The Rolling Stones is one of the most successful rock bands of all time. All of their albums are extremely popular with music fans and the Rolling Stones is one of the few bands that actually ‘ wanders’ on the verge of fame rather than greatness. As fans we all love to sing and dance to their songs, twirl our heads on those moustaches and discuss those great songs. I am one of those fans and I love to sing and dance to their songs, think I may even have my own dance routine for You (The Rolling Stones, No.2, 1978):0 The dancing will begin with the following lines:1 This isn’t love, stop…no love.2 It’s not looking for love, it’s looking for respect.
Unfortunately, the love then flows in the wrong direction. Having said that, the two most outstanding songs from the two albums namely Honky Tonk Women and Miss You are two extraordinary songs and I would urge anyone to listen to them. However, if you are a ‘song listener’ who wants to learn to pay more attention to the songs that the Stones actually wrote then I also recommend you read more below.
All Time Low (1972)
The best introduction to the Stones Most Royal Mistake (Scala of StringCheese) is this song, which puts the focus immediately on Mick Jagger’s guitar virtuosity. The song does not in any way resemble Lady in Red and contrary to rumour has no Lady in Red parts. This is the introduction to the introduction to Jagger’s world which, shortly afterwards, he would turn into one of the most successful and longest lasting rock stars of all time. The absurdity of the line “The girl went special” is so endearing to the listener that it cannot be mentioned in a list of over twenty pop cultural phenomena. It is endearing because of its catchiness, unique style, and because the line is immediately recognizable. Watch the first few bars of the second verse and you will convey a feeling that you are almost hearing this song for the very first time. Spooky, yet strangely appealing.
Sympathy For The Devil (1973)
There were a number of covers of this song before the Stones finally released their version in 1973 but the original recording of this is genuine. This is the only cover that the Stones ever did that was solely performed by the band. Given their otherwise rocky history with respect to recording tracks they followed Mick Jagger’s lead and wrote the song themselves. It is difficult for critics and fans alike to Reconstruction what this song was thinking or feeling when they created it but they were very genuine in their engagement with the lyrics and the story of the song. This was by no means an easy song for the band to play and slow, Rakim-style guitar struggles can be heard throughout the track as part of a process called rakcing which was the name of the album, or compilation album which this track was included on.
B Kangar Special (1979)
Yet again an unusual cover but this time the Stones shirked the temptation to cover the tin drums and recorded a cover intro instead. This track also features a lot of background singing which helps to give it the allure that the band were looking for at this point in their careers. The way the song progresses throughout lacks any doubt that they were very aware of the problems that the band were in dealing with and perhaps felt that they were in danger of becoming a one trick pony if they continued to experiment with new ways of approaching things.
Who Killed Christopher Robin?
The Who Killed Christopher Robin? was the name given to the track from the album which catapulted the band back into the charts again after a break of around a decade. The debate centred mainly on the lyrics and singer Ian Stewart’s vigor in front of the microphone. The final official version released in 1979 added a second verse which speaks of an orchestrated cover which included a orchestra finale. The track was released as a single 7 inch and eventual became a part of a 2 disc combo album which was the first time in history that both a band released a double album. The album became a hit and pushed the band forward to the next level of success.
Hangar 18 is the track which cut the band out of the doldrums of unsigned status. Perhaps the most memorable strop chose by the band to highlight the working methods of international rock bands. ‘ ticking over’ was the term given to the practice of a radio DJ in prepared to play a track; if the crowd responded positively it would be added to the playlist. It was a way of gaining ground and a bit of a ‘country slap talk’ with the working man’s passion for music typical of that time.