Download Roundup - The Rolling Stones: Let it Bleed

Album review
Download Roundup - The Rolling Stones: Let it Bleed

The Rolling Stones

Let it Bleed

Label: ABKCO
Genre: Rock/pop

For the purpose of this article, I chose Let it Bleed to represent the entire Stones library, now available on HDtracks. All were made from the excellent 2002 ABKCO re-issues. I never found much to complain about those hybrid CD/ SACD discs, which are clean and rich in both formats. As usual, the SACD is the less “digital” sounding of the two. How do the downloads fare? I confess that the 88/24 version disappointed me. There is plenty of detail here—listen to the opening choral notes on “You Can’t Always Get What You Want”—and a wider soundstage than the CD; however, it still sounds highly digital. Furthermore, Mick Jagger’s voice, as on “Love in Vain,” can be so strident as to be off-putting. Fortunately, the 176/24 version has no such failings—it sounds terrific, boasting all the ease of the SACD, along with a remarkable degree of naturally-rendered detail. The 176/24 downloads are truly archive-worthy versions of archive- worthy music.

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