spacer image Stereo Stones?
A track by track rundown of what early tracks are available in stereo, and where. Please send me any corrections or other notes.

Generally a 'London LP' will be an original US London pressing and a 'Decca LP' will be an original UK Decca pressing, but there are some exceptions. Click on the catalog number links for details.

London CDs with 820 catalog numbers are from Europe/Germany, while London CDs with P33L, P25L, and POCD catalog numbers are from Japan. Also, note that the European/German Hot Rocks 1 CD was remastered a few years after it was released, and that version has added fade-ups and fade-outs on several songs. The Japanese releases of Hot Rocks 1 were based on the original European/German issue, and do not have added fade-ups or fade-outs.

The original ABKCO CDs were available in the US starting in 1986, replaced the London CDs in Europe and Japan in 1995 and 1997 respectively, and were replaced by the ABKCO SACDs in 2002. Those SACDs were replaced after a few years by CDs with the same catalog numbers and "DSD Remastered" designations. Catalog numbers refer to US releases - foreign ones usually differ.

Please note that the list of releases for each track isn't necessarily all-inclusive, especially as they relate to vinyl releases. Also, the sound quality sometimes varies significantly from release to release, but that topic is outside the scope of this document.

Click on the title of each song for a sample (MP3, 320 kbps).

If You Need Me
  • stereo on:
  • time: 1:59
  • recording date/location: 6/10/64-6/11/64 Chess Studios, Chicago
  • notes: Drums, organ, bass, tambourine, and backing vocals left. Lead vocals center. Guitar right.

    The Chess recordings listed here were all mixed to stereo and then folded down for mono releases. Unlike the RCA recordings (and most recordings of the era), no dedicated mono mixes exist.
Empty Heart
  • stereo on:
  • time: 2:34
  • recording date/location: 6/10/64-6/11/64 Chess Studios, Chicago
  • notes: Drums, bass, and organ left. Lead vocals center. Guitar, harmonica, backing vocals, and tambourine right.
2120 South Michigan Avenue
  • stereo on:
  • time: 2:08 (short version)
  • stereo on:
    • Remastered (ABKCO SACD 9215-2; promo)
    • 12 X 5 (ABKCO SACD 94022)
  • time: 3:38 (complete version)
  • recording date/location: 6/10/64-6/11/64 Chess Studios, Chicago
  • notes: Drums, bass, and organ left. Tambourine and harmonica center. Guitars right. As is noted below, the complete song (with a guitar solo, but most likely not Muddy Waters as had been previously reported) exists on the stereo master tape - it was simply faded early for disc.

    In the vinyl era, the only place to find the complete song was on the German LP "Around & Around", where it was in mono. However, ABKCO has issued the complete song in stereo for their DSD remasters.
Confessin' The Blues
  • stereo on:
  • time: 2:44
  • recording date/location: 6/10/64-6/11/64 Chess Studios, Chicago
  • notes: Drums, lead guitar and bass left. Vocals and harmonica center. Rhythm guitar and piano right.
Around And Around
  • stereo on:
  • time: 2:59
  • recording date/location: 6/10/64-6/11/64 Chess Studios, Chicago
  • notes: Drums, bass, and piano left. Vocals center. Guitars right.
Down The Road Apiece
  • stereo on:
  • time: 3:00
  • recording date/location: 6/10/64-6/11/64 Chess Studios, Chicago
  • notes: One of the four early tracks that turned up in stereo on the original ABKCO CDs. Drums, bass, and piano left, vocal center, lead and rhythm guitars right.
I Can't Be Satisfied
  • stereo on:
    • The Unstoppable Stones (Decca LP LKM 6004)
    • More Hot Rocks (Decca/Teldec LP)
    • More Hot Rocks (ABKCO CD 62672)
    • No. 2 (London CD P33L 25015 / P25L 25033 / POCD-1913)
    • More Hot Rocks 2 (London CD 820 516-2)
    • More Hot Rocks 2 (London CD P25L 25050 / POCD-1930)
    • More Hot Rocks (ABKCO SACD 96262)
  • time: 3:24
  • recording date/location: 6/10/64-6/11/64 Chess Studios, Chicago
  • notes: One of the four early tracks that turned up in stereo on the original ABKCO CDs.
It's All Over Now
  • stereo on:
  • time: 3:26
  • recording date/location: 6/10/64-6/11/64 Chess Studios, Chicago
  • notes: Drums and bass left, lead vocal center, lead and rhythm guitars, tambourine, and backing vocals right.
Look What You've Done
  • stereo on:
  • time: 2:15
  • recording date/location: 6/10/64-6/11/64 Chess Studios, Chicago
  • notes: Left: harmonica, guitars. Center: vocals. Right: drums, bass, piano. While the ABKCO CD is all mono, original US LP has this track in true stereo.
Everybody Needs Somebody To Love
  • stereo on:
  • time: 5:07
  • recording date/location: 10/27/64 RCA Studios, Hollywood
  • notes: Recorded at RCA. This is the longer version, which originally appeared on the UK No. 2 LP. The version on Now! is a different recording, although the original ABKCO CD uses the mono mix of this recording. Left: drums, bass, rhythm guitar, piano. Center: vocals. Right: lead guitar, tambourine, backing vocals, handclaps.

    This is only stereo mix that was released on vinyl that has not been released on CD. The German copy of Rock'n'Rolling Stones runs slightly fast. The transfers on Rock'N'Rolling Stones (and possibly the other LP releases) have some issues near the end of the song that aren't present on the original maxi single release.
Heart of Stone
  • stereo on:
  • time: 2:51
  • recording date/location: 10/27/64 RCA Studios, Hollywood
  • notes: One of the four early tracks that turned up in stereo on the original ABKCO CDs. Drums and rhythm guitar left, lead vocal center, tambourine, lead guitar, bass, and backing vocals right.

    Earlier pressings of the ABKCO Hot Rocks CD have Heart of Stone in stereo, as well as the Regent ("organ intro") version of Time Is On My Side. Later pressings have a version of Heart of Stone with the first few notes in stereo (albeit in much lower fidelity) followed by the mono mix, as well as the Chess ("guitar intro") version of Time Is On My Side (in mono). The SACDs have what seems to be a new stereo remix.
What A Shame
  • stereo on:
  • time: 3:07
  • recording date/location: 11/8/64 Chess Studios, Chicago
  • notes: One of the four early tracks that turned up in stereo on the original ABKCO CDs. Lead guitar, rhythm guitar, and piano left, vocal center, drums and bass right. Fades up on the London CD versions.
Time Is On My Side
  • stereo on:
  • time: 2:59
  • recording date/location: 11/8/64 Chess Studios, Chicago
  • notes: This version was recorded at Chess studios in the US and originally released on the No. 2 LP in the UK. It was later substituted in the US for the version previously released as a single there (which was recorded in the UK at Regent Sound). Lead guitar and organ left, vocals, second guitar and tambourine center, drums and bass right.

    Note that Rolled Gold has this track in mono.
The Last Time
  • stereo on:
    • various bootlegs
    • private collections
  • time: 3:20
  • recording date/location: 1/18/65 & 2/17/65 - 2/18/65 RCA Studios, Hollywood
  • notes: The bootleg versions are pretty poor, but the one found in various collections betters the mono mix. Drums, lead and rhythm guitar, and bass left, lead vocals and guitar solo center, backing vocals right. While it is better than the mono mix, there is still a lot of noise on the track ('dirty' sounding). The stereo mix is about 15 seconds shorter than the mono mix.
Play With Fire
  • stereo on:
  • time: 2:13
  • recording date/location: 1/18/65 RCA Studios, Hollywood
  • notes: The version on the ABKCO Hot Rocks CD was actually taken from this version, but narrowed down to almost mono. Lead guitar and harpsichord left, vocal center, tambourine/percussion right.

    One of three tracks never released in stereo on vinyl but transferred by MFSL and released on the Hot Rocks 1 CD.
(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction
  • stereo on:
  • time: 3:46
  • recording date/location: 5/12/65 - 5/13/65 RCA Studios, Hollywood
  • notes: Drums, lead guitar and bass on left. Vocals center. Rhythm guitar and piano on right. The stereo mix runs slightly faster than the mono mix.

    The version that is being used on the new ABKCO SACDs is a different mix, with everything centered except the piano/acoustic guitar track, which is split (via a delay) left and right. The "original" wide stereo version is not available on the SACDs, along with the stereo mixes of Play With Fire and Get Off Of My Cloud.
Get Off Of My Cloud
  • stereo on:
  • time: 3:00
  • recording date/location: 9/6/65 RCA Studios, Hollywood
  • notes: Drums, rhythm guitar and bass on left. Vocals center. Lead guitar and backing vocals on right.

    One of three mixes not released on the SACDs, but previously available in stereo on CD.
Mother's Little Helper
  • stereo on:
  • time: 2:48
  • recording date/location: 12/3/65 - 12/8/65 RCA Studios, Hollywood
  • notes: Originally released on the stereo UK Aftermath LP and various compilations. US stereo LPs and CDs always used a fake stereo version until release of the Aftermath [UK] SACD in 2002. Drums, bass, and guitar left, vocals center, guitar fills right.
19th Nervous Breakdown
  • stereo on:
    • various bootlegs
    • private collections
  • time: 3:55
  • recording date/location: 12/3/65 - 12/8/65 RCA Studios, Hollywood
  • notes: The transfer found on older bootlegs (ie, Dartford Renegades, In Stereo) was very poor, sounding like a very high generation copy. Better sounding transfers exist, but what's currently the best sounding bootleg for these tracks (Reel Time Trip) only has the alternate vocal version. The stereo mix does not have the distortion in the intro (present on many releases of the mono mix) or the slow down near the end (present on all releases of the mono mix). Drums, bass, and guitar left, vocals center, guitar and 'dive-bomb' bass right.
Paint It Black
  • stereo on:
  • time: 3:24
  • recording date/location: 2/6/66 - 2/9/66 RCA Studios, Hollywood
  • notes: This song was originally released in stereo, but the original US CDs only used the mono mix. The mono mix as released on most CDs runs over 20 seconds longer than the stereo mix or the mono mix as released on vinyl. Drums, misc percussion, and bass left, vocals center, sitars and guitar right.
Have You Seen Your Mother, Baby, Standing In The Shadow
  • stereo on:
    • various bootlegs
    • private collections
  • time: 2:34
  • recording date/location: 8/7/66 RCA Studios, Hollywood
  • notes: For years the only versions available were very low quality, but the Reel Time Trip bootleg has a high quality transfer.

* Notes on 5x5 stereo EP (special thanks to John Stokes for the info):

SLEEVE: Laminated front, 'flipback' rear, cat no: DFE 8590 and marked MONO front and rear ('Printed in England by Pineburn Press' in small type)

RECORD LABELS: pale blue 'moulded plastic' labels with black embossed type, leaving centre vinyl showing (ie. not coloured right up to centre hole), solid (not 'push-out') centre. Square 'boxed' DECCA logo. MONO and MADE IN ENGLAND on both sides.

A-side: cat no: DEF8590 (that's right, DEF, not DFE), EFF.2739 printed underneath. Large 'A' on left.

B-side: cat no: DEF8590 (again the different order of letters), EFF.2740 printed underneath. Small type saying 'B SIDE' on left.

Vinyl matrix nos engraved near run-off bit, A and B sides respectively:
DFE8590 A//2VED      1      2
DFE 8590 B // 2VED    1      4

("V" is actually a small inverted triangle)

Here's the master tape information for the stereo EP. Note how 2120 S. Michigan Ave. is the full 3+ minute version, with instructions to fade it at 2 minutes.

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