The Rolling Stones will take a look back at the mono versions of their Sixties catalogue in a new box set this fall. The Rolling Stones in Mono will collect the group’s U.K. and U.S. releases from 1964’s The Rolling Stones through 1969’s Let It Bleed alongside a collection of singles and EP tracks dubbed Stray Cats. In total, the set will contain 186 songs, 56 of which have never been made available in mono since the digitalization of music. It will come out on September 30th.
The physical editions of the collection will be available in either 15-CD or 16-LP configurations and will also contain a 48-page book containing a 5,000-word essay by Rolling Stone’s David Fricke and rare photos by Terry O’Neill. It will also come out digitally in a variety of formats: standard digital, mastered for iTunes and True HD.
When the group made its first recordings, mono was still the predominant format as stereo equipment was not yet widely available. As with the Beatles, who reissued the mono versions of their catalogue in 2009, the Rolling Stones’ stereo mixes were often made later. In a 1968 interview with Rolling Stone, Mick Jagger once even slagged off the stereo mix of Their Satanic Majesties Request. When discussing his lyrics, he offhandedly said, “‘2000 Light Years’ … is my favorite [song] but it’s lousy in stereo.”
The new mono masters were made by engineer Bob Ludwig, who has won Grammys for reissues of Derek and the Dominos and Dire Straits as well as new albums by Pharrell Williams and Beyoncé. The vinyl lacquers were cut at Abbey Road.
The Rolling Stones in Mono Contents
The Rolling Stones (U.K., 1964)
12 X 5 (1964)
The Rolling Stones No. 2 (U.K., 1965)
The Rolling Stones Now! (1965)
Out of Our Heads (U.S., 1965)
Out of Our Heads (U.K., 1965)
December’s Children (And Everybody’s) (1965)
Aftermath (U.K., 1966)
Aftermath (U.S., 1966)
Between the Buttons (UK, 1967)
Their Satanic Majesties Request (1967)
Beggar’s Banquet (1968)
Let it Bleed (1969)
Stray Cats (2016)