ABKCO Records releases the Rolling Stones' Let It Bleed on vinyl for its 50th Anniversary. The groundbreaking and multi-platinum album went to No. 1 in the UK and No. 3 in the US on its first release late in 1969, and features three of the band's greatest songs - "Gimme Shelter", "Midnight Rambler" & the anthemic "You Can't Always Get What You Want". Brian Jones performs on only two tracks: playing the autoharp on "You Got The Silver", and percussion on "Midnight Rambler" - he was replaced by Mick Taylor during the recording, who plays guitar on two tracks - "Country Honk" and "Live With Me", as well as on "Honky Tonk Women" (recorded during the Let It Bleed sessions).
Like Beggars Banquet the year before, the dominant influence was American roots music - drawing heavily from gospel (apparent in "Gimme Shelter" and "You Can't Always Get What You Want"), country music of Hank Williams and Jimmie Rodgers ("Country Honk"), Chicago blues ("Midnight Rambler") and country rock on the title track. Recording for Let It Bleed began in earnest in February 1969, recorded mainly at Olympic Studios in London and was originally scheduled for release in July 1969. Although "Honky Tonk Women" was released as a single that month, the album itself suffered numerous delays and was eventually released in December 1969, after the band's US tour.
The lyricism found on Let It Bleed is often noted for its violent and cynical undercurrents. Jann S. Wenner, in a 1995 Rolling Stone interview with Jagger, described the album's songs as "disturbing" the scenery as "ugly" and asked Jagger if the Vietnam War played a role in the album's worldview. Jagger said: "I think so. Even though I was living in America only part time, I was influenced. All those images were on television. Plus, the spill out onto campuses."
The album cover shows a surreal sculpture designed by Robert Brownjohn. The cake was made by then-unknown cookery writer Delia Smith! The cover for Let It Bleed was among the ten chosen by the Royal Mail for a set of "Classic Album Cover" postage stamps issued in January 2010.
The new edition was remastered by Bob Ludwig at Gateway Mastering. Says Ludwig, who has mastered or remastered many other Stones albums: "When we did the first Let It Bleed remaster in 2002, our intention was to pay homage to the original work. When we did this new version, the purpose was to make it as great as it could possibly sound. If you listen on a good set of speakers or good headphones, you'll hear subtle things in the background that are now much more clear that were somewhat hidden before."
No other rock & roll album of the late Sixties so embodied…the contradictions, turbulence of its time, creation and the band…than Let It Bleed.
- 50th Anniversary Reissue
- 180g Vinyl LP
- Remastered stereo audio
- Remastered by Bob Ludwig at Gateway Mastering
- Gimme Shelter
- Love In Vain
- Country Honk
- Live With Me
- Let It Bleed
- Midnight Rambler
- You Got The Silver
- Monkey Man
- You Can't Always Get What You Want