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Reviews: The Rolling Stones: Beggars Banquet

Reviews: 9

Review by Tom March 16, 2003
Performance:   Sonics:
This has always been one of my favorate Rolling Stones albums, and it contains one of my favorate cuts, Sympathy for the Devil. I own the album, so I'm familiar with the cuts, but others may not think this album contains enough "hits." The sonics are excellent. This SACD is dynamic, clean, and extended in both directions. It is a pleasure to listen--even the CD layer. Highly recommended. Now, I wonder why this has a different album cover from my LP. There must be a story.

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Review by LemmyCaution June 8, 2003 (1 of 1 found this review helpful)
Not a review - - The CD Art is I what the original European/British release carried. It was apparently deemed inappropriate for US release.

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Review by vonwegen September 20, 2003
Performance:   Sonics:
Excellent sounding stereo SACD, now could we please have a 5.1 remix of the WHOLE album, not just of "Symapathy for the Devil"?

Note on the cover art--this is NOT the original European artwork.

This is the original STONES artwork that was vetoed by Decca UK, causing the album release to be put in limbo until November 1968, until the Stones capitulated, resulting in the white "R.S.V.P" sleeve all vinyl versions had until the mid-80s.

Too bad nobody cared enough to write liner notes, as the troubled genesis of this particular album makes for fascinating reading: Brian only really performs on "No Expectations" (and maybe "Jig-Saw Puzzle" or maybe it was Keef on slide for that one...) as an integral member; Jean-Luc Goddard filming during the Sympathy for the Devil sessions; the original album art getting stomped on by Decca; the abortive Rock & Roll circus TV show--the list goes on & on...

Docked one star in the sonic department for NOT doing a 5.1 mix.


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Review by madisonears October 7, 2003 (1 of 1 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
I grew up listening to this disc, so I love the music. This is the best sounding version of this timeless classic that I have ever heard. Every detail, every nuance, every inflection of instrument and voice is there--RIGHT THERE. Acoustic guitar is full bodied and detailed, with beautiful tonality. Even the crappy cassette-recorded songs (!) sound very present. And the rocking tunes will blow you away.

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Review by JW September 30, 2004 (5 of 5 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
Sympathy For The Devil is one of my favorite Stones tunes. I like the music and the lyrics and just laugh my evil laugh to paraphrase a relatively well know reviewer. This great album is straight ahead rock. The guitar work on this album is particularly good.

When they first came out I bought 10 of the ABKCO discs but I never got around to write something about them. I'll try and rate them sonically and in comparison to each other. This is early Stones and therefore it bears the hallmark of the times in the way they sound in the studio (or live) and by the nature of the songs. Bluesy, Beatle-like but infused with real rock and attitude initially, to more and more of their signature sound as they progress over the years and hone their craft. Overall these ABCKO series are a tremendous achievement, but they cannot touch many of the modern DSD recorded SACD's or even the sound quality of Living Stereo SACD's or some of the Japanese Miles Davis titles. 'Let it Bleed' and 'Beggars Banguet' come closest. So do you rate them in comparison to other SACD's regardless of age, or do you rate them on their own merits. I guess I have done a little bit of both. There are many more angles with which to review these titles, I fully realise that. I chose this one for these pages.

So here is my list ranked by audio quality: (P=Performance. S=Sonics)
1) Let It Bleed (P5,S4)
2) Beggars Banguet (P5,S4)
3) 12x5 (P3,S3)
4) Out of Our Heads (P3,S3)
4) Aftermath (P4,S3)
5) Between the Buttons (P5,S2)
5) December's Children (P5,S2)
5) Their Satanic Majesties Request (P4,S2)
6) Get Yer Ya-Ya's out (P5,S1)

I also bought Hot Rocks, but that is a compilation which reflects the variety of recordings it was based on, so did not feature it here.

Some listening notes to back this up:
1) One of the most modern sounding recordings of the lot. This one does not have the 'we are playing in an empty oil drum' sound from say a 'Buttons..'. In addition to its desert island disc musical quality, the sound is pretty amazing. Of the you-are-there variety.
2) Close second. Somewhat lower recording level than some of the others. Remarkably wide soundstage on the opening numbers. Sounds come from outside the speakers. None of the others display this.
3) Nice center image with clear left/right seperation. This is one bluesy album.
4) Both display pinched and somewhat hard treble.
5) All of these have this 'barrel' sound. It's not so bad, but it sounds really dated. On DC the live track "Route 66' sounds pretty bad, worse even than the fantastic live album that is Ya-Ya's. Satanic Majesty is a psychedelic album. This is really interesting music and with 21st century ears not as revolutionary and therefore perhaps people can be more appreciative.
6) Great music, great atmosphere, bluesy rock, nice weight to the bass, but there is a huge blanket smothering the sound.

Hopefully we can look forward to more Stones. I would like to complete this collection with their later works.


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Review by putmess August 10, 2007 (0 of 13 found this review helpful)
Unfortunately - maybe cause only the 1st track is in 5.1 as one of the others said before - my stereo-SACD player can read the whole CD ONLY in CD stereo mode and not in SACD stero mode (see my improvement mail to in the forum).

There ARE people in the world with just a SACD stereo player due to various reasons.

And NO, there are no SACD player which can "downgrade" a 5.1 SACD signal to "normal" 2 channel SACD - these are totally different signals!

Sent CD back - sad.

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Review by zobalob August 18, 2007 (5 of 6 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
Excellent sonics, well worth hunting down, (it's been reported on other forums that the Stones SACDs are going out of print). Please ignore the review above, there are no 5.1 tracks here, it's a stereo only hybrid SACD, like all the others in the ABKO series, you can tell them by the digipak. This was always one of the Stones' better recorded albums and it shows. Some of the earlier albums were recorded very poorly, even considering the available technology at the time, but this sounds good.

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Review by cordobaman January 20, 2013 (5 of 5 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
It used to be that I would only purchase multi-channel SACDs. This title was recommended to me by my brother, who touts it as his favorite album (performance-wise) and probably listens to it via cassette tape. So I bought it. WOW, this has become one of my go to demo discs. The sound of the instruments is absolutely raw, realistic and detailed. You can hear fingers sliding to frets. You can hear hammers tapping piano strings. The sound stage to so wide and deep I cannot imaging a better stereo sound. Can you tell I like this one?!

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Review by progboy February 15, 2013 (3 of 3 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
On Beggars Banquet the Stones put the psychedelia and the 60's rock and roll thing into the passenger seat and delivered a stunning album with deep blues roots. This is one of my favourite Stones albums of all time and I think it is really just one of those albums that I will never tire listening to.

Really does not need a lot words here as so much has been said already and documented on this album.

What I can say though is that the sound on the ABKCO Hybrid SACD is very good. This would be right up there with all the other ABKCO SACD's with excellent clarity , sound dynamics and mastering (Bob Ludwig) .

It is the subtle things about this SACD that I notice ....things like clear multi-layered sound and instrument definition. On "Prodigal Son" for example the acoustic guitar sounds like it is being played right beside you.

A great album.....and a great SACD to boot.......

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