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The Rolling Stones at 50

PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2012 10:06 am
by garth cartwright
It's all over the media - 6 Music dedicating programmes to them, all the newspapers carrying features - yet we've not mentioned them here. I put High Tides & Green Grass on the iPod yesterday and went to the gym. God, it's perfect! Did rock'n'roll ever sound better than Satisfaction or Paint It Black? What a groove. What a sound. What an attitude. And they so looked the business. I have no doubt that the Rolling Stones were the greatest rock'n'roll band ever - from 1964 to 1972 they recorded so much magnificent music. And even as they faded across the 70s they still offered up some fine funk-soul pastiches: Hot Stuff, Fool To Cry, Miss You, Beast Of Burden, Emotional Rescue, Dance. Since then they have been creatively dead but, from accounts of people I know who have purchased tickets for their gigs, deliver an enjoyable stadium show. I've never gone along - not liking stadiums - but did pay to see Keef at Town & Country and Charlie at Ronnie Scotts. Both were great.

This forum once descended into acrimony over Brown Sugar when a foolish American called Christian asked for a boycott and a drunken Englishman called Des used some really offensive language towards another forumista. So let's not replicate that. Love the Stones - post here. Hate the Stones - post here. But no name calling or unpleasantness please.

I've shown my hand: the Stones were the greatest rock band ever and no one else really came close to matching them in those luminous days. And they inspired the best book on a rock band ever - Stanley Booth's True Adventures Of The Rolling Stones. A superb read.

Re: The Rolling Stones at 50

PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2012 10:20 am
by AndyM
garth cartwright wrote:Did rock'n'roll ever sound better than Satisfaction or Paint It Black?


Yes. 'The Last Time' and 'Tumblin' Dice'. Among others. But as you'll see I am in the pro camp. How could anyone not be ?

Re: The Rolling Stones at 50

PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2012 10:30 am
by Adam Blake
Had a Stones night recently. Got the vinyls out and played "Satanic Majesties", "Beggars Banquet" and "Through The Past Darkly" all back to back. Thoroughly enjoyed them. I am very fond of their let's-be-a-psychedelic-pop-group period. I can feel "Between The Buttons" and "Aftermath" coming on. Most perfect album, though, is "Out Of Our Heads" - all 27 minutes of it.

Re: The Rolling Stones at 50

PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2012 11:15 am
by Rob Hall
No complaints from me. I'm in the pro camp as well, with all the usual caveats. Their first couple of abums stand up very well to my ears, as do my favorites: "Let It Bleed", "Sticky Fingers" and "Exile". Garth's list of their later hits misses out "Undercover Of The Night", which I thought very good at the time of its release.

Re: The Rolling Stones at 50

PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2012 1:52 pm
by NickH
I was at Keef's Town & Country Club show too. Much more enjoyable than the two Rolling Stones stadium shows I've witnessed.

Continental Drift, recorded with The Master Musicians of Joujouka in Tangier in 1989, is another later Rolling Stones track which works quite well.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jp93YvY0fbE

Re: The Rolling Stones at 50

PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2012 8:50 pm
by garth cartwright
Since Sunday I've really been thrashing my Stones CDs. Almost impossible to believe that a bunch of London lads conspired to record so many great songs. Here's a few selections of tunes that I never tire of.

STONES w/ Brian Jones
Nils Lofgren once said something along the lines of "the greatest rock'n'roll records ever made were those cut by the Stones in the mid-60s" - I can't disagree.
1. Satisfaction
2. Paint It Black
3. Under My Thumb
4. Tell Me
5. Play With Fire
6. Ruby Tuesday
7. No Expectations
8. Jumpin' Jack Flash
9. Have You Seen Your Mother Baby
10. Street Fighting Man

STONES w/ Mick Taylor
I heard Charlie intvd on 6 Music and he said the era with Mick Taylor was his favourite. Understandably, no other rock band has ever come close to what they achieved 68-72.
1. Gimme Shelter
2. Tumbling Dice
3. Ventilator Blues
4. Sway
5. Can't You Hear Me Knocking
6. Let It Loose
7. Shine A Light
8. Brown Sugar
9. Honky Tonk Woman
10. Sister Morphine

STONES w/ Ron Wood
I got my first radio in the mid-70s so it was this era of Stones I first heard. I loved them immediately. That said, aged 11 I bought a dbl LP cheapo Stones Decca hits which was great cos it had B-sides like Child Of The Moon and As Tears Go By on it. I gave up on listening to new Stones releases in the early 80s so I might have missed a few Wood era gems. Tho Ron surely played better with the Faces?
1. Miss You
2. Beast Of Burden
3. Fool To Cry
4. Dance
5. Emotional Rescue
hmmm, I'm defeated here so I'll grasp for
6. Undercover (if Rob recommends it it must be pretty good)
7. Continental Drift (if Nick recommends it then it rocks)
8. Start Me Up (Stones by numbers but about the last memorable riff Keef would come up with)
- was Ron on Hot Stuff? If so then that's No 4!

STONES sing US
Like many a blues fan I bought a Muddy Waters album (Hard Again - so great!) cos of The Stones. Then I bought lots of blues and soul and Gram Parsons cos of them. What a great education they gave me.
1. I'm A King Bee - masterful Slim Harpo cover and BJ's slide guitar lick is unbelievable!
2. Time Is On My Side - great vocal, great acoustic guitars, great drums. One of their very best recordings.
3. Little Red Rooster - Howling Wolf with added atmosphere and more great slide work.
4. You Got To Move - brilliant take on Fred McDowell. And they paid him royalties!
5. Prodigal Son - Rev Gary Davis tune? Lovely acoustic playing.
6. Shake Your Hips - "well. waddaya know? It's Slim Harpo" Perfect.
7. Stop Breaking Down - Robert Johnson with great slide and swagger.
8. Love In Vain - Robert Johnson taken into deep country soul.
9. Route 66 - what a rockin' band! The best ever take on this standard.
10. Oh Baby (We Got A Good Thing Going) - Barbara Lynn stomper gets a suburb guitar lick added and sounds even better. She gets her royalties too!

Of course, all these lists could be changed but off the top of my head that's my Top 40.

Re: The Rolling Stones at 50

PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2012 10:37 pm
by Rob Hall
That's an interesting mix Garth, thanks.

A couple of years back, an American friend of mine put together the following mix, which he called 'Sisyphus', that ticks some boxes other lists overlook:

Can't You Hear Me Knocking
Paint It Black
Star Star
Ruby Tuesday
All Down the Line
Tumbling Dice
19th Nervous Breakdown
Have You Seen Your Mother?
Sweet Virginia
Claudine (2)
Sad Sad Sad
Brown Sugar
Respectable
Country Honk
Under My Thumb
Let's Spend the Night Together
You Got the Silver
Get Off My Cloud
Midnight Rambler
Street Fighting Man
You Can't Always Get What You Want
Sittin on a Fence
Shattered
Gimme Shelter
Fancy Man Blues
Dead Flowers
Little Red Rooster
Take It or Leave It
Love in Vain
Beast of Burden
Wild Horses
Start Me Up
When the Whip Comes Down
Jumpin' Jack Flash
Sympathy for the Devil
Satisfaction
Salt of the Earth

Re: The Rolling Stones at 50

PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2012 11:43 pm
by Adam Blake
I think my dear friend Ted (of this parish) once pointed out that, after having amassed all the Rolling Stones records then in existence, he realised with terrible clarity that the only one you really need is "Let It Bleed". This, whilst typically hardline, is a view with which I have more than a little sympathy.

Re: The Rolling Stones at 50

PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2012 1:13 am
by Leon Parker
I put High Tides & Green Grass on the iPod


It is 1973 15 yrs old I put on High Tide & Green Grass on my dansette record player in my room every day after school.

Got me through a tough school and lead me to the Blues. Paint It Black I would say one of the best singles of the 60's. I also related to Mothers Little Helper and enjoyed a freak out to She's a Rainbow.

Re: The Rolling Stones at 50

PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2012 8:08 am
by kas
Funnily, High Tide & Green Grass was also my first worthwhile Stones record. The year was 1979, and I found a gatefold reissue of it at a record store. As you have said: it was and still is perfect.
My first Stones album ever, though, was "Goats Head Soup". I was too young, just grabbing a random album, and it left me dumbfounded. I had only just seen "It's Only Rock'n'roll" in TV. Still don't like that album.

But otherwise I'm in the pro camp.

Re: The Rolling Stones at 50

PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2012 11:05 am
by Adam Blake

Re: The Rolling Stones at 50

PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2012 6:41 pm
by Ted
Adam Blake wrote: the only one you really need is "Let It Bleed".


Strange. Very Strange. I was unaware of the Rolling Stones anniversary, or of this thread. Something made me dig out "Let It Bleed" last night. Hadn't listened to it for years. Playing it in the car in a thunderstorm and torrential downpour at dusk driving through the Essex delta was an almost ideal time and place (for me at least). It was I think my all time second best driving a car in a thunderstorm while listening to music experience.


Let It Bleed is the last human Stones album. It's got a sense of time and place - it sounds wonky and sort of parochial - like they were back in London dreaming of America though the music that they had by now almost completely assimilated .

"Live With Me" goes for leering decadence and comes off more like a Carry On film.

They do vulnerable - Gimme Shelter and You Got The Silver.

Can't Always Get What You Want could definitely lose the Bach Chorale.

"Midnight Rambler" was the their future - the tedious mythology of drugs and misogyny.

Re: The Rolling Stones at 50

PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2012 6:55 pm
by AndyM
Ted wrote:
Can't Always Get What You Want could definitely lose the Bach Chorale.



Couldn't agree more. Thought I might be a lone voice on that.

But misogyny was around much earlier - 'Under My Thumb' makes 'Brown Sugar' and 'Some Girls' sound like they were written by Shulamith Firestone. Stonking marimba, mind.

And I'm sure I'm not alone in wondering what your best thunderstorm driving musical experience was, Ted!

Re: The Rolling Stones at 50

PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2012 7:44 pm
by Alan Balfour
I'm ashamed to say that in 80s I gave my RS records to an Oxfam shop due to they being bruised, battered and mistreated. I kept the first three EPs,the same with 45s and just the LP with the hexagonal sleeve.

Perhaps it's time to play them!

Re: The Rolling Stones at 50

PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2012 7:50 pm
by Rob Hall
"'Under My Thumb' makes 'Brown Sugar' and 'Some Girls' sound like they were written by Shulamith Firestone."

One to be proud of Andy.