Rolling Stones: Classic or Dud

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so, reading a lot of the disregard for classic rock on this forum, and especially the vitriol reserved for artists in the "pantheon," i wondered: am i the only person who unabashedly loves the stones? with the beatles, i could survive with a handful of tracks, but with the stones, i need my hot rocks and let it bleed and exile, and even the comp of their virgin years (ha ha).

so, the stones: brash, brassy rock gods or bloated, pathetic blues thieves?

fred solinger, Thursday, 22 March 2001 01:00 (twenty years ago) link

Predictably, dud. Don't like the voice, don't relate to the 'tude. I mean in a sense they're probably the ultimate not-'me' band, though I don't dislike them nearly as much as that would suggest. I will credit them for importance and innovation and all that boring stuff, though.

Tom, Thursday, 22 March 2001 01:00 (twenty years ago) link

Classic. I like their new stuff as much as their old stuff, if not more sometimes. I totally relate to their 'tude and wonder why there aren't more bands that make me feel so "anything goes, why get upset about anything?, do whatever you want to whenever you feel like it"

I like albums that it seems other people don't think about much, like Emotional Rescue, Aftermath, It's Only Rock N' Roll, Tattoo You.

It seems like people get hung up on the "classics" they made, most of which appear on Hot Rocks 1 + 2, I guess. But, I almost shun all that stuff in favor of the laid back good-time blues riffing stuff. I've noticed most of the Hot Rocks stuff is kind of angry or emotional. There's plenty of Stones that sounds nothing like that stuff. I like it all, though.

, Thursday, 22 March 2001 01:00 (twenty years ago) link

Not much to say on the matter right now, but I'll stick my Classic oar in before people start tearing into them.

Patrick, Thursday, 22 March 2001 01:00 (twenty years ago) link

Neither. They could've been classic because their best songs really are great, but they aren't because they are the ultimate example of stretching it too far. They destroyed their own legacy in my opinion.

Better to burn out than to fade away, as it goes...

Ally, Thursday, 22 March 2001 01:00 (twenty years ago) link

Pffft. In 100 years, people will still be listening to the Rolling Stones and plenty of people will like Steel Wheels more than Exile. The Stones obviously like blues music because they do it very, very well, so I wouldn't call it "ripping off". That's kind of childish and myopic. Out of the tons of records the Stones have released, none are really stinkers. Someone has ownership over a style of music? No others may join? Get real.

They never released an album that was the equivalent of masturbation, as many bands do after a while. I can't think of one self-indulgent turd amongst the whole lot of 'em. They're a good, consistent rock band. Seems kind of ludicrous to deny that.

, Thursday, 22 March 2001 01:00 (twenty years ago) link

i imagine most who liked them at one point will view it as not so dissimilar from the manics: c or d., i.e. first ten years or what have you are classic, after that dud. with the distinction that it took the manics 5-6 albums to overstay their welcome, whereas it took the stones over 20.

to me, they're classic enough that they've yet to expend all of their credit. i give them 'til 2010 before i may have to call them a dud.

fred solinger, Thursday, 22 March 2001 01:00 (twenty years ago) link

Um. Was there a post deleted from this thread? Because Neuro's response doesn't seem to relate to any of the posts above it, and he's usually not oblique or tangential when responding to something.

Dan Perry, Thursday, 22 March 2001 01:00 (twenty years ago) link

I know it's all a matter of taste and all, but I would think that even with an attitude of pop = Good and rock (and all rootsy music) = Evil, there'd still be room for The Rolling Stones. They did have more hits, true pop radio hits, than almost anybody else, and they wouldn't have gotten as far as they did without screaming teenage girls. It wasn't just Greil Marcus and self-conscious rock dudes paying attention. I think it's your Smiths-loving side talking, Tom ;). FT folks' commitment to wimp-rock (and experimental art-noise, in certain cases) does seem to run deeper than their supposed allegiance to pop, which often seems like just a convenient position from which to indiscriminately attack classic rock, good or bad, and throw out various babies with several oceans' worth of bathwater.

Patrick, Thursday, 22 March 2001 01:00 (twenty years ago) link

I thought the whole point of the Stones was that they were self-indulgent turds from day one. Granted, by about day 1200 they started making horrible music, but their shit from the 60s-Exile, they sounded like they were coming from exactly where rock was supposed to be coming from. American 60s punk rock is about 1000 bands trying to be the Stones; the whole adolescent attitude of turning sexual frustration into swagger and violence has always been at the center of punk rock, and yeah it was there in the Sonics and the Raiders and the Wailers and Muddy Waters and Jerry Lee Lewis and Eddie Cochran and Elmore James and Gene Vincent and Ike Turner but the Stones were just bigger and richer and bitchier and more accomplished than all these guys. They showed you didn't have to come from the swamp to be a crocodile. Total classic, but they've definitely done damage to their legacy by continuing on for so long.

Kris, Thursday, 22 March 2001 01:00 (twenty years ago) link

Even if I had a time machine and gained uncontestable evidence that people will be listening to the Stones with pleasure in the year 2101 (if man is still having fun), it wouldn't affect my feelings about the band one way or the other. As it is, I'll say dud for now, and for the pretty much the same reason that Ally gives, but I'll also add that their first couple of albums also do nothing for me.

I'll have to echo neuromancer's disregard for charges that the Stones "ripped off" the blues. Sure, they utilized the blues, played with it, turned it over under sideways down, and made it unspeakably boring as well, but they never made false claims to its invention -- except perhaps when the stole "The Last Time" from the Staple Singers and credited "Love In Vain" to "Woody Payne" instead of Robert Johnson.

Michael Daddino, Thursday, 22 March 2001 01:00 (twenty years ago) link

patrick has discovered our secret. ;) pop music is pretty much a beard for this whole operation, because if you're using tom = freaky trigger, ft is all about wimp-rock and only uses pop when it's convenient. (i mean, the guy worships at the altar of bob dylan and smog for chrissakes!) push him hard enough and you'll discover that most of his opinions are rarely based on fact, on listening to an artist's output and judging (e.g. belle & sebastian) and when they are, it's usually a 30 second sample from amazon.co.uk.

when you factor in all of the contributors, with the obvious exception of party-pooper ned raggett, freaky trigger becomes THE pop site. we write about madonna and destiny's child and janet jackson, which allows tom to pen lengthy examinations of mazarin and charlemagne palestine. (which i prefer, actually, because when he goes straight pop, we get *shudder* that jessica simpson "interview," post-modernism that'd make eggers proud.) he'll struggle to find the pop in these artists, but will ignore the far more obvious pop in artists like the stones because they're "classic rock" and are white boys playin' the blues.

fred solinger, Thursday, 22 March 2001 01:00 (twenty years ago) link

In terms of FT: I think we - or at least I - wear the wimp-rock stuff, as you call it, on our sleeves. I have a really conflicted relationship with it as has been written about at length and probably boringly by me in the zine. And we call ourselves a "pro-pop" zine, not a "pop" zine, which is intentional. I personally think a bit of respect for pop is a good thing, and a bit of disrespect for classic rock is a good thing too. As Fred points out I love Dylan, so I'm not anti "classic rock" any more than I'm anti country or anti reggae. But I think there need to be sites which poke fun at it and dont let its quality go unquestioned. I don't like that much 60s pop, though, the Stones included. It's not animosity, they just don't interest me.

I dont like rock and roll as an attitude much - it seems played out, of its time, interesting for sure but as inspirational and relevant to me as flappers are, or young edwardians, or any other historical cultural movement.

Tom, Thursday, 22 March 2001 01:00 (twenty years ago) link

I prefer fading away to burning out - sorry if I'm unromantic about this. I still think the Rolling Stones sound fine, besides. I don't expect anything they've made in the last 20 years to make any converts, but Steel Wheels and Stripped sound like a great band. Nothing new and original by any means, but I don't always need that.

Patrick, Thursday, 22 March 2001 01:00 (twenty years ago) link

CLASSIC. So incredibly essential it might be the musical equivalent of air or gravity or vitamins, knowwotimean? Of course there are plenty of duds but oh the classics (which i'm not going to list ;) Of course Tom's comments on Jagger's voice mystify me, but I was going to say on the Clash thread that voice's can't be argued about in the end (you either love a voice or not). And yes this is one band I totally and naively love the mythology of (esp. Nick Kent's partying with Keef). The Beatles bore me stiff these days, a thing that will never happen with The Stones, I just put on 'Gimmie Shelter' and it will give me chills just as it did the first time.

Omar, Thursday, 22 March 2001 01:00 (twenty years ago) link

But when the almighty pop stick is routinely used to beat various heads, the least you can ask for is that the love of pop be more than theoretical. I'm always stunned by how thoroughly almost every single gets trashed in the Focus Group, with only a handful getting passing grades. I'd ask to participate in the next one, but I'm afraid I'm not good enough with the snappy zingers (not a putdown, BTW - the comments are often a riot).

Patrick, Thursday, 22 March 2001 01:00 (twenty years ago) link

there was one innovative rolling stone: brian jones. he got kicked out of the group by a watered-down blues-wannabe (mick jagger)who had to rely on his dance moves & sickly mug to get by. as for the rest of the band, they were a good group w/ some nice rhythm's & a few good licks. like a million other groups. nothing special.

dom quinn, Thursday, 22 March 2001 01:00 (twenty years ago) link

Dud. I do like some of the early singles, though; "It's All Over Now" has an incredibly physical, thunderous sound for the time, and I get something from the panic of "19th Nervous Breakdown" and "Have You Seen Your Mother Baby ...". I even like "Ruby Tuesday" in a silly way. But even those songs are impossible to love; there's something intensely dislikeable about Jagger's whine of a voice, and I always find myself wanting to punch him, just wishing he'd shut up, even if I quite like the sound surrounding him (and some of the early Charlie Watts drumtracks *are* way ahead of their time). I just find something repulsive and repellent about the Rolling Stones; everything that surrounds them turns me off.

Simon Reynolds once wrote that, for him, there's something resolutely unlovable about The Who; I feel that way about the Stones, but even stronger.

Robin Carmody, Thursday, 22 March 2001 01:00 (twenty years ago) link

Reynolds also once wrote that it's impossible to love rock & roll if you don't love The Stones. ;)

Anyway I suspect that if you cross-reference the outcome of this thread with The Smiths thread you'll very likely find out that you either like The Stones or The Smiths (who indeed seem like the perfect anti-thesis of The Stones: weak, safe, effeminate, boring, etc.)

Omar, Thursday, 22 March 2001 01:00 (twenty years ago) link

"Effeminate", Omar? It's good to see the Stones' notorious misogyny extends to their fans ;)

I think after 30 years it's hard to imagine anything safer than the Stones, too. Of course they were 'dangerous' in their time, but this is what I mean by the historical interest of rock and roll. (I'd hardly claim any different for the Smiths, at least musically.)

Patrick - almost everyone in the focus group gives a 9 or 10 to two or three pop tunes. It's just the marks then drop because of the averaged-out nature of things. And R&B and Hip-Hop do well, which pretty much define the pop charts now in the way that - as you rightly say - the Stones did 30 years ago. (I think "Satisfaction" is a genius pop single.) But by all means, everyone on this forum join in next time, please. The more the merrier.

Jagger's Voice? It's a question of mannerisms. Some mannerisms I like - some I don't like. Jagger's, in general, I don't.

Tom, Thursday, 22 March 2001 01:00 (twenty years ago) link

robin: who is your favorite rock band? if you say free or humble pie, you'll ruin my theory.

omar: well, i love both the stones and the smiths. ;) however, i reckon that if i got into the latter before the former, that might not be the case: if my teen years were soundtracked by the smiths, i imagine my tastes might be quite different.

i don't think it's possible to love the stones and not, at the very least, *like* jagger's voice. it's very non-threatening: you can shout along with the music and never have to worry about sounding worse than him. he's one of those singers i wish would always shout because they're voices are really awful when they sing, though he wasn't totally without his charms as a singer.

fred solinger, Thursday, 22 March 2001 01:00 (twenty years ago) link


Dan, the original question was:

"brash, brassy rock gods or bloated, pathetic blues thieves?"

and...

Ally said they'd turned into duds merely by sticking around so long.

So, I was just addressing two ideas at once. (First of all, how could they be bloated? They're all scrawny mofos!)

As far as the self-indulgent speil, what I meant was that they stayed true to their formula, making decent blues rock music. Yes, I know the whole rebellious schtick is self-indulgent, being that they do what they wanna do, etc., but I meant, they never produced some barely-even- music artistic piece of crap halfassedly, like so many other bands.

Sure, you could say "Their Satanic Majesties Request" is a self- indulgent piece of crap, but I happen to like it quite a bit and it's not too different from their other stuff.

"2000 Man" is a great tune off "Satanic", covered decently by a punk band called the Groovie Ghoulies and "Summer Romance" off the 1981 "Emotional Rescue" is a great tune covered by another punk band called New Bomb Turks. If you listen to both cover tunes, without any prior knowledge of the Rolling Stones, you'd swear they were from the same album, probably made in the late '70's. And yet, those two songs span almost 20 years.

Point being, their "artsy-fartsy" stuff *and* their later "dud" material are still, basically, the same great kind of rock and roll as ever.

Now, THAT was a tangent, Dan!

, Thursday, 22 March 2001 01:00 (twenty years ago) link

Yeah Tom, sorry the spirit of Under My Thumb just took control. Just to be on the safe side: I was trying to polarize things a bit to try out a theory. Sadly Fred already has disproven it. Good point on the voice though: The Stones are one of the best groups to shout along to, aren't they?

Omar, Thursday, 22 March 2001 01:00 (twenty years ago) link

Jesus, Fred, don't you have anything better to do today? How about we name this thread "The Stones Hour With Fred Solinger"?

ANYHOW, lots of replies. First of, I think it's "ludicrious" to claim that anyone who thinks that the Stones AREN'T consistent is wrong. You like them. I generally do not. End of story. It's like me telling the entirety of the Manics thread that they are idiots because several of them preferred EMG to THB. I mean, clearly I disagree so vehemently that I could spit blood out my mouth thinking about it, but they aren't being ludicrious or stupid. It's just what they think.

The Stones to me are a great singles band when they were good, but their albums tended to bore me. And yes, Kris has a great point: they were designed to be indulgent masturbatory rock. You could make a case that all rock is meant to do that - I mean, can someone please explain to me what albums are if NOT indulgent? You aren't exactly curing cancer if you're doing music, despite loads of artists' insistance that if you sing about changing the world, it is the same as doing something about it... ;)

And no, it did not take the Stones, for me, 20 albums to wear out their welcome. They wear it out, for me, about halfway through Hot Rocks. If the dadrock band is not called "MANICS" or "WHO", I am not interested, to give full disclosure. I only like the Stones in theory, because Mick Jagger is such a talentless, ugly man that it's fascinating - it's the ultimate triumph of someone who just really WANTED to be famous tricking the world into making him famous, based solely on personality. That's a kick ass thing, and he's great and fabulous for it; if he wasn't a "singer" he'd have been a tv presenter or actor, just because he really wanted to be a star. It of course works both ways - Mick might be ugly and unable to hit a note with a hammer, but the rest of the band are so dull that no one would've bought them without Mick.

As for FT: what are you talking about, "when you factor in all the contributors..."? As far as I can tell, 90% of any activity on this site comes from Tom. What, because you, Solinger, posted a Destiny's Child piece (which, I might add, is like the 5th piece on that song on NYLPM - can we give it a rest people? At least review a DIFFERENT DC song, look for their album on Napster or something), suddenly it's all pop and sunshine and glory? Tom does post a lot about pop music because there is a lot about pop music on this site and the contributors here are LAZY SODS, including myself, who don't write anything a good portion of the time. I mean, what is Pop Eye if not about Pop? Poor Tom, getting maligned on being a wuss rocker when he does so much work. :)

And where do I fit in, not really liking the Stones and REALLY hating the Smiths? :)

Ally, Thursday, 22 March 2001 01:00 (twenty years ago) link

Well Ally, I'm afraid that means you in fact do not exist! This is quite an impossible situation you see ;)

Omar, Thursday, 22 March 2001 01:00 (twenty years ago) link

oh, the irony! calling me out for replying so much ends up in yet ANOTHER reply. i started this thread, so i figure i'd be an active participant, that's all. ;)

as far as the albums go, i was trying to be fair to both the manics and the stones. clearly you could give or take albums, depending on your particular opinion!

the stones have accumulated a great "legend" over the years and, going back to the weezer thread, very little of it fuels my interest in the group. besides jagger and everything surrounding him, who is a source of personal inspiration.

my comments about f.t. were meant to be taken as tongue-in-cheek. clearly none of us would be here, that is to say in this forum, if it weren't for tom and his ideas about pop.

and you fit in as that very rare hybrid, the manics-who worshipper. ;)

fred solinger, Thursday, 22 March 2001 01:00 (twenty years ago) link

So why the font switch?

As for me being a party-pooper -- hm, you mean my disdain for singles last year, or my disdain in general? ;-)

Ned Raggett, Thursday, 22 March 2001 01:00 (twenty years ago) link

I don't know about Fred, but I'd say it's the disdain in general ;).

Patrick, Thursday, 22 March 2001 01:00 (twenty years ago) link

Woops, was that fontswitch my fault? I forgot to close the endtag. I just thought it screwed up my message, but it appears to be screwing up everyones?? I just ended the tag, so maybe it'll look normal again?

, Thursday, 22 March 2001 01:00 (twenty years ago) link

Viva. And my disdain is part of what I am. Never trust anybody who doesn't actively hate as much as they actively praise. ;-)

Ned Raggett, Thursday, 22 March 2001 01:00 (twenty years ago) link

DUD DUD DUD DUD DUD

A long time ago, galaxies away, I went through a brief period of trying to like them, but everything about them rubbed me the wrong way: voice, style, lyrics, attitude, general crankiness. I just couldn't stand them -- they always sounded like a glorified dumb bar- band. I gave up, and then I realized that it's okay to dislike bands that rock critics think are classic.

And I like the Smiths, so I guess that makes me a pussy.

Ian White, Friday, 23 March 2001 01:00 (twenty years ago) link

My theory isn't completely dead :) I wonder what Dr.C thinks, any bets? ;)

Some further thoughts: for me The Stones are year zero, i don't care about Elvis or any other blues guys they ripped off. and with year zero's you just need a lot of mythology, I would say mythology + intensity + riffs = rock 'n roll. Now regardless of The Stones becoming old farts, I immediatly forget when I put on "Beggar's Banquet" or "Let it "Bleed", for that moment you live in that record and what you get is: psychotic cops cracking skulls, cities burning, lots of knife-pulling, mountains of drugs, under-age girls, armies of rapists flooding the streets, the danger of getting hit by a stray bullit at any moment. Now, in real life I'm a very sweet, liberal, no- violent guy, but this shit excites me. :) Anyone remember the way Guy Pellaert drew them in "Rock Dreams"? A bunch of English dandy's dressed up in SS uniforms drinking tea with naked little girls on their laps. So you see why I don't really find The Smiths very interesting ;)

Omar, Friday, 23 March 2001 01:00 (twenty years ago) link

I'm back unscathed from the KJ wars to proclaim - Classic, although not without reservations. The Aftermath to Exile run of albums is undoubtedly classic. Before that - great singles band for sure, but the albums are padded with R+B filler. I actually quite like mid-60's R+B filler, so that's OK I guess. Post-Exile I haven't really bothered to take notice, although it's sort of good that they're still around. The odd single is still damn fine - 'Saint of Me' anybody?

With the Stones though, the cult of Mick n' Keef is far more important than the actual music. The court cases, publicity stunts, Brian Jones' death, Altamont etc all loom large over the music. The press seem to perpetuate this to such a ridiculous level - I mean who wants to hear about Altamont again and again? If you strip all this away and get back to the music it's pretty obvious that Jagger is a fairly average singer and that a lot of their material lacks the kind of excitement that you might expect it would have if you'd read about it first.

Dr. C, Friday, 23 March 2001 01:00 (twenty years ago) link

Hmmm, I don't know. I have no use for their sex-drugs-and-depravation image. I mean, it *is* interesting - Stanley Booth's The True Adventures of The Rolling Stones is a great read - but you don't need any appreciation of that stuff to enjoy the music.

Patrick, Friday, 23 March 2001 01:00 (twenty years ago) link

I agree Patrick, it's also about the intro-riff to 'Brown Sugar', the way the female singer starts to wail in 'Gimme Shelter', it's about the swing in 'Sympathy for the Devil'. The Stones of course are bona fide boogie monsters, they swing. Watts is a great drummer and Keef has a knack for the right riff.

Also I was talking more about the mythology in the music itself, the images of the lyrics (although eventually the spilled out into the real world). All those tales of debauchery eventually become stale, though Nick Kent's 'Twilight Babylon'(in The Dark Stuff) is a great read about the Stones in the 70s, very sick and amusing. Also some brilliant characterizations esp. of Mick 'n Bianca Jagger (man, did he see through them :)

Omar, Friday, 23 March 2001 01:00 (twenty years ago) link

That Nick Kent piece is terrific, yes. If only all biographical rock writing as as psychologically compelling.

As for Rock Dreams, it's a great book but the whole Godstar decadence trip on the Stones didn't wash with me. It would have worked better for Led Zep I think. Generally though it makes the best case for classic rock and pop of any book out there - some of the images are just magnificent, capturing everything you need to know about a star in one image (the Brian Wilson one stands out).

Tom, Friday, 23 March 2001 01:00 (twenty years ago) link

johnny marr proves you wrong too, omar.

aside from the odd single ("under my thumb" may be my favourite), a ho-hum dud i wouldn't bother thinking about if they weren't so acclaimed. stiff and wooden rhythm section, mechanical faux-blues vocals. give me the stooges any day. "hand in glove," "handsome devil," or "what she said" are infinitely heavier, more biting, harder rocking, and more dangerous (since when is macho more threatening than effeminate?). in fact, the idea of the stones, an institution as thoroughly mainstream as kellogg's corn flakes, being threatening at all is positively hilarious.

ah well. better get back to stephin merritt and iancu dumitrescu.

sundar subramanian, Friday, 23 March 2001 01:00 (twenty years ago) link

Eminem is as mainstream as Burger King, and that's exactly what makes him more threatening and dangerous than a cult act like, say, Belle & Sebastian (who will also be dad-rock 30 years from now, if they aren't already). "Gimme Shelter" may be an accepted classic and the *context* in which it is listened to and used may be safe, but its *sound* and *feel* will always be ferocious and full of life.

Patrick, Friday, 23 March 2001 01:00 (twenty years ago) link

well I never said they were threatening now, did I? And of course it's a laugh when they play 'Street Fighting Man' these days. Used to be pretty heavy though. Ahem also effeminate was a bit of a joke since well for the longest time The Stones walked around with eye- liner and long hair.

I'm prepared to throw my theory out, although since i was re-reading The Dark Stuff I noticed how Kent was fascinated by Mozzer's fear for thugs, crowds and rude violent behaviour (I put 2 and 2 together and built myself a hypothesis, nothing to serious, so I'll take those comments on the wooden rhythm section & the heavyosity of The Smiths with a pinch of salt).

Omar, Friday, 23 March 2001 01:00 (twenty years ago) link

This is tougher than it looks. I love the Stones, but suspect them. Maybe I should - maybe I do - dislike them. Is that possible? Like I say, this is a mite tougher than it looks.

the pinefox, Friday, 23 March 2001 01:00 (twenty years ago) link

I like The Stones..I've never loved them....some great tracks yada yada yada....but I never went through a period when I was really into them unlike other classic rock bands like The Beatles or VU. I cant explain why I was never into them but something about them doesnt sound as sexy and rocking as I always wished it would...

Mike Bourke, Friday, 23 March 2001 01:00 (twenty years ago) link

one year passes...
Nobody did rock and roll better than the Stones. Name them... you can't do it guys because they are rock and roll. Yeah yeah, they're for shit now but back in the day, they wrote the fucking rules. More classic tracks than I could list here but if you don't believe me, dig out Beggars Banquet and put Streetfighting Man on repeat and don't turn it off until you think to yourself "Hello."

Roger Fascist, Friday, 26 July 2002 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

one month passes...
Neal Pollack lets the air out of the Stones' tires. Read it now while it's still free.

o. nate (onate), Wednesday, 4 September 2002 13:02 (nineteen years ago) link

Nice article. I saw them in Luxembourg in 1993 I think. 100,000 or more people in the mud and a couple of small puppets about 500m away jumping up and down with a Jagger the size of a mouse running from the left of the stage to the right of it.
It was really awful. I left after about 30 minutes just after Like a Rolling Stone. That was probably the best song of the evening. It wasn't theirs.
I think the Stones have achieved something no one else has. To be even more ridiculous than Michael Jackson.

alex in mainhattan (alex63), Wednesday, 4 September 2002 13:41 (nineteen years ago) link

It's a decent enough article, but what was he expecting? Pollack's a genius, I've just been for a nostalgic rummage in the McSweeney's archive and lol'ed at The Dark Goddess of Russia Is Horny. Has anyone read his book? Is it worth getting?

Mike (mratford), Wednesday, 4 September 2002 14:13 (nineteen years ago) link

I have not read his book, but. Every time I read him, I sort of laugh, but the parody seems about 30 years too late to me...

Ben Williams, Wednesday, 4 September 2002 14:46 (nineteen years ago) link

I'm interested to hear how the Stones-haters and the indifferent feel about the large swath of rock music made under their influence -- at times in flat-out imitation. You can argue that they did it better, but as near as I can tell, the Stooges could never exist if there hadn't been the Rolling Stones.

wl, Wednesday, 4 September 2002 15:34 (nineteen years ago) link

If they'd pulled a Buddy Holly after releasing the Satisfaction single, this would be a "Rolling Stones - what if?" thread.

"Oh, I bet they'd be billionaire marrionette ghouls by now..."

g.cannon (gcannon), Wednesday, 4 September 2002 15:50 (nineteen years ago) link

I understand Neal's point (that they blow these days), but his argument seems awful shaky. "The Stones suck because hipper things are happening now," seems to sum it up. Yeah, well of course! The Stones haven't been hip since 1969! And also this idea that since they are no longer cool their old records are no longer worth listening to... that's just silly.

Yancey (ystrickler), Wednesday, 4 September 2002 16:16 (nineteen years ago) link

I don't think Mick Jagger is talentless. His voice is an acquired taste, but his phrasing's great. I'm listening to "She's So Cold" right now, and he's doing some very cool things with his voice -- the choppy syllables ("She - e's so cold"), the way he thrwwwwwwoooooooooooooooows his vowels (which he sort of stole from Dylan, but he stole a LOT from Dylan) and they sort of fizzle out perfectly and fry away at the end of the phrase, the way "so" becomes "suh" or just "ssss," the blend of raspy shouting and rapping and prettiness. A Jagger vocal is never one-dimensional. Not like, say, a Belle and Sebastian vocal. Jagger really gives you a lot to listen to in his performances.

Jody Beth Rosen, Wednesday, 4 September 2002 17:02 (nineteen years ago) link

I wanna see what John Betjeman and Nicol Williamson have to see about that performance.

Eyeball Kicks, Wednesday, 28 July 2021 22:02 (one month ago) link

Ha, was thinking the same thing.

Two Severins Clash (James Redd and the Blecchs), Wednesday, 28 July 2021 22:48 (one month ago) link

lmao

terminators of endearment (VegemiteGrrl), Thursday, 29 July 2021 01:27 (one month ago) link

Charlie has had a medical procedure, drops out of upcoming tour and will be replaced by Steve Jordan.

“Heroin” (ft. Bobby Gillespie) (C. Grisso/McCain), Thursday, 5 August 2021 01:51 (one month ago) link

*prays furiously*

hey god we have not really been formally introduced but YOU MUST PROTECT CHARLIE AT ALL COSTS

amen

terminators of endearment (VegemiteGrrl), Thursday, 5 August 2021 02:04 (one month ago) link

Sending all of the good vibes Charlie’s way. It took many, many years but I am so glad I finally got to see them live in 2019.

a superficial sheeb of intelligence (jon /via/ chi 2.0), Thursday, 5 August 2021 02:09 (one month ago) link

i have never ~cries~

terminators of endearment (VegemiteGrrl), Thursday, 5 August 2021 02:14 (one month ago) link

Bubble Wrap being sent to the Watts residence rn.

“Heroin” (ft. Bobby Gillespie) (C. Grisso/McCain), Thursday, 5 August 2021 02:14 (one month ago) link

I finally saw the Stones in 2018. Should've caught them in 2002 - by some accounts that was the last time you could have seen all of them in relatively "good" shape. As a guitarist, Keith was definitely a shadow of his former self. Charlie held it together perfectly but he really looked his age - it was like he conserved all his energy to play everything spot on, which he did, but he barely had a drop more in the tank.

birdistheword, Thursday, 5 August 2021 15:27 (one month ago) link

Should've caught them in 2002 - by some accounts that was the last time you could have seen all of them in relatively "good" shape


I saw em in ‘99 and they were indeed very good. I went in m/l anticipating a boring by-the-numbers march through their hits, but it more than exceeded expectations. lots of deep cuts and the playing was excellent. I think they only tortured us w one from Bridges to Babylon lol.

caddy lac brougham? (will), Thursday, 5 August 2021 17:35 (one month ago) link

I saw them in 97 and the highlight was an extended (I want to say like ten minutes) work out on "Miss You", it was maybe the only time the whole set when everyone in the band equally engaged during the same song

chr1sb3singer, Thursday, 5 August 2021 19:01 (one month ago) link

gosh i love this band. i saw both NJ shows in 2019. "lucky dip" tix both times, by some miracle. they rule. keith working within his limitations, he and ron wood sort of clairvoyant by this point. i don't mind the warhorses -- it's all good. just the stones being the stones. had lucky dips for charlotte too and it pained me to return them, but having 50,000 people breathing on me in this environment is crazy.

Thus Sang Freud, Thursday, 5 August 2021 19:45 (one month ago) link

Only time I saw the Stones was on the Steel Wheels tour, ironically on the date of the 20th anniversary of Altamont (Hoosier Dome RIP). I saw no Hell's Angels but plenty of boomers telling me and my other teenage friends to sit down though during the show.

earlnash, Thursday, 5 August 2021 20:04 (one month ago) link

I've seen them two or three times, can't really remember, all I know is that it was pretty uneven, with one show being subtly better than the other, for whatever reason. Most of the band (with the exception of Bobby Keys) seemed sort of amused to even be there, or maybe they were just laughing at Mick working twice as hard as them for the same amount of money.

Josh in Chicago, Thursday, 5 August 2021 20:13 (one month ago) link

closest i came was seeing Shine A Light in IMAX

wrinkles so deep you could crawl into em
but it was still pretty great

terminators of endearment (VegemiteGrrl), Thursday, 5 August 2021 20:24 (one month ago) link

Closest I ever came was seeing Cocksucker Blues projected eight years ago. When they last played Houston in '19 I helped DJ a marathon fan afterparty spinning Stones and other deep cut '60s/'70s Rock at a rootsy dive bar. I say afterparty, but we actually started a bit before the show for the ticketless masses. A ton of people showed up after the concert and everything leveled-up from there; we kept going for at least 30 minutes after last call and were very nearly thrown out by the bouncers at the end.

“Heroin” (ft. Bobby Gillespie) (C. Grisso/McCain), Thursday, 5 August 2021 21:09 (one month ago) link

MoMA projected nearly every single Stones-related film for their 50th anniversary (with the exception of the narrative films they acted in, though they did screen Performance). The live performances in Charlie Is My Darling, Rock & Roll Circus, Gimme Shelter (before it all went to hell) and Ladies & Gentlemen... were flat out awesome on the big screen, and they kind of drove home the point that no Stones show is going to recapture their '60s/early '70s glory, it's just impossible. Everything about those performances were so good, and for different reasons because the culture was changing so fast. One thing I remember fromCharlie Is My Darling is never questioning why the Stones played such short sets back in the day - with the fans storming the stages, they were lucky to get through one song much less eight or nine.

birdistheword, Thursday, 5 August 2021 21:22 (one month ago) link

(no Stones show today that is)

birdistheword, Thursday, 5 August 2021 21:22 (one month ago) link

I forgot that saw Charlie Is... way the hell back at the old Alamo Drafthouse in Austin. They were doing a Peter Whitehead series and it got stuck on unannounced to a program of his Rock promo films. Quite the surprise, as it still was a few years before it received an official release.

And yes, judging on the footage there and the Royal Albert Hall stuff in the clip for "Have You Seen Your Mother...", it's a wonder they got out of those shows alive.

“Heroin” (ft. Bobby Gillespie) (C. Grisso/McCain), Thursday, 5 August 2021 21:31 (one month ago) link

Here's an excerpt from the HYSYM clip.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E3IRBeRlAKo

The whole thing isn't up right now.

“Heroin” (ft. Bobby Gillespie) (C. Grisso/McCain), Thursday, 5 August 2021 21:38 (one month ago) link

Saw the Stones in fall of 2019. A very last-minute decision, they were in town and on the day of the show I thought "what the hell" and got tickets for me and my mom. She mostly knows the big, pre-Exile hits, so she had a wonderful time. For me, it wasn't a transcendent concert experience or anything but I was still glad to get to see them for real. I was very charmed by Ronnie Wood in particular - he came across very cheerful and present in a low-key way, just a guy in a band who likes his bandmates and is happy to be there. I felt like he would have had the exact same vibe playing at a bar on a Friday night.

Lily Dale, Thursday, 5 August 2021 21:58 (one month ago) link

https://i.imgflip.com/5ipxkb.jpg

Josh in Chicago, Thursday, 5 August 2021 22:22 (one month ago) link

lol

terminators of endearment (VegemiteGrrl), Thursday, 5 August 2021 22:55 (one month ago) link

three weeks pass...

Christgau stood by his original A- rating for A Bigger Bang after he revisited it months ago. So I put it on and gave it a fair shake - for a little while, I thought he could be right, but after a wrong turn with "Streets of Love," it feels like the energy drains out of the whole thing. Things perk up here and there, but it feels like aa overlong, top-loaded album that would've been better off as an EP. (FWIW, it's 16 tracks and over 64 minutes, less than three minutes shy of Exile on Main Street.) "Rough Justice," "Let Me Down Slow," "Rain Fall Down," "Oh No, Not You Again" and "Infamy" would've been fine as their own little 5-track, 20 minute record - nothing earth-shaking, but enjoyable.

birdistheword, Saturday, 28 August 2021 18:11 (three weeks ago) link

It's boilerplate, but I really like "It Won't Take Long" off that one.

Like alot of Classic Rock bands, CD Bloat really hurt the Stones, both in including too many songs, and having tracks drag on and one (I swear everything on Bridges is 5+ minutes).

There was even a deluxe Bigger Bang that came out a few months or so later that was a full 80-minute CD!

Precious, Grace, Hill & Beard LTD. (C. Grisso/McCain), Saturday, 28 August 2021 18:24 (three weeks ago) link

Except now I see on wiki that the extra stuff on that deluxe edition (two new tracks and a remix) were only on the accompanying DVD*, not added to the CD.

*An amusing affectation of the time, that DVD-exclusive audio.

Precious, Grace, Hill & Beard LTD. (C. Grisso/McCain), Saturday, 28 August 2021 18:29 (three weeks ago) link

...ranked the second-best album of the year by Rolling Stone magazine, behind rapper Kanye West's Late Registration.

Precious, Grace, Hill & Beard LTD. (C. Grisso/McCain), Saturday, 28 August 2021 18:32 (three weeks ago) link

They were hurt by CD bloat but also a little by the peak CD-era production.

Unrelated, I had no idea there were these demos floating around of later era Mick-sung songs with Keith doing the vox:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XUpkJKhLyuI

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DNRfC7BAQh8

Josh in Chicago, Saturday, 28 August 2021 19:00 (three weeks ago) link

"Laugh I Nearly Died," "Biggest Mistake," and a few other jams easily make ABB their best since Dirty Work.

So who you gonna call? The martini police (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Saturday, 28 August 2021 19:02 (three weeks ago) link

Every album from Steel Wheels on features a few songs so good if the entire album were like them it would be their best since pick your album.

Josh in Chicago, Saturday, 28 August 2021 19:12 (three weeks ago) link

Even that blues album a few years ago reminded me what a good if not great harmonica player Jagger remains.

So who you gonna call? The martini police (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Saturday, 28 August 2021 19:18 (three weeks ago) link

I watched the video for "Emotional Rescue" the other night (and the Stones don't get enough credit for having a huge backlog of proto-music videos, going back to like Goats Head Soup or It's Only Rock 'n' Roll) and Jagger should have used that falsetto voice more.

but also fuck you (unperson), Saturday, 28 August 2021 19:30 (three weeks ago) link

and the Stones don't get enough credit for having a huge backlog of proto-music videos, going back to like Goats Head Soup or It's Only Rock 'n' Roll

This is pretty damn true. And Watts knew how to look in each of them perfectly.

Ned Raggett, Saturday, 28 August 2021 19:34 (three weeks ago) link

They go back even further! Peter Whitehead directed clips on them as far back as 1966.

Here's the "We Love You" vid from '67

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MfmVfBnpvOg

Precious, Grace, Hill & Beard LTD. (C. Grisso/McCain), Saturday, 28 August 2021 19:50 (three weeks ago) link

Better Version

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J7kU1KZZyqc

Precious, Grace, Hill & Beard LTD. (C. Grisso/McCain), Saturday, 28 August 2021 19:55 (three weeks ago) link

the closer "love is strong" gets to "wicked as it seems" the better it gets. demo is fire and much better than the final release, tho the bridge is still a problem.

Larry Elleison (rogermexico.), Sunday, 29 August 2021 00:21 (two weeks ago) link

no band has ever sounded that evil

treeship., Sunday, 29 August 2021 03:09 (two weeks ago) link

the whole was really better than the sum of its parts with the stones. they had some alchemical quality. evil is as good a word as any, meant in the best sense.

treeship., Sunday, 29 August 2021 03:10 (two weeks ago) link

They were hurt by CD bloat but also a little by the peak CD-era production...Every album from Steel Wheels on features a few songs so good if the entire album were like them it would be their best since pick your album.

It's been tough getting through all of them, partly because so many of them run well over an hour and there isn't anything close to an hour's worth of worthy material.

I'm tempted to say Voodoo Lounge is the only one that had a real album's worth of listenable material. It's not the best music from this era - for starters, nothing's as good as the highlights on A Bigger Bang - but there's at least 40 minutes of stuff that feel pretty sturdy. After one pass, I chopped it down to 45:43 over 11 tracks (one of which is apparently a B-side, not an original album track):

1. Love Is Strong
2. You Got Me Rocking
3. Sparks Will Fly
4. The Worst
5. New Faces
6. Out of Tears
7. Jump on Top of Me
8. Brand New Car
9. Sweethearts Together
10. Blinded by Rainbows
11. Thru and Thru

birdistheword, Sunday, 29 August 2021 20:28 (two weeks ago) link

Rescreened Gimme Shelter. An experience, as always. Forgot how much Charlie there was in the opening editing suite sequence. Something I hadn't noticed before: at the end of "Satisfaction" at MSG, there's a couple of crowd shots from the stage and there's somebody out in the middle of floor holding up a crutch as high as one can in such a situation: hand around the footie, arm totally raised waving it around.

Precious, Grace, Hill & Beard LTD. (C. Grisso/McCain), Tuesday, 31 August 2021 00:48 (two weeks ago) link

Something I've noticed frequently--and never fails to kill me--is how at one of the tensest moments on-stage at Altamont, a dog casually strolls across the stage in front of Jagger.

Precious, Grace, Hill & Beard LTD. (C. Grisso/McCain), Tuesday, 31 August 2021 00:55 (two weeks ago) link

there's a couple of crowd shots from the stage

johnny thunders in there too apparently.

https://iorr.org/talk/read.php?1,2338235

Thus Sang Freud, Wednesday, 1 September 2021 19:35 (two weeks ago) link

That's great. Wondering if it is as great as this

Gwar ina Babyon (James Redd and the Blecchs), Wednesday, 1 September 2021 20:14 (two weeks ago) link

haha off topic but i once sat in the row in front of handsome dick at iggy's big comeback show at the palladium (the idiot). everyone was on their feet the whole show except handsome dick, who was slouched in his seat pretending to be asleep. at the end of the show he walked out with his hands raised over his head like a boxer proclaiming "I AM THE NEW IGGY POP!!!"

Thus Sang Freud, Wednesday, 1 September 2021 20:27 (two weeks ago) link

Ha!

Gwar ina Babyon (James Redd and the Blecchs), Wednesday, 1 September 2021 20:55 (two weeks ago) link

Scarface gets it

Revisiting The Rolling Stones catalog and WOW!!! hit after fuckin hit 👍🏾👍🏾👍🏾

— SCARFACE (@BrotherMob) September 2, 2021

Blues Guitar Solo Heatmap (Free Download) (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Thursday, 2 September 2021 17:20 (two weeks ago) link

Even conceding that "Black & Blue" is not really the band at its best, the off-kilter, randomly-rhythmic cover of "Cherry Oh Baby" sounds like they gave it two takes, max, neither with any clear understanding or grasp of - or even interest in - reggae. I can totally imagine how it went down.

Mick: "Keef. Keef! Wake up!"
Keef: ...
(Mick kicks the sofa)
Mick: "Get. Up!"
Keef: "Blrrreegghhgh."
Mick: "Whu?"
Keef: "I said I'm up!"
(looks around)
Keef: "Where are we?"
Mick: "We're in the studio, Keef. We're making an album."
Keef: "What, another one?"
Mick: "Yes, Keef, another one."
Keef: "Well, is it done yet?"
Mick: "No, Keef, it is not done yet, so get up."
(Keef stands and runs his hands through his hair)
Keef: "How long was I out?"
Mick: "I dunno, one, two ... ?
Keef: "Hours?"
Mick: "No, Keef, days. You were out one or two days, mate."
(Keef chuckles)
Keef: "Yeah, I'm a real stinker, I am. What do you need me for?"
Mick: "We've got a few more songs to finish. We've got "Hey Negrita," we've got "Fool to Cry," we've got ..."
Keef: "Let's do 'Cherry Oh Baby.'"
Mick: "'Cherry Oh Baby'"? What's that? That a new song you got?"
Keef: “Nah, no, it's this old reggae track."
(Mick furrows his brow)
Mick: "Reggae? Like 'I Shot the Sheriff"? Clapton?"
Keef: “No, no, this is the good reggae shit. The real shit."
(Keef takes a drag from his cigarette)
Mick: “When did you even light that?”
Keef: “I get me roadies to keep one going by my side so I have it when I need it.”
Mick: “Of course you do. Now get up and let’s record, what was that, ‘Cheerio, Baby’? How does it go?”
Keef: “Oh, it’s pretty easy stuff. Just put the accent on the third beat.”
Charlie and Bill (together): “Huh?”
Keef: “Just follow my lead, easy-peasy.”
Mick: “Well, it better be, we only have the studio booked for another 5 minutes today!”
Keef (cackling): “Perfect.”

Josh in Chicago, Friday, 10 September 2021 20:06 (one week ago) link

Lol that’s perfect

✖✖✖ (Moka), Friday, 10 September 2021 20:16 (one week ago) link

LMAO

I actually like Black and Blue and think it's very good, but I kind of wished they ditched both that cover and "Melody" and finished "Slave" and "Worried About You" instead. Kind of, but Tattoo You would have taken a hit and Sonny Rollins's later overdub may be the best thing about "Slave."

birdistheword, Friday, 10 September 2021 21:19 (one week ago) link

Fully agree. I love the thick heady SOUND of B&B.

So who you gonna call? The martini police (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Friday, 10 September 2021 22:41 (one week ago) link


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