Rolling Stones Are Satisfied with SACD

Jun 20, 2002 12:00 PM, Editors


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The entire Rolling Stones’ catalog, originally released in the '60s and early ‘70s on ABKCO/London Records (ABKCO/Decca in the rest of the world) has been meticulously restored and will be re-released on a series of dual-layer, hybrid Super Audio discs under the banner ABKCO’s The Rolling Stones Remastered. Twenty-two albums, including Let It Bleed, Out of Our Heads, December’s Children, Beggars Banquet, 12x5 and The Rolling Stones, Now!, are part of the most comprehensive single artist re-issue series ever undertaken. Each disc has been encoded with two layers: One containing a normal CD program, and the other with a Super Audio CD program of the same repertoire. The idea is to provide complete backward and forward compatibility for the consumer, as the albums are playable on both SACD-compatible machines as well as standard CD players.

Each dual-layer disc was remastered using Sony’s Direct Stream Digital process resulting in brilliant fidelity in both standard or SACD formats. “Over the years, we have had many requests to re-issue these titles using the latest digital re-mastering techniques,” remarked ABKCO’s Jody Klein, who noted that the albums were first released in the CD format in 1986. Klein, who supervised the development of ABKCO’s The Rolling Stones Remastered Series, stated, “Improvements in technology had only been incremental since then, so we didn’t feel there was a compelling reason to go back to the market with these classic albums, until now.” Klein cites DSD mastering, which samples the original audio signal 2,822,400 times per second, 64 times faster than standard CD encoding, as one of the main catalysts for the series. “DSD more accurately reflects the sonic quality of analog than any other medium, so the depth one hears on these discs in standard or SACD playback is quite amazing.”

The restoration process for The Rolling Stones Remastered Series started with hundreds of hours of painstaking research on both sides of the Atlantic to determine the analog sources most true to the original studio recordings. Final mastering for all albums was completed under the direction of Bob Ludwig, who commented, “While three generations of music fans, myself included, are all quite familiar with the Stones’ material, DSD has afforded us the opportunity to showcase both their brilliance and rough edges all over again in a meaningful way.”

A release date was not provided.

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