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  • Remedial Rolling Stones Education

    Sometimes a band just slips through the cracks for some people. For me, it's the Rolling Stones. I own a lot of music, but I don't have any Stones. I reckon it's because for most of my music consuming life, all they've really been is a cash-grabbing tour dinosaur, and that really turned me off. That said, I've been rethinking things.

    So folks, if you had to pick five must-have Stones records, which ones would they be? I would admit that as my knowledge goes, the 70s stuff appeals more than the 60s stuff, but I'm ready to be told otherwise.

  • #2
    Sticky Fingers
    Exile on Main St.
    Beggars Banquet
    Let It Bleed
    Goat's Head Soup

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    • #3
      Hot Rocks will get you most of the early stuff you need and then I would get Let it Bleed and Sticky Fingers. I'd also pick up Emotional Rescue.
      Cause sometimes the rhetoric don't go with the contents

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      • #4
        I loved THROUGH THE PAST DARKLY (a.k.a greatest hits volume 2). Every song a gem and a smash. Includes some of the more mid-60's psychedelic stuff which I love of theirs, and ends just as the 1970's begin...
        Every paint-stroke takes you farther and farther away from your initial concept. And you have to be thankful for that. Wayne Thiebaud


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        • #5
          Exile on Main Street
          Tattoo You
          Beggar's Banquet
          Let It Bleed
          Some Girls
          Music, thoughts, stuff, and... I guess that's all

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          • #6
            The compilation Hot Rocks has virtually all of their hits up to 1971 or so. Their best period was 1968-71. They had reached full competence as players, finally established their own identity, and hadn't burned out yet.

            This period includes the following albums, all of which are good:
            Beggars Banquet
            Let it Bleed
            Get Your Ya-Yas Out (live)
            Sticky Fingers
            "In a time of universal deceit - telling the truth is a revolutionary act."- George Orwell

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            • #7
              Goats Head Soup is a great call Ed. Exile and Stick Fingers are great and always are remembered while goat gets forgotten a lot. I love that album.
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              • #8
                Out of Our Heads

                December's Children (And Everybody's)

                Aftermath

                9fwxqt5ldfe" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Flowers

                Let It Bleed


                I had to be cold here... I wanted to include at least three more.

                Anyone not familiar with the song lists on those albums should follow the links to the All Music Guide pages for the LPs.



                BTW... I can easily understand (sadly) why younger folks would be quick to dismiss the Stones based on their 80s and beyond work.
                .

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                • #9
                  A lot of good ideas here, which I will pursue. I might add that I'm not exactly a youngster - I'm 36. I was in elementary school - third grade I think, and I was aware of it - when Tattoo You came out, and to me that stands as about the last spot the Stones seemed creatively vital. But it's a pretty sad of affairs that by the time I reached my teens, they were the poster boys for corporate rock sell outs. I've got plenty of Beatles stuff and have had it for a long time, but I suppose it's because they had the good sense to pack in when it was right to pack it in. The Beatles managed to stay pure, while the sad thing is that by keeping at it, the Stones made it hard for a lot of folks to ever get into them beyond what popped up on classic rock radio. But at least I'm looking forward to hearing what made those guys so cool so long ago.

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                  • #10
                    I'm not sure what you think made the Stones "the poster boys for corporate rock sell-outs". Most bands do have a creative peak (or two) and don't keep putting out stuff that's as good as their best, indefinitely. But as long as people still want to see them and they still enjoy playing, they should keep playing.

                    Ginormous Stones fan here (to put it mildly), and like most people, I'd consider '68-72 their best stuff, which would mean:

                    Beggars Banquet
                    Let It Bleed
                    Get Yer Ya-Ya's Out (live album from '69 tour, I pretty much learned to play electric guitar from this record)
                    Sticky Fingers
                    Exile On Main Street

                    But damn... that leaves out so much great stuff. For sure you want to get Hot Rocks or one of the other compilations of all their early singles. Their very first record is a stellar debut that really showcases how they sounded in the very early days (be sure to get the British version). I'm really partial to Between the Buttons too, it's a really offbeat album from them, has a bit of psychedelia and a little Kinks-style vaudeville, and some great pop songwriting. Way unlike anything else they've done.

                    Then there's Some Girls and Tattoo You, both spectacular records at a time when everyone thought they were "done." I love Goats Head Soup and It's Only Rock'n'Roll, although they were largely overlooked at the time, coming as they did right after the "peak period" and people's expectations were through the roof. And even more recently, I thought Steel Wheels was quite underrated for instance. But I'll stop there.
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                    • #11
                      Then there's Some Girls and Tattoo You, both spectacular records at a time when everyone thought they were "done."


                      Thank you for the validation.
                      Music, thoughts, stuff, and... I guess that's all

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                      • #12
                        I'm not sure what you think made the Stones "the poster boys for corporate rock sell-outs". Most bands do have a creative peak (or two) and don't keep putting out stuff that's as good as their best, indefinitely. But as long as people still want to see them and they still enjoy playing, they should keep playing.

                        Ginormous Stones fan here (to put it mildly), and like most people, I'd consider '68-72 their best stuff, which would mean:

                        Beggars Banquet
                        Let It Bleed
                        Get Yer Ya-Ya's Out (live album from '69 tour, I pretty much learned to play electric guitar from this record)
                        Sticky Fingers
                        Exile On Main Street

                        But damn... that leaves out so much great stuff. For sure you want to get Hot Rocks or one of the other compilations of all their early singles. Their very first record is a stellar debut that really showcases how they sounded in the very early days (be sure to get the British version). I'm really partial to Between the Buttons too, it's a really offbeat album from them, has a bit of psychedelia and a little Kinks-style vaudeville, and some great pop songwriting. Way unlike anything else they've done.

                        Then there's Some Girls and Tattoo You, both spectacular records at a time when everyone thought they were "done." I love Goats Head Soup and It's Only Rock'n'Roll, although they were largely overlooked at the time, coming as they did right after the "peak period" and people's expectations were through the roof. And even more recently, I thought Steel Wheels was quite underrated for instance. But I'll stop there.


                        By sellouts I mean the tour sponsorships, tunes in advertisements, etc. I think they even did something for a perfume (Jovan Musk?)! Yeah, everyone, even U2, does some form of it now, and for a lot of smaller bands, it may be the only real way to get exposure and some money. But the Stones were in the vanguard of this push when they didn't need the bucks, at a time when a band doing that could really turn off some folks. They just seemed like whores. Hey, I was a Fugazi fan, so you could see how what the Stones were doing might have been a turn off.

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                        • #13
                          By sellouts I mean the tour sponsorships, tunes in advertisements, etc. I think they even did something for a perfume (Jovan Musk?)! Yeah, everyone, even U2, does some form of it now, and for a lot of smaller bands, it may be the only real way to get exposure and some money. But the Stones were in the vanguard of this push when they didn't need the bucks, at a time when a band doing that could really turn off some folks. They just seemed like whores. Hey, I was a Fugazi fan, so you could see how what the Stones were doing might have been a turn off.


                          I can see where this would create a negative perception, and I'm quite anti-corporate myself in general. However I think that it's ALL about perception, and that when you really look at it, corporate sponsorship is a more honest and direct way of doing something that all major artists do anyway. Most of them do it through record labels, and major labels actually force one to be a bigger whore than non music related corporations. For one thing, they try to control your creative output. For another, they just turn around whatever money they earn from artists like the Stones and invest it in other things, which you or the artist may or may not approve of or even know about.

                          For instance, I'll bet you didn't know that what drove the Stones initially to start their own label (in the early 70's) was when they found out that their then UK label, Decca, was taking profits they earned from the Stones' records and investing them in bombs to bomb North Vietnam. Once they had their own label, they still needed corporate money for promotion and to offset tour expenses. Now would you rather they made money for a perfume company or a bomb company? The difference is, the Stones control who they make money for now, and they are honest about it - as opposed to labels who hide what they do in order to create the perception that they're "all about the music" and not corporate whores.

                          Also, the money from corporate sponsorships goes to offset production costs. The Stones work extremely hard to put an an amazing stage production, and spare no expense. Extravagant stage production may or may not be your cup of tea - I have mixed feelings about it myself, I really dig the creativity and the pomp and circumstance in their stage shows, although I also at times would love to see them in just a stripped down setting with little fanfare. But I don't know if that would work in a huge stadium. In any case, I know they spend a crapload of money on production, it's not all just going on their pockets, and they do it because they want to go the extra mile for the fans. Plenty of people would pay a lot to see them even without the big production, so they don't have to do it. But if artistically that's what they want to do and the fans like it, and some corporation is willing to help them foot the bill, no big deal. Perfume companies can't be any worse than the sharks in the music industry that one otherwise has to deal with.
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                          • #14
                            A lot of good ideas here, which I will pursue. I might add that I'm not exactly a youngster - I'm 36. I was in elementary school - third grade I think, and I was aware of it - when Tattoo You came out, and to me that stands as about the last spot the Stones seemed creatively vital. But it's a pretty sad of affairs that by the time I reached my teens, they were the poster boys for corporate rock sell outs. I've got plenty of Beatles stuff and have had it for a long time, but I suppose it's because they had the good sense to pack in when it was right to pack it in. The Beatles managed to stay pure, while the sad thing is that by keeping at it, the Stones made it hard for a lot of folks to ever get into them beyond what popped up on classic rock radio. But at least I'm looking forward to hearing what made those guys so cool so long ago.



                            Eh, young fella... that's a youngster to me.

                            Third grade when Tattoo You came out... I'd have to check when that was but I know it was quite a while after I'd stopped paying attention to what was once one of my two or three favorite bands.


                            PS... last album I really bonded with was Goat's Head Soup. It's a personal fave but I thought the earlier albums I linked to were far more crucial. But I've always loved "Angie" and I like "Heartbreaker" -- and "Dancing with Mr D" reminded me (in a good way) of the lost Stones song "Memo from Turner" (one of my all time faves, even though it's never been on a "real" Stones album, only one of those Alan Klein outtakes albums -- the rough Stones version shares co-honors with the brilliant Jagger/Crazy Horse/Ry Cooder Jack Nietsche version from the Performance soundtrack.) I sorta remember liking It's Only Rock and Roll, which I have on vinyl but, for me, it fades quickly from there. I like Jagger... he's an irascible fella.
                            .

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                            • #15
                              I was going into eighth grade when it came out (summer 1981). It was the first vinyl album I bought myself to accompany the hand-me-down stereo I put in my room after my folks got a shiny new one.
                              Music, thoughts, stuff, and... I guess that's all

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