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Stones’ Fans May Pay Through Nose for A Bigger Bang

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Fans of the Rolling Stones better get their wallets out when A Bigger Bang, their first new album since 1997 is released September 6.

Mick Jagger and Keith Richards are talking about the album in Billboard magazine. Hidden at the end of the Billboard article is the plan to release multiple versions of the album. The first version of A Bigger Bang will be released September 6 as has been previously reported. The band’s label might release additional versions of the album for the holidays.

“The content will come from the band and it will hopefully include extra tracks, remixes, video content, Web links and ringtones,” according to comments Virgin U.S. executive VP of marketing Randy Miller made to Billboard.

Stones fans ought to be used to the consumer treatment. These guys have been charging outrageous prices (which people have been happily paying) for concert tickets and they have almost as much merchandise as KISS. That the band would try to goad fans into buying multiple versions of the new album is no surprise. It is just a shame. I do not want to wait until the holidays to buy the expanded edition but I also do not want to buy this album twice. Dilemma.

Other interesting items from the Billboard article:

  • Where was Ronnie Wood? According to the article, several songs feature only Jagger, Richards, and drummer Charlie Watts. The only other players on the record are Wood, Darryl Jones (bass), and Chuck Leavell (keyboard/piano).

    I am kind of excited about this! 16 songs is a little too long, but it sounds like they should be 16 leaner songs. It also means Keith played more lead or there are going to be fewer guitar solos without Ronnie. It does make me wonder about Wood’s health.

    The article does not mention whether or not the usual cast of backup singers is on the disc. I guess we can also infer from this there are no horns on the album. The horns might be missed, the backup singers would not.

  • A B-sides and rarities collection will be released in November. The album will be sold at Starbucks as well as other stores. The title, tracklisting, and formal release date of this set have not yet been released.

Here is to hoping for a formal release of “Cocksucker Blues!”

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About Josh Hathaway

  • Wood’s health? Jeez, these guys are nearing 70….booze, drugs, etc. doesn’t surprise me if any of their skeletons are seen playing.

  • Wood has sought treatment for alcoholism and if I am not mistaken (although I might, so please forgive) emphysema.

    Charlie Watts has been treated for throat cancer but appears to have been part of the bulk of the recording of the album. Wood seems to have been MIA.

  • Gee, like the Man says, “You can’t always get what you want”, so, you have to wait, and buy more than one CD? So?
    I’m sure, that for the die-hard Stones Fans, such as myself, there is no problem with this! As for myself, I just can’t get enough of the Worlds Best Rock & Roll Band!!!!!

  • Jim

    The Stones have always been very clever marketers. I just hopr the quality of the material justifies the multitude of CD versions.


  • Jim, I guess my complaint with this is several artists have released their new albums on multiple formats – but they released them all on the same day. This gave fans/consumers the chance to buy the album once and to get it in the format of their choice.

    Of course I am going to wind up buying the album twice… I just do not like it.

  • Eric Olsen

    thanks Josh! Hope springs eternal, maybe it’ll feel important with mortality hanging over the proceedings. It’s been a long time since a Stones record felt important

  • EO, important? Yes. Good? No, the last couple have been real solid.

    I have seen a lot of coverage of this new album on GOOGLE NEWS — much of it originating here on Blogcritics. I think there is a buzz about this album, which is interesting. 40+ years later, people still care when the Stones release an album.

    Meanwhile, McCartney’s new album is generating buzz but not quite as much. I want this new album to be good and I cannot wait to see what the rarities disc will be!

  • Eric Olsen

    I suppose I equate a “good” Stones record with it feeling important – Isuppose my standards are unrealistic at this point, BUT YOU NEVER KNOW

  • Vern Halen

    I lost interest in new Stones’ material long before their 1997 release, but I recently picked up their 2002 remasters of Beggars Banquet & Let It Bleed – made me interested all over again. If you’ve never heard these remasters, I’d sugest you track them down – they sound like different albums; modern & contemporary, especially “Gimme Shelter” – makes most modern rock bands sound lightweight in comparison.

  • Vern, I have nearly finished purchasing the entire re-masters set (I even went as far as to buy an SACD player to hear the optimal versions of the albums). WHAT A DIFFERENCE! Beggar’s Banquet and 12×5 improved the most, and Let it Bleed sounds great, too.

    Re-masters are rarely worth buying. THESE ARE.

  • Does the XBox play SACDs? I know, wrong forum…

  • Aaman, the Stones’ re-masters are hybrid discs with a ‘standard’ layer as well as an SACD layer. Your XBox will play the standard layer – not the SACD layer.

    Even SONY’s PS2 does not play the SACD layer (Sony was one of the prime forces behind SACD technology).

  • Crooked Spine

    I’m really disappointed with the Rolling Stones these days. It seems like they’ll use any trick in the book to snatch a few extra dollars from their biggest fans. I know, I know… they do it because people are willing to shell out the money. But that still doesn’t make it right.

    I think the Stones are one of the greatest bands of all time. I’d put Exile on Main Street on my list of greatest albums of all time. But they’re now over 30 years past their prime. Combine that with their willingness to exploit their fans’ support, and that’s why I won’t be buying their new CD or seeing their fall tour.

  • I respect your position, Crooked Spine. They might be past their prime but I still think the Stones have something to offer. I have enjoyed large portions of their more recent albums while admitting they are not quite as enjoyable as the band at their peak.

    I am also bothered by the overt commercialism. There is fine line between being treated like a fan and being treated like a consumer. I do not want to be one of those people screaming, “Sell Out!” at every perceived injustice. I try very hard not to fall into that trap. I do think the Stones sometimes go a little overboard with the business part of the music business.

    Having said all that, I am a fan and will certainly buy the album. I hope they deliver.

  • bafanculo

    STONES, stones stones….in the country where they proclaim freedom and they don’t allow drinking a beer on the streets, and don’t sell it after 10pm, and that has police breaking at every mayor electronic festival (as it happened in utah couple of weeks ago) and the police is everywhere putting tickets for parking instead of kicking the arse of the drug dealers on the streets…don’t even waste your time in going to see the stones live at any city in america…wait a bit and see them play for 400.000 people in RIO or in Buenos Aires, or anywhere in europe, it will be more exciting i bet you….I saw them playing in amsterdam a couple of years ago, and i can’t compare with the rubbish i saw at the MCI center in DC. They look like they had to play and they didnn’t give a shit about the crowd, that by the way couldn’t dance and jump because of the chairs on the field, IT SUCKS to watch rock shows live in america. The album…looks like one of the best I’ve ever heard since Exile’…sorry folks, get a ticket to Buenos Aires or wait till they get to London to see the real Stones live