The Rolling Stones : Blue & Lonesome


88.2kHz/24-bit, FLAC; Rolling Stones Records 572 383-8 (supplied by

I’m not exactly sure ultimate fidelity was the aim of this great set, recorded ‘fast and dirty’ at West London’s British Grove Studios, with occasional drop-ins by passing musicians – Eric Clapton on a couple of tracks – and accomplished add-ons of the calibre of Darryl Jones on bass. Rather the intention was to return to the band’s roots, paying tribute to some of the artists influential in their early days: the likes of Howlin’ Wolf and Little Walter, both of whom get more than a nod here. The familiarity with the material shows in confidence and swagger: rough round the edges this may be, but there’s an excitement and vitality about the music-making you may not expect from septuagenarian white boys, with Jagger in very fine voice (and harp) indeed, and Keef as laconic as ever, yet equally always ready with the killer riff. Lovely stuff. AE

Sound Quality: 75%

Hi-Fi News Lab Report

Tracks 5, 7 [Graph, above], 8, 11 and 12 have a different anti-aliasing profile to the remaining sets and are seemingly more ‘densely’ recorded with an (even more) limited dynamic range. I would love to have heard this sans grunge. PM