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The first full-length Rolling Stones album is a raw document of their early sound, which at this point was still Early British Tinny, even on this pristine re-issue. However, the band's growing confidence throughout the course of THE ROLLING STONES is almost palpable.
Their take on Willie Dixon's "I Just Want to Make Love to You" is steeped in Chicago blues filtered through a West London sensibility, while the insistent harp on their hit cover of Buddy Holly's "Not Fade Away" is an early example of the band's technique of using blues riffs as pop hooks. "Tell Me" is a fairly embryonic attempt at Tin Pan Alley songwriting (they're far more at home with the raw R&B of "Little By Little") and it's obvious that at this early stage the band was most comfortable performing R&B covers, such as Rufus Thomas's classic "Walking the Dog," and particularly Chuck Berry's "Carol," which remained a staple of the band's live shows for some years.
Early Stones recordings don't get much better than this. Firmly established as celebrities, the band began to use the pandemonium they inspired as an artistic source. Nowhere is their initial reaction to fame and music business drama more apparent than in the humorous, mocking "The Under Assistant West Coast Promotion Man", in which the Stones effectively skewer the sleazier side of the record industry. Naturally, this will always be known as the album that features the original version of "Satisfaction", which would remain the band's signature tune throughout their career, but that's really just the tip of the iceberg.
Equally effective as a Jagger-Richards distillation of rock and R&B is "The Last Time", a tune easily the equal of Bobby Womack's "It's All Over Now", which the Stones handily covered on 12 X 5. Standing out from the crowd is the harpsichord-driven, English folk-inspired "Play With Fire", a menacing minor key song full of subtly expressed psychological violence. This tune, a marked change of pace for the band, hinted at the stylistic variety they would later explore.
The track lineup is shuffled and expanded to create a much different mood. "Paint It Black" is gone, replaced as the opening track by the snotty social commentary of "Mother's Little Helper," which--when followed by "Stupid Girl," "Lady Jane," "Under My Thumb," and "Dontcha Bother Me"--is like a pentathlon of punky misogyny capped by the grinding blues jam "Goin' Home." Side Two is more emotionally varied but just as musically far-reaching, adding the poppy "Take It Or Leave It" and "What To Do" to an already strong set of tunes centered on the stunning full-length version of "Out of Time" that for some reason had never been released in the United States before this belated reissue.
Once known as hard-core blues/R&B traditionalists, the Stones plunged deeper into the waters of original songwriting on BETWEEN THE BUTTONS, leading to a golden age of classic albums including LET IT BLEED, BEGGAR'S BANQUET, and EXILE ON MAIN STREET. In addition to scoring a double-sided smash-hit single in "Let's Spend the Night Together" backed with the baroque-pop "Ruby Tuesday", BUTTONS was also the last album produced by then-manager/svengali Andrew Loog Oldham. More importantly, the obscure songs on this tight package show the Stones coming into their own as composers.
Between the ornate orchestrations of the aforementioned "Ruby Tuesday" and Mick Jagger's Dylanesque inflections on "She Smiled Sweetly", BUTTONS found the Stones in a strata far beyond covering Chuck Berry and Buddy Holly. Although none of these developments ranks with the Beatles' contemporaneous sonic experiments, the fabs' bad-boy counterparts showed differing degrees of whimsy and sass. Examples are Ian Stewart's barrelhouse piano and Brian Jones' kazoo playing on "Cool, Calm & Collected", or the Dixieland-flavoured "Something Happened To Me Yesterday".
Part druggy experiment, part musical rivalry with the Fab Four, and a total anomaly in the Rolling Stones' catalogue, THEIR SATANIC MAJESTIES REQUEST contains at least three trippy classics in "Citadel", "She's a Rainbow", and "2000 Light Years From Home". That it also contains an extensive sample of Bill Wyman snoring and an eight-minute stoned jam that begins with the timeless phrase "Where's that joint?" is a measure of SATANIC MAJESTIES' breadth of genius and folly.
There's a lot going on here--try comparing the wayward Eastern atmospheres of "Gomper" to anything on BEGGAR'S BANQUET, and marvel that you're listening to the same band. The fact that Jagger and Richards could still come up with the unimpeachably charming "She's a Rainbow"--baroque pop at its finest--and a fair stab at heavy R&B in "The Lantern", while attempting to negotiate the band's rocky passage through Flower Power is a tribute to their vision, their perseverance, and their drugs of choice.
Opening with "Sympathy for the Devil," the Stones' infamous we-are-evil poem, this all-original 1968 album began a quality streak almost unmatched in rock & roll. Mick Jagger begins writing from the working-class hero's perspective--especially on the anthem "Street Fighting Man" and "Salt of the Earth"--and Keith Richards buttresses his partner with rock-solid slide licks recently graduated from the School of Old Blues Records. "Jig-Saw Puzzle," which inexplicably never became a hit, is the only known instance of Jagger's describing the Stones' individual personalities in verse. --Steve Knopper
The last Stones studio album of the '60s finds the band, for perhaps the first time, accurately reflecting the spirit of its age. The erstwhile bad boy outsiders of rock now foundthemselves firmly in the centre of the social and politicalpost-'68 whirlwind, and faced up to the challenge magnificently. The band's confident climb to its artistic peak was begun by BEGGAR'S BANQUET, but LET IT BLEED is a quantum leap even from that musical milestone.
The album's opener, "Gimme Shelter", with its insinuating guitar introduction, leads us decisively out of Flower Power and into a world where rape and murder are "just a shot away", and the Devil of BANQUET is very much alive and taking names. There's a nod to seminal influence Robert Johnson, whose "Love in Vain" is a mandolin-accompanied highlight. The climax arrives in the formof "You Can't Always Get What You Want", bearing referencesto the fallout of the Swinging London era. LET IT BLEED finds the Stones brimming with musical confidence and artistic inspiration.
The Rolling Stones are a household name all over the world, with their music reaching out to fans of all genres and ages. This collection of the band's early hits was originally released in 1975 and contains some of the most ground breaking and unsurpassed music in rock 'n' roll history. 'Rolled Gold+', an extended version of the original (simply entitled 'Rolled Gold'), is the first time the compilation has appeared on CD and boasts such classic tracks as . 'Not Fade Away', 'We love You', 'It's All Over Now', '(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction' and 'Paint It Black' which are just a few of the songs featured.
Formed in 1962 and still a top live draw almost 50 years on, The Rolling Stones are surely the most unique act of the Rock age, still performing dynamic shows and regularly recording new material that stands up as well as anything the competition has to offer. But the period in which the Stones star shone brightest was undoubtedly during the 1960s, when barely a month would go by without a classic new single, a dynamic new album or a news story telling of yet more bad behaviour from the boys! This 2 DVD set explores the fascinating story and extraordinary songs of the UK s most treasured musical asset, as it takes a detailed look at their career throughout the most fascinating period of their history. Featuring contributions from an enormous list of friends, associates and contemporaries and with comment, insight and critique from some of rock s most respected journalists, and including rare band footage, archive interviews, news reels from the era, locations shoots, unseen photographs and a plethora of other features, this beautifully packaged DVD set is amongst the very finest films about this truly exceptional band.
Tony Sanchez worked for Keith Richards for eight years buying drugs, running errands and orchestrating cheap thrills. He records unforgettable accounts of the Stones' perilous misadventures racing cars along the Cote d'Azur; murder at Altamont; nights with the Beatles at the Stones-owned nightclub Vesuvio; frantic flights to Switzerland for blood changes and the steady stream of women, including Anita Pallenberg, Marianne Faithfull and Bianca Jagger. Here are the Stones at their debauched peak cavorting around the world, smashing Bentleys, working black magic, getting raided, snorting coke and mainlining heroin. Sanchez tells the whole truth, sparing not even himself in the process with hard-hitting prose and candid photographs.
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