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Singles 1963-1965

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Other albums by The Rolling Stones

  1. 5 X 5
  2. Still Life
  3. Voodoo Lounge
  4. Sucking in the Seventies
  5. Come On
The Rolling Stones 4/27/2004

Review

There's a certain part of the collectors market that has a fondness for box sets that recreate the original singles and EPs British Invasion bands released during the '60s. These, to put it mildly, are not designed for practical listening -- very few listeners like to load up their multi-disc player with CDs running two tracks -- but that's kind of the point of these boxes: they're archival releases, targeted at collectors who relish recreations of these singles and EPs, as exercises in both history and nostalgia. In other words, these are replicas of artifacts, not the genuine thing, but since these singles and EPs are hard to come by (and often too expensive for fans on a budget), this is the next best thing to the actual item. So, to complain that it's easier to listen to the music on these box sets in other compilations -- of course it's easier to listen to 33 songs on one disc instead of over the course of 12 CDs, but these box sets are as much about the visual impact as the musical impact. Collectors know this, and are happy with it, but the general public usually is unaware of these releases -- frankly, they wouldn't be all that interested in them -- so, when the Rolling Stones were finally given the singles and EP box set treatment in 2004, it was a bit of a surprise that was released with great fanfare, just as the SACD hybrid reissue series was in 2002. Consequently, some general audiences might wonder what the purpose of this 12-disc, 33-track set is, especially since almost all of the tracks are on the triple-disc set The Singles Collection: The London Years, which is far easier to digest. And for most audiences, who simply want to hear this music, that indeed is a more logical place to turn, but as an archival release The Singles 1963-1965 -- the first installment of a three-box set series containing all of their American and British singles and EPs until 1971 -- is both excellent and instructive. As a production, this is splendid. Each disc is given its own separate sleeve that recreates the original artwork (when there was no picture sleeve, a paper sleeve is recreated), there are inserts of classic promo photos, there's an excellent book with rare photos and liner notes by Nigel Williamson, and in perhaps the neatest touch, each CD is black, so it looks a bit like a mini-45. Strictly speaking, there aren't many rarities aside from some hard-to-find mono mixes and the "we want the Stones" intro to Got Live if You Want It!, which has never been released on CD -- the semirarities "Money," "Poison Ivy," and "Bye Bye Johnny" only appeared on More Hot Rocks, but not The Singles Collection, but what is different is the context. By having these songs split into their original single and EP running order, forcing a disc change after every two (sometimes four or five) songs, listeners wind up experiencing each single as its own entity, gaining an appreciation for the Stones' consistency in their early days and also their growth. At first, these singles are bracing blasts of blues-rock energy, but by the end of the set, the Stones are deepening -- they start to write songs, they try different styles, their blues becomes tougher. Of these, the most impressive are the first two EPs, The Rolling Stones and 5 X 5. Both later were spun out into albums, but these EPs are lean and sinewy, hitting the listener with strength and precision, and stunning brevity; the full-length LPs are classics in their own right, but the shorter format in a strange way captures the primal power of the early Stones. Of course, this is the kind of distinction that only hardcore collectors and geeks care about, but it is a palpable, noteworthy distinction that can't be heard anywhere else, and that makes The Singles 1963-1965 something more than simply a cool archival release. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
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  1. # Track Artist Length
  2. 1 Come On The Rolling Stones 1:47
  3. 2 I Want to Be Loved The Rolling Stones 1:52
  4. 1 I Wanna Be Your Man The Rolling Stones 1:43
  5. 2 Stoned The Rolling Stones 2:8
  6. 1 Bye Bye Johnny The Rolling Stones 2:8
  7. 2 Money The Rolling Stones 2:31
  8. 3 You Better Move On The Rolling Stones 2:39
  9. 4 Poison Ivy The Rolling Stones 2:4
  10. 1 Not Fade Away The Rolling Stones 1:45
  11. 2 Little by Little The Rolling Stones 2:37
  12. 1 It's All Over Now The Rolling Stones 3:27
  13. 2 Good Times, Bad Times The Rolling Stones 2:28
  14. 1 If You Need Me The Rolling Stones 2:2
  15. 2 Empty Heart The Rolling Stones 2:36
  16. 3 2120 South Michigan Avenue The Rolling Stones 2:6
  17. 4 Confessin' the Blues The Rolling Stones 2:47
  18. 5 Around and Around The Rolling Stones 3:4
  19. 1 Tell Me The Rolling Stones 2:36
  20. 2 I Just Want to Make Love to You The Rolling Stones 2:15
  21. 1 Time Is on My Side The Rolling Stones 2:50
  22. 2 Congratulations The Rolling Stones 2:26
  23. 1 Little Red Rooster The Rolling Stones 3:3
  24. 2 Off the Hook The Rolling Stones 2:32
  25. 1 Heart of Stone The Rolling Stones 2:44
  26. 2 What a Shame The Rolling Stones 3:1
  27. 1 The Last Time The Rolling Stones 3:40
  28. 2 Play with Fire The Rolling Stones 2:12
  29. 1 We Want the Stones The Rolling Stones 0:13
  30. 2 Everybody Needs Somebody to Love The Rolling Stones 0:36
  31. 3 Pain in My Heart The Rolling Stones 2:3
  32. 4 Route 66 The Rolling Stones 2:35
  33. 5 I'm Moving On The Rolling Stones 2:12
  34. 6 I'm Alright The Rolling Stones 2:21

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