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The Rolling Stones � Aftermath (Expanded Mono Edition) [Prof. Stoned 2020]
24bit/96kHz High Resolution FLAC

01. Mother's Little Helper
02. Stupid Girl
03. Lady Jane
04. Under My Thumb
05. Doncha Bother Me
06. Goin' Home
07. Flight 505
08. High And Dry
09. Out Of Time
10. It's Not Easy
11. I Am Waiting
12. Take It Or Leave It
13. Think
14. What To Do

Bonus:
15. 19th Nervous Breakdown
16. Sad Day
17. Ride On, Baby
18. Sittin' On A Fence
19. Paint It, Black
20. Long Long While
21. Out Of Time (USA Version)

Total time: 76m48s

All Tracks in Mono 

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Sources: 

- Aftermath (LP, Album, Mono, RE) Decca LK 4786 Spain 1972 (EX) > Tr. 1-14
- Singles Collection (FLAC, Comp, 24bit/88.2kHz) ABKCO 2005 > Tr. 15-16, 19-20
- The Rolling Stones In Mono (FLAC, Comp, Mono, 24bit/192kHz) ABKCO 2016 > Tr. 17-18, 21
- Hot Rocks 1964-1971 (2xLP, Comp, Mispress, Shelley) London Records 2PS 606/7 US 1971 > Tr. 15 (guitar intro only)

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Produced by Andrew Loog Oldham
Recorded & Mixed by Dave Hassinger
Recorded 3rd-8th December 1965 (Tr.01,05,06,12,13,15,16,17,18) 6th-9th March 1966 (all other tracks) at RCA Studio, Hollywood, CA
Mastered by PS (Tr. 01-14)
Mastered by Bob Ludwig (Tr. 15-21)

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Got Live If You Want It! (Original Mono Mix - Revisited)

01. Under My Thumb
02. Get Off Of My Cloud
03. Lady Jane
04. Not Fade Away
05. The Last Time
06. 19th Nervous Breakdown
07. Time Is On My Side
08. I'm Alright
09. Have You Seen Mother, Baby, Standing In The Shadow?
10. (I Can't Get No) Satisfaction

All Tracks in Mono 

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Source: 

- Got Live If You Want It! (LP, Album, Mono, Allentown) London Records LL 3493 US 1966 (EX+) > Tr. 01-10

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Produced by Andrew Loog Oldham
Recorded & Mixed by Glyn Johns
Recorded at City Hall, Newcastle, October 1, 1966 (Tr. 01,02,05,08); Colston Hall, Bristol, October 7, 1966 (Tr. 03,04,09,10); unknown English venue, March 5-7, 1965 (Tr. 08,09)
Recorded at Olympic Studios, London, October 1966

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Vinyl Recorded & Mastered using:

- Technics 1210mk2 
- Jelco SA-750D Tonearm
- Audio Technica AT33PTG MC 
- Pro-Ject Tube Box SE-2 (using a matched pair of Genalex Gold Lion tubes)
- RME ADI-2 A/D Interface @ 24/96
- Audition 3.0/5.0 (editing, manual clean up)
- Click Repair 3.9.9 (light automatic click setting)
- Cubase 5 
- Universal Audio Precision Bundle @ 24/96
- PMC IB2s Monitors 
- Yamaha NS-10 Monitors
- Acoustically treated environment 

For all the studio tracks: left-right folding below 1kHz has been applied to preserve the high-end transients but reduce the vinyl rumble on the low-end. The live album has been folded straight to minimize distortion as much as possible.

Transfer, Restoration & Mastering by Prof. Stoned

v1.0: 12-05-2010
v2.0: 30-05-2020 (new rip, restoration & mastering; different tracklist)
v2.1: 04-06-2020 (improved intro to Tr. 15)

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Revisited Notes from 2010:

The Stones' 4th British album 'Aftermath' is widely considered the artistic breakthrough in their long career. It was the first album that was entirely written by Jagger & Richard(s) and it remains a blistering highlight among their catalogue. 'Aftermath' was recorded in a period when the record industry was slowly beginning to make the transition from mono to stereo. But 3 or 4-track recording was still the norm and as a result the possibilities of making a balanced stereo mix were almost non-existent. The stereo versions of many pop albums from and before this era tend to sound very dated with radical sound images like: backing track hard left, vocals center & handclaps and lead guitar on the right. 

To many folks, this is at all times preferable to a mix that has no stereo panorama but not rightly so IMO. 'Aftermath' in stereo is not an exception. The important backing-track consisting of drums-bass-rhythm guitar always stays on the left channel, making the vocals and whatever overdubs sound isolated. Take 'Mother's little Helper' for example; the mono version has a thick ballsy sound and Jagger vocals are nicely within the mix. On the stereo mix you basically hear the voice, the sitar and then far in the back there might be a band playing. The stereo version was nothing more than an afterthought. Most of the work went into the mono mixes: the sounds that were going to be heard by the kids on the radio and on their cheap phonographs.

For this reason alone, it is unbelievable that it took ABKCO until 2016 before they made the mono version of 'Aftermath' finally available again. And even then, it was only made available digitally as part of an excessively expensive boxset. While we're complaining, the mastering left something to be desired too; it has spots with noticeable noise reduction, premature fades on 'I'm waiting' and 'Think' and an EQ treatment that makes it sound too bass-heavy and too pinched in the upper mids (just my opinion). I respect Bob Ludwig tremendously but I think this was not his finest moment. 

So here is my upgraded effort. I've come a long way with improving my knowledge of mastering, equipment and monitoring since first doing this one. I've used the Spanish 70s reissue that I also used in 2010, which seemingly was made from a super clean non-EQ'd copy of the mastertape. Even today, it still is a spectacular find. I hear no loss of fidelity compared to the remaster and the surfaces are dead quiet, making it relatively easy to create a superior hi-def digital master. The remaining tracks are Bob Ludwig's remasters from 2002 & 2016, which were left unaltered, other than adding the true mono (and cleaned up) intro to 19th Nervous Breakdown.

As one extra bonus, I included the USA mono version* of the much-maligned live album. Though not a sonic marvel, the mono version is without a doubt the best way to hear this. However, be warned this here is not an actual representation of the original LP: I've taken the liberty to lose the two fake live-tracks and edit a few small things (improve the transition between Tr. 09 & 10 & omit the Satisfaction intro to Tr. 05 because it was quite obviously put there during post-production). To me, this is a much better presentation but opinions may always vary.

P.S. (May 2020)

[* There are actually small differences among the original USA mono pressings; some of them have a truncated intro to Tr. 01. This Allentown copy I used has the longer intro.]