Sunday, 26 August 2012

Sunday August 26th, 2012 Happy 50th Boys!

It’s hard to believe that The Rolling Stones, one of the world’s greatest rock ‘n’ roll bands, have celebrated 50 great years together. Can you think of another band that has had such success, as well as longevity? I know I can’t. For many music lovers The Stones are the forefathers of rock ‘n’ roll; for aspiring musicians, The Stones are countlessly named as influences in their own music.

So what makes The Stones so endlessly appealing? Is it their lyrics? Could it be their style and appearance? What about their onstage showmanship? Perhaps all of the above? If you have ever been fortunate to see The Stones live or have seen one of their concert films, anyone will tell you that they exude an infectious persona. To Mick Jagger’s distinctive vocal on ‘Brown Sugar’, Keith Richard’s guitar solo on ‘Gimme Shelter’, Ronnie Wood’s bass work and Charlie Watts’ unparalleled drumming skills, it’s no wonder that they are attained such legendary status.

But what if you are new to the band and not sure where to begin? Even if you are a seasoned Stones fan, The Thunder Bay Public Library has more than enough Stones’ memorabilia for you to enjoy. Just how Mick Jagger “can be your savior steadfast and true”, here at TBPL “we’ll come to your emotional rescue” (quoted from the song Emotional Rescue).

As a new listener of the Rolling Stones, I would suggest starting with what is often considered to be their greatest album, Exile on Main Street. The electrifying 1972 album was first met with mixed reviews, but over time has grown to be revered and respected as the definitive rock ‘n’ roll album ever produced. Containing such classic songs as ‘Tumbling Dice’, ‘Happy’ and ‘Shine a Light’, I challenge any new listener to not be swept away. 

Since the Stones are known for their live performances, check out their 1970 live Baltimore performance on the album, Get Yer Ya-Ya’s Out: The Rolling Stones In Concert. This was the first of many live records to be produced by the Stones, and often considered the quintessential live record of their careers. This album showcases their talent and knack for putting on a great show. Be sure to listen to the live version of ‘Midnight Rambler’, a truly arresting experience.

But if you are a long time fan and just want to revisit the classics, I recommend the 2002 album (and personal favorite) Forty Licks. This forty-song anthology includes their best work, playing one irresistible Stone song after another. The recording starts off with the fist pumping ‘Street Fighting Man’ and concludes with the quiet ‘Losing My Touch’.

If you haven’t seen any of the live performance films I suggest the 2008 Martin Scorsese directed ‘Shine A Light’. This concert film gives no background information on the Stones, and just gives one great concert. It also goes to show that despite their increasing age, nobody knows how to rock out quite like them.
If you are interested in learning more about their history, check out The Rolling Stones Album: Thirty Years of Music and Memorabilia, which provides a rich visual and written history on the band and the music they produced. Or if you are interested in the more lurid gossip and romances of the band, read The Rolling Stones Chronicle: The First Thirty Years. If you just want to experience the lyrics, as they are, check out The Rolling Stones: It's Only Rock 'n' Roll: Song by Song.

So why not swing by TBPL and check one or more of these great Stones’ items. No one has more Stones
material to keep you happy other than us.

Petar Vidjen

1 comment:

Ian Pattison said...

√Thanks for your thoughts on the Stones at 50. As a fan since 1962 I must correct your reference to “Ronnie Wood’s bass work.” Ronnie did play bass for Jeff Beck but returned to guitar with the Faces and has shared guitar duties in the Stones with Keith Richards since 1975. Wood plays bass on the odd song (Shattered, for one) but is essentially paired with Richards on six-string. The Stones have only had one permanent bass player in Bill Wyman. Daryl Jones replaced Wyman who retired in 1993 but despite playing on recordings and tour, Jones has not been invited to become an official member of the band.