Tuesday, April 14, 2015

I’ve got a couple of crates full of old vinyl albums that I haven’t listened to in years due to lack of equipment to play them. Over a period of about a year and a half I revisited each album on the internet or bought the CD and ranked the songs. I also recorded some brief thoughts, rated the album, and posted the results on Rolling Stone’s 100 Greatest Artists comment section. I’m recycling and categorizing/grouping the posts on this website.

Let It Bleed
Ok, so I’ve since replaced this one with a CD, so it hasn’t been all that long since I’ve heard it.
My second favorite Stones album.
(P.S. - It’s a good song, but given its popularity I consider “You Can’t Always Get” to be one of the most overrated Rolling Stones songs)
Scale of 1 to 10:  A+

1- Monkey Man
2- Gimme Shelter
3- Live With Me
4- Country Honk
5- Let It Bleed
6- Midnight Rambler
7- You Can’t Always Get What You Want
8- Love In Vain
9- You Got The Silver

Sticky Fingers
My favorite Stones album. Four songs are in the top six on my “Stones” list, six songs in the top thirty. And a favorite among the masses – “Wild Horses” – isn’t one of ‘em.
Scale of 1 to 10:  A+

1- Can’t You Hear Me Knocking
2- Bitch
3- Brown Sugar
4- Sway
5- Dead Flowers
6- Moonlight Mile
7- Sister Morphine
8- Wild Horses
9- I Got the Blues
10- You Gotta Move

Exile on Main Street
Many, including RS, consider this to be the best Rolling Stones album. Personally, I rank it third, but wouldn’t argue against a top ranking. It just happens to be one of three great, classic albums, and they can’t all be considered the best. Solid all the way through save a couple or three songs. Possibly Jagger’s best work, which is saying a lot considering some other Stones albums. And as I listen to this one I’m reminded that really, there were more than five band members in the Rolling Stones during their “Golden Era”.  The contributions from the brass (Bobby Keys on the sax, for one) and the piano/keyboard (usually Nicky Hopkins but sometimes Ian Stewart or occasionally Billy Preston) were huge to say the least. The piano/keyboard carries a few good songs on this album and in some instances IS the song aside from the vocals. Not much else to say about this one that hasn’t already been said, other than here’s how I rank the songs.
Scale of 1 to 10:  A+

1- Let it Loose
2- Loving Cup
3- Sweet Virginia
4- All Down the Line
5- Shine a Light
6- Ventilator Blues
7- Rocks Off
8- Casino Boogie
9- Stop Breaking Down
10- Happy
11- Tumbling Dice
12- Soul Survivor
13- Rip This Joint
14- Torn and Frayed
15- Just Want to See His Face
16- Sweet Black Angel
17- Shake Your Hips
18- Turd on the Run

Goat’s Head Soup
I consider the Rolling Stones’ “Golden Era” to start with the first note of “Beggar’s Banquet” and end with the last note of “Some Girls”. This album ranks in the lower half of that grouping, but I still like it more than any album that’s not within this time frame. I love “100 Years Ago” and rank it #11 on my list of top Stones songs. Many say “Winter” is the best from this album. And as you can see, I like the song too but I think it’s aptly titled because I literally find the song to be seasonal. It’s best when played on a cold, snow-white winter day. Doesn’t work as well in the summer, imo.
Scale of 1 to 10:  B

1- 100 Years Ago
2- Winter
3- Star Star
4- Angie
5- Doo Doo Doo Doo Doo (Heartbreaker)
6- Dancing With Mr. D
7- Silver Train
8- Can You Hear the Music
9- Hide Your Love
10- Coming Down Again

Beggars Banquet
Now we’re cookin’! I’m too young to remember when this album came out, but it takes all of about 30 seconds into the first song – “Sympathy for Devil” – to realize that this is the best and most advanced music the Rolling Stones have produced to date (the date of the album, I mean). What happened? - aside from an improvement in recording technology? It’s almost as if they cut a deal with Lucifer himself and this song was a down payment for what lie ahead – The Golden Era. Their earlier albums were good, but this is when they became exceptional. No weak spots on this album. But still, there’s no more than two songs that I would consider top 50 Stones. I had a hard time deciding between the two so I let general consensus be the tie-breaker. “Stray Cat” is a killer song, though, and the “Ya-Ya’s” version is even better if that’s possible. My rating of an A-minus might be a little strong, but I’m sticking with it ‘cuz a B-plus is too weak.
Scale of 1 to 10:  A –
1- Sympathy for the Devil
2- Stray Cat Blues
3- Salt of the Earth
4- No Expectations
5- Jigsaw Puzzle
6- Prodigal Son
7- Street Fighting Man
8- Parachute Woman
9- Factory Girl
10- Dear Doctor

It’s Only Rock ‘n Roll
Most consider Exile on Main Street to be the closing point of the Rolling Stones’ Golden Era. My definition extends the era to include albums like this one. “Time Waits for No One” is second on my all-time Stones song list. Mick Taylor, baby! His swan song as a member of the band - leaving a trail of giant footprints on his way out the door. I didn’t care for “Fingerprint File” so much back in the vinyl days. Considered it to be kinda “disco”. But these days I’m lovin’ it with a bullet. ‘Specially the riff and the way it drops back in at the 3:29 mark in the clip I posted. I could do without Jagger’s whispering at the end, though.
Scale of 1 to 10:  B +

1- Time Waits For No One
2- Fingerprint File
3- It’s Only Rock ‘n Roll (But I Like It)
4- Dance Little Sister
5- If You Can’t Rock Me
6- Luxury
7- Ain’t Too Proud to Beg
8- Short and Curlies
9- If You Really Want to be My Friend
10- Till the Next Goodbye

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