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Dr. Octopus

In this thread I rank my favorite Rolling Stones songs: 204-1: Four Musketeers Get Their Ya-Yas Out

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(The great debate, Beatles v. Stones, rages on)

Obviously inspired by @krista4's magnum opus, where she ranked her favorite Beatles songs and where it was asked what other bands could we do this exercise for.

I’ve been a huge Rolling Stones fan since I was in the sixth grade which means in my entire life, I’ve had two favorite bands, KISS for a few early years (yes I was a stupid kid) and then the Stones. The Stones have been with me through good times and bad times. They've been a huge part of my life and always will be. When my friends or family hear a Stones song or see something Stones related they usually think of me – and I have plenty of texts to prove it. ;)

When I was working in New York City from time to time I would see “celebrities” just walking down the street, Noel Gallagher, Chuck D, Don King, Louie Carnessecca, and Danny Bonaducci among others. When one passed directly in my path I would always just nod in a way that acknowledged I knew who they were but would not be intruding on their time (well I actually kind of gave Danny Partridge a hard time). I always wondered what I would do if I saw Mick or Keith in similar fashion, and I concluded I would not be a fanboy but I would at least say “thank you” as I passed them by.

This thread will attempt to rank their top 204 songs (a nod to the Beatles thread of course). They have more than double that amount of songs, but we're not going there. Just like with krista’s thread this will be solely based on my personal preferences and not necessarily by importance or critical acclaim. It was an extremely difficult task to put these in order, and I'm sure if I started all over it would change some - but alas here we are.

This thread will not nearly be as good as krista’s thread for three reasons: 1. The Stones are not nearly as beloved or revered as the Beatles are; 2. Krista is a much better writer than I am; and 3. I am not married to Mr. krista so there will be no solicited input from him. Unsolicited input is welcomed though.

My main goal is to share my love for this band and hope to perhaps convert a few people while also introducing everyone to some hidden gems in their catalogue. I’ll be the first to admit that Tattoo You was probably their last great full album (and even that one may be debateable for some) but there were still some very good songs mixed in with the dreck in their late 80s/90s/00s output.

Hopefully I get some other Stones fans in here to pick up some of my slack and share their thoughts, knowledge and experiences. I'm looking at you @wikkidpissah among others.

I KNOW ITS ONLY ROCK AND ROLL...BUT I LIKE IT.

 

Rankings:

63. She's So Cold

64. I'm Free

65. Before They Make Me Run

66. It's All Over Now

67. Out of Time

68. Not Fade Away

69. Star Star (Star####er)

70. Back Street Girl

71. Some Girls

72. Fool to Cry

73. All Down the Line

74. Tops

75. I Don't Know Why

76. Melody

77. Doo Doo Doo Doo Doo (Heartbreaker)

78. Heart of Stone

79. Something Happened to Me Yesterday

80. Ain't Too Proud to Beg

81. Imagination

82. 2000 Light Years from Home

83. I Wanna Be Your Man

84. Live with Me

85. Play with Fire

86. Connection

87. Who's Been Sleeping Here

88. If You Can't Rock Me

89. Midnight Rambler

90. Carol

91. Route 66

92. No Use in Crying

93. Gotta Get Away

94. Hot Stuff

95. Respectable

96. Rain Fall Down

97. Tell Me

98. Mixed Emotions

99. That's How Strong My Love Is

100. We Love You

101. Try a Little Harder

102. She Was Hot

103. Drift Away

104. Till the Next Goodbye

105. Where the Boys Go

106. Think

107. Biggest Mistake

108. Sing This All Together

109. Poison Ivy

110. One Hit (To the Body)

111. All Sold Out

112. Everything is Turning to Gold

113. Worried About You

114. On with the Show

115. Stupid Girl

116. Country Honk

117. No Expectations

118. Jiving Sister Fanny

119. Undercover of the Night

120. Stoned

121. Laugh, I Nearly Died

122. You Better Move On

123. Little T&A

124. Salt of the Earth

125. Short and Curlies

126. All About You

127. Yesterday's Papers

128. Goin' Home

129. Around and Around

130. Walking the Dog

131. My Obsession

132. Under the Boardwalk

133. My Girl

134. Thru and Thru

135. Slipping Away

136. Who's Driving Your Plane?

137. Hide Your Love

138. Dance (Pt. 1)

139. Ventilator Blues

140. Casino Boogie

141. You Got the Silver

142. Let Me Go

143. Dance Little Sister

144. Lady Jane

145. We Had It All

146. Blue and Lonesome

147. Slave

148. Mannish Boy

149. Money

150. Little by Little

151. Dancing with Mr. D

152. Let it Loose

153. You Can't Catch Me

154. What to Do

155. Blue Turns to Grey

156. Luxury

157. Talkin' AbTout You

158. You Gotta Move

159. Silver Train

160. Can You Hear the Music

161. I'd Much Rather Be with the Boys

162. Long Long While

163. Complicated

164. Good Times

165. Dear Doctor

166. Flight 505

167. Hang Fire

168. Honest I Do

169. Susie Q

170. Soul Survivor

171. You Don't Have to Mean It

172. I Am Waiting

173. I Just Want to Make Love to You

174. I'm Going Down

175. It's Not Easy

176. Cry to Me

177. Shake Your Hips

178. Citadel

179. Cool, Calm & Collected

180. Parachute Woman

181. Anybody Seen My Baby?

182. Dandelion

183. Hey Negrita

184. Down in the Hole

185. Summer Romance

186. Come On

187. In Another Land

188. Black Limousine

189. Rip This Joint

190. Crazy Mama

191. Have You Seen Your Mother, Baby, Standing in the Shadow?

192. Downtown Suzie

193. Family

194. What a Shame

195. Sittin' on a Fence

196. Down the Road a Piece

197. Hand of Fate

198. The Singer Not the Song

199. I Just Want to See His Face

200. Down Home Girl

201. If You Really Want to Be My Friend

202. Prodigal Son

203. Little Red Rooster

204. Look What You've Done

 

Edited by Dr. Octopus
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204. Look What You've Done

Year: 1965

US Album: December’s Children (And Everybody’s)

Songwriter: Muddy Waters

 

203. Little Red Rooster

Year: 1964

US Album: The Rolling Stones, Now!

Songwriter: Willie Dixon

 

At their essence the Stones always were and still are a blues band. Their start playing in clubs and their early recordings helped expose young Brits to the great American Bluesmen. The Stones helped make guys like Muddy Waters, Slim Harpo and Willie Dixon household names where they were largely unknown even in their native US.

These two songs are covers of two giants in the field and showcase the brilliance of Brian Jones, who was by far the most versatile musician the Stones ever had.

Look What You’ve Done features Jones on the harmonica. On Little Red Rooster he shows his chops on the slide guitar, a staple of the Blues. Mick never had what one would consider a technically great singing voice, but he was a very adept blues singer and he shows his chops on these early recordings.

The Stones’ version of Little Red Rooster remains to this day the only blues song to ever top the British pop charts

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1 hour ago, Dr. Octopus said:

204. Look What You've Done

Year: 1965

US Album: December’s Children (And Everybody’s)

 

You started with the right one for me. This is it. This is the album. I might have owned the Beach Boys' Little Deuce Coupe before this and i had my Spike Jones and Allen Sherman long-playing records, but i was a 45s kid and December's Children was the first 33 i owned, tucked under my arm, read over&over, used as the steering wheel of my dreamchaser as i would with many other albums in proceeding years. Look at them. The early 60s had more light than a launchpad, but these fellas came at you from the shadows. They were the stuff of what we didn't talk about, even if we understood. Some day i wont need anyone. I'll be just like them. Lord have mercy.

Edited by wikkidpissah
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55 minutes ago, Dr. Octopus said:

Mick never had what one would consider a technically great singing voice, but he was a very adept blues singer and he shows his chops on these early recordings.

Mick's voice isn't what one would consider a great singing voice, but it is distinct, and his animated charismatic nature comes through in his delivery. He also has a habit of drawing out/elongating words often in songs.  He has always had his own style of singing and it works.

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202. Prodigal Son

Year: 1968

US Album: Beggars Banquet

Songwriter: Rev. Robert Wilkins

 

“My son was lost, but now he is found”

It’s time to get biblical on your asses.

This is another cover of a song written and originally performed by an American Bluesman, “the Reverend” Robert Wilkins. Early pressings of Beggars Banquet credited only Jagger and Richards as composers, not Wilkins. The original Beggars Banquet dirty bathroom and toilet cover photo credited Wilkins but when the record company rejected the cover due to it being offensive (boy how times have changed), the revised plain white cover mistakenly credited Jagger-Richards as the composer of this song.

This country/blues tune is a retelling of the biblical Prodigal Son fable about a farmer and his two sons. One a loyal hard-working son and the other who takes his inheritance prematurely and leaves to live a life of excess, spending all of his money before returning home hat in hand asking for forgiveness. It features some nice acoustic strumming from Keith and Mick mumbling through the lyrics and not much else. The glimmer twins (a title that would come later when the pair acted as record producers) seem to be having a lot of fun with this one.

Edited by Dr. Octopus
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1 hour ago, simey said:

Mick's voice isn't what one would consider a great singing voice, but it is distinct, and his animated charismatic nature comes through in his delivery. He also has a habit of drawing out/elongating words often in songs.  He has always had his own style of singing and it works.

He's arguably the greatest front man in rock history - and yes his voice works despite it's shortcomings. I think he does a great job on the more soulful songs.

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21 minutes ago, Dr. Octopus said:

He's arguably the greatest front man in rock history - and yes his voice works despite it's shortcomings. I think he does a great job on the more soulful songs.

To be totally racist about it, Jagger chops his songs - and later wrote syllables tailored for doing so - with a black man's id and a white man's ego.

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3 hours ago, Dr. Octopus said:

204. Look What You've Done

Year: 1965

US Album: December’s Children (And Everybody’s)

Songwriter: Muddy Waters

 

203. Little Red Rooster

Year: 1964

US Album: The Rolling Stones, Now!

Songwriter: Willie Dixon

 

At their essence the Stones always were and still are a blues band. Their start playing in clubs and their early recordings helped expose young Brits to the great American Bluesmen. The Stones helped make guys like Muddy Waters, Slim Harpo and Willie Dixon household names where they were largely unknown even in their native US.

These two songs are covers of two giants in the field and showcase the brilliance of Brian Jones, who was by far the most versatile musician the Stones ever had.

Look What You’ve Done features Jones on the harmonica. On Little Red Rooster he shows his chops on the slide guitar, a staple of the Blues. Mick never had what one would consider a technically great singing voice, but he was a very adept blues singer and he shows his chops on these early recordings.

The Stones’ version of Little Red Rooster remains to this day the only blues song to ever top the British pop charts

 I really want to like the Rolling Stones much more than I do, which is why I've been excited for this thread.  Listening to these first two, though, reminds me that it's always going to be a struggle for me because I simply don't like Jagger's voice.  At all.  He grates less on me in your #204, but it's still distracting.  Great source material on these two, and Brian Jones is amazing in each one, so I do enjoy them anyway.

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1 hour ago, Dr. Octopus said:

202. Prodigal Son

Year: 1968

US Album: Beggars Banquet

Songwriter: Rev. Robert Wilkins

 

“My son was lost, but now he is found”

It’s time to get biblical on your asses.

This is another cover of a song written and originally performed by an American Bluesman, “the Reverend” Robert Wilkins. Early pressings of Beggars Banquet credited only Jagger and Richards as composers, not Wilkins. The original Beggars Banquet dirty bathroom and toilet cover photo credited Wilkins but when the record company rejected the cover due to it being offensive (boy how times have changed), the revised plain white cover mistakenly credited Jagger-Richards as the composer of this song.

This country/blues tune is a retelling of the biblical Prodigal Son fable about a farmer and his two sons. One a loyal hard-working son and the other who takes his inheritance prematurely and leaves to live a life of excess, spending all of his money before returning home hat in hand asking for forgiveness. It features some nice acoustic strumming from Keith and Mick mumbling through the lyrics and not much else. The glimmer twins (a title that would come later when the pair acted as record producers) seem to be having a lot of fun with this one.

Exception to my broad statement in my prior post:  I've always liked this one and even enjoy Jagger on it.

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6 minutes ago, krista4 said:

Listening to these first two, though, reminds me that it's always going to be a struggle for me because I simply don't like Jagger's voice.  

Yeah, that's going to make it tough on you. On a plus note we'll get plenty of Keith vocals also (whose vocals can be described as a poor man's Dylan :unsure: ) and even one with Bill Wyman's dulcet tones.

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201. If You Really Want To Be My Friend

Year: 1974

US Album: It’s Only Rock ‘n Roll

Songwriter: Jagger/Richards

 

“I know you think that life is a thriller. You play the vamp, I play the killer”

 

The first Jagger/Richards composition to make its way onto our list. This one from their 1974 album It’s Only Rock ‘n Roll. This is a beautiful ballad that features the great Mick Taylor playing an understated lead guitar underneath Mick’s soulful crooning while Nicky Hopkins, one of the many great piano players that have sat in with the Stones, bangs the keys.  

The highlight of this song is the amazing backing vocals that come from Blue Magic, an American R&B/Soul Group out of Philadelphia. For those that hate Mick’s vocals (:cough: :cough: krista) you can see how bad they really are when juxtaposed with some cats that can really sing.

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My favorite period for the Stones was during Mick Taylor's era. He was by far the best guitarist they ever had, and his melodies and jams really stood out. He never really got the song writing credits he should have, which is part of the reason he left.

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20 minutes ago, Dr. Octopus said:

My favorite period for the Stones was during Mick Taylor's era. He was by far the best guitarist they ever had, and his melodies and jams really stood out. He never really got the song writing credits he should have, which is part of the reason he left.

Agreed on the Mick Taylor era. I'll have to look up how much songwriting he did.

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12 minutes ago, Dr. Octopus said:

201. If You Really Want To Be My Friend

Year: 1974

US Album: It’s Only Rock ‘n Roll

Songwriter: Jagger/Richards

 

 

Yikes. We might have prob here, DocOc. Unlike krista's countdown, your 204 is roughly the top half of the Stones' oeuvre, which is still an awful task, so anything you list will not be dreck, amirite? Now this song & Ain't Too Proud to Beg off IOR&R were really signifiers of the beginning of middle-aged rot from my ultimate badboys - strummy, hummy, creaky, dumpy, inheritors of what all rockers feared from Country Honk - for your humble servant. While I would probably have to put this in a 204, it would be as an example of how they began to run out of gas. So i ask you, because i asked myself and couldn't come up with a proper answer, should i support or challenge your efforts in this? I absolutely do not want discourage you with argument because you're doing work for our benefit and which i couldn't do for honest-to-god wages. So i ask - on a scale 1 (participation trophies) to 10 (scorching ridicule), how much of me do you want? I'm happy to contribute at any level you want on your labor of love, know'm'sayin'?

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6 minutes ago, jwb said:

Agreed on the Mick Taylor era. I'll have to look up how much songwriting he did.

They only credited him on one song, but the whole coda on "Can't You Hear Me Knockin'" for one thing is all him.

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9 minutes ago, wikkidpissah said:

Yikes. We might have prob here, DocOc. Unlike krista's countdown, your 204 is roughly the top half of the Stones' oeuvre, which is still an awful task, so anything you list will not be dreck, amirite? Now this song & Ain't Too Proud to Beg off IOR&R were really signifiers of the beginning of middle-aged rot from my ultimate badboys - strummy, hummy, creaky, dumpy, inheritors of what all rockers feared from Country Honk - for your humble servant. While I would probably have to put this in a 204, it would be as an example of how they began to run out of gas. So i ask you, because i asked myself and couldn't come up with a proper answer, should i support or challenge your efforts in this? I absolutely do not want discourage you with argument because you're doing work for our benefit and which i couldn't do for honest-to-god wages. So i ask - on a scale 1 (participation trophies) to 10 (scorching ridicule), how much of me do you want? I'm happy to contribute at any level you want on your labor of love, know'm'sayin'?

You should give all you want and all you can. I'm also thick skinned so if you disagree with any selections, have at it.

I still consider this part of their strong output period so we have some disagreement there. I also now suspect you won't be pleased with my placement on "Ain't Too Proud to Beg" :P. I think they still had plenty of gas, as Black and Blue, Some Girls and Tatoo You were still to come - the drop off starts after that imo.

But honestly I'm open to all discussion, positive and negative, and this thread is really just for the purpose of discussing the songs and their music. Your thoughts are very important to me.  

Edited by Dr. Octopus
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23 minutes ago, Dr. Octopus said:

You should give all you want and all you can. I'm also thick skinned so if you disagree with any selections, have at it.

I still consider this part of their strong output period so we have some disagreement there. I also now suspect you won't be pleased with my placement on "Ain't Too Proud to Beg" :P. I think they still had plenty of gas, as Black and Blue, Some Girls and Tatoo You were still to come - the drop off starts after that imo.

But honestly I'm open to all discussion, positive and negative, and this thread is really just for the purpose of discussing the songs and their music. Your thoughts are very important to me.  

Yup, that was it for me. Undercover was pretty weak, then meh. 

Happens to almost all long-term bands. The "new stuff" doesn't cut it anymore. 

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27 minutes ago, Dr. Octopus said:

You should give all you want and all you can. I'm also thick skinned so if you disagree with any selections, have at it.

I still consider this part of their strong output period so we have some disagreement there. I also now suspect you won't be pleased with my placement on "Ain't Too Proud to Beg" :P. I think they still had plenty of gas, as Black and Blue, Some Girls and Tatoo You were still to come - the drop off starts after that imo.

But honestly I'm open to all discussion, positive and negative, and this thread is really just for the purpose of discussing the songs and their music. Your thoughts are very important to me.  

That it crowded an under-appreciated Temps single out of the ofay imagination and the hubris of the Stones thinking they could add to a classic are my major objections to the song. Got nothing against the performance itself.

Edited by wikkidpissah
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2 hours ago, jwb said:

Yup, that was it for me. Undercover was pretty weak, then meh. 

Happens to almost all long-term bands. The "new stuff" doesn't cut it anymore. 

Yeah there are a handful of songs from post early 80s that I like and that will appear on this list - some are very good but there was a ton of crap during that period as well. 

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Fairly sure the Beatles' top-50 will crush the Stones' best efforts for me even though Exile is probably my favorite album, but from 204-100?  Give me the Stones.  There's a TON of great music in that catalog.

Counterpoint:  they didn't write a sizable chunk of it.

Edited by Dinsy Ejotuz
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7 hours ago, krista4 said:

 I really want to like the Rolling Stones much more than I do, which is why I've been excited for this thread.  Listening to these first two, though, reminds me that it's always going to be a struggle for me because I simply don't like Jagger's voice.  At all.  He grates less on me in your #204, but it's still distracting.  Great source material on these two, and Brian Jones is amazing in each one, so I do enjoy them anyway.

Total agreement with Queen K here.  The Stones are cool.  I mean, they are really cool.   They have some really great songs and inspired a ton of musicians.  But, I cannot stand the vocals.  Mick's voice annoys me.  I cannot listen.  

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8 hours ago, Dr. Octopus said:

My favorite period for the Stones was during Mick Taylor's era. He was by far the best guitarist they ever had, and his melodies and jams really stood out. He never really got the song writing credits he should have, which is part of the reason he left.

Are the Stones able to be cut up into eras the way people think (rightly or wrongly) the Beatles were?  I understand of course that they've had many more years.  I'm just wondering, as an education to me, how Stones fans would divide the various time periods.  And within those recognized divisions, what are the distinctions?

Edited by krista4

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2 minutes ago, krista4 said:

Are the Stones able to be cut up into eras the way people think (rightly or wrongly) the Beatles were?  I understand of course that they've had many more years.  I'm just wondering, as an education to me, how Stones fans would divide the various time periods.  And within those recognized divisions, what are the distinctions?

currently reading the Bebe Buell biography, "Rebel Heart."  

she claims Mick knows more about facial creams than any woman in the world.  

she seriously said that in the book.  

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2 minutes ago, Binky The Doormat said:

currently reading the Bebe Buell biography, "Rebel Heart."  

she claims Mick knows more about facial creams than any woman in the world.  

she seriously said that in the book.  

I'm not entirely sure that was responsive to my inquiry, but interesting nonetheless.  I could use some advice from Mick in this regard.

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11 hours ago, Dr. Octopus said:

202. Prodigal Son

Year: 1968

US Album: Beggars Banquet

Songwriter: Rev. Robert Wilkins

 

“My son was lost, but now he is found”

It’s time to get biblical on your asses.

This is another cover of a song written and originally performed by an American Bluesman, “the Reverend” Robert Wilkins. Early pressings of Beggars Banquet credited only Jagger and Richards as composers, not Wilkins. The original Beggars Banquet dirty bathroom and toilet cover photo credited Wilkins but when the record company rejected the cover due to it being offensive (boy how times have changed), the revised plain white cover mistakenly credited Jagger-Richards as the composer of this song.

This country/blues tune is a retelling of the biblical Prodigal Son fable about a farmer and his two sons. One a loyal hard-working son and the other who takes his inheritance prematurely and leaves to live a life of excess, spending all of his money before returning home hat in hand asking for forgiveness. It features some nice acoustic strumming from Keith and Mick mumbling through the lyrics and not much else. The glimmer twins (a title that would come later when the pair acted as record producers) seem to be having a lot of fun with this one.

Love this song. And the back-story is great...eh - other than the f'up on credit part. 

Plus, bonus points have been awarded for including the lyrics in the vid. 

Finally, I am looking forward to this project's unfolding. 

👌😎👍

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25 minutes ago, krista4 said:

I'm not entirely sure that was responsive to my inquiry, but interesting nonetheless.  I could use some advice from Mick in this regard.

my process:

krista question on stages of stones options >

I think, hey, the stages of stones could be broken down by the age shown in Mick's face >

oh hey, I just read about Mick having regular sex with Bebe in her book >

oh, and he used to teach her about face creams - the whole what kind and when/how to best use them >

wow ...isn't it crazy how Mick has the face of a 95-yr old Ukrainian babushka and he is somehow a world expert on face care? >

yeah, I think I'll post that ...

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4 minutes ago, Binky The Doormat said:

my process:

... 

yeah, I think I'll post that ...

Thnx - so much fer post'n that. 

 

Ok, in regards to Mick's voice, I get the antipathy, but I really like it. I can't explain why, but I have always been a fan of uniqueness & emotion over standard good sing'n - whatever that really is. 

Of course, when the 2 are combined (emotion / unique + classically great voice) - well, that's even better. 

But, the point is: I like Mick's singing. 

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2 minutes ago, Man of Constant Sorrow said:

Thnx - so much fer post'n that. 

 

Ok, in regards to Mick's voice, I get the antipathy, but I really like it. I can't explain why, but I have always been a fan of uniqueness & emotion over standard good sing'n - whatever that really is. 

Of course, when the 2 are combined (emotion / unique + classically great voice) - well, that's even better. 

But, the point is: I like Mick's singing. 

I like it.

I like it.

Yes, I do.  

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5 hours ago, krista4 said:

Are the Stones able to be cut up into eras the way people think (rightly or wrongly) the Beatles were?  I understand of course that they've had many more years.  I'm just wondering, as an education to me, how Stones fans would divide the various time periods.  And within those recognized divisions, what are the distinctions?

The easy way to do it would be by breaking it down by their non-Keith guitarists; the Brian Jones era (which is their blues, British Invasion rock period), the Mick Taylor era (classic rock era); and the Ronnie Wood era (adapting to the times era/trying to stay relevant era).

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19 hours ago, Dr. Octopus said:

204. Look What You've Done

Year: 1965

US Album: December’s Children (And Everybody’s)

Songwriter: Muddy Waters

 

203. Little Red Rooster

Year: 1964

US Album: The Rolling Stones, Now!

Songwriter: Willie Dixon

 

These two songs are covers of two giants in the field and showcase the brilliance of Brian Jones, who was by far the most versatile musician the Stones ever had.

 

Big fan of Brian. I highly recommend this biography if one is interested in delving more into his back story.  Such a brilliant, tortured soul that seemed to get a raw deal by Mick and Keith.

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Rolling Stones on drugs > Beatles

Rolling Stones sober < Beatles 

ETA:  Someone told me that they stopped getting high after Tattoo You.  I don't know how accurate that is but there wasn't much after that album compared to their earlier stuff. 

Edited by Arizona Ron

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19 minutes ago, Arizona Ron said:

Rolling Stones on drugs > Beatles

Rolling Stones sober < Beatles 

ETA:  Someone told me that they stopped getting high after Tattoo You.  I don't know how accurate that is but there wasn't much after that album compared to their earlier stuff. 

I think after a point these guys know they are not writing any new songs that will keep making them richer.  So instead they stay sober to keep their eyes on their accountants and their money from disappearing.

Edited by Leroy Hoard
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21 minutes ago, Arizona Ron said:

Rolling Stones on drugs > Beatles

Rolling Stones sober < Beatles 

ETA:  Someone told me that they stopped getting high after Tattoo You.  I don't know how accurate that is but there wasn't much after that album compared to their earlier stuff. 

I think artist creativity wanes after a while with or without drugs/booze but that is the cutoff point for their greatness for sure.

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200. Down Home Girl

Year: 1965

US Album: Rolling Stones, Now!

Songwriter: Jerry Leiber/Artie Butler

 

“Every time I kiss you girl it tastes like Pork and Beans”

 

The early part of this countdown list will be littered with cover songs as that is what dominated their early recordings. I’ll admit to downgrading covers a bit, just because…but they did have a knack for choosing great covers.

This song was written by Jerry Leiber (one half of the famous Lieber/Stoller combo) and Artie Butler and was originally recorded by New Olreans' musician Alvin Robinson. A year later the Stones recorded it and added a harmonica to make it more bluesy and replaced the horn riff with guitar. The lyrics are a tad racist and would likely not fly under today’s standards but times change and mostly for the better.

This is the Stones at their down and dirtiest.

 

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2 minutes ago, Dr. Octopus said:

I think artist creativity wanes after a while with or without drugs/booze but that is the cutoff point for their greatness for sure.

That's the main issue I have with the Stones - the time frame of their legendary material (IMO 1965-1972) is a fraction of the time frame of their crappy material (post Tattoo You). The hanging on has brought them exponential wealth, but IMO diminishes them well beneath the Beatles, who left at the top of their games.

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199. I Just Want To See His Face

Year: 1972

US Album: Exile on Main St.

Songwriter: Jagger/Richards

 

"Let this music relax your mind"

The first song on this list from my favorite Stones’ album, Exile on Main Street, is a throw away song as far as the grand scheme of their catalogue but it could be the highlight of their career for some lesser bands.

Quote

 

In 1992, Jagger commented:

"I Just Want to See His Face" was a jam with Charlie [Watts] and Mick Taylor ... I think it was just a trio originally, though other people might have been added eventually. It was a complete jam. I just made the song up there and then over the riff that Charlie and Mick were playing. That's how I remember it, anyway.[1]

 

It captures a broad sweep of many of the genres covered by the early Stones: country, blues, folk and gospel but adds the Stones rock mentality. This has a spacy, airy, jamming, meandering feel that would be very influential later on down the road for many 80s/90s British bands.

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13 minutes ago, zamboni said:

That's the main issue I have with the Stones - the time frame of their legendary material (IMO 1965-1972) is a fraction of the time frame of their crappy material (post Tattoo You). The hanging on has brought them exponential wealth, but IMO diminishes them well beneath the Beatles, who left at the top of their games.

That's fair but you can't blame them for continuing to do what they love and getting extremely wealthy from it.

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2 minutes ago, Dr. Octopus said:

That's fair but you can't blame them for continuing to do what they love and getting extremely wealthy from it.

Totally don't blame them - who wouldn't do the same.

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5 minutes ago, Dr. Octopus said:

199. I Just Want To See His Face

Year: 1972

US Album: Exile on Main St.

Songwriter: Jagger/Richards

 

"Let this music relax your mind"

The first song on this list from my favorite Stones’ album, Exile on Main Street, is a throw away song as far as the grand scheme of their catalogue but it could be the highlight of their career for some lesser bands.

It captures a broad sweep of many of the genres covered by the early Stones: country, blues, folk and gospel but adds the Stones rock mentality. This has a spacy, airy, jamming, meandering feel that would be very influential later on down the road for many 80s/90s British bands.

I really like this. Good details in write up - most all new to me. 

I know less about the Stones than the Beatles, but I don't think I really prefer one over the other at this point. 

I was just exposed to a lot more Beatles from my cousins, when I was young. I look forward to learning more here. 

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12 hours ago, Binky The Doormat said:

currently reading the Bebe Buell biography, "Rebel Heart."  

she claims Mick knows more about facial creams than any woman in the world.  

she seriously said that in the book.  

it is to swoon. the bands i worked with did not rate the pro groupies - except the SUNY poetry professor who'd glam up to troll bands each summer i've previously chronicled in these pages - but Miss Buell hung out at Bearsville a li'l bit and i don't think i've ever been so instantly & permanently smitten. it was something higher than lust - angels sang and grapes were heavily exchanged as we wore out the clouds with our forbidden love

12 hours ago, krista4 said:

Are the Stones able to be cut up into eras the way people think (rightly or wrongly) the Beatles were?  I understand of course that they've had many more years.  I'm just wondering, as an education to me, how Stones fans would divide the various time periods.  And within those recognized divisions, what are the distinctions?

It's Jonesy, Taylor, Ronnie now, innit? Those ahhh the phases, yeah?!

Jagger & Richards wrote the music, but Brian Jones created the original Stones vibe of Dickens kids who took over the palace. That went as far as Jonesy - an intentionally disagreeable bloke - did, into Let It Bleed. That, their greatest album, gave Mick the freedom to write what he wanted (Jonesy, not a songwriter but a professional naysayer, but was serendipitously too loaded to interfere much here) and some real anthems came from it, which Richards just barely kept up with. When the 2nd Mick came along, it gave the 1st Mick a chance for some real "what about this, what about that" and the Stones best era of songwriting began with, instead of Mick chopping melodies out of Keith's riffs or his own simplistic piano structures, there were Mick songs & Keith songs like the John & Paul syndrome with the Beatles. That ended w Goat's Head Soup, they drifted thru It's Only, and Ronnie - who'd been Rod Stewart's Keith Richards - came aboard to give Keith a mate like Mick had with Mick. That held water thru their great revenge with Some Girls (beating disco @ it's own game w "Miss You" and punk at its w "Shattered") in '78 and the fade began, the Stones imitating themselves with occasional brilliance breaking through. The Glimmer Twins struggled a lot more than John/Paul/George to become writers but held their peak for a dozen years as such instead of five for the 'Pudlians.

Edited by wikkidpissah
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23 hours ago, Dr. Octopus said:

204. Look What You've Done

Year: 1965

US Album: December’s Children (And Everybody’s)

Songwriter: Muddy Waters

 

203. Little Red Rooster

Year: 1964

US Album: The Rolling Stones, Now!

Songwriter: Willie Dixon

 

At their essence the Stones always were and still are a blues band. Their start playing in clubs and their early recordings helped expose young Brits to the great American Bluesmen. The Stones helped make guys like Muddy Waters, Slim Harpo and Willie Dixon household names where they were largely unknown even in their native US.

These two songs are covers of two giants in the field and showcase the brilliance of Brian Jones, who was by far the most versatile musician the Stones ever had.

Look What You’ve Done features Jones on the harmonica. On Little Red Rooster he shows his chops on the slide guitar, a staple of the Blues. Mick never had what one would consider a technically great singing voice, but he was a very adept blues singer and he shows his chops on these early recordings.

The Stones’ version of Little Red Rooster remains to this day the only blues song to ever top the British pop charts

I'm not sure what to think of this.

Little Red Rooster is one my favorite songs of all time from any artist. I can't wait to see the 202 Rolling Stones songs better. ;) 

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Just now, Joe Bryant said:

I'm not sure what to think of this.

Little Red Rooster is one my favorite songs of all time from any artist. I can't wait to see the 202 Rolling Stones songs better. ;) 

I'll admit it gets dinged a little because it's a cover and there is an almost infinite amount of artists covering it in studio or live. It probably did deserve to be a little higher though as the Stones do a great version of it.

Also I'll further admit it may have been a tiny bit "fudged" because I think that 1/2 punch to start off the list is a good beginner's guide to what the Stones are (a blues band) at heart.

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198. It's the Singer Not the Song

Year: 1965

US Album: December’s Children (And Everybody’s)

Songwriter: Jagger/Richards

 

“It’s not the way you give in willingly. Others do it without killing me”

There’s nothing really special about this track – it’s pretty basic British Invasion type “rock”. I like Keith’s backing vocals on the choruses and the simple plucky guitar sounds. December’s Children was the first album where Mick and Keith compositions weren’t in the minority, making up 50% of the record, including 5 of the 6 songs on Side 2 (remember sides?).

This is the lone Jagger/Richards composition on Side 1 and it’s a pleasant sing along song with simple yet poignant lyrics.

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Just took a quick look at some of the online rankings and was pleased to see my #1 is frequently listed as #1 or #2. 

Remember dozing on my GF's coach the summer after HS with that song on in the background and was in that perfect place between waking and sleeping, just taking in all the perfectly blended layers, and it seemed like it went on for an hour.  Top five musical moment for me.  Can still recall exactly how it felt.

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5 minutes ago, Dr. Octopus said:

198. It's the Singer Not the Song

Year: 1965

US Album: December’s Children (And Everybody’s)

Songwriter: Jagger/Richards

 

“It’s not the way you give in willingly. Others do it without killing me”

There’s nothing really special about this track – it’s pretty basic British Invasion type “rock”. I like Keith’s backing vocals on the choruses and the simple plucky guitar sounds. December’s Children was the first album where Mick and Keith compositions weren’t in the minority, making up 50% of the record, including 5 of the 6 songs on Side 2 (remember sides?).

This is the lone Jagger/Richards composition on Side 1 and it’s a pleasant sing along song with simple yet poignant lyrics.

Not enough of a musician to know if the minor-y progressions were enhanced by Richards' weird tunings on acoustic, but i liked the effect. "She gimme that feelin' inside" was why i wore a lot of Irish sweaters in 1965...

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I will follow along (hopefully better than I did with Krista’s where life got in the way) but just to chime in - I enjoy a lot of the the Stones music but as others have mentioned it’s almost in spite of Jagger’s voice.  And while I do know it’s a debate among some I don’t see it as a great debate - the Stones have probably about 20-25 songs I can even say honestly that I like - in a mixture of Beatles and Stones tunes they would only get about 10-15 of the top 100 most likely.

But I’m excited to hopefully hear some of their stuff I haven’t been exposed to and appreciate more of their material.

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