The Rolling Stones Release 'Singles Collection: The London Years'
Singles Collection: The London Years is a compilation album of Rolling Stones music released by former manager Allen Klein's ABKCO Records (who usurped control of the band's Decca/London material in 1970) after the band's departure from Decca and Klein.
Released in 1989, Singles Collection: The London Years is a triple album of every Rolling Stones single—and their B-Sides—mostly in their original mono mixes (at least as of the 2002 reissue), in both the UK and US encompassing their entire era with Decca Records in the United Kingdom and London Records in the United States—hence the album's title.
The original collection was produced by Andrew Loog Oldham, and digitally compiled and prepared under his supervision by P. D. Rain and Jody Klein.
With a range from 1963 to 1971, the set begins with their very first UK single, Chuck Berry's "Come On", and runs to Sticky Fingers' "Brown Sugar" and "Wild Horses" (which Allen Klein shares release rights with The Rolling Stones).
The only omissions are four B-sides from 1970 and 1971. "Bitch" and "Let It Rock" (released in the UK on the "Brown Sugar" single) and "Sway" (B-side to "Wild Horses"). Allen Klein did not have release rights to this material when this compilation was released. Also not included was "Natural Magic", a Ry Cooder instrumental, released as the B-side to the 1970 Mick Jagger single "Memo from Turner". These are available on the box set Singles 1968–1971 except "Let It Rock" which is only available on the Rarities 1971–2003 album.
The set was released at a timely juncture, just a couple of weeks before The Rolling Stones' comeback album Steel Wheels was due for release after a significant break, and months following their induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Going platinum, the album reached #91 in the US.
In 2007, Steven Van Zandt placed Singles Collection: The London Years #1 on his list of the most essential albums of all time.
In August 2002, Singles Collection: The London Years was issued in a new remastered Compact Disc and SACD digipak by ABKCO Records.
The three-disc box set Singles Collection: The London Years contains every single the Rolling Stones released during the '60s, including both the A- and B-sides. It is the first Stones compilation that tries to be comprehensive and logical -- for all their attributes, the two Hot Rocks sets and the two Big Hits collections didn't present the singles in chronological order. In essence, the previous compilations were excellent samplers, where Singles Collection tells most of the story (certain albums, like Aftermath, Beggars Banquet, and Let It Bleed, fill in the gaps left by the singles).