Friday, March 09, 2007

The Other Side of the Coin

In the spirit of full-coverage (and because it's Friday, we can't think of anything else to write, and can probably do this quickly) here are the five best albums by The Rolling Stones.

Aftermath - Like an angry, sarcastic letter from a jilted lover, Aftermath, the Stones' first album of all original material, is a dark, sneering masterpiece. It includes their best two overplayed songs - "Paint It Black" and "Under My Thumb", as well as a rarely heard gem called "I Am Waiting", which was used in the film Rushmore but not included on its soundtrack. Only one bad track - "Lady Jane" - a bit la-di-da for our taste.

Beggars Banquet - Side one starts with "Sympathy for the Devil" and side two with "Street Fightin' Man" but it's the lesser known tracks that make this album essential. "Stray Cat Blues" is the ode to love making (read: nasty sex) that Jagger has been trying to rewrite for 25 years, "Jigsaw Puzzle" closes the first side of the record with nihilistic glee, and "Prodigal Son" (originally by Reverend Wilkins) is hands down their best blues cover.

Sticky Fingers - Their first album for Virgin, Sticky Fingers was also Mick Taylor's debut with the group and his razor sharp guitar sets this one apart. Lyrically, (for better or worse) the whole damn thing is about drugs, from "Brown Sugar" (also about sex with black chicks, which we are in favor of) to "Can't You Hear Me Knocking" to "Sister Morphine". It also bodes their best stab at country, "Dead Flowers" and their best, albeit obligatory, Keith Richards ballad, "Sway".

Exile on Main Street - The best drinking record ever made. Over-long, unfocused and out-of-tune, Exile on Main Street is a masterpiece. With songs as varied and original as the collection of pictures that adorns the album's cover, this record defined early seventies rock, appearing just after the hippie-generation became jaded and addicted but well before things got all gay and make-upy. Highlights - "Rocks Off", "Tumbling Dice", "Torn and Frayed", "Shine a Light".

Tattoo You - We know everyone is sick of hearing "Start Me Up" but the other ten songs on this album are pretty damn good. Most people probably put Some Girls or Let it Bleed ahead of this one, but we hate the songs "Respectable" and "Shattered" (really, really hate, to the point where we get mad just thinking about them) from the former and could do without "Country Honk" and "You Got the Silver", both throw-away country nonsense, from the latter. In contrast, every track on Tattoo You is solid and "Waiting on a Friend" is one of the best, most-overlooked Stones' ballads of all time.

4 Comments:

At 11:09 PM, Anonymous Addicted to your Blog said...

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At 11:10 PM, Anonymous Addicted to your Blog said...

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At 3:19 AM, Blogger SMangat said...

"appearing just after the hippie-generation became jaded and addicted but well before things got all gay and make-upy."

brilliance

 
At 5:13 PM, Anonymous MissDornsWritingPhilosophy said...

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