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View Diary: 4:20 Rock => Greatest Double Albums (128 comments)

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  •  Random thoughts : (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Brecht

    On the unreleased tracks on the "new" Exile; there's a reason they didn't make the cut.

    Best track on Layla?, Key to the Highway, no contest. Eric & Duane trading licks for 9 minutes. I've only recently learned that the arrangement was not original, they stole it from a Little Walter recording.

    •  I agree on the Exile outtakes, but I'm happy to (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Azazello

      hear them. Pretty much anything they touched in the Mick Taylor era ('69-'74) is the real rock'n'roll by me, and Exile doubly so. It does sound better now they cleaned it up some.

      "Problems can't be solved by the same level of thinking that created them" Einstein

      by Brecht on Sat Sep 04, 2010 at 05:50:57 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I often wonder (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Brecht

        what it was about that period, those 4 albums, that made them so good. Was it Mick Taylor or Jimmy Miller, Anita or Gram Parsons, or the smack. Whatever it was that was the classic period and, I agree, Exile was the culmination.

        •  oh, damn and blast. I just wrote my best comment (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          The Walrus, Azazello

          in the whole diary and, before I could publish, some gremlin in my computer chose to vanish it entirely. Well, okay, a clumsy finger of mine might have also been involved.

          I often wonder what it was about that period, those 4 albums, that made them so good. Was it Mick Taylor or Jimmy Miller...

          For the purposes of my cursory research here, let's assume Wikipedia is omniscient. Then Mick Taylor only played on 2 tracks on Let it Bleed.

          So we're talking about:
          1971 - Sticky Fingers
          1972 - Exile on Main St.
          1973 - Goats Head Soup and
          1974 - It's Only Rock 'n Roll.

          I can see five reasons why the Stones were supremely confident and creative in these years:

          1. The core band, except for Mick Taylor, had played together for most of a decade, and conquered the world with singles and albums, TV and tours. So they were a well-trained team, and knew how to make the most of each other's skills.
          1. Keith is the deepest root of the Stones, with his Stonehenge-style huge primal riffs; Mick Taylor complements this with an opposite style of elegant baroque filigree, the perfect yin to Keith's yang.
          1. Jimmy Miller, as he had with Traffic, really got the Stones (Maybe "got" them a little too completely, as he and Mick Taylor tried to follow in the tracks of Keith's lifestyle. Hence "I was standing in line with Mr. Jimmy, and man, did he look pretty ill"). Miller never sliced or diced the Stones' complex vibe, he let the stew simmer and stirred it just enough to make it stronger. My metaphor's getting a bit pungent - in brief, Miller was very simpatico to their swampy '70s sound.
          1. Three great pianists - Ian Stewart, Nicky Hopkins, and Billy Preston - play on all 4 albums. They bring a lot of New Orleans boogie-woogie on the keys, and several other styles as required. Each of these albums has several extra musicians, but the first three of them rely on Bobby Keys and Jim Price anchoring their new horn section, and also have diverse percussionists.
          1. After six years of contending against the Beatles in every arena that pop could provide, the Stones finally won by default. When the MC who was introducing their tour in 1970 started every show with "Ladies and Gentlemen, the Greatest Rock 'n Roll Band in the World, the Rolling Stones", no one ever stopped him - no one had to. The only bands who might prove them wrong (Led Zep, the Who) were out playing their own shows every night, and never heard the boast nor cared.

          So, that's my theory. Thanks for a thought-provoking question. Also for being in these first two Rock diaries of, I hope, my new weekly series.

          "Problems can't be solved by the same level of thinking that created them" Einstein

          by Brecht on Sat Sep 04, 2010 at 11:42:58 PM PDT

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          •  The records I was thinking of, (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Brecht

            that define the "classic" period were Beggar's Banquet, Let It Bleed, Sticky Fingers, and Exile.... I also include Get Your Ya-Yas Out and a couple of live bootlegs from that period. We have Brian fading out, fired by the band in '69, and Keith's ascendancy as band leader. It was a Golden Age indeed as the licks got nastier and the sound grungier; Chuck Berry's blues-based style slowed down a few BPM. There were so many influences, in addition to the ones we've mentioned. For example, Keith stole learned a lot of licks from Ry Cooder. In fact, Cooder claims that the lick that became Honky Tonk Women, my pick for the single greatest rock and roll song ever written, was actually his.

            •  My favorite Stones song is Gimme Shelter, even (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Azazello

              more primal sublime magnificent than Exile. Not an iota of plastic.

              I've read Ry Cooder saying that. There's a Stones bio, best I've read of any rock band, called Old Gods Almost Dead.

              The Stones were a classic singles band until '67. In '68 they put down the acid-washed second-hand Beatles tunes, and picked up a louder electric blues than their early years with "Jumping Jack Flash" and then the 4 albums you mention, which I deem their 4 best. My next 4 would be Aftermath, Goats Head Soup, Some Girls and Tattoo You.

              "Problems can't be solved by the same level of thinking that created them" Einstein

              by Brecht on Mon Sep 06, 2010 at 09:50:58 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

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