The Rolling Stones - where do I start?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Sebastian_M, Aug 13, 2001.

  1. Sebastian_M

    Sebastian_M Stunt Coordinator

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    Being on 16 years old, I haven't heard all that much of the Stones work. The only full album of theirs I've heard is "Exile on Main Street" which was phenomenal so I want to listen to some more. Where should I start? What albums are great, what singles are great?
    Thanks,
    Seb
    ------------------
    All that is gold does not glitter,
    Not all those who wander are lost;
    The old that is strong does not wither,
    Deep roots are not reached by the frost.
    From the ashes a fire shall be woken,
    A light from the shadows shall spring;
    Renewed shall be blade that was broken,
    The crownless again shall be king.
     
  2. Henry Gale

    Henry Gale Producer

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    Sebastian,
    I'm a fan, so there are a LOT of Stones CDs, LDs, 33s, 45s, and DVDs in my collection....but when I read your question one record came to mind:
    Get Yer Ya-Ya's Out
    Then buy everything else. [​IMG]
    [Edited last by Jim Armstrong on August 13, 2001 at 11:22 PM]
     
  3. Jason_H

    Jason_H Second Unit

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    Exile on Main Street is an excllent start. Now go forth and get Sticky Fingers. [​IMG]
     
  4. Kevin Leonard

    Kevin Leonard Supporting Actor

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    Now this is right up my alley [​IMG]
    Seb, let me first congratulate you on your exquisite taste. Exile is the last album in what many consider the Stones' "classic period"...where they could do no wrong. This covers the years 1968 - 1972. The albums are:
    Beggars Banquet (1968)
    Let It Bleed (1969)
    Get Your Ya-Ya's Out! [live album] (1970)
    Sticky Fingers (1971)
    Exile On Main Street (1972)
    All of these are highly reccomended; Beggars and Let It Bleed are a mixture of folk, country, blues and rock...Let It Bleed rocks a bit harder.
    Sticky Fingers is a flat-out, balls-to-the-wall rock album with a few country and blues number thrown in for good measure. It's my personal favorite. [​IMG]
    I'll go through all their albums, giving a sense of each album and mentioning notable tracks:
    The Rolling Stones (England's Newest Hitmakers) - Tons of R&B and blues covers...enjoyable, but not essential.
    (Notable songs: "Not Fade Away," "Tell Me," "Route 66")
    12 X 5 - More covers, but with a more rocking sound.
    (Notable songs: "Time Is On My Side," "Susie-Q")
    The Rolling Stones Now! - TON of R&B with some pop songs thrown in for good measure.
    (Notable songs: "Heart of Stone," "Little Red Rooster," "What A Shame," "Surprise Surprise")
    Out of Our Heads - here is where Jagger and Richards' songwriting really took off; tons of classics and some incredibly hard rock to be found here.
    (Notable songs: "Satisfaction," "The Last Time," "Play with Fire")
    December's Children - a pure blast of punkish energy; it's almost like the group was on speed while making these songs.
    (Notable songs: "She Said Yeah," "I'm Free," "Get Off of My Cloud")
    Aftermath - tons of musical experimentation; very moody and creepy (but hypnotic!) atmosphere
    (Notable songs: "Under My Thumb," "Paint It Black," "Flight 505")
    Between the Buttons - a pop masterpiece. Lots of infectious rockers and lovely ballads. If you like The Kinks, pick this one up.
    (Notable songs: "Ruby Tuesday," "Let's Spend the Night Together," "Miss Amanda Jones," "Connection")
    Flowers - US only compilation of leftovers from UK releases. Great stuff, but only half of the album contains new music.
    (Notable songs: "Have You Seen Your Mother, Baby, Standing In the Shadow?," "Please Go Home," "Mother's Little Helper," "Sittin' On A Fence")
    Their Satanic Majesties Request - psychedelica, plain and simple. Very surreal...this is more about atmosphere than music IMHO.
    (Notable songs: "2000 Light Years From Home," "She's A Rainbow")
    Beggars Banquet
    (Notable songs: "Sympathy For the Devil," "No Expectations," "Jigsaw Puzzle," "Street Fighting Man")
    Let It Bleed
    (Notable songs: "Gimme Shelter," "You Can't Always Get What You Want," "Midnight Rambler," "Love In Vain")
    Sticky Fingers
    (Notable songs: "Brown Sugar," "Can't You Hear Me Knocking," "Wild Horses," "Bitch")
    Goats Head Soup - an odd mixture of rock and ballads. Very professional, with some undeniable classics.
    (Notable songs: "Angie," "Winter," "Star, Star [Starf**ker]")
    It's Only Rock n' Roll - very uneven. A lot of great tracks, but a lot of half-assed ones as well.
    (Notable songs: "It's Only Rock n' Roll," "Fingerprint File," "Time Waits For No One")
    Black and Blue - the Stones' funk workout. Very long numbers here; finds the band in a transitional period.
    (Notable songs: "Crazy Mama," "Memory Motel," "Fool to Cry," "Hey Negrita")
    Some Girls - a mixture of new wave, disco and punk. A lot of fun to listen to...but make sure no females are around while listening to it. [​IMG]
    (Notable songs: "Shattered," "Beast of Burden," "Miss You," "When the Whip Comes Down")
    Emotional Rescue - avoid like the plague; a VERY half-assed follow up to Some Girls.
    (Notable songs: "Emotional Rescue," "Dance (Pt. 1)")
    Tattoo You - a collection of outtakes from previous recording sessions. Holds together quite well...a mixture of classic Keith riffs, fine wailing by Jagger and the always cool drumbeats of Charlie Watts.
    (Notable songs: "Waiting on a Friend," "Start Me Up," "Little T&A")
    Undercover - really bad. Unless you're a completist, don't bend over backwards to locate it.
    (Notable songs: "Undercover of the Night," "Too Much Blood")
    Dirty Work - take the crappiest tracks on Undercover and multiply that by 2 and you'll get this. Another must-AVOID.
    (Notable songs: uh, don't think so [​IMG] )
    Steel Wheels - their revered comeback. Don't believe the hype. Some great rock songs and ballads, but nothing to get excited about.
    (Notable songs: "Contintental Drift," "Almost Hear You Sigh")
    Voodoo Lounge - THIS is the Stones' comeback. Absolutely classic mix of rock, blues and ballads, with touches of funk and acoustics. Overlong, but that's why the "Skip Foward" button was created. [​IMG]
    (Notable songs: "Love Is Strong," "Sparks Will Fly," "Thru and Thru," "I Go Wild")
    Bridges to Babylon - the Stones attempt to be hip by hiring hot producers and use new recording methods (samples, tape loops). Sometimes it works; most of the time it doesn't.
    (Notable songs: "Might As Well Get Juiced," "Gunface," "Flip the Switch," "Saint of Me")
    Whew! [​IMG] There you go. If you want a compilation, try to find Hot Rocks; there are a lot of classics missing on there, but it has the basic essentials for a Stones newbie.
    If you can afford it, skip over Hot Rocks and buy the 3-disc Singles Collection; it contains all their 60's classics and a lot of rare gems as well.
    For a more comprehensive review of the Stones' output, I highly reccomend you check out this link: http://starling.rinet.ru/music/stones.htm
    And one more thing: a lot of the Stones' albums are full-price ($15), and for their early 60's output, the CD's are no longer than 35 minutes at the most. Try to find them used if you can. Amazon.com often have a lot of their classic works available from used sellers.
    Happy listening!
    [Postscript: there are other albums I've failed to mention--Got Live If You Want It!, Love You Live, Flashpoint, Still Life, Stripped and No Security. These are all live albums that basically serve as a souvenir of whatever tour said album was recorded. None of them remain essential.
    If you must get your fix of live Stones, grab Get Your Ya-Ya's Out! and Stripped; the former is a 50-minute hard rock set, while the latter is a (mostly) acoustic set.]
    ------------------
    Have you ever noticed anyone driving slower than you is an idiot? And anyone driving faster than you is a maniac!! - George Carlin
    ICQ: 55259446 (or just search for "John Shaft"...can you dig?)
    [Edited last by Kevin Leonard on August 21, 2001 at 07:57 PM]
     
  5. Greg_Y

    Greg_Y Screenwriter

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    Just stay away from the greatest hits albums. They're not worth it because you'll be missing too much. Just start by buying the albums.
    I would recommend these:
    Beggars Banquet
    Let It Bleed
    Sticky Fingers
     
  6. DonaldB

    DonaldB Supporting Actor

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    Some great advice so far. If you can only get one album to start with, make sure it's LET IT BLEED -- it features the Stones at the height of their creative powers and contains no filler.
    And by all means, be sure to get Criterion's Gimme Shelter DVD if you don't already have it.
     
  7. Mikael Soderholm

    Mikael Soderholm Supporting Actor

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    Kevin,
    that was really great, thanks. I thought I knew a bit about the Stones, but this was the best short discography I've ever read [​IMG]. It really should be archived.
    I realize I need to upgrade my Stones' collection...
     
  8. Anthony Hom

    Anthony Hom Supporting Actor

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    The only greatest hits packages I would recommend is the European versions of Hot Rocks 1 and Hot Rocks 2. (they are two separate CDs instead of one 2CD set)
    Most notably Hot Rocks 1 has stereo versions of many early stones hits that are mono almost everywhere else.
     
  9. Sebastian_M

    Sebastian_M Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks for the replies guys. And thank you Kevin! I now know where to start! One of my managers where I work used to be a general manager at an HMV and can get me CDs at cost so I'll be picking up a few disks in the next little while from your suggestions.
    Seb
    ------------------
    All that is gold does not glitter,
    Not all those who wander are lost;
    The old that is strong does not wither,
    Deep roots are not reached by the frost.
    From the ashes a fire shall be woken,
    A light from the shadows shall spring;
    Renewed shall be blade that was broken,
    The crownless again shall be king.
     
  10. Sebastian_M

    Sebastian_M Stunt Coordinator

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    Well I've now experienced "Beggar's Banquet" and "Let it Bleed" which were both spectacular. Next up is "Sticky Fingers"! [​IMG]
    Seb
     
  11. Sebastian_M

    Sebastian_M Stunt Coordinator

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    Just finished listening to "Sticky Fingers". I think I like "Let it Bleed" more, but this is still very good. My favourite songs on the album, "Brown Sugar", "Sway", and "Sister Morphine". There are some very nice, bluesy, jazzy, rock songs on this album like "I Got the Blues" and the way the Stones were able to cross the different music styles is great. Very enjoyable album. [​IMG]
    Seb
    ------------------
    All that is gold does not glitter,
    Not all those who wander are lost;
    The old that is strong does not wither,
    Deep roots are not reached by the frost.
    From the ashes a fire shall be woken,
    A light from the shadows shall spring;
    Renewed shall be blade that was broken,
    The crownless again shall be king.
     
  12. Kevin Leonard

    Kevin Leonard Supporting Actor

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    Nice to see you're enjoying the Stones' greatest era, Sebastian. If you want your fill of classic early-60's Stones, I have to once again strongly reccomend these four albums:
    The Rolling Stones Now! (1964)
    Out of Our Heads (1965)
    December's Children (1965)
    Aftermath (1966)
    Really, this is where the Stones hit their stride. These four albums contain the bulk of what made them so popular in the early 60's. Just classic after classic hits your ears.
    However, there is a drawback or two. Like I said in my previous post, the albums are relatively short. Aside from Aftermath, the albums are barely over 30 minutes (December's Children clocks in at 28 minutes). Not much time to soak in all the songs; plus with a retail price of $14 - $18 each, one can't help but feel a bit cheated.
    Another problem is that in a sense these aren't "true" albums. Like the Beatles, when the Stones' albums were brought to the US in the 60's, the companies would chop up the original product, deleting tunes, adding songs from previous albums or rearranging the track order (or sometimes all three). December's Children, despite being one of my top 5 Stones albums, is really nothing more than a collection of outtakes, b-sides and live tracks.
    When the CD's came out, the US albums were used for reasons which would take too long to explain. So you're not really getting the whole album. Their Satanic Majesties Request and all albums from then on were released in the US uncut.
    On the other hand, this affords US audiences to get ahold of several rare tracks that would be hard for UK audiences to obtain. But I'd take the original running order over rare songs any day.
    But don't let that detract you from buying the discs; they should be in any rock fan's collection.
    (Oh, one more thing: there are three songs that were released as singles only: "19th Nervous Breakdown," "Honky Tonk Women" and "Jumping Jack Flash." Believe me when I say these are three VERY essential songs in the Stones' canon. Problem is they're available only in compilations. Your best bet is to use whatever file-sharing program you have on your computer and download them.)
    And do what DonaldB said: pick up the Criterion Gimme Shelter DVD when you can! You won't be let down.
    Mikael,
    Thanks for the kind words. Archived? Oh, now I'm blushing [​IMG]
    ------------------
    Have you ever noticed anyone driving slower than you is an idiot? And anyone driving faster than you is a maniac!! - George Carlin
    ICQ: 55259446 (or just search for "John Shaft"...can you dig?)
    [Edited last by Kevin Leonard on August 18, 2001 at 01:37 PM]
     
  13. Sebastian_M

    Sebastian_M Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks for the information Kevin. I have a friend who is a big Stones fan too and he told me that he thinks their best period, and the best of any band ever, was the four year stretch of Beggar's Banquet-Exile. What do you think?
    Thanks,
    Seb
    ------------------
    All that is gold does not glitter,
    Not all those who wander are lost;
    The old that is strong does not wither,
    Deep roots are not reached by the frost.
    From the ashes a fire shall be woken,
    A light from the shadows shall spring;
    Renewed shall be blade that was broken,
    The crownless again shall be king.
     
  14. Colin Jacobson

    Colin Jacobson Lead Actor

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    Can't say that I agree with all your statements, Kevin, but that's still a nice list. Nitpicky correction: "Fool to Cry" is off Black and Blue, not Steel Wheels...
    ------------------
    Colin Jacobson
    DVD Movie Guide
    www.dvdmg.com
     
  15. Kevin Leonard

    Kevin Leonard Supporting Actor

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    Colin,
    D'oh! I was doing some of the albums from memory...I have made the correct changes. Besides, getting one song out of 20-plus albums wasn't too bad, eh? [​IMG]
    (And out of curiosity, was one of your disagreements Their Satanic Majesties Request? That album always sharply divides fans; if you couldn't tell from my assessment, I'm not a big fan of the disc.)
    Sebastian,
    The Stones' '68 - '72 period is indeed a very impressive run and without a doubt will be remembered as the band's finest times. But I don't think it's the finest can-do-no-wrong stretch in music history. Some periods that rival the Stones':
    Bob Dylan (1965 - 1969)
    The Kinks (1966 - 1971)
    Elvis Costello (1977 - 1986)
    Prince (1982 - 1987)
    David Bowie (1971 - 1980; yes, I even liked Young Americans)
    The Pixies (1988 - 1991; though this is basically their entire career [​IMG] )
    Michael Jackson (1979 - 1987)
    Stevie Wonder (1972 - 1976)
    And of the course the king of impressive runs:
    The Beatles (1965 - 1969)
    And so on and so on. Really, it's all a matter of opinion. Regardless of one's feelings though, all of the Stones' works from '68 - '72 remain essential items in any rock fan's collection.
    ------------------
    Have you ever noticed anyone driving slower than you is an idiot? And anyone driving faster than you is a maniac!! - George Carlin
    ICQ: 55259446 (or just search for "John Shaft"...can you dig?)
    [Edited last by Kevin Leonard on August 21, 2001 at 07:55 PM]
     
  16. Colin Jacobson

    Colin Jacobson Lead Actor

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  17. Kevin Leonard

    Kevin Leonard Supporting Actor

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    I dunno, Colin, it seems you like the Stones' post-70's work more than I do. To perfectly honest, IMHO you could probably collect all the decent 1980 - 1989 Stones tracks on one CD. Maybe it was the band members' drug habits (Keith, Ron and apparently Charlie for a brief time), Mick's disinterest in the group or their attempts to keep with the times, but a lot of their 80's-era material just smacks of creative bankruptcy.
    quote: Elvis Costello (1977 - 1986)[/quote]
    quote: You DO realize this includes Punch the Clock and Goodbye Cruel World, right?[/quote]
    Of course. Take a look at what's under my name... [​IMG]
    Regardless, I happen to love Punch the Clock; true, a lot of the lyrics are not up to snuff with his previous work, but it sure as hell is one enjoyable pop album. That's why, I think, fans don't hold it up in higher regard--because it doesn't have lofty ideas (Imperial Bedroom) or an ultra-messy sound (This Year's Model...my personal fav by the way). It's just--with the possible exceptions of "Shipbuilding" and "Pills and Soap"--a series of catchy pop songs.
    On the original 13-track album, there's only one song ("TKO (Boxing Day)") that I skip over, while I often find myself skipping over a few tracks on Imperial Bedroom, My Aim Is True and Trust.
    Goodbye Cruel World I'm starting to take a liking to; yes, the sound reeks of 80's-synth hell, but quite a few songs on that album rank among his finest, and really, it's quite a good album if you can deal with the sound.
    quote: Prince (1982 - 1987)[/quote]
    quote: For Prince, how can you omit 1980's Dirty Mind, 1981's Controversy and 1988's Lovesexy?[/quote]
    Well, because Controversy is a pretty pedestrian album and Dirty Mind is OK, not a masterpiece like everybody likes to claim it is. I don't have Lovesexy--but I am working on correcting that problem. [​IMG]
    And frankly, 1999 is pretty damn overrated IMHO. This is where Prince's main fault lies: he needs somebody to sit down and tell him what is great and what is crap, what needs to stay and what needs to be edited. If the songs on 1999 had been cut down by a few minutes, it would've made for a much more enjoyable experience. However, it contains "Delirious," "1999" (duh) and "Little Red Corvette," and the inclusion of those 3 songs makes it a minor classic.
    quote: As for Bowie, 1970's The Man Who Sold the World was his first great album.[/quote]
    Gotta disagree with you on that one. TMWSTW has a few good songs (title tune, "The Supermen," "After All"); everything else is just a lot lame attempts to be "heavy." I do love those bonus tracks on the Ryko reissue though.
    quote: And why wouldn't you like Young Americans?[/quote]
    Because it's not a standout release. Title track, "Win," "Fame" and "Facisnation" are all masterful songs; everything else is just a clear sign that Bowie was being influenced too much by what was popular at the time (funk, soul, disco), rather than taking those influences and shaping them into something of his own. Didn't he write and record the album in like five days? It shows.
    I also believe the above-stated is the problem I have with Bowie: he's held in a higher regard than should be given. It REALLY pisses me off when Bowie is called an "musical innovator." No, he's not. Bowie has ALWAYS followed trends, rather than create them. The only thing that can really be credited to him is glam-rock, but Roxy Music and T-Rex can also reasonably lay claim to that as well.
    Just once I'd like to see Bowie retreat for awhile and create a sound of his own, rather than re-issue his back catalog for the umpteenth time, issue out bonds on his music and fiddle with his website. His latest stuff is good, but nothing I'd hold up proudly.
    (Not to sound too uppity about it Colin, but I noticed on your DVD website that you called yourself a "serious [Bowie]devotee"...not exactly the type of person who can take a look at his work and form an objective opinion, regardless of your claim "I think I can be objective about Bowie." But then again you can make the same assumption about Elvis Costello and me. [​IMG] )
    About the Beatles: of course their pre-1965 albums are wonderful pieces of work. But I feel that from Help! and onward the band really hit their stride. As enjoyable as Please Please Me, With the Beatles, A Hard Day's Night and Beatles For Sale are, they all sound rudimentary to me. When they started to experiment musically, their sound really took off.
    Just to reiterate here: I am NOT bashing their early work. Far from it: songs like "I'll Be Back," "All I've Got to Do" and "No Reply" rank among my all-time favorite Beatles tracks, and I believe they never truly did a bad tune (though "Mr. Moonlight" comes really close). It's just that I prefer their experimental side over their early, replicating-our-club-days side.
    Like I said, it's all a matter of opinion.
    ------------------
    Have you ever noticed anyone driving slower than you is an idiot? And anyone driving faster than you is a maniac!! - George Carlin
    ICQ: 55259446 (or just search for "John Shaft"...can you dig?)
    [Edited last by Kevin Leonard on August 22, 2001 at 02:14 AM]
     
  18. Henry Gale

    Henry Gale Producer

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    There used to be a Rolling Stone thread here, wot hoppened? [​IMG]
    Jim
     
  19. Colin Jacobson

    Colin Jacobson Lead Actor

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  20. Sebastian_M

    Sebastian_M Stunt Coordinator

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    Ohh, here we go. Sure it started out as the Stones, but its evolved into so much more.
    I agree with Kevin's assement of the Beatles. IMHO as a huge Beatles fan, 1966-1970 (Revolver, Magical Mystery Tour, Sgt. Pepper's, The White Album, Abbey Road, Yellow Submarine, Let it Be) was a lot better than there first six albums. From my perspective, they started with some short, catchy tunes, which were great and loved - even by me - but evolved into so much more.
    As for stretches where a band could do no wrong, I offer:
    Pink Floyd: (Dark Side of the Moon, Wish You Were Here, Animals, The Wall)
    DSotM showed what they were capable of, which they followed in style with the divine WYWH. Animals is the best they've ever sounded, each member and their instrument does the speaking in that album. The Wall, which has never been a favourite of mine, but I still enjoy it, was the end of their prime. Waters also left after the Wall, and the albums afterwards were definately missing something.
    From what I've heard of the Stones, and from what people have told me, the period I have really listened too was their creative and musical peak. Can't say much about Prince or Bowie though, since I don't listen to either of them.
    Seb
    ------------------
    All that is gold does not glitter,
    Not all those who wander are lost;
    The old that is strong does not wither,
    Deep roots are not reached by the frost.
    From the ashes a fire shall be woken,
    A light from the shadows shall spring;
    Renewed shall be blade that was broken,
    The crownless again shall be king.
     

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