Love You Live

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Love You Live by The Rolling Stones

“Intro: Excerpt From ‘Fanfare For The Common Man'”

“Honky Tonk Women”

“If You Can’t Rock Me/Get Off Of My Cloud”

“Happy”

“Hot Stuff”

“Star Star”

“Tumbling Dice”

“Fingerprint File”

“You Gotta Move”

“You Can’t Always Get What You Want”

“Mannish Boy”

“Crackin’ Up”

“Little Red Rooster”

“Around And Around”

“It’s Only Rock ‘N Roll”

“Brown Sugar”

“Jumpin’ Jack Flash”

“Sympathy For The Devil”

Black And Blue

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Black And Blue by The Rolling Stones

“Hot Stuff”

“Hand Of Fate”

“Cherry Oh Baby”

“Memory Motel”

“Hey Negrita”

“Melody”

“Fool To Cry”

“Crazy Mama”

It’s Only Rock ‘N Roll

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It’s Only Rock ‘N Roll by The Rolling Stones

“If You Can’t Rock Me”

“Ain’t Too Proud To Beg”

“It’s Only Rock ‘N Roll (But I Like It)”

“Till The Next Goodbye”

“Time Waits For No One”

“Luxury”

“Dance Little Sister”

“If You Really Want To Be My Friend”

“Short And Curlies”

“Fingerprint File”

Goats Head Soup

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Goats Head Soup by The Rolling Stones

“Dancing With Mr. D.”

“100 Years Ago”

“Coming Down Again”

“Doo Doo Doo Doo Doo (Heartbreaker)”

“Angie”

“Silver Train”

“Hide Your Love”

“Winter”

“Can You Hear The Music”

“Star Star”

Exile On Main St.

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Exile On Main St. by The Rolling Stones

“Rocks Off”

“Rip This Joint”

“Shake Your Hips”

“Casino Boogie”

“Tumbling Dice”

“Sweet Virginia”

“Torn And Frayed”

“Sweet Black Angel”

“Loving Cup”

“Happy”

“Turd On The Run”

“Ventilator Blues”

“I Just Want To See His Face”

“Let It Loose”

“All Down The Line”

“Stop Breaking Down”

“Shine A Light”

“Soul Survivor”

Sticky Fingers

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Sticky Fingers by The Rolling Stones

“Brown Sugar”

“Sway”

“Wild Horses”

“Can’t You Hear Me Knocking”

“You Gotta Move”

“Bitch”

“I Got The Blues”

“Sister Morphine”

“Dead Flowers”

“Moonlight Mile”

Get Yer Ya-Ya’s Out!

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Get Yer Ya-Ya’s Out! by The Rolling Stones

“Jumpin’ Jack Flash”

“Carol”

“Stray Cat Blues”

“Love In Vain”

“Midnight Rambler”

“Sympathy For The Devil”

“Live With Me”

“Little Queenie”

“Honky Tonk Women”

“Street Fighting Man”

Let It Bleed

From the darkest period of the Rolling Stones’ history comes this, one of their finest albums. The recording of Let It Bleed, sporadically spanning most of 1969, coincided with Brian Jones’ dismissal from the band in June following increasing antagonism over his drink-and-drug-induced inability to function. The flaxen-haired founder had contributed to just two tracks on the record.

By the time it was issued, he was dead. On July 3rd, he was found at the bottom of his swimming pool. The coroner’s verdict was “accidental death”, though rumours of suicide abounded, even a few murder conspiracies. His funeral was a quiet affair in his hometown of Cheltenham, but the Stones’ already-scheduled Hyde Park show two days later, inevitably, became “Brian’s Wake”.

Almost simultaneously with the LP’s release in December, and with Mick Taylor in Jones’ place (as on much of the album), the band played the last gig of their US Tour: the disastrous Altamont Free Concert. The Gimme Shelter movie documents the lack of control and violence that culminated in a man being stabbed to death by the Hell’s Angels “Security”. As the end of the decade drew near, the ideals of the Peace Generation seemed to die there and then.

Along with ex-Bluesbreaker Taylor, there are a host of other guest artists on the album; a trend which the group would continue to exploit in the early 70s. Let It Bleed was their final studio release on Decca, before sealing their own recording rights with that big red tongue. Production, engineering and arrangements credits on Let It Bleed are also extensive, reflecting the drawn-out nature of the proceedings and the shit goin’ down around the band.

There’s a wide diversity of musical styles on the disc: a little blues, of course, some distinctively country twangs (largely Keith Richards’ influence), holocaustic rock and a choral epic. The title was an ironic nod to the Beatles’ already-recorded but then-unreleased epitaph, Let It Be.

The bizarre construction displayed on the sleeve (the work of photographer Robert Brownjohn) echoes the sense of turmoil: a can of acetate for the album, a clock, a pizza and a bike wheel are all stacked precariously on the spindle of an old gramophone. And, the icing on the cake, five tacky Stones figurines amidst a sea of cream and glacé cherries.

On the back cover, the whole thing’s as trashed as a hotel suite after a post-gig party. The ‘Mick’ figure has changed its hair colour, the remaining blond (Brian?) lies face-down in the cream. And just to add to the chaos, the tracklist is completely out of order.

Oh yes (as if you need to be reminded), make sure you follow the instruction printed on the inner-sleeve: “This record should be played loud”.

The Rolling Stones — Let It Bleed: Track-by-track review

1. “Gimme Shelter”
Jagger may sing that “the storm is threatening”, but by the time Let It Bleed was hitting the record stores, the clouds had already burst. The sacking of Brian Jones and his subsequent death had clearly been an enormous blow for everyone who’d known him. The chaos of their Altamont concert, the film of which bears the same title, remains one of the lowest points in the entire history of rock.

The ominous intro sets the scene well enough: spooky ringing guitar, the persistent scratchy percussion, the sinister ‘oo-ooing’ vocal; bass and piano gradually building up to the riff and the verse. For godsake get us outta here: “if I don’t get some shelter, I’m gonna fade away!”

There’s no respite, however. The rhythm rumbles relentlessly, distorted guitar screams like Anastasia and, as the outstanding guest-singer Mary Clayton points out: “war, rape, murder” (and all manner of other unmentioned but implied atrocities) are “just a shout away, just a kiss away…”

2. “Love In Vain”
Although credited as ‘Trad.’, “Love In Vain” is actually a cover of a song by the legendary Delta blues guitarist Robert Johnson. The man who’d allegedly sold his soul at ‘the crossroads’ in the 30s was one of Keith Richards’ favourite players; though realising there was little point simply trying to emulate his style, the arrangement here is very different from the original.

Keith’s intricate picking and Mick’s whistful vocal lead this lament for a lost lady. Slide guitar sounds the whistle and the drums slowly chug her train out of the station, leaving us “so sad, so lonesome” on the platform. Ry Cooder’s exquisite mandolin compounds the melancholy:

It’s hard to tell, it’s hard to tell
When all your love’s in vain

3. “Country Honk”
A reworking of the non-album single “Honky Tonk Women”, the title says enough about the style. Ex-Byrd Gram Parsons had been immersing Richards in country music, and it was also he who recommended fiddle-player Byron Berline for the track. There’s actually some dispute over which came first, the ‘Honk’ or the ‘Tonk’.

Mick adopts a deep-south drawl (direct from the Dartford Delta!) for this playful version, with its singalong chorus and honkin’ car horn ambience. The bar-room’s in Jackson, not Memphis: but go where you will, them goddamn gals will still blow yer mind!

4. “Live With Me”
The hefty bass intro is the work of Richards, not Wyman, with Mick Taylor doubling with him on guitar. There’s double piano too (Leon Russell and Nicky Hopkins), pounding alongside Charlie’s frenetic drumming. The fruity sax is provided by Bobby Keys: his first collaboration with the band, a partnership which continues to this day.

It’s maybe the most typically Stonesy stomper on the album. Jagger struts and crows in his bad-boy role — “nasty habits”, lowlife friends and all. He’s looking for a woman to take care of his “score of harebrained children” and save him from his ensemble of house servants: oh so helpful but completely crazy. But what he’s really after is all too evident: “Dontcha think there’s a place for you in between the sheets?”

5. “Let It Bleed”
The title track, which closes the first side of the LP, once again has a country flavour. Having flirted with the Honky Tonk Hookers and failed to find anybody to “Live With Me”, Mick looks elsewhere for “a little coke and sympathy”.
After all, “we all need someone to lean on/dream on/cream on.” The problem comes when you use ’em (or they use you) to “feed on” or “bleed on”.

The other three surviving Stones take charge of the music, with the ever-dependable Ian Stewart tinkling the ivories. Bill Wyman plays autoharp in addition to his customary bass. It all comes together to accompany one of the band’s most explicit lyrics ever: sex ‘n’ drugs ‘n’ country music!

6. “Midnight Rambler”
Side two’s opener gets things off to a blistering start. Described by Richards as a ‘blues opera’, Jagger tells the tale of a menacing black-cloaked Boston Strangler/Jack the Ripper-style stalker. The twists and turns which the track takes throughout its close-on seven minutes emulate the prowling and pouncing of the sinister central character. Live performances would often have Mick writhing around the stage, wielding his belt like a whip.

The chunky opening riff — vintage Stones — is counterpointed by Mick’s bluesharp (some of his finest playing on record), which continues, overdubbed, to accompany his vocal. Almost imperceptibly, the tempo increases over the course of the first two verses and solo, Charlie Watts effortlessly controlling the acceleration. He too marks the abrupt rhythm change partway through the second solo, kicking in a more stacatto pattern for Mick’s “don’t you do dat” ad-libbing. Then, just as suddenly, the whole thing drops into an almost sweet guitar/harp blues duet.

And so back to the vocal: “Well you heard about the Boston…” [BLAMM!!!] “Honey, it’s not one o’ those…” [BLAMMMMM!!!] Between the speaker-bending fills, the pace begins to pick up once again as Mick continues to recount The Rambler’s grisly nocturnal routine, building to a tumultuous climax:

Baby, an’ it hurts!!!

7. “You Got The Silver”
This bluesy ballad gave Keith Richards (having penned it for his then-girlfriend Anita Pallenberg) his first lone lead vocal. It was recorded during the first sessions for the album, Brian Jones still being around, and just about together enough to provide the gliding autoharp accompaniment — his only audible contribution to the album. Nicky Hopkins’ double-tracked piano and organ and Charlie’s shuffling drums also help back Keith’s guitars sublimely.

It’s a short-but-sweet declaration of love (less than 3 mins). “You got my heart, you got my soul; you got the silver, you got the gold.” Mr Riff-hard handles the delivery with touching tenderness. They did record a version with Mick singing, but stayed with the composer’s cut for the LP.

Seeing Keef and Ronnie duet it acoustic last year in Spain was an unexpected highlight of the show.

8. “Monkey Man”
The gliding piano/guitar intro (Hopkins and Richards) is lifted by producer Jimmy Miller’s tambourine to an explosive drum barrage.

I’m a fleabit peanut monkey
All my friends are junkies
(That’s not really true)

Not all of ’em maybe, but the vast majority: or at least it was certainly starting to get that way.

“Monkey Man” is a statement of pure primal instinct, however polished the accompaniment. “I am just a monkey man, I’m glad you are a monkey woman too.” Jagger’s voice cavorts like an ape in the treetops as he screams the refrain: “nothin’ but a monkey!” Or, given the weirdness of much of the lyric, maybe that should be ‘out of his tree.’

At times the music swings along with him, at others it scales its own creepers. Mick also throws in what could be taken as the band’s mission statement:

I hope we’re not to messianic or a trifle too satanic
We love to play the blues

Primal instinct!

9. “You Can’t Always Get What You Want”
The final number on the LP was actually the first to be recorded, over twelve months previously. (‘Version 1’ was the edited cut which had backed the ‘Honky Tonk Women’ single earlier in the year.)

Here, at seven and a half minutes, backed by the London Bach Choir (arrangement by the legendary Jack Nitzche), with organ, piano and brass (all courtesy of Al Kooper), “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” assumes an anthemic majesty. Curiously, Charlie ceded the sticks to the album’s producer “Mr Jimmy” Miller for the track. It’s often been cited as the Stones’ “Hey Jude”, an analogy which Mick Jagger, for one, has always been happy enough with.

As the choral crescendo climbs to the grand finale, we bid a nostalgic farewell to the Sixties: there’s no way of turning back the clock, “you can’t always get what you want”. Yet, at the dawn of the new decade, there’re sure to be new challenges, new glories, new paths to explore: “you just might find you get what you need!” Or, at very least, what you deserve.

Let It Bleed by The Rolling Stones

“Gimme Shelter”

“Love In Vain”

“Country Honk”

“Live With Me”

“Let It Bleed”

“Midnight Rambler”

“You Got The Silver”

“Monkey Man”

“You Can’t Always Get What You Want”

Beggars Banquet

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Beggars Banquet by The Rolling Stones

“Sympathy For The Devil”

“No Expectations”

“Dear Doctor”

“Parachute Woman”

“Jigsaw Puzzle”

“Street Fighting Man”

“Prodigal Son”

“Stray Cat Blues”

“Factory Girl”

“Salt Of The Earth”

Their Satanic Majesties Request

After 40 years, Their Satanic Majesties Request easily remains the most controversial album of the Rolling Stones’ long career. Disowned by all of the surviving band members and a good number of the fans, it is only recently that it has slowly began to become a underground Stones Classic. Recorded under extremely difficult circumstances over the course of 1967, it has unjustly suffered comparisons to the Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper. It easily the band’s most eclectic record, and deserves a second (if not first) listen.

Nineteen sixty-seven was a very messy year for the Stones — Mick, Keith and Brian were all involved is brutal drug busts, they had fired their manager/producer Andrew Oldham, and there were also many personal problems within the band itself. With Mick and Keith left to produce the record by themselves, the sessions were drawn out and spotty. A bootleg collection entitled The Satanic Sessions is a wonderful chronicle of long drawn out process of recording this album. Mick himself has stated, “Its a miracle any album got produced at all!”

While not your basic Stones rocker, this album is very rewarding for those open to these guys trying new ideas. One thing that has immensely helped this album was the 2002 ABCKO Records remastered reissue — the formerly muddy sound was brightened considerably, and has allowed some of the more subtle moments to surface.The Rolling Stones — Their Satanic Majesties Request: Track-by-track review

1. “Sing This All Together”
Opening with a slightly discordant horn riff, “Sing This All Together” is a mild kick-off to the album. Featuring horn riffs by Brian, and very secret backing voices by certain Liverpudlians, it’s a fairly interesting opener with some interesting lyrics that probably are a very good picture of the band’s mood of the time:

Pictures of us through the steamy haze
Pictures of us painted in our place

Very strange, yet compelling!

The track ends with another discordant horn riff which goes directly to the next song…

NERDLETS — One-sentence impressions of this song

2. “Citadel”
The crashing guitar riff opening this track! The only real rocker on the album, “Citadel” is great, fairly psychedelic imagery of a futuristic world:

Flags are flying dollar bills
Round the heights of concrete hill
You can see the pinnacles

A great energetic mashing of guitars, harpsichord and the mellotron!

NERDLETS — One-sentence impressions of this song

3. “In Another Land”
Leave it to Bill, the ‘straightest’ band member, to put one of the weirdest tracks on the album! A great song about dreaming, “In Another Land” features great lyrics and a sense of ‘strangeness’ about it.

Too shy to have his vocals heard straight, Bill had engineer Glyn Johns turn the vibrato up on his vocal, and the result is appropriately otherworldly. Its too bad that the band never encouraged or helped Bill to write more, as there are several tracks in the vault which shows he had SOME potential to possibly be that ‘extra writer’ they occasionally could have used a la John Entwistle…

The track ends with a snippet of a gag recording the boys made of Bill snoring in the loo.

NERDLETS — One-sentence impressions of this song

4. “2000 Man”
A classic track with very prescient lyrics by Jagger. It starts slowly with acoustic guitar, the slowly builds until the band is crashing all around. Beautiful, amazingly far-sighted lyrics here:

Well my name is a number
A piece of plastic film
And I’m growin’ funny flowers
In my little window sill

Well my wife still respects me
I really misused her
I am having an affair
With a random computer

Sounds like 21st century life, no?

Jagger not only foreshadows that, but also the ‘green’ movement (‘Oh daddy be proud of your planet’) and a future Generation Gap (‘And your kids they just won’t understand you at all’).

NERDLETS — One-sentence impressions of this song

5. “Sing This All Together (See What Happens)”
Opening with an open studio mic, people laughing… coughing… and then Mick asks the classic, “Wheres that joint?”

So begins a very untogether yet interesting jam. Lots of bongos playing, piano wandering in and out horn riffs, and semi random guitar… a bit odd and disjointed, but fun!

Again, the boys from Liverpool are ‘unofficially’ there — just listen for somebody’s trademark screams. It ends with yet another ‘sing this all together’ lyric, and ends the first side with noodling on the mellotron by Wyman — slow it down and the Stones wish you a Happy Christmas! (The original album title was Cosmic Christmas.)

NERDLETS — One-sentence impressions of this song

6. “She’s A Rainbow”
Opening with the sound of a baliff cordoning off reporters at one of the many Stones trials of 1967, “She’s a Rainbow is simply as beautiful a track as the band has ever done!

Featuring the classical piano of either Nicky Hopkins or Brian (no one is quite sure!), and a wonderful string arrangement by future Led Zep John Paul Jones, it has terrific lyrics and a great Jagger vocal.

Have you seen her dressed in blue
See the sky in front of you
And her face is like a sail
Speck of white so fair and pale
Have you seen the lady fairer

NERDLETS — One-sentence impressions of this song

7. “The Lantern”
Beginning with haunting bells, “The Lantern” is a very underrated track. Again, great lyrics by Jagger about a guy seeing his ghostly lover:

You crossed the sea of night,
Free from the spell of fright
Your cloak it is a spirit shroud.
You’ll wake me in my sleeping hours

Musically, Keith’s electric guitar uses sustain to great effect, Nicky Hopkins’ rollicking piano moves things long, and again Brian contributes key multiple horns.

When initially released, the music track was slightly muddy and indistinct, but the 2002 remastering has helped this immensely — the guitar has a sharper edge, and the horns are more distinct.

NERDLETS — One-sentence impressions of this song

8. “Gomper”
Truncated lyrics hurt this a bit, as it ends up being another jam — but this ‘jam’ is much better! A Brian Jones tour de force — it is amazing when one realizes that the swirling intensifying jam is all Brian on sitar, tabla and other instruments! This is another one of the tracks one the album that one dismisses on initial listening, but as one delves deeper into the instrumentation and the feel becomes much more appreciated.

This is another track that the original production hindered, and has been ‘rescued’ by the ABKCO remastering. When compared to the LP and the original CD release everything is sharper, more distinct, and much more intense.

NERDLETS — One-sentence impressions of this song

9. “2000 Light Years From Home”
THE best track on the album. A sci-fi classic with a haunting music track that perfectly conveys the loneliness of the lyrics. Mick Jagger apparently wrote the lyric while sitting a jail cell:

Sun turnin’ ’round with graceful motion
We’re setting off with soft explosion
Bound for a star with fiery oceans
It’s so very lonely, you’re a hundred light years from home

Brian’s mellotron is perfect weaving in and out of the track — supposedly the song was NOT going to be on the album, then Brian added the mellotron, and it instantly jelled. There also some early synthesizer effects added by Wyman that fit in nicely. The band itself sets it up at a fine pace — never overplaying (or underplaying) the tempo.

Easily the best song on the Their Satanic Majesties Request.

NERDLETS — One-sentence impressions of this song

10. “On With The Show”
The ending track is very strange — a parody of the British after hours clubs. It starts with a barker trying to induce guys into his club, and sets off into Kinks/Pepper Land.

Musically, this as close as the album actually gets to Sgt Pepper — definitely emulating the music hall feel of tracks like Mr. Kite, or any Kinks track from that era — lots of strange shifts into cha-cha and over twilling of piano.

Mick does the first sets of lyrics apparently through a faux megaphone in the style of Rudy Vallee, and then gently tweaks the husbands seeking a late night thrill:

Good evening one and all we’re all so glad to see you here
We’ll play your favorite songs while you all soak up the atmosphere
We’ll start with ‘Old Moon River’, then maybe ‘Stormy Weather’, too
I’m sure you know just what to do
On with the show good health to you

… and so on.

Even odder is addition of recordings Mick made of him talking to various ‘rinsed out blondes’ in bars, who have NO clue who they are talking to! (“now tell me, ‘ho are you really”). It all ends with one of the blondes going “Now tell me, you didn’t record any of this now, did ya?” Mick: “Oh no… no I didnt.”

A very strange ending to an otherwise different and interesting Stones album!

Their Satanic Majesties Request by The Rolling Stones

“Sing This All Together”

“Citadel”

“In Another Land”

“2000 Man”

“Sing This All Together (See What Happens)”

“She’s A Rainbow”

“The Lantern”

“Gomper”

“2000 Light Years From Home”

“On With The Show”