12 X 5
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Product Description

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Media Type: CD
Title: 12X5
Street Release Date: 08/27/2002

Customer Reviews:

  • 12 x 5 + 40
    Abkco reissued their 1963 - 70 Rolling Stones catalog to coincide with the Stones 40th anniversary "Licks" tour (and album). If the band's debut was aggressive, visionary, and inconsistant, this followup is more measured, detailed yet still swinging and authoritative - a big leap forward. And, they just kept leaping with their third ("Now!", an A plus album), but if you haven't bothered upgrading your old vinyl, or the terrible cds Abkco issued in 1986, the Abkco catalog now sounds superb overall. In this case, there are noteable 'bonuses'. The Stones may have covered some classic (and some forgotton) r & b, blues, and soul gems, but they always made them their own - the only competition might be the New York Dolls' covers on "Too Much Too Soon". Here they outrock Chuck Berry on "Around & Around", one of several tracks recorded at Chess in June '64. Now the Chess tracks can all be heard for the first time in beautiful stereo, and "It's All Over Now" sounds apocalyptic; the classic instrumental "2120 South Michigan Boulevard" appears in its full 3:40 glory (until now it had been edited at 2:08, just before Keith's great solo!). They write their manifesto on the hard funk original, "Empty Heart" ('is like an empty life'- how unpretentious, how true) and the oh-so-prophetic "Time Is On My Side" (mono take - the stereo version is found on "High Tide, Green Grass"). Only a fair "Under the Boardwalk" can be said to be less than excellent, and I for one don't understand how anyone could resist the scorching, revved-up "Suzie Q" from the whiplash guitars to the Chess-style handclaps mixed to the fore during the fade. This is by far the best sounding version of one early Stones classic, and it must be said that even at age 21 Mick Jagger had the power and confidence to own each song (original or cover). Charlie and Bill are already, here, the best rhythm section in rock and roll, and with Keith and Brian still working together can I describe what it's like to hear this fantastic band, at a peak so early in their long, long, astonishing career? Like it's great to be alive. Again....more info
  • Rollicking Stones' Album
    12 X 5 was a classic Rolling Stones album. Many of the songs are covers, but there are also some of the earliest of their own compositions (for those who are not Rolling Stones' veterans, songs credited to Nanker Phelge are actually by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards).

    The CD opens with a fine cover of Chuck Berry's "Around and Around" and closes with the classic "Susie Q," well sung by the way.

    Let's sample some of the works.

    "Around and Around." This is credible Chuck Berry (I never thought, for instance, that the Beatles, as talented as they were, could quite manage the essence of Berry's works). There is nice guitar work and great thumping piano playing.

    "Time Is on My Side." Another cover and another classic. The Stones made this their own song. The rhythm section lays down a good base for the rest of the band. Even at his young age, Jagger had the ability to get into a song and make it mean something.

    "Good Times, Bad Times." The Rolling Stones have had a solid blues sensibility since their earliest works. This song is their own blues piece (a Jagger-Richards composition). A fine piece of blues. Great harmonica work and solid guitar work. The opening lines:

    "There've been good times,
    There've been bad times.
    I had my share of hard times, too."

    "Under the Boardwalk." I still find it hard to think of the Stones playing this summertime song! But they do it well and make this fun. Then, the CD closes out with a cool version of "Susie Q." Nice guitar work again.

    Anyhow, if you want a flavor of the early Rolling Stones, you can't do much better than this. I hadn't listened to this album for eons, and it's still fresh and even interesting to listen to.
    ...more info
  • 12 X 5, great early Stone
    Some of the younger Stones fans may not be aware that the Rolling Stones started out as a blues band. This album is very early Stones (1964), and in my opinion, in addition to Let It Bleed, it is one of the best albums they have ever done. Some songs rock, some are bluesy (?), and some are familiar, but all are great. I highly recommend this CD to anyone who is interested in the Rollings Stones roots or who just loves to listen to something different....more info
  • Good Effort, Mostly Great Music with a Couple of Weaker and Even Confusing Moments
    12 X 5 is a very good CD. I was a little disappointed because even though this release was compiled from the incredible Chess recording sessions in Chicago (during the Rolling Stones first US tour) there are a couple of unexpected weaker moments and I hadn't really expected any since I'd heard so many good things about the Chess sessions.

    Ok, let's deal with the weaker moments:

    - Why on earth did these guys record "Boardwalk"? What were they and/or producer Andrew Oldham thinking?! That song was perfect. It's one of those tunes that should NEVER be covered. Beside, The Rolling Stones cannot sing doo-wop music. I doubt many fans would argue that this wasn't a ridiculous tune selection. Why not cover Mannish Boy or something like that? After all, this was recorded at Chess studios in Chicago and by all accounts, Muddy Waters and Buddy Guy were actually present! Boardwalk? That is/was just so wrong.
    - The backing vocals throughout the session are... um... questionable is the kindest word that comes to mind.
    - The original tunes by Jagger and Richards are very weak indeed. This song writing team had not yet blossomed and it may have been a wiser move to wait until there was quality material to record. In the liner notes, Oldham notes that The Rolling Stones are perfectionists... unless it comes to spelling (it's c-o-n-g-r-a-t-u-l-a-t-i-o-n-s morons - and no, that isn't some English spelling, my wife is English and I spent about 11 years living over there) and tuning a 12 string I guess. Congradulations is one of those stupid teen-age angst tunes and the 12 string is grossly out of tune (that B string on a 12 string box can be a real pain in the ***). Grown Up Wrong is only a little better.

    Now for some superior moments:

    The tunes co-written by the entire band (Nanker Phlege) are far superior to the Jagger-Richards numbers - especially the instrumental 2120 South Michigan Avenue.

    - Brian Jones' harmonica playing (no, that isn't Jagger playing harmonica in the early Stones boys and girls) is a joy to hear.
    - with the exception of the aforementioned "Boardwalk" all of the covers are done with superb style and effect. These young men KNEW what they were doing.
    - The CD contains an alternate version of Time is On My Side and that was a pleasant surprise (though the backing vocals are... what was that word I used earlier? Oh yeah, questionable).
    - The CD also contains the hit It's All Over Now with the great Brian Jones guitar part.
    _ The CD also contains Good Times Bad Times which I feel is one of the truly great early Stones classics.

    Overall, this CD gets 4 stars. It's stronger than my review has probably made it sound but I'm so knocked out by The Rolling Stones Now! that I tend to compare the other earlier releases with that one - which is sort of unfair I guess.

    As I said, I have all of the ABKCO remasters except "Englands Newest Hitmakers", "Got Live" and "Flowers". I won't be purchasing "Flowers" as I have all that material elsewhere and I'm not sure about "Got Live" since it's sort of a phony live album - hokey. Here's how I rate the ones I own (not counting High Tide and Green Grass and Through the Past Darkly:

    1. Beggars Banquet (perfection)
    2. Now! (this is a darn near perfect record, no question!)
    3. Let it Bleed (close to perfect)
    4. Their Satanic Majesties Request (waaaaaaay, way, way under-rated!)
    5. Aftermath (UK) (really, really good)
    6. Between the Buttons (UK) (really, really good and very different)
    7. Out of Our Heads (really good)
    8. 12 x 5 (pretty good)
    9. Get Your Ya Yas Out (what's all the fuss about? both great & mediocre)
    10. December's Children (mediocre with some bright moments)

    ...more info
  • it's good
    each song sounds clean; really fresh. their version of under the boardwalk sounds better than the original. ...more info
  • Not REALLY an album, but not bad
    This was released as the Stones second American album in late 1964 to cash in on the success of the "Time On My Side" single. Unlike the original British albums, the American label marketed LP's relying on hit singles (the early British albums rarely had the singles on them--- those were relegated to greatest hits releases). Also of note, the Stones released three EP's (or mini-albums) early on that were never released in their original formats in America until they came out on a CD set last year. Instead they were cut up and the tracks were spread across different albums in the States, along with singles and various album tracks.

    12x5 compiles all five tracks from the British 5x5 EP (If You Need Me, Empty Heart, 2120 South Michigan Avenue, Confessin' The Blues and Around And Around), both sides of their third American single "It's All Over Now"/"Good Times Bad Times" and "Congratulations" (which had been released as the b-side of "Time Is On My Side"--- their fourth American single.

    It also jumped the gun and contained 4 tracks from their second British album (The Rolling Stones No. 2) before it was released in their home country (Under The Boardwalk, Grown Up Wrong, Susie Q and Time Is On My Side). The version of "Time Is On My Side" contained here is significant because it's not the same version that was released on the hit single. While not dramatically different than the popular version, it's a bit inferior in my opinion. The hit version didn't appear on an album until 1966 on Big Hits (High Tide And Green Grass).

    As with their first album, most of the songs here are covers. "Grown Up Wrong", "Empty Heart", "Good Times, Bad Times", "Congratulations" and the instrumental "2120" are the only original songs here. Though they aren't terrible, they leave a lot to be desired. They aren't up to the quality of the material they would be writing soon after. Only "Good Times, Bad TImes" is worth recalling of these original tracks.

    As for the covers, Chuck Berry's "Around And Around" is fantastic. They do a pretty good job on "If You Need Me", "Confessin' The Blues", "Time Is On My Side" (though, as stated above this version isn't as good as the single version) and especially "It's All Over Now". But "Under The Boardwalk" sounds silly and "Susie Q" is essentially a throw-away track.

    The Stones early catalog would be much better off if the CD's were packaged in order of their original British releases with the appropriate hits, b-sides and EP tracks appended to the corresponding albums as bonus tracks, but corporate greed will probably never let that happen. There's more money to be raked in by spreading the songs out over endless numbers of CD's.

    While the hits can easily be found on various compilations, this CD is most notable for it's inclusion of "Around And Around". That's why I'm giving it only 3 stars. There are much better Stones albums out there, but it would be a lie to say this album is a complete waste of time. Highly recomended to die-hard fans, but far from being a good starting point in my opinion. As a sidenote, a good chunk of the songs from the British Rolling Stones No. 2 album that did not appear here were released on their third American album, "The Rolling Stones, Now"....more info
  • Rolling Stones
    An old not often heard cuts that rock, I bought it for Around & Around you'll dig it....more info
  • Time was on their side
    Strong 2nd album in the U.S. and proof that they were not just another British invasion flash in the pan. The Stones are the Beatles ugly cousin and proud of it. Around and Around is their best rockin Chuck Berry cover only to be found here....more info
  • It's NOT the Hybrid SACD version--it's the DSD Remastered version
    Great disc, but I'll have to buy it again, because I wanted the hybrid SACD version in the pretty card stock case, not the DSD Remastered version in the standard plastic jewel case. I think the only way to be sure is to buy at a retail outlet where you can see what you're getting....more info
  • Another 5 star R & B disc
    Getting to it, 12 x 5 ( meaning 12 songs performed by 5 band members ) was a continuation of the ' boys ' great R & B musicianship. The top 40 releases were, " Time is on My Side " & " It's All Over Now ". These 2 aforementioned early works of the Stones set them apart from all the other English bands ( mainly the Beetles ). Back in the time the Stones were the
    ' bad guys ' and the Beetles were the ' good guys '. Of the 12 songs on this work, 3 were written by J & R. Their skills were improving and the music was ' grooving '. One strange piece is 2120 S. Michigan Ave. Reason being, it is an INSTRUMENTAL. Go figger! If you are over 45 or a REAL R&B fan, git it !!...more info
  • One of the Stones' best!
    Don't pass this up regardless of what kind of a review you read. "Good Times, Bad Times" (Jaggers/Richards) is a formidable blues tribute (worth the price of the CD itself). Classic covers of "Around and Around" and "It's All Over Now." The Stones reveal their blues roots on this CD more than they do on any other and the material is more cohesive than that found on their first release. I count this as the fourth best of the Rolling Stones releases--Jagger is in his prime and Brian Jones makes his most significant contribution as a Stone on this CD. If you enjoy blues/rock, be sure to add 12 X 5 to your collection....more info
  • the Stones get down to business
    The Stones second album and the first LP I ever owned. My sister bought the Beatles, and even though I loved them too....well the Stones were..."Rockin"...That LP is still in my collection but a nice crisp CD copy is what I spin these days....Hard to believe 40 years of this terrific album. Still a keeper....more info
  • Awesome before Awesome was the New Groovy
    Watch Video Here: http://www.amazon.com/review/RZ39BEBOZZWNA Went back and listened to all the songs. Love that old sound even more now. Although Their Satanic Majesties Request will always hold a special place in my heart, Back in the day and probably still today I love most the Stones of Sticky Fingers, Let It Bleed, and Get Yer Ya-Ya's Out!. But regardless, the old Stones music is even better for listening to now than it was when it was released because you don't hear it every 20 minutes....more info
  • rockin' stones
    for anyone that thinks they know the music of the stones, but do not have this cd, you are in for a history lesson!.....the stones started out as a blues band and this album was the early stones at their best! be prepared for the experience.........more info
  • Solid follow up, but...
    ...not nearly as good as the debut or the following album. But there are some gems, like Around and Around, Confessin' the Blues, Time Is on My Side, Good Times Bad Times and It's All over Now. But there's too much filler in the second half, like Under the Boardwalk, Grown up Wrong, If You Need Me and Susie-Q, as well as Empty Heart from early on. For the hardcore Rolling Stone fan only.

    ...more info
  • The R & B Side Of The Rolling Stones
    Well as a teenager of the 1960s this was my music. There are a lot of great reviewers on the Amazon site, with a plethora of knowledge and information about the Stones and their recordings. I will discuss the Blues End.

    The Stones with Brian Jones started as a Blues Band. That was their primary interest. They got to record this LP at Chess Studios which to me, as a guitarist, would be like a getting to Jam with Albert King. They met Muddy Waters, got offered songs from Willie Dixon, met and had Little Walter on their next UK tour and so on. This was an essential background to the 1960s Blues Revival which started the careers of Eric Clapton, Paul Butterfield, Albert King, Otis Rush, John Mayall and so on.

    The tunes, as discussed in previous reviews, are not of uniform brilliance. They were basically tunes they had been performing live for a few years in London clubs. Of the lot "Around and Around" is probably the best and the tune that helped get Chuck Berry back on a career track! It is great, especially the Johnny Otis shuffle in the bridge! "It's All Over Now" also helped the career of Bobby Womack-a great R&B guitar man and soul singer. This tune was a massive hit in the summer of 1964 and has one of the best vocals the Early Stones ever did. The long fade out ending was a prelude the the Beatle's "Hey Jude" a few years later. "Good Times Bad Times", an early Jagger-Richards attempt, was a great use of acoustic 12-string guitar. Probably influenced Jimi Hendrix's "Hear My Train A-Comin'".

    My personal favourite on this LP is "Confessin the Blues", a 1940s Blues Standard penned by pianist Jay McShann. It was covered by many including B.B. King, but this is the Chess version of Little Walter Jacobs. Check out the original recording, it's great. This tune has a great arrangement. The guitars copy the Chicago sound and Keith has some of his most effective blues playing ever, a great emulation of Jimmy Dawkins and hard to do, even today! The hand damping triple time shuffle in the second half of the tune by Brian Jones adds so much and its not in the original. Very creative, and no effects!

    Of course one who loves Blues has to comment of the Blues Harmonica of both Brian Jones and Mick Jagger. Again, not electricified, but played into the studio mike with reverb, very haunting. The Stones have always been underrated as harpists, but they did much to promote the Chicago Blues Harp. Case in point, "2120 South Michigan Avenue" (the address of the Chess Studios)-just super. Great harp playing and this version includes Keith's snappy guitar solo not in the original US release. And, of course, we have to also mention Keith's top solo ever (to me!) on "It's All Over Now" it's Chuck Berry with speed and soul!!!

    "Empty Heart", written, or collaborated with, Phil Spector, is usually described as filler. But I love it and it was a prelude to the Bo Diddley recognition they would do on the "Now" LP. The Vibrato guitar without much singing is almost like a 1960s dance track. "Time Is On My Side" (this is the "organ intro" version released in the U.S. first, I think this is the better one too!), another massive hit from this period, was another attempt by the Stones to cover US R&B Soul tunes. In this case the tune had been a hit for the great Irma Thomas. I always had a lot of respect for Mick Jagger to even attempt to cover tunes by Solomon Burke, The Drifters (Under the Boardwalk) and The Falcons with Wilson Pickett (If You Need Me). That takes guts and they got away with it because most of the originals were not known to the mainstream population at the time. He did go too far when he did "My Girl" later on after it had already been a No. 1 hit.

    "Congratulations" was an attempt to write a period Pop Tune. Its chord progression was right out of the 1950s-early 60s doowop era (something like the "Bristol Stomp!"). However the Stones put their own bluesy vocals into it and the "dirt" of the Chess Studios. "Grown Up Wrong" is another writing attempt. This tune clearly pays hommage to Elmore James with its slide riff. However, it is weak and much too repetitive. I used to skip it when I played the LP. This final tune "Suzie-Q" is their cover of Dale Hawkin's classic with the great James Burton riff. Again, it sounds like they ran out of studio time, or they didin't have their soul in it. And it's too short. Interesting, on this tune Keith's playing outshines Mick's singing. The final guitar solo has quite a spark and that's how we fade out in this set.

    This is a great CD. It does have a few weak tunes on it and some early attempts at songwriting which are variable. However, the strong tunes are really strong and still sound great today.
    Get this CD and revisit the onset of the "White Blues Revival" of the early 1960s!

    ...more info
  • Around And Around
    12X5 is the second Rolling Stones album to be released in US. It is overall a better album than England's Newest Hitmakers but not quite as good as their later album like Aftermath or Between The Buttons. The majority of this LP consists of covers, only three songs are penned by Jagger/Richards and two are "Nanker/Phelge".

    The album starts off strong with the Chuck Berry cover, Around And Around. This is the highlight of the album by far; from beginning to end, it is a incredible rock 'n roll adventure. Then comes the bluesy Confessin' The Blues; not that bad of a song. Empty Heart, on the other hand, is an excellent toe-tapper that really shows how musically talented the band was, even in their early days. Time On My Side is pretty good but a bit too overrated in my opinion. Good Times, Bad Times is just total garbage. I always skip this song because the over-the-top bluesiness is too painful to listen to. It's All Over Now is the second best song with its great guitar work by Keith Richards and Brian Jones. 2120 South Michigan Avenue is an outstanding instrumental; much better than Now I've Got A Witness. Under The Boardwark is VERY underrated in my opinion. Everything about it is superb, Mick's vocals and Keith's backing vocals, just amazing. Congratulations is an early Jagger/Richards composition and it actually isn't that bad. Grown Up Wrong is another one of there songs but it, however, has some flaws. It doesn't have the kick of their later songs. I especially like If You Need Me. Keith delivers some phenominal backing vocals in this song. The album closes with Suzie Q, a song I've always hated. It not The Rolling Stones' fault, I just hate this song period, no matter who sings it.

    Overall, not that bad of an album but if you're new to The Rolling Stones, you should buy either Between The Buttons or Aftermath....more info
  • Not SACD version
    This album is not the hybrid SACD version as listed on the website. Just the DSD remastered CD. Customer Service could not ensure the product was correct before it was shipped. The Customer Service centers are not in the same location as the fulfillment centers.
    For these reasons, they are unable to check the physical details of an
    item for you. They did however say they would accept a return no problem....more info
  • Plenty of Good Stuff Here
    This America only release isn't quite the stunner that their first record was (in my opinion), but there is certainly plenty of good stuff here. The lead song, Chuck Berry's "Around and Around" is one I just love. I also like the Stones version of Wilson Picket's "If You Need Me," and their version of Bobby Womack's "It's All Over Now." It is curious that I like these better than the ones written by Mick and Keith themselves, but I suppose that's because they were just starting out as song writers. They hadn't come into their own yet. The version of "Time on My Side," is the organ version, which I like better than the guitar version. This album taken in total sort of reminds me of Chicago Blues. I like it a lot, though I don't play it all that much any more....more info
  • 12x5 (least creative review title ever?)
    Clever moniker aside (12 songs by 5 guys. Get it?), this is probably the weakest of the Rolling Stones' first five discs. The lack of a strong a-side hurts - the highlights of the early Stones' discs were ALWAYS the a-sides, and of course this one, their second, is no exception. Okay, so It's All Over Now was their first UK #1, and it's got a cool dramatic opening riff and catchy, singalong chorus. That said, I don't really listen to it that often. Time is On My Side is a classic, but it's the only one here, at least to me. And the organ-and-harmonica driven instrumental 2120 South Michigan Avenue is bluesy fun. Now for the rest...
    I'm sorry, but their cover of the Drifters' Under the Boardwalk is REALLY BAD. Nauseating, even. Ever hear their doo-wap haromines? No? Spare yourself. It's an absolute decable. The resident Chuck Berry cover, Around and Around, is on the boring side, as are the slew of other absolutely useless covers (Confessin' the Blues, If You Need Me, Suzie Q). And while some of the originals (Good Times, Bad Times, Congradulations) are unexpectedly folky, they're also quite dull. Others are more of the blues-rock that's the Stones' calling card (Empty Heart, Grown Up All Wrong). They too are quite dull.
    I can't really see why anybody but an obsessive collector would see in 12x5 - Time is on My Side and It's All Over Now can both be found on numerous compilations. I guess you CAN find the all-too-rare 2120 South Michigan Avenue. But the rest is useless. ...more info