Rolling Stone: 100 Best Rolling Stones songs
Esquire: Rolling Stones Studio Albums, Ranked
My top five Rolling Stones Albums:
- Exile on Main St.
- Let It Bleed
- Beggars Banquet
- Sticky Fingers
I haven’t listened to all of their albums, especially the later ones.
Exile on Main St. has really grown on me since 1972. There is no one song that is among their best but the album as a whole is the finest demonstration of the Stones’ love of American music – country, blues, 1950s rock and roll. Although it was not all recorded and written and the same time, it sounds like it was.
Beggars Banquet sounds like it was recorded in one group of sessions because it was. It got back to the roots after the psychedelic period. Sticky Fingers and Let It Bleed don’t hang together as albums. They display their roots as collections of songs recorded at different times. Let It Bleed is better because it has stronger songs. No song on Sticky Fingers ranks with “Gimme Shelter” or “Let It Bleed”. No song on Let It Bleed is as weak as “I Got the Blues”.
Aftermath (which had different UK and American releases) has some of the best early Stones songs such as “Under My Thumb” and “Out of Time” in addition to “Mother’s Little Helper” (UK) or “Paint It, Black” (US).
I finally saw the Stones in concert in 2006. I was impressed how they could play two hours without going to the bathroom. They played a very safe playlist that was mostly greatest hits. They can afford great sidemen like Blondie Chaplin (singer on the Brach Boys “Sail On Sailor” and Chuck Leavell (Allman Brothers keyboard player starting on Brothers and Sisters). Lisa Fischer did a great job with her powerful vocals on “Gimme Shelter”. Even though the concert was excellent, there was something missing. One of the great things about the early Stones was their rebelliousness. Now, they’re the establishment with commercial sponsors.
The Rolling Stones had not played Baltimore since 1969. Baltimore loses out on many big concerts because the arena is small (capacity of about 12,000) and it’s a dump from the early 1960s. The top ticket price in 1969 was $7.50. Ticket prices in 2006 were $400 and $160.