AnalogPlanet Radio's Rolling Stones Mono Box Set Songs Revealed!

October third's AnalogPlanet radio show was an all-Rolling Stones radio show that directly compared original American London and UK Decca mono pressings with the new The Rolling Stones in Mono ABKCO box set (one comparison included the mono first album in the ABKCO stereo box set).

So, for those of you who listened and kept notes, here are the track origins:

“Empty Heart”:

1) original American pressing
2) New box set
3) FFRR UK pressed London original

“King Bee”

1) mono from stereo ABKCO box set
2) original UK Decca
3) new mono box set

“Mercy, Mercy”

1) Box
2) UK Decca original

“Paint it Black”

1) Box
2) original American pressing

“2000 Man”

1) original UK Decca stereo
2) Box mono

“Ruby Tuesday”

1) Box
2) original U.S. “Flowers”


1) UK original Decca
2) Box

“Get Off My Cloud”

2) Box

“Heart of Stone”

1) Box
2) U.S. original
3) FFRR UK pressed London original

“Honky Tonk Women”

1) stereo Decca original 2)Box

“It’s Not Easy”

2) UK Decca original

“Jigsaw Puzzle”

1)UK Decca original


1)FFRR UK pressed London original
2) Box
3)London U.S. original

And that’s all folks!

J. Carter's picture

I mostly preferred the new box tracks through my Sonus Faber headphones through an iPhone. I'm not sure my opinion would change through a better setup given its going through Soundcloud anyway.

lionel's picture

I was pretty sure about the difference. So mostly I prefer the box. Anyway I m also pretty sure not to buy these vinyls. I have already the DSD stereo from 2003. Sound really good. I think listen to the beatles in mono it's really more great and better but the stones less "significative". for Let it Bleed not sure and even Beggards Banquets. Perhaps I will get one to complete what I miss.

Michael Fremer's picture
SMOKE the old DSD transfers. Not even close.
Snorker's picture

Thanks for the radio show on this! Will you also be doing a traditional written review? Not much need to comment on the music itself, but I'd appreciate your thoughts on the sound and the packaging.

Michael Fremer's picture
Yes. Coming up.
Brother John's picture

Received the Stones mono box from musicdirect last week. Played let it bleed and was shocked at how clean Gimme Shelter sounds compared with other versions in my collection. The song sounds quite compressed on old 70's stereo Decca reissue which I had always believed best sounding vinyl copy I owned.
This new digitally sourced LP sounds best to my ears. Can't wait to hear to the other 15 LP's.

feinstei's picture

I had just the opposite experience playing "Let It Bleed" from the new mono LP box set (which I received on Tuesday from I particularly found that the vocals on "Gimme Shelter" were thin, distant, and raspy sounding on my McIntosh MT-5/Clearaudio Talismann setup. The instruments were full and clean as were the vocals AND the instruments on all of the other folded-down tracks on the mono "Let It Bleed" album.

I then compared "Gimme Shelter" to the stereo copy of "Let It Bleed" from the LP boxset from a few years ago which I found didn't have the problems of the mono LP from the new box set. I'm wondering whether "Gimme Shelter" was a casualty of the fold-down-to-mono process.

I'm really surprised that "Brother John" liked "Gimme Shelter" on the mono LP box as I found it to be exceptionally poor sounding.

Brother John's picture

Did I mention what equipment I was using? It's totally different than yours.
I doubt we have the same loudspeakers either and I used a different source for comparison than you.

So how are you surprised that I enjoyed a track that you didn't like ?

Most Importantly It's just my opinion. Lighten up feinstei.

feinstei's picture

Not everyone is against you and not every comment made by others is an attack on you. I meant the comment, not as an insult but as a true expression of surprise at how people's impressions of stuff can differ.

seltaeb's picture

Thanks for the opportunity to hear these different pressings Michael. Sounds to me like they have over hyped the bass on most of the new box cuts. They mostly sound pretty yucky and 'trapped in the box'. I was considering buying this set but I shan't bother now. What a shame and a missed opportunity. The original UK Decca wins hands down for me, they sizzle!

wao62's picture

Had a similar impression about the Box set cuts, that the bass sounded disconnected, and not integrated with the rest of the instruments. Felt this especially with Paint It Black & Satisfaction. Being fortunate to have original British Beatles and Stones pressings, I will often pull out the analog Beatles Mono Box set, as it's an enjoyable listen. In contrast I never pull out that Digital ABKCO box set from ten years ago and instead listen to the Decca's. This new set is nice for someone who doesn't have the money to access originals, but it doesn't add anything for someone who already has a Stones collection, as the Beatles Mono Box complemented a Beatles collection of originals. Don't know why I have such a thing about these digital sourced reissues....maybe it's because I'm an analog human with an analog brain!

Michael Fremer's picture
I think just the opposite! This is the real bass on the tapes I'm sure and the real dynamic range too. The originals are compressed and seriously rolled off!
Kudalev's picture

I mostly preferred original over box except “I'm a King Bee”. Listened through SoundCloud app via Sennheiser px-100-ii, Dragonfly black connected to ipad mini.

J. Carter's picture

I find it funny that when not given which tracks were which on the previous post people preferred the mono box but once they new it was the new mono box they don't like them.

lionel's picture

I compared with the dsd stereo (false stereo) from 2003. besides 12X5. "Now" I have it in japanese reissue King records) because it wasn't in 2003 I don't feel necessary to buy these reissues. I was also very impressed for Beetwen the buttons and aftermath. these are better sounding in mono. In case these will be available separately I will buy these two. For Let it bleed and beggars banquet I will forget in mono because these two was thinking in stereo from the beginning like for example abbey road ans let it be from the Beatles. Of course for people who doesn't have any of these or "collectioneurs" why not ...!!!!????

Brother John's picture

It's October 25th and we're still waiting for your box set review.

Michael Fremer's picture
It's an epic and almost done. Waiting for Bob Ludwig's fact checking...