That Time the Rolling Stones Plundered the Vaults for ‘Made in the Shade’ and ‘Metamorphosis’
Rolling Stones completists had their hands full on June 6, 1975, when a pair of new band compilations arrived in stores on the same day.
Putting out two records at once isn't generally the best idea, but in this case, the Stones weren't entirely in control of the release schedule. Because the band's former manager Allen Klein retained control of their recordings prior to 1970, Klein's ABKCO label had the right to release archival compilations — and they took advantage repeatedly during the early '70s, issuing a series of retrospectives and odds 'n' sods records that occasionally jockeyed for chart placement with the band's officially sanctioned output.
That's what led to this Rolling Stones logjam, which saw a roundup of more recent recordings going head-to-head against older demos sitting in the Klein-controlled vaults. The newer tracks, culled from the four albums the Stones had released for Atlantic between 1971's Sticky Fingers and 1974's It's Only Rock 'n' Roll, were collected on the 10-track Made in the Shade, while the older material — most demos recorded for other artists — made up the 16-track ABKCO set Metamorphosis.
While it seems likely that their concurrent release probably dampened sales for both albums, they both ended up doing fairly well: Made in the Shade peaked at No. 6 in the U.S. and went platinum, while Metamorphosis went to No. 8 and spun off the moderately successful singles "I Don't Know Why" and "Out of Time."
Of course, neither of the albums were really a replacement for new Stones product, which arrived the following year in the form of new guitarist Ron Wood's official studio LP debut as a member of the band, Black and Blue. That album went straight to No. 1, reasserting the Stones as one of the biggest rock groups on the planet — but Made in the Shade and Metamorphosis proved there was a nearly endless thirst for reissues too, and that's an appetite that remains unfilled, as evidenced by the deluxe remaster of Sticky Fingers that the group oversaw for release in 2015.
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