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  1. #31

    1982-1985.





    Things were different now as the Rolling Stones were approaching their forties and yet things never seemed to change. Now it would be Charlie Watts that would develop a drug dependency though it wouldnít be as serious as it was with others. Still it was something that would affect his personality for a time. The Stones as a whole were off on different projects. Watts was still with his side project, Rocket 88, Richards would be off doing his own thing, and Wyman was falling in love- with thirteen year old Mandy Smith

    And Mick Jagger would be writing songs for his first solo album. Was there writing on the wall? There were stories that Jagger and Richards werenít getting along well in the studio (There is one studio album during this period). No one would have been upset if this was it for the Rolling Stones, some may have even been relieved. After all, they had been together more than twenty years by this point.

    This does cover four years so, although Iím only covering one album in its entirety, we also have yet another live album, a live movie, and Jaggerís solo album, which will be a general review. So buckle up kiddies, itís going to be, well, youíve seen the movie, right?

    Live album - STILL LIFE (1982)




    Honestly, I didnít know what to expect from the Rolling Stones live circa 1982. By now, they had more or less done it all. They werenít quite to the point where they had to go on as an oldies act, though there are certainly some oldies on here. I want to say here we go with yet another live album (When youíve heard one live album- youíve heard them allÖ ). That, of course, is true, but the energy that is the Rolling Stones is still enduring and that says a lot for men that are now approaching forty (and over forty in the cases of Wyman and Watts).


    Going To a Go Go (live): This one deserves special mention as they released this one as a single for whatever reason. Of course, this is the Miracles cover. If this had been on an album I would have asked if this was really necessary, but you expect bands to play their favorite songs when theyíre live. It keeps their interests up and itís a treat for the fans as well. So I wonít knock this one except why on earth would they release this as a single and not just have kept it on the album?

    Film- LETíS SPEND THE NIGHT TOGETHER



    I have to plead ignorance here as I havenít seen the film, but since this a part of Rolling Stones history though I should mention it. I do know that this is a live film basically showing the Rolling Stones in concert and apparently not much else. The review by Roger Ebert https://www.rogerebert.com/reviews/l...-together-1982 mentions liking the concert but wanting a bit more. He mentions clips of symbolic images of starving children for example and is kind of turned off by it. It does make the Stones come off as pretentious if thatís true. I did see Rattle and Hum, the U2 concert film, and I found parts of that to be pretentious, good as that film was overall. Anyway, why see a concert film if you can see the Rolling Stones live? (assuming you have a first born to make a down payment with for the concert tickets- the Rolling Stones arenít cheap )
    UNDERCOVER (1983)

    (Album cover may be a little too risque for the kids )


    Undercover was the Rolling Stones first bonafide album in three years when you figure Tattoo You was an album of unreleased tracks. There were tensions between Jagger and Richards during the recording of this album. Jagger wanted to experiment with contemporary sounds while Richards wanted a return to their old blues roots.

    In some ways this is a sad album, mainly because there is nothing to remind you of the classic Stones, something Tattoo You did. But, if this is the new direction for the now aging Stones, it isnít half bad. I wonít rate this as high as one of the classics obviously, but it isnít a stinker either or even a meh. Anyway, here is my evaluation of the individual tracks.



    Undercover of the Night: Well, the first thing you notice is that itís definitely the 1980s. How do I know? The electric drums open up the album. This is the single from the track as well. Itís a decent track and deserved to be the single, but the video is a bit cheesy.

    (again too risque)

    She Was Hot: This kind of sounds like a new wave style song, or I guess post wave by now. At this point Jagger seems to be winning the creativity war with Richards, though there is the rolling piano mixed in with this track. I guess itís a combination of the two directions here, sometimes it works and sometimes it doesnít.

    Tie You Up (The Pain of Love): Boy, these titles. Apparently this one caught some flak with some feminists (so whatís new?). For not having had listened to this album all the way through in all honesty, it doesnít sound half bad so far.

    Wanna Hold You: Keith Richards wrote this as a dumb pop song basically. Itís intentionally a rip off of I Wanna Hold Your Hand for the most part. Itís pretty nostalgic in a lot of ways. Itís not bad and kind of sweet in its own way. Not really Stones-like though.

    Feel on Baby: Jagger is definitely winning the day here with this reggae induced track. You have to admire his desire to explore new sounds, but it doesnít seem to work in the framework of the Stones, or at least not circa 1983.

    Too Much Blood: This was the third single from the album. There is a nice horn section here, There is a bit of disco here though it itís really more of an eighties dance track. Itís actually not bad. If you can separate this from a typical Stones album, I think youíll be okay.

    Pretty Beat Up: This is basically your typical break up song. Thatís okay, Mick Jagger, who wrote most of the lyrics in general (Richards wrote much of the music), wouldnít be confused with Bob Dylan. A nice horn instrumental break on this one.

    Too Tough: This sounds more like vintage Stones here. I think there may be a little too much production on this one; it sort of water downs the hardness a bit. I doesnít hide Woodís searing guitar solo though.

    All the Way Down: Needless to say, this oneís a little risquť, so I guess itís safe to say the Stones havenít quite lost their touch in that regard. It does make you wonder why their audiences tended to be more male than female though

    It Must Be Hell: Jagger is trying to be socially relevant here. Iím not sure if heís taking a slap at organized religion here or at least the televangelists which were becoming pretty prominent by now. Itís certainly unusual for the Stones to record a song like this, especially when youíre hearing the old Honky Tonk Women riff in the background. Itís a strange song lyrics wise, but I admit I have to say I like this.

    Single

    I Think Iím Going Mad: The B-side to She Was Hot, this sounds a little like Waiting For a Friend with the horn arrangement. It also sounds like something youíd hear in the eighties. Certainly not anything bad, but probably belongs right where it is as a B-side.

    1985

    Mick Jagger solo album- Sheís the Boss:



    One of the issues causing tensions between Jagger and Richards was the fact that Jagger wanted to record a solo album. It was like the Rolling Stones werenít good enough for him. Ironically, Richards would realize the same thing and venture out with a solo album of his own. As for Sheís the Boss, this was part of the perks with their new contract with CBS records where the Stones would be able to work on solo projects. Up to now, the only one who had done anything solo was Bill Wyman and one would have thought he would jump at this chance. Instead, it would be Jagger and it would cause some tensions within the band to be sure.


    As far as the album itself went, it was pretty typical eighties fare. It would get mixed reviews though it did fairly well commercially, though he had to weather a plagiarism lawsuit from Just Another Night (Jagger won). Anyway, the album is okay, I guess, but he should have stuck with the Stones.



    Jagger and Bowie Dancing in the Street:



    Iíll forget the silliness of Jagger and Bowie doing the Martha and the Vandellas cover in of itself. Letís talk about the video instead. Yes, friends, this has been mentioned in those worst videos ever shows. There are parts where youíre wondering if these two friends are going have a romp of sorts in the middle of the video. They also donít dance very well, sorry, Dave.


    So ends a rather interesting period. An even more interesting period is looming though. For one thing, no one knows if the Stones will be staying together or if Jagger and Richards are on the verge of a classic Lennon-McCartney style feud. Richards, too, will say, ďsod itĒ and record his own album, one that will receive better critical acclaim than Jaggerís did. Despite all this, it will be a fairly active five years so stay tuned for the next installment.
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  2. #32

    1986-1990.




    The hostilities between Mick Jagger and Keith Richards hit a boiling point during the making of Dirty Work and there was thought, given Jaggerís somewhat successful debut album, that Dirty Work could have been the Rolling Stones swan song. Even though the Stones would release an album in 1986, Jagger was pretty much off doing his own thing, releasing his second solo LP in 1987. Not to be undone, Richards would release an album of his own in 1988 as well co-produce a stage documentary featuring his hero, Chuck Berry. Hail, Hail, Rock n Roll was intriguing as we see the legendary Berry not being the nicest of fellows and always seemingly at odd with Richards, who nonetheless let him get away with it. Itís amazing how much abuse you can take from your heroes.
    There were other side projects going on as well such as the Charlie Watts Orchestra. Ron Wood was recording material that would remain unreleased, and Wyman, well ,he was still robbing the cradle- literally.

    Things would work out in the end, of course. Their beloved sixth Rolling Stone, Ian Stewart, had passed away in December 1985 which left sort of a void, probably much bigger than Brian Jones had. Maybe that was part of the acrimony that lasted the better part of two years. But in 1988, Jagger wanted to bring the band back together and, in 1989, a new album was out and all seemed well with the world.

    So, this will actually be a fruitful period for the Stones, who will also be Rock n Roll Hall of Famers by the end of this period. Yes, they had been together that long. Anyway, here we goÖ


    DIRTY WORK (1986)



    Needless to say, this album was recorded under rather contentious circumstances as the two main players were feuding over the bandís direction. Keith Richards was in the KISS (keep it simple stupid) camp while Jagger wanted to explore different sounds. The result was something of an uneven mish-mash which garnered less than favorable reviews. Even the Stones themselves didnít like the album much in retrospect. I havenít heard a lot of this album until now (the two singles basically), so most of my reviews will be as I listen to these songs for the first time.




    One Hit (to the body): This is one of the songs I have heard. I also saw the video where it seems Jagger and Richards seem to be getting their anger out on each other. This is quite good actually. Interesting lyrics to be sure and a nice acoustic touch from Woody. Jimmy Page and Bobby Womack are also on this track.

    Fight: Bill Wyman is missing on this track and Ron Wood is at bass. This is, not surprisingly, a fairly violent song. Richards wrote this when he was mad at Jagger apparently. A typical Stones rocker. The album isnít bad so far.



    Harlem Shuffle: The other song Iíve heard. This is the Bob and Earl cover and the Stones do a pretty decent job on this one. One thing about the Rolling Stones is that theyíve always been good at paying homage to the music they especially liked.

    Hold Back: Where the hell is Wyman? Not especially melodic, something the Stones werenít known for anyway to be fair. But this doesnít sound like a song they worked very hard at. It just seems a little formulatic to me.

    Too Rude: This was a song Keith Richards heard in Jamaica. Only he and Ron Wood (who plays drums) as well as Jimmy Cliff are on the track. This is an odd track given that Jagger would have been the one who would have wanted to do reggae at that time. Itís not bad having said that.

    Winning Ugly: This definitely sounds like something you might have heard on Top Forty radio in 1986. In other words, itís not exactly a classic. Itís almost like Mick Jagger was listening to too much Huey Lewis and the News. Worst song on the album so far, maybe the worst since Canít You Hear the Music off Goatís Head Soup.

    Back to Zero: This might be worse. Another song meant for Hot Hits radio I guess. Either that of Mick Jagger thought he was recording his solo album still (he was actually in between his two notable solo efforts).

    Dirty Work: Wow, Bill Wymanís on this track. It was noted that it was rare for all five Stones to be in the recording studio at the same time on this album. Maybe it was time for the boys to finally pack it in. At least the album has gone from pathetic to fair with this track. Not a great track, but at least listenable.

    Had It With You: Keith wrote this one too- guess about who? This song, probably more than any other track, emphasized the problems the Glimmer Twins were having with each other.

    Sleep Tonight: This is another track with Richards and Wood as the only Stones present. Would love to know the whole story behind this as Wyman was AWOL for most of the album and Watts was in the midst of his own personal demons which was causing marital strife. Where Jagger was, who knows? Anyway, this is a ballad more or less. Doesnít sound very much like the Stones though it isnít the worst thing theyíve done. Of course it isnít the best track either.

    Okay, so Iíll make it official- though there are a couple moments on the first side, I have to rate this as the Stonesí worst album to date. Maybe Steel Wheels will fare better (it did garner better reviews).


    Mick Jagger album- PRIMITIVE COOL (1987)



    So with the Rolling Stones on hiatus, perhaps permanently, Mick Jagger went to work on his second album. It seems a little better than the first album, but it still boils down to typical eighties pop. Mick is clearly missing his Rolling Stones buddies here. Oh, well, at least Mick can rest knowing that his former partner wouldnít have the guts to top him.



    Keith Richards album- TALK IS CHEAP (198



    Except that he does. Realizing the Stones may possibly be a thing of the past, Richards got together his own band, calling them the X Pensive Winos and went out to record his own solo piece. So while Jagger was being panned for trying to maintain his image, something that reflected not only on parts of Dirty Work, but especially on his two to date solo efforts, Richards was being lauded by critics and fans. One critic noted that Talk Is Cheap was the best Rolling Stones album in years, no doubt his own swipe at Jagger.

    And this certainly is as good as anything the Stones did post Mick Taylor. He has a solid supporting cast with the always dependable Bobby Keys along with Steve Jordon, Charley Drayton, and Ivan Neville among others in the X Pensive winos. One thing for sure, this album had to have gotten Jaggerís attention because next thing you know, he was calling a meeting to get the Stones back together.

    COMPILATION: THE ROLLING STONES SINGLES COLLECTION: THE LONDON YEARS

    Yes, this was yet another Allen Klein production. Apparently a short prison sentence for tax evasion couldnít keep him down. Seriously though, this is perhaps the best of the Rolling Stones compilations as it covers all the singles released in the UK from 1963 to 1971. You donít have I Wanna Be Your Man? You can get it right here on this three disc set. Hoe about The Singer Not the Song? Yep, itís here. How about Bitch? Well, no because olí Allen didnít have the rights to that, but Wild Horses is because Allen gets to share that with the Rolling Stones. Anyway, this is a must for fans of the sixties Stones.

    Single

    Fancy Man Blues: So the Rolling Stones were back as if nothing ever happened. This is the flip to Mixed Emotions. This is done as a typical blues song. Wyman was said to have thought it was Jimmy Reed. Itís not bad, certainly better than most of Dirty Work had been. They sound happy here again.


    STEEL WHEELS (1989)



    After a meeting in 1988, it was decided that the five Rolling Stones would indeed get together for a new album and a tour. Two years of not seeing each other had made the band members more fond of each other and it would reflect on this album, which would be their most highly regarded effort in years. Watts had gotten himself cleaned up and Jagger and Richards buried their hatchet at long last. They even had nice things to say about each otherís solo efforts. This would be Bill Wymanís last go round with the Stones however as he would unofficially leave after the Steel Wheels Tour the following year. One senses that he thought he was getting too old for this (53 at this point). Anyway, this was quite a harmonious effort and possibly their last truly great moment in the sun as future albums would net them the rap of being too old to rock n roll so to speak.

    Sad Sad Sad: Yes, the Stones are definitely back. This is a rocker in the classic tradition. If this is the comeback album of sorts, itís a good way to start it off.



    Mixed Emotions: This was the big hit off the album. I honestly didnít expect much of this album judging from this song. I mean itís a good cut, but it doesnít truly sound like classic Stones. Still, itís certainly catchy and I can see why this song was successful.


    Terrifying: This is kind of in an R&B style done in the eighties way. Honestly I canít get into the mainstream rock pop that was popular in the eighties. You know, like something youíd hear on a movie soundtrack at the time. Thatís what this song sounds like. Then again, maybe Iím missing Brown Sugar like Iím sure a lot of Stones fans were.

    Hold On To Your Hat: One might notice that Mick Jagger is playing rhythm guitar a lot more at this point. He has been for a while actually, especially since Bill Wyman was still often missing at the recording sessions. This sounds like a rockabilly romp here. This is a pretty fun song. Yes, I can see how the reviews were generally positive. Some of Wattsí best drumming here.

    Hearts For Sale: This oneís a little more slower, a slow medium pace actually. Itís a tight piece. Not a song that really stands out. Fits in with the album basically.

    Blinded By Love: The first person I thought of was Jimmy Buffet when I heard the opening chords. Itís kind of in his style. Mind you, Iím no fan of Jimmy Buffet, he kind of bores me more than anything else, but this is a pleasant enough track. Itís kind of countrified too, something the Stones hadnít done in quite a while.



    Rock and a Hard Place: This was the other hit from the album and one of the best rockers. The Stones themselves find this one reminiscent of Start Me Up. It certainly sounds like late seventies Stones. Probably the best song on the album.

    Canít Be Seen: Keith Richards is doing the vocals on this one. He actually sounds pretty good here surprisingly enough. Pretty ordinary lyrics though and a pretty pedestrian song. But the vocals do surprise me here.

    Almost Hear You Sigh: Keith Richards actually wrote this for his solo album. This is supposedly influenced by Curtis Mayfield. One thing you notice here, is that after all these years, the Stones seem comfortable in their own skin, whatever style theyíre trying to play (soft soul in this case I think).

    Continental Drift: This song is reminiscent of a period when Brian Jones was experimenting with different sounds, this one having something of a Moroccan vibe. Nice track. I hear a little bit of We Love You at parts.

    Break the Spell: This is another one with a bit of a rockabilly beat. This one is a bit moody by both Stones and rockabilly standards. Kind of like a Cramps song in some ways. I think the Stones had a lot of fun with rockabilly.

    Slipping Away: Richards sings quite a bit on this album. He sings on this, the last track on Steel Wheels. It has a nice backup chorus on this but probably not a song Iíd be trying to listen to over and over again. Some Philly soul influences here I think.



    But wait there's more


    Single

    Cook Cook Blues:

    This is the flip to Rock and a Hard Place. Originally recorded in 1982, assumably for Undercover. It was considered pretty much a throwaway at the time. Itís your basic blues track more than anything wise. Nothing special.

    Single (1990)

    Wish Iíd Never Met You:

    This is the flip side to Terrifying ( I didnít even know that was released as a single). This too is a bit bluesy. Itís at a slower speed than Cook Cook Blues and the piano is more prominent. This isnít a bad track at all actually. This could have fit on Steel Wheels.

    So all is now well with the Rolling Stones but will it last? Iíll give you a hint: It will for four of them. The early nineties will be a period where people begin to wonder if the Rolling Stones are becoming a parody of themselves. After all, three of them would be turning fifty during this period. Shouldnít they be doing something else than playing rock and roll? Maybe, but there will be a lot to cover in the next five years between singles, a couple of solo albums (there would now be a comfort zone with the Glimmer Twins) and a new Rolling Stones album, so stay tuned for the fun.
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  3. #33

    1991-1995.




    The big story during this period was the departure of Bill Wyman. He had been unhappy for a while and, in early 1991, he announced his departure. It wouldnít become public for another two years, but in the meantime, The Stones had to find a new bassist. After many auditions with Richards and Watts, they decided on session musician Daryl Jones though he has yet to be considered a full fledged member. Maybe the other guys are jealous because at 57, heís young enough to be Jaggerís illegitimate son.

    In other news, the other Stones stayed involved with their solo projects as Watts was now leading his Charlie Watts Quintet and Jagger and Richards each recorded solo albums, this time in a more amicable fashion. As for the band themselves, they signed a contract with Virgin Records. Recording and live tours were less common as they were getting older but they still were happening as Voodoo Lounge would be released in 1994 and theyíd tour South America for the first time in 1995.

    So there will be a bit to cover even though there is only one bonafide Rolling Stones album. But there are also three singles plus two live albums as well as solo efforts by each of the Glimmer Twins. So letís get started, shall we?

    Single



    Highwire: This single would be highlighted on the live Flashpoint album. This is unusual in that it is a rather political song, something the Stones did sparingly. This was recorded during the build up to the Gulf War. Itís done in the classic Stones style and is very well done.



    Sex Drive: This single is done in something of a funky style not unlike something they might have done around the time of Black and Blue. Itís certainly sounds like something Jagger would do. The video is kind of fun to watch with Watts playing the psychiatrist role (I think). Nice catchy romp.

    LIVE- FLASHPOINT




    So this is the state of the Rolling Stones circa 1989/1990. It was recorded during the Steel Wheels/Urban Jungle Tour and, as such, would be the last weíd hear from Bill Wyman who would more or less retire. The Stones are at the point where they are playing the oldies for the most part. The quality remains stellar however and Iím hearing a great rendition of Ruby Tuesday. Who would have thought the Stones would tackle something that is foreign to what they sounded like from the seventies on? This is arguably their best live set since Ya Yas.

    KEITH RICHARDS ALBUM-MAIN OFFENDER



    This is Richardsí second and last album for another twenty-three years. Itís a shame too as this is about as good as Talk Is Cheap. In some ways Richardsí solo material is superior to what the Rolling Stones themselves were doing and is certainly superior to Jaggerís solo work. Richards co-wrote most of the tracks with other members of the X-Pensive Winos. With a couple exceptions, itís done in the same similar Stones influenced blues style that is on Talk Is Cheap. Jagger, upon complimenting the album would say that Richardsí single from the album, Wicked As It Seems, was the inspiration for Love Is Strong.



    MICK JAGGER ALBUM-WANDERING SPIRIT




    Mick Jagger did things a bit differently on this one. First he snatched up Rick Rubin to be his producer and he dropped most of his celebrity guest musicians for this effort, Lenny Kravitz being the only major name on this set. I have to say having lesser known session musicians makes this much more listenable to me than his two eighties efforts. Gone are the eighties style synthesizers and itís now back to basics for Jagger, albeit a bit commercial. After all, it wouldnít be Mick Jagger if it werenít at least a little commercial. Anyway, I can listen to this one and at least, Jagger isnít being pretentious here

    Single

    The Storm: This is the flip to Love Is Strong. This is done in an acoustic blues style. This probably would work with a black blues artist but I donít feel it here for some reason. And youíre talking about someone who loves classic blues.

    So Young: This is the flip to the UK release of Love Is Strong (are you keeping up here? ) . This is actually an outtake from Some Girls that they worked on for Voodoo Lounge. Itís not a bad track. It might have sounded a little too retro for Some Girls if that makes sense (this sounds closer to Sticky Fingers- Exile territory). Anyway, not a bad track.



    VOODOO LOUNGE



    Voodoo Lounge was the Stonesí first studio album in five years. It was also the first without Bill Wyman and from then on, the Rolling Stones would continue on as a four piece while Daryl Brown worked as their permanent bassist though he would never be considered a permanent member. Like Steel Wheels, this would be well received critically but it wouldnít make the same dent on the charts previous albums and singles had. By 1994, there really was a feeling that maybe the Rolling Stones had overstayed their welcome a bit as they were all now in their fifties. Still thereís a lot to like about this album, so letís going, shall we?



    Love Is Strong: I remember there was a lot of promotion for this track. The video features giant models walking the streets of New York while our heroes had to be careful not to be trampled on. As for the song itself, this might be my favorite track since Waiting on a Friend. And itís a great start to maybe the last studio album to be taken seriously.



    You Got Me Rocking: This one sounds like vintage Rolling Stones. It certainly sounds like something that might have worked on Exile On Main Street for example. Richards does a nice lead on this one. This was the second single culled from the album.

    Sparks Will Fly: Melodically, it sounds a little new wave. It basically comes off as halfway decent AOR. Probably not a classic track but fits in well with the album.

    The Worst: Richards is the singer on the mellow country tune. Ron Wood is featured on the pedal steel guitar. This works quite well as a country-rock ballad.

    New Faces: Mick Jagger called this track a bit madrigal. There is certainly a Lady Jane vibe to this. At this point, Iím hearing a certain maturity that isnít always so common on Rolling Stones tracks. I mean, Brown Sugar may be a great song, but I donít think anyone ever accused it of being mature. Anyway, this is a pretty track.

    Moon Is Up: Charlie Watts is apparently featured on trash can according to him. Anyway, this is another foray into the Rolling Stones being a little more than just a hard rock band. So far, Iím pleasantly surprised by this album.



    Out of Tears: This is the third single from the album. This too, is a ballad, though not in the country style of the previous tracks. This is a rather sad tune. I donít know if Jagger was going through something emotionally but you can certainly hear the pain in the lyrics.



    I Go Wild: And weíre back to classic Rolling Stones. Weíre also back to less than G rated lyrics, though hardly as bawdy as something like Star, Star, otherwise known asÖ Anyway, this is yet another solid track.

    Brand New Car: Well, I wonít accuse this track of having inspired lyrics. Yeah, I know Mick, you have a brand new car. The song itself is okay with some nice brass mixed in. Richards does a nice solo.

    Sweethearts Together: This is unusual in the sense that Jagger and Richards are doing a nice harmony. Itís a pretty song, something that seems to be common on this album. This has a bit of an Everly Brothers feel to it of all things.

    Suck On the Jugular: This has kind of a funky beat to it. Itís dominated by Wattsí drumming for the most part. The instrumentation, while there, is somewhat minimal. A little bit of language on this one. Not a bad track.

    Blinded By Rainbows: Another ballad of sort with some nice tremolo guitar work. I know I said Steel Wheels may have been their last true moment in the sun, and commercially, it probably was, but artistically, well, maybe not.

    Baby Break It Down: This is more of your standard Stones ballad with some country tinges. Itís not terrible by any length of the imagination, but it isnít a track that Iíll remember from this album. Another nice steel pedal by Wood.

    Thru and Thru: Wood is missing from this track even though timeisonmyside says it was partly done in Woodís studio. This is yet another track where Watts is drumming in the stairwell (how do you fit a drum set in there, I have no idea). This is a mostly acoustic track sung by Richards. Itís moody in its own way.

    Mean Disposition: The album ends with kind of a rockabilly romp. There are no frills on this one, just the four Rolling Stones plus Daryl Jones as well as Chuck Leavell on piano. Itís not truly classic Stones but itís a nice way to end the album

    Weíre almost doneÖ


    Single

    Jump On Top of Me: The B side to You Got Me Rocking, Jagger says he was pressured by producer Don Was to write this. It has a country-blues vibe to it. I think the Stones were trying to get back to their roots a bit here as this one sounds like something they could have done on Let It Bleed. I like this song.

    Iím Gonna Drive: The flip to Out of Tears, this track has a nice drive to it. I can hear Daryl Jonesí bass on this and I have to say, Iím quite impressed. Like a lot of Stones songs during this period, there are some country influences here. Another nice track.


    Okay, now weíre almost done.

    LIVE-STRIPPED



    This is a combination of live recordings and unplugged classics for the most part. This was recorded during the back end of the MTV Unplugged era and it seemed like everyone needed to get into the act and you know how the Stones like to be trendy. They even had a hit with a cover of Dylanís Like a Rolling Stone. Itís not bad though it sounds a little more like Dylan only with Stones vocals. As far as the ďunpluggedĒ tracks go, well, they really arenít unplugged, are they? I mean I can hear an electric organ on a redo of Iím Free. Of course theyíre all great songs, but Iíve heard so many live albums from these guys, do we really need one more? Still, a nice try with the studio redos.


    And so ends a rather active period in the life of the Rolling Stones. Things will slow down a bit over the next five years as age is slowly creeping in, but they will refuse to die and there will be some more things to cover to be sure. So stay tuned, we still have a bit to go.
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  4. #34
    Bill Wyman married the daughter of the mother his son married later on.....that was the 80's
    The only one who can heal you is you.




  5. #35

    1996-2000.




    By Rolling Stones standards, this was a fairly quiet period with only one album and a couple single tracks to review during this period. Charlie Watts continued on with his quintet while Jagger and Richards were abandoning their own solo efforts, preferring to concentrate on recording Bridges To Babylon. The band would also embark on what would prove to be a three year tour due to tax purposes.

    So during this period we technically have yet another live album, but I think weíre reviewed enough live albums by now. I think itís pretty well established by now that the Rolling Stones are a damned good live band so why do yet another? There is also Bridges to Babylon, their latest studio album, which we will get into right nowÖ

    BRIDGES TO BABYLON



    So here we are with the latest from the Stones. This album wouldnít be received as well as the previous two efforts. In this case maybe there were too many cooks besides Don Was, who had produced the previous albums and partially produced this one. Jagger brought in the flamboyant Dust Brothers who introduced the Stones to sampling, something that was somewhat controversial by now as the Rolling Stones themselves have had recordings sampled by others. On all, five producers were used outside of the Glimmer Twins themselves, who were again apparently not happy with each other (sigh).

    So what did it all mean for this album? Well, letís find out, shall weÖ


    Flip the Switch: The first thing to note about this standard Stones- like track is the dual drumming of Watts and established session musician Jim Keltner. It still comes off more as a heavy new wave song than truly classic Stones. Still, a good start to the album.



    Anybody Seen My Baby: This sounds more like a Mick Jagger solo effort to me. This was the hit from the album, or at least the better known hit. Itís a decent song and well produced, but it doesnít seem much like the Rolling Stones though. The Dust Brothers sampled Biz Markie on this one, donít ask me why.

    Low Down: This one is a medium slow paced done in classic Stones style for the most part. At this point, youíre getting the feeling that this has already been done. It certainly isnít a bad track, but maybe the Stones are getting a little long in the tooth.

    Already Over Me: Mick Jagger attempted to do this track with Babyface originally. The two decided it wouldnít work. As it is, you have a nice Stones ballad that has been compared to Wild Horses. So far, I can say the album is consistently decent at this point.

    Gunface: This is something of a violent song. Iím not sure if this is supposed to be a message against domestic violence or if itís a song that, as Charlie Watts puts it, has a Howlin Wolf vibe to it. Whatever the case, I canít get into it.

    You Donít Have To Mean It: Keith Richards doing reggae again. It sounds a bit like classic reggae here actually when you add the piano and horns. As usual, Richards does pretty well with this sound.



    Out of Control: I believe this was also released as a single. I think Jagger is trying to do some seventies style soul on this one but, honestly, Iím not feeling this one.



    Saint Of Me: I guess this also rates as solo Jagger since Richards isnít even on this track. That might be unfair as Jagger also plays acoustic guitar on this and the other two Stones are there as always. Not a bad track at all actually. MeíShell Ngedecello plays the bass on this track.

    Might As Well Get Juiced: Iím not sure what to compare this track too. Maybe a little bit of Undercover of the Night on this, but then again, not really. It has a slow bluesy kick to this, but it isnít a song I can really get into.

    Always Suffering: This is a ballad with a few country tinges. I guess this one is okay, but really, this almost sounds like filler.

    Too Tight: This sounds like classic Stones circa Some Girls. Even the lyrics seem a bit nostalgic for that time. After a couple of flat tracks, I can really get into this one.

    Thief in the Night: Jagger is missing from this one (his vocals didnít work it seems). Richards ends up doing the vocals. I can kind of see why. This sounds like something that would fit better on a Richards solo album. And since I like Richardsí solo stuff better than Jaggerís Ö . Like the background singers.

    How Can I Stop: This too is missing Jagger though why in this case, I have no idea. This is a thoughtful ballad of Richards with again the gospel like chorus. Like Thief in the Night, it doesnít really sound like the Rolling Stones, but it isnít a terrible way to end the album.


    But, wait, thereís more.

    Single

    Paying the Cost To Be the Boss (with BB King): This is actually a BB King track from his Deuces Wild album. So why here? Well, it says heís recording with the Rolling Stones. Itís actually great vintage BB King but you do wonder if a duet with Mick Jagger (or the other artists on the album for that matter) was really necessary.

    Anyway You Look At It: The flip of Saint of Me, this one sounds a bit strange. I think itís Richards on lead vocals here. This sounds really sappy to be honest, like something that might have been done by some MOR artist in the seventies, like Dan Fogelberg or worse. This has to be one of the worst Stones songs ever. Thank god this is just an obscure B-side or Iíd have to bring out the Shatner.


    So thatís the state of the Rolling Stones as we begin the new millennium. What will the twenty-first century have in store for our heroes? We know there will be yet another album and another tour. Will there be much else? Well, youíll have to stay tuned and find out, wonít you?
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  6. #36

    2001-2005.




    All things considered, this was a relatively quiet period in the Rolling Stones history. It makes sense as they were now approaching sixty. Not that there was no activity. Jagger was especially busy as he recorded his fourth solo album. Richards was also recording though his material has yet to be released. The Rolling Stones would perform at the Concert For New York in the wake of 9/11.

    The big event during this five year period would be the recording of yet another album and the Forty Licks world tour. Needless to say, the tour was a huge success, if a bit expensive for the concert goer. They did headline the SARS festival in Toronto in hopes of calming down fears of the epidemic there.

    In 2004, Charlie Watts was diagnosed with cancer and would have to go through radiation before the Stones embarked on their Bigger Bang tour. The good news is that he would make a complete recovery.
    So basically we have a surprisingly good Mick Jagger album, a few new tracks from their latest compilation, The Bigger Bang album, and a few single tracks. So letís get started, shall we?



    MICK JAGGER ALBUM-GODDESS IN THE DOORWAY



    So times were changing and the Rolling Stones were now older and yet still growing. It gave Mick Jagger some freedom to record his fourth album with little to no interference from his partner in crime, Richards. There was a feeling that he could do both now.

    And this is easily the best of Jaggerís four efforts and I have to admit I was a bit surprised. Yes, itís still quite commercial but there is nothing pretentious about this album. Heís not trying to be trendy. Heís simply writing and recording good songs here. There is a certain maturity to these tracks. Heís not trying to be the Rolling Stones and heís not trying to be the disco king or whatever he was trying to do in the eighties. I especially like the opening track, Visions of Paradise. 1/2

    COMPILATION- FORTY LICKS



    This is ninety percent greatest hits and ten percent new material (four songs). With forty songs in all, you get forty licks, get it?

    As far as the compilation goes, disc one covers much of their sixties material while disc two covers the seventies and beyond as well as the four new songs. Honestly, it isnít something I couldnít get on the other compilations. I mean the Hot Rocks series covered much of the same material as far as the sixties go. Of course, the Stones now had ownership of their old material so Iím sure that played into their thinking.

    So letís review the four new tracks, shall we?



    Donít Stop: This track is reminiscent of earlier times for the Stones. Ron Wood compares this to Start Me Up. Iím not sure if I hear the resemblance but I think I get whatís heís saying. Decent track.

    Keys To Your Love: I think they were trying to do Curtis Mayfield here. I donít know. I happen to like Curtis Mayfield and this song ainít it. Itís not all bad, parts of it are even good, but overall, I canít get into it.

    Stealing My Heart: The riff reminds me of Thatís Good by Better Than Ezra though it certainly isnít a ripoff of that song. Jagger says on timeisonmyside that it has a garage rock feel to it. Yeah, I can relate to that being a garage rock fan and all.

    Losing My Touch: This one is a Keith tune. This one is a slow ballad more or less and Richards seems to be showing his age here, at least as the vocals are concerned. Itís not bad and I might as well go on the record to say that Keith Richards is my favorite of the Rolling Stones. This song though, is a bit sleepy.

    A BIGGER BANG



    After going through a period of experimenting with different sounds, particularly on Bridges To Babylon eight years before, the Rolling Stones would get back to basics with this effort. It paid off as critics generally liked the album and sales were brisk. It also would set up one of their most successful concert tours.
    After listening to this album, I have to say this might be their best album since maybe Tattoo You. I didnít expect this to be as good and certainly to be as topical with the Stones now being in their sixties. Perhaps recording infrequently is good for them.



    Rough Justice: Oh, yeah. This is definitely classic Stones. In fact I could swear itís Mick Taylor on the guitar. Of course, itís Ron Wood, but man, this is the best Rolling Stones song Iíve heard in years.

    Let Me Down Slow: This one doesnít quite rock the way the opening track did, but itís not a bad track. One thing Iíve noticed early on, is that the subliminal new wavey style is gone. Thatís a good thing.

    It Wonít Take Long: Another solid track in the classic style. Not quite as raunchy as Rough Justice but there are some garage touches on this one chord wise. It sounds like the Stones are having fun with this one.


    Rain Fall Down: This one sounds more like vintage eighties a la Undercover. There is a bit of a funky vibe to this one. Itís a decent track. The album is going pretty well so far.



    Streets of Love: This one is a slower paced song compared to the others. . Vocally, it very much sounds like classic Stones. At their best they donít try to sound like great singers. Thereís a certain rawness in their backup vocals when theyíre at their best.

    Back of My Hand: The first thing I thought of when I saw the title was that this might be a cover of the Jagsí power pop classic. I know, silly, huh? Of course it isnít. In fact this is a great blues style piece reminiscent of something they might have done on Let It Bleed. Yeah, I like this one.

    She Saw Me Coming: Jagger is listed as the bass player on this one. This may have been done in one take. It certainly doesnít sound bad. Like the other tracks, itís a return to basics for the most part.

    Biggest Mistake: First of all this is a nice set of lyrics. Jagger was being introspective and maybe in some pain when he wrote this. It shows a different side of Mick and while itís sad in a way, it isnít unusual, because weíve all had pain at some time in our lives.

    This Place Is Empty: Keith is on the vocals on this mostly acoustic piece. Itís a nice semi-slow song. Jagger plays the slide on this one.

    Oh No Not You Again: Definitely classic style Stones here circa Sticky Fingers or Exile. I canít say it quite matches up to Brown Sugar or Rocks Off but there is no doubt you can hear the energy on this. Richards does a nice solo.

    Dangerous Beauty: Did I mention the Stones rarely got political outside of maybe Beggars Banquet (Sympathy For the Devil, Street Fighting Man)? Well they sure do here. It was pointed out that this was about the Abu Ghraib scandal, possibly a swipe at Lynddie England in particular. I have to say, these are some of Jaggerís strongest lyrics. Heís really on fire on this album.

    Laugh, I Nearly Died: This is more of a ballad really. I hear a little bit of Miss You here for some reason. This one is a bit soulful. I kind of like this one.

    Sweet Neo Con: Did I say Jagger was on fire? Well, he really goes for the jugular on this one. He takes shots at the religious right and the Bush administration in general. Itís obvious Jagger was very opposed to the Iraq War. This Some Girls style song is about as powerful as Dangerous Beauty, though if a gun was put to my head, Iíd probably say the former is a little more effective.

    Look What the Cat Dragged In: This one is a bit fast paced, a bit funky in the typical Stones style circa eighties. Interesting title to say the least. Not a bad track.

    Driving Too Fast: Another song that is back to basics. Not quite as heavy as some of the other tracks. I mean, this wonít remind you of Sticky Fingers. Possibly because there are no horns on this track, or anywhere else on this album as Iíve just realized. It doesnít take away from the album though. Wood does a nice slide solo.

    Infamy: Looking at the probable line-up and with it being primarily Jagger and Richards with Watts on drums, I have to wonder if this is one of those McCartney style do it yourself tracks. Luckily this wasnít done in the sixties when they would have had to figure out how to do this on a four track. Anyway, this isnít a bad way to end the album. Richards is on lead vocals



    But wait, thereís more

    Single

    Under the Radar: This was a track that was added to the Bigger Bang DVD. It has that blues-country Rolling Stones vibe to a large extent. Not really the most melodic of songs, but then again, the Stones never were known for their great melodies.

    Donít Wanna Go Home: Another extra track off the DVD. There is a garage feel to this, especially in the chorus. Really, if a retro garage band got hold of this, this could sound like something that could have been on the Pebbles series (I know youíve never heard of Pebbles but itís basically a multi-LP compilation of amateur teen bands from the sixties). Anyway, I really like this track.

    So there was are as we enter what will the last phase (for now) of the Rolling Stonesí career. It promises to be a period of touring mostly when they are active as there is only one more Rolling Stones album to actually review. We will mention Richards and Woods and their solo endeavors though. Anyway stay tuned to see what our heroes are up to now.
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  7. #37
    What I like about the Neolithic stones is that you don't have to be young to be hip...not hip replacement
    The only one who can heal you is you.




  8. #38
    Esc, where ya been?
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  9. #39
    Just not been posting as much but still looked in an read stuff
    The only one who can heal you is you.




  10. #40

    2006-2019.




    This last period in our saga begins with a trip to the Super Bowl as the Rolling Stones got the nod to play the halftime show. They fared better than other oldies acts such as Paul McCartney and especially the Who (or whatís left of them) as they didnít seem to look like over-aged embarrassments. Of course the Rolling Stones were now in their sixties going into their seventies. There were a couple sets with unreleased tracks that I wonít be covering though I probably should. I am going to cover a Rolling Stones album of covers as A Bigger Bang is, alas, the last album of original Stones material. We also have a Keith Richards solo effort and a live New Barbarians album featuring Richards and Wood.

    So what is the state of the Stones as of now? Well, for starters, Keith Richards would have a series of misadventures as he claimed to have smoked his fatherís ashes and he infamously fell out of a palm tree in another incident (donít ask me). Ron Wood would have his own domestic issues that would end in a couple break ups. He found some success as a solo artist though. Watts stayed active too playing in clubs when the Stones were not performing.

    And then there was the reality that the Rolling Stones were no longer young when Mick Jagger recently had to get a heart procedure done. The good news is heís fine and the Stones just recently finished their latest North American tour.

    So what does the future hold for these ageless wonders? Itís hard to say. Billy Wyman, who also remains active, is now eighty-three and the other three original Stones are in their late seventies. Even Ron Wood just turned seventy. But, who knows, maybe there is another album in them, I guess time will tell.

    So, we have a smattering of whatís left in the Stones history here. I donít have information on some of it, but Iíll do the best I can with it.


    MOVIE -SHINE A LIGHT (200



    For this movie, the Rolling Stones would get the Martin Scorcese treatment. Scorsese is a big fan of the Rolling Stones and he has used their music in many of his movies, notably Goodfellas and Casino. I havenít seen the movie, only catching the two minute trailer on YouTube which shows Scorcese fretting about what songs the Stones are going to play. There is some archival film in this as well. I happen to be a fan of archival film as it often explains how artists tend to tick today. I guess itís part of the inner historian in me as well. Anyway, I havenít seen the film, but I did see Scorceseís bio on George Harrison so that alone makes me really want to see this. Maybe one day.


    Single



    Plundered My Soul: This is off the Stones in Exile set. In other words, this is an outtake from Exile On Main Street. Universal, who the Stones are with now, was hoping they could find some old material from some their seventies period and they were surprised to find unused tracks from Exile On Main Street in particular given that had been a double album set. This song is halfway decent and probably would have done well on Exile. As it was, they ended up releasing this as a single in 2010.


    off Tribute to Ian Stewart album


    Watching the River Flow: This is off the album Boogie 4 Stu, a tribute album to the late Ian Stewart. Bill Wyman returns for this Bob Dylan cover. Iím guessing that Stewart was a big Dylan fan. Iím not going to be critical of something that was meant as a labor of love. I will say, that this is a good version of the song though and itís nice to see Bill Wyman back with the Stones, even if it is just for one track.

    KEITH RICHARDS ALBUM- CROSSEYED HEART



    This is Keith Richardsí first solo album in twenty-three years. Like the other two, this one is pretty much a gem. Here, Richards is combining acoustic blues as well as other styles that you would associate with Richards. Of course there is the slight foray into reggae which is a love of his. The bottom line is that it, as with the other two albums, is a collection of really good songs. And once again, Richards proves he can actually sing, even at seventy-two.



    NEW BARBARIANS (KEITH RICHARDS AND RON WOOD)-WANTED DEAD OR ALIVE (LIVE) (2016)



    The New Barbarians was, and is, essentially, Ron Woodís project with some help from Keith Richards. This is from a concert they did in 1979. Stanley Clarke, Bobby Keys, and Ian McLagan are among the other members. This is basically an energetic set with Keys doing his usual thing on the sax. Itís a shame they never recorded a studio album. And guess what? Ron Wood can even sing, who would have known?

    BLUE & LONSESOME




    This is the Rolling Stonesí first album in eleven years and the first covers album, thus they have yet to release an album of new material since A Bigger Bang. If A Bigger Bang is to be their last original album, then itís a pretty good way to go. As for this set, this is obviously a homage to the blues, the form that essentially made the Rolling Stones what they are. For the most part itís the four Rolling Stones in their traditional roles with some help from Daryl Jones, Chuck Leavell, Matt Clifford, and a guest appearance by none other than Eric Clapton.

    Obviously, you have to take this album in context as this is more of a tribute album for some of the Stonesí favorite blues artists. As such, this is a fantastic collection of songs, featuring some blues tracks originally recorded by the likes of Little Walter, Howlin Wolf, etc.



    Just Your Fool: This is a Little Walter cover that sounds a little like early Stones, like 1964 early Stones. This sounds pretty cool. Quite a bluesy feel to this. These guys are having fun.

    Commit a Crime: This was Howlin Wolf so you can imagine this would be an interesting set of lyrics. Howlin Wolf was indeed something of a horse of a different color. In any event, the Stones a pretty good job with this one. Really like Wattsí drums on this.

    Blue & Lonesome: Another Little Walter cover. This sounds a little moodier than the Little Walter material I have previously heard. Actually, if I hadnít seen the credits, I might have assumed this was another Howllin Wolf cover. Anyway, another great track.

    All Of Your Love: This one is the Magic Sam cover. Iíve heard the original and itís actually one of my favorite songs of 1957.

    I Gotta Go: Another Little Walter cover; they must love this guy. This sounds closer to what I would have expected from Little Walter as this is a bit more upbeat and a bit jukey as well.

    Everybody Knows About My Good Thing: This one was originally done by Little John Taylor in 1971. Okay, first of all, I have no idea who Little John Taylor is. This is one of two songs that features Eric Clapton. Itís pretty much your routine blues song circa early seventies. Nice jam session for the most part

    Ride Em On Down: I havenít heard of Eddie Taylor and this is from 1955. I need to brush up on my blues. This is a fairly upbeat tune. It moves along quite well. Interesting this song has a naughty word given itís from 1955 and they would have frowned on something like that then. Anyway, Iím really liking this album.



    Hate To See You Go: Not Little Walter again. This was one of the singles culled from the album and I can see why. This one definitely has a steady rhythm to it, kind of like a fast paced Muddy Waters tune. Speaking of, where is Muddy Waters in this package?


    Hoo Doo Blues: This one is from Lightnin Slim circa 1958. This definitely sounds like classic blues here. Like most of the album, I like this.

    Little Rain: And hereís one from Jimmy Reed. Reed was someone the Stones covered a lot in their early days. Jagger and Richards may have been thinking of Brian Jones when they played this one. As usual, they do Reed justice here.

    Just Like I Treat You: Ah, a Howlin Wolf cover that doesnít sound so scary. The Wolf must have been on his meds when he did this. Either that or itís because Willie Dixon wrote it. Anyway, this is probably a little faster than a typical Howlin Wolf song. Itís a nice little rave up actually.

    I Canít Quit You Baby: I know this one. This is the Otis Rush classic. This is also the second track featuring Eric Clapton. Itís about at the same tempo as the original. Jagger does a decent vocal and, as usual, Clapton does his vintage slow hand bit. Good way to end this set.


    And I think thatís about it. Will the Stones tour again? My gut says yes. Will they record another album? Who knows at this point? One thing for sure, the Rolling Stones have given us everything theyíve had for over fifty-five years now so it wonít be upsetting if this is finally it. Whether they perform together again or not, itís good to see the friendships maintained at least and one can hope they remain healthy for however long they have on this earth.

    So thatís about it. Thank you for indulging me on the second of my reviewing projects. Iíll start with a new reviewing of another major artist very soon
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