|Through the Past, Darkly|
(Big Hits Vol. 2)
|Greatest hits album by|
|Released||12 September 1969|
|Recorded||8 August 1963 – June 1969|
|Label||London (US), Decca (UK)|
|Producer||Andrew Loog Oldham, The Rolling Stones, Jimmy Miller|
|The Rolling Stones chronology|
|The Rolling Stones compilations chronology|
Through the Past, Darkly (Big Hits Vol. 2) is the second compilation album by the English rock band the Rolling Stones, released in September 1969 by Decca Records in the UK and London Records/ABKCO Records in the US.
According to Bruce Eder of AllMusic, the album resulted from "three coinciding events – the need to acknowledge the death of band co-founder Brian Jones (whose epitaph graces the inside cover) in July of 1969; the need to get 'Honky Tonk Women,' then a huge hit single, onto an LP; and to fill the ten-month gap since the release of Beggars Banquet and get an album with built-in appeal into stores ahead of the Stones' first American tour in three years."
Because the Stones' first Big Hits compilation had been released in separate formats, with the Aftermath-era material appearing only on its UK edition, the American edition of Big Hits Vol. 2 included hit singles from the Aftermath period.
The British track listing included the more obscure "You Better Move On", from The Rolling Stones' self-titled 1964 debut EP and "Sittin' on a Fence", an Aftermath outtake originally released in 1967 on the US-compiled Flowers album. In addition to those songs, many tracks, notably single-only releases, were collected for the first time on a UK Rolling Stones album: "Let's Spend the Night Together", "Ruby Tuesday", "We Love You", "Dandelion", and "Honky Tonk Women".
The name of the album is a play on a line from the KJV translation of 1 Corinthians 13: "For now we see through a glass, darkly, but then face to face..."
The LP was packaged in an eight-sided die-cut gatefold sleeve, featuring an epitaph for Jones: "When this you see, remember me and bear me in your mind. Let all the world say what they may, speak of me as you find."
Released on 12 September 1969, both versions of Through the Past, Darkly (Big Hits Vol. 2) proved to be popular releases, reaching #2 in the UK and US with enduring sales.
In August 2002 the US edition of Through the Past, Darkly (Big Hits Vol. 2) was reissued in a new remastered CD and SACD digipak by ABKCO Records.
The British version was again made available to the public as part of a limited edition vinyl box set, titled The Rolling Stones 1964–1969, in November 2010. It was also re-released digitally at the same time.
It was released in 2011 by Universal Music Enterprises in a Japanese only SHM-SACD version. For Record Store Day 2019 ABKCO Records released the record on orange vinyl, with a gatefold cover in the octagonal-shape of the original issue.
|Encyclopedia of Popular Music|||
Reviewing for Rolling Stone in September 1969, Greil Marcus hailed Through the Past, Darkly's American edition as "an album of tremendous impact" and "one of the great party records", with all the songs fan-favorites and "loud, tough, flashy rock and roll". However, he lamented the absence of singles and early songs of the Stones that had not yet appeared on any US album, as well as the aspect of repetition in the song selection. Robert Christgau echoed this disappointment in The Village Voice: "Some are repeated for a third time ('Ruby Tuesday,' 'Let's Spend the Night Together') while great B sides ('We Love You,' 'Who's Driving My Plane?,' 'Child of the Moon,' and 'You Can't Always Get What You Want,' which exists in a nine-minute version) remain uncollected. And whose fault is that?" More receptive was Rob Sheffield, who wrote years later in The New Rolling Stone Album Guide (2004) that the compilation had adequately summarised the Stones' "brief but tasty" psychedelic music period.
All tracks written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, except where noted.
All tracks written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards.
The Rolling Stones
|1969||UK Albums Chart||2|
|1969||Billboard Pop Albums||2|
|1969||"Honky Tonk Women"||UK Top 50 Singles||1|
|1969||"Honky Tonk Women"||The Billboard Hot 100||1|
|United Kingdom (BPI)||Gold||100,000|
|United States (RIAA)||Platinum||1,000,000^|
^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.