. I wouldn’t want to be without the original LPs or the Virgin CDs of any of these titles, but at least the Uni ER CD isn’t a complete waste like the others.

    A deluxe edition of Goat’s Head gives me hope that the Stones’ killer cover of Dobie Gray’s “Drift Away” will see the light of day. Of course, knowing Mick, he’ll ruin it by adding “modern vocals” to the recording. Anyone with the ‘Genuine Black Box’ can confirm that the version there is exquisite.

  11. Tomek says:

    What about MEAN DISPOSITION on Voodoo Lounge?
    Is it available on THIS 2LP edition or not?

    • Marco Moor says:

      It wasn’t on the half-speed box, so far as I know it was only available on the 2010 box edition.
      So which means they made either a mistake or a new master.

  12. Mick says:

    I’m only interested in Goats Head Soup. Hopefully there’ll be a standalone vinyl released when the SDE comes out, because we KNOW the digital versions will be brickwalled.

    RE: The “hi-res” from “The Rolling Stones Studio Albums Collection 1971-2016” 2018 vinyl box set download card. Those were a JOKE. Some were 24-bit. Others were 16-bit. And ALL of them were brickwalled beyond the point of being listenable, so not having them with the standalone releases is no loss. Here’s the breakdown:
    Bridges To Babylon 16/44.1
    Black & Blue 16/44.1
    Bigger Bang 16/44.1
    Blue & Lonesome 24/88.2 [DR7]
    Dirty Work 24/44.1 [DR7]
    Emotional Rescue 24/44.1 [DR8]
    Exile On Main St. 16/44.1 (except Loving Cup which is 24/44.1)
    Goats Head Soup 24/44.1 [DR6]
    It’s Only R&R 24/44.1 [DR6]
    Some Girls 24/44.1 [DR6]
    Steel Wheels 16/44.1
    Sticky Fingers 16/44.1
    Tattoo You 24/44.1 [DR8]
    Under Cover 16/44.1
    Voodoo Lounge 24/44.1 [DR7]

  13. Mike says:

    Hi Paul, do you where the LP’s are pressed ?

  14. Peter Coulson says:

    Goat’s Head Soup ought to make a great SDE: it was always criminally underrated. Coming Down Again and Winter are top 20 Sones songs and Angie is just the best Jagger/Richard ballad ever released. Excepting Some Girls, it was/is the last great Stones album.

  15. Mike M says:

    Any idea if they plan to release the early 70s albums Paul?

  16. John says:

    Here’s hoping the pressing quality is consistently much, much better than the box set “Studio Albums – 1971- 2016.” I had to go through four box sets (!!!) just to get one complete without any major pressing defects. Other websites testified some others had this problem too.

    I can handle a few small clicks and/or pops but the pressing quality was so bad on a few records that they even had one or two very small unmelted vinyl bits in them. These looked like very short, thick lines in the record track and sounded like 1to 3 seconds of a zipper closing.

    The overall improvement to the sound in the box varied by album. Basically most sounded more detailed and sometimes more clinical than the original albums. The original albums usually sounded more cohesive and warmer to my ears. Not that one is necessarily better but there was usually a difference to me.

    The source for these new records is presumably the same flat digital transfers used for the box set, recorded off the original, delicate analog tapes. That may explain some of the sonic differences, as mentioned here: https://www.rollingstone.com/music/music-features/how-the-rolling-stones-massive-new-vinyl-box-came-together-627702/

    The box set also had a digital download coupon which covered all the albums. This seems absent from each album this time. It will be interesting to hear these!

  17. Michael says:

    I’ve already pre-ordered all the new half-speed RS albums from the 70s and 80s. Still considering the latter double albums, which are somewhat lower priority for me, but I’m pretty certain I’ll end up getting those too at some future date.

    I read on a couple of other websites that Mick Jagger is still working on “Goats Head Soup,” which would be released at a later date as a possible deluxe or expanded album. Also, I too wouldn’t mind seeing a few RS compilation albums being re-released from that period: “Made in the Shade,” “Sucking in the 70’s,” and “Rewind.”

  18. Jim May-Mileski says:

    How does this differ from the box set last year?

    • Paul Sinclair says:

      It differs because they aren’t in a box set now :)

      • John McCann says:

        Good one.

      • Michel Banen says:

        That kinda gives me the impression these might actually be overstock / overpressed albums that they don’t seeem to get rid of as a box set so they might unload some vinyl by making this available as ‘stand alone’ albums. Now the first time a record company does something like this when a box set like this doesn’t sell well enough.

  19. Ozzy says:

    how many times can they get away with reissuing these in vinyl – and what more are we actually going to hear ? Charlie Watts farting at the beginning of the instrumental in Let it bleed ? Rillly …..

    • Michel Banen says:

      Yup…. the zillionth re-re-re-re-re-remastered versions of re-re-re-re issued albums. Until the next trick…. quarter speed remasters ?

    • black AND blue says:

      These are individual releases of the (previously exclusive to the box set) half-speed vinyl remasters, so this is only the second time these have surfaced and they’re now more accessible to fans who cannot afford the big box. What more are you going to hear? – More detail and subtlety in the sound quality. If you don’t want those things, don’t buy these versions. They don’t release records just to cater for you…

    • Graham Thomas says:

      Haven’t heard any of these but betting what you won’t hear on a half speed remaster is anything that sounds like a bass guitar. And Jagger on Emotioal Rescue will sound like a pixie. Just stick to the originals and see the crackles as in synch with the age of the record and the band.

    • Dave says:

      Ozzy ! Suprised you never heard that before its always been there !!

  20. Val Kaludov says:

    Definitely getting Voodoo Lounge, Bridges To Babylon and A Bigger Bang. “Rain Fall Down” from the latter is a personal favourite.

  21. Ernie says:

    I’m waiting for SDE’s of “Tattoo you” & “Emotional Rescue”. Long overdue. How about a select cuts Stones article Paul? That would be fun & interesting!

  22. Kok says:

    Guys, Emotional Rescue was released in 1980…

  23. Paul Wren says:

    Once more, no bonus material. There must be millions of the original pressings and many subsequent reissues out there already.

    • Michel Banen says:

      Yup. Another trick to make people buy the same albums again and again. And obviously it works.

  24. Dennis Mosen says:

    Goats head soup is so underrated class album winter is a stunner of a track

  25. musicvaultz in Canada is offering a 20% discount on any item ordered.
    https://shop.musicvaultz.com/*/*/It-s-Only-Rock-N-Roll/6F3T0000000

  26. Sylent Syd says:

    Totally in for Tattoo You. But where the heck is Some Girls?!

    • Paul Sinclair says:

      Yeah, weird how they’ve missed that out. Can only assume they wanted to keep some things exclusive to the big box set.

  27. ew says:

    Glad they are maintaining some of the exclusivity of the box which I bought. Exile is the one big title that was also released individually but am hoping that’s it.

    • Mister Stick says:

      I was tempted to get the original box, but since it’s release, I’ve heard several sources say that these masters and pressings were a big disappointment. EW, since you have the original box, what do you think? Have you ever compared them to other vinyl issues?

      Big thanks.

    • Francisco says:

      The previous half speed Exile IS a different mastering, the one that comes only in the box is the one to have.

      All this are great pressing, very nice sound.

  28. Mark says:

    Goats Head is the missing classic here.

    • Daryl says:

      Goats Head Soup is getting the super deluxe treatment so they are probably saving it for then.

    • Phil Cohen says:

      But “Emotional Rescue” & Tattoo You” were largely recorded at the “Some Girls” sessions, and “Tattoo You” had even older (1974) outtakes with Mick Taylor. There was a concern that Keith Richards might spend the rest of his life in prison after his Canadian drug bust, so at least 60 songs were recorded at the “Some Girls” sessions. The Stones were stockpiling music to ensure that they could release more albums. “Emotional Rescue” & “Tattoo You” were outtakes albums, though they weren’t marketed as such. Granted, they are better outtakes albums than “Metamorphosis”.

    • Phil Cohen says:

      Yes, “Goats Head Soup” is missing, because Mick Jagger recently stated that he had recently completed work on a deluxe edition of the album. Whether the record company will be willing to release it during a downturn in distribution and consumer spending (during the virus scare) remains to be seen. While my spending on recorded music is probably nearing an end, I’ll still be here on the internet to provide rock archival information.

      • Mike Villano says:

        Any clue what it might contain? I’ve not been impressed with what they came up with for both the “Beggar’s Banquet” and “Let It Bleed” boxes. The Sticky Fingers and Exile sets were worthwhile, but the recent ones just look like a soulless cash grab. And I say that as a fan since 1971 when I was 11-years-old who will buy the next new Stones album the day it comes out.

        • Jarmo Keranen says:

          Hello to you! I’ve been also a fan since 1971 when i was 11 years old too. My first Stones LP was Gimme Shelter compilation. Then Sticky Fingers, Exile On Main Street etc. I’m in no hurry to buy a new Stones album. It took me 3 years before i finally bought Blue & Lonesome. And Stones had nothing to do with Beggars Banquet and Let It Bleed boxes. It is ABCKO and Allen Klein’s estate who brings these unnecessary boxes!

  29. Gareth says:

    Emotional Rescue a 70s album Paul. And the biggest stinker for me, marginally outstinking Dirty Work.

  30. thomas doherty says:

    Wish they would reissue Sucking In The 70s on vinyl

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