The Rolling Stones – Unsurpassed Masters Remastered Edition (Extract Factory EXT 007)

Unsurpassed Masters Remastered Edition (Extract Factory EXT 007)

Several years ago  John Busher (JWB) posted assembled one of the best sounding and cohesive collection of Rolling Stones outtakes to date.  On seven discs, he covers tracks from 1963 to 1979, from before their first album through to sessions for Tattoo You.  Called Unsurpassed Masters, there was no compression or hiss reduction done during the remastering process. Everything has been left as pure as possible. Sometimes, unwanted processing and sonic imperfections are inherent in the source material used.

Extract Factory pressed the first four discs covering outtakes and rarities from 1963 through 1971 in the same excellent sound quality.  While nothing is new, the material here is in the best sound quality possible and the tracks are selected to present the most interesting and compact presentation of the Stones’ artistic and commercial development.

This set drawn obvious comparisons to Time Trip 1966-1974 (Dog N Cat DAC-063) and this past summer’s massive Genuine Black Box 1961 1974 on Scorpio.  Nothing can really surpass the Scorpio set in terms of the wealth of material, packaging and attention to detail, but Extract Factory is a good alternative to the more exotic sets.  The packaging is basic but still very good and the label includes accurate liner notes detailing the origin of every track.

Disc 1, Unsurpassed Masters – Volume 1 (1963-1964) (77:25):  Mick Talks About Bootlegs, Baby What’s Wrong (Outtake 3/11/63), Diddley Daddy (Outtake 3/11/63), Bright Lights Big City (Outtake 3/11/63),  I Want To Be Loved (Alternate Take 3/11/63), Roadrunner (Outtake 3/11/63), Come On (BBC Session 9/23/63), Memphis Tennessee (BBC Session 9/23/63), Roll Over Beethoven (BBC Session 9/23/63), It Should Be You (Outtake 11/63), Leave Me Alone (Outtake 11/63), That Girl Belongs To Yesterday (Outtake 11/63), Not Fade Away (Alternate Take 1/64), Wake Up In The Morning (Rice Krispies Jingle 2/64), Andrew’s Blues (Outtake w/ Gene Pitney 2/4/64), Route 66 (Live On The BBC 3/19/64), Cops And Robbers (Live On The BBC 3/19/64), You Better Move On (Live On The BBC 3/19/64), Mona (Live On The BBC 3/19/64), Hi Heeled Sneakers (Outtake 6/64), Stewed And Keefed (Outtake 6/64), Down In The Bottom (Outtake 6/64), Tell Me Baby (Outtake 6/64), As Time Goes By (Demo 1964), Blue Turns To Grey (Alternate Version 7/64), Around And Around (BBC Session 7/17/64), If You Need Me (BBC Session 7/17/64), I Can’t Be Satisfied (BBC Session 7/17/64), Crackin Up (BBC Session 7/17/64), 2120 South Michigan Avenue (BBC Session 10/8/64), Down The Road Apiece (BBC Session 3/1/65)

All tracks are in mono except for “Route 66 (Live On The BBC 3/19/64),” “Cops And Robbers (Live On The BBC 3/19/64),” “You Better Move On (Live On The BBC 3/19/64),” “Mona (Live On The BBC 3/19/64),” “Hi Heeled Sneakers (Outtake 6/64),” “Stewed And Keefed (Outtake 6/64),” “Down In The Bottom (Outtake 6/64),” and “Tell Me Baby (Outtake 6/64)” which are in stereo.

Disc one opens with a ninety second clip from an unidentified interview where Jagger declares his love for bootlegs and his wanting to see more of them.  His only complaint about them is the high price (something which still applies).  The music starts with several tracks, “Baby What’s Wrong,” “Diddley Daddy” and “Bright Lights, Big City” from the first Rolling Stones recording session to include the Jagger/Richards/Jones/Wyman/Watts and Stewart line up. 

The bulk of the disc contains tracks from their multiple trips to the BBC and their stint on the Saturday Club.  Included also is their Rice Krispies radio commercial and sessions from Chess Studios in Chicago on their first US tour.  It ends with a track from the BBC recorded in 1965, almost two full years since their first session. 

Disc 2, Unsurpassed Masters – Volume 2 (1965-1967) (78:39):  Everybody Needs Somebody To Love (BBC Session 3/1/65), The Last Time (BBC Session 5/1/65), Oh Baby (We Got A Good Thing Goin’) (BBC Session 8/20/65), The Spider And The Fly (BBC Session 8/20/65), Cry To Me (BBC Session 8/20/65), Fanny Mae (BBC Session 8/20/65), (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction (Backing Track 5/65), Looking Tired (Outtake 9/65), 19th Nervous Breakdown (Alternate Mix 12/65), Paint It Black (Backing Track 3/66), Sometimes Happy Sometimes Blue (Demo 12/66), Yesterday’s Papers (Demo 8/66), Yesterday’s Papers (Backing Track 8/66), Let’s Spend The Night Together (Backing Track 11/66), Ruby Tuesday (Backing Track 11/66), Please Go Home (Backing Track 8/66), Get Yourself Together (Outtake 8/66), Have You Seen Your Mother Baby Standing In The Shadow (Alternate Mix 8/66), We Love You (Backing Track 6/67), Citadel (Backing Track 6/67),  2000 Light Years From Home (Backing Track 7/67), Gold Painted Fingernails (Instrumental Outtake 7/67), On With The Show (Backing Track 7/67), Jumpin’ Jack Flash (Backing Track 3/68), Child Of The Moon (Backing Track 7/67)

On disc two, all tracks are in mono except “Looking Tired (Outtake 9/65),” “19th Nervous Breakdown (Alternate Mix 12/65),” “Yesterday’s Papers (Backing Track 8/66),” “Let’s Spend The Night Together (Backing Track 11/66),” “Ruby Tuesday (Backing Track 11/66),” “Please Go Home (Backing Track 8/66),” “Have You Seen Your Mother Baby, Standing In The Shadow? (Alternate Mix 8/66),” “We Love You (Backing Track 6/67),” “Citadel (Backing Track 6/67),” “2000 Light Years From Home (Backing Track 7/67),” “Gold Painted Fingernails (Instrumental Outtake 7/67),” and “On With The Show (Backing Track 7/67)” which are in stereo.

Volume two picks up with the BBC sessions in 1965 which include the excellent songs “The Spider And The Fly” and “Cry To Me.”  Alternate and backing tracks for their early hits such as “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” and “19th Nervous Breakdown” follow in excellent sound quality. 

Their flirtation with psychedelia is represented by tracks from Their Satanic Majesties Request “Citadel” and “2000 Light Years From Home.”  The disc ends with backing tracks to the single “Jumping Jack Flash” and the b-side “Children Of The Moon.”  

Disc 3 Unsurpassed Masters – Volume 3 (1968-1969) (79:42):  Did Everybody Pay Their Dues (Outtake), Dear Doctor (Alternate Mix), Downtown Suzie (Alternate Mix), Blood Red Wine (Outtake), Highway Child (Outtake), Hamburger To Go (Outtake), Sister Morphine (Alternate Mix), Still A Fool (Outtake), Family (Alternate Take), Memo From Turner (Alternate Take), Gimme Shelter (Alternate Mix w/ Keith vocal), You Got The Silver (Alternate Mix w/ Mick vocal), I’m A Country Boy (Instrumental Outtake), Jiving Sister Fanny (Alternate Mix), Honky Tonk Women (Alternate Mix w/ different lyrics), Country Honk (Alternate Mix without fiddle), All Down The Line (Demo), Loving Cup (Early Take)

On disc three, all tracks in stereo except for “Memo From Turner (alternate take)” which is in mono.  This disc covers material from the Beggars Banquet sessions from March to June 1968 and the Let It Bleed sessions from February to June 1969. 

Disc 4 Unsurpassed Masters – Volume 4 (1970-1971) (79:20):  Wild Horses (Alternate Mix), You Gotta Move (Alternate Mix), I Don’t Know The Reason Why (Outtake),  Sway (Alternate Mix), Dancing In The Light (Instrumental Outtake), Cocksucker Blues (Outtake), Shine A Light (Alternate Mix), Alladin Story (Instrumental Outtake), Leather Jacket (Instrumental Outtake), Good Time Women (Outtake), Potted Shrimp (Instrumental Outtake), Shake Your Hips (Alternate Mix), Silver Train (Alternate Take), Sweet Virginia (Alternate Mix), Stop Breaking Down (Alternate Mix), Travellin’ Man (Outtake), Brown Sugar (Alternate Take w/ Eric Clapton), I Ain’t Lying (Outtake), All Down The Line (Alternate Mix), Exile On Main Street Blues (Promotional Song)

On disc four all tracks are in stereo except for “Sway (Alternate Mix),” “Silver Train (Alternate Take)” and “All Down The Line (Alternate Mix)” which are in mono.

While nothing is groundbreaking with this, it is still a nicely packaged silver pressed edition of essential to own Stones outtakes and radio sessions worth having.    

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  1. we can’t help but wonder curiously if the instrumental or backing track version of Satisfaction has been speed-corrected or not. on releases like the Black Box boxed set or Have You Heard the Outtakes, Baby, Recorded in the Shadow?, the Satisfaction without any vocals runs too fast, and therefore needs to be slowed down to 95%


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