I’m with the band: The Rolling Stones
Welcome to “I’m with the band”. In this column, I’m going to teach you how to become a fan of all the iconic bands you’ve always heard of, but might not really know. I’m going to introduce you to some deep songs that will elevate your status from “surface fan” to “true fan”, and tell you why, in my humble opinion, these bands are worth knowing. Hopefully by the end of this series you will understand why you should become a fan of it too.
It was on the outskirts of Austin, Texas, hitchhiking with two strangers in the back of a pickup truck, that I truly understood why the Rolling Stones were considered rock & roll’s greatest band. of the world.
Three months ago, my friends and I attended the Stones’ “No Filter Tour”..“The show ended with a larger-than-life rendition of”Jump Jack Flash“, and although the three of us had planned to use the carpool to return to the city, we soon realized that the irregular rural cell service combined with the 50,000 participants trying to leave the arena would make this impossible.
Woodstock-style, we spent an hour roaming all the ends of the outdoor site, even venturing through the long rows of trailer parks under the increasing likelihood that we might be stranded for the night. But on a whim, we finally decided to join two strangers by jumping into the bed of the first city-bound truck we could find.
It was a half hour drive on the open road. We filled the time by sharing stories and smiles, and even learned that the two strangers were an uncle and nephew duo who had seen the Stones in concert 19 times. As we all chatted about our favorite moments from the show, we heard Uncle start listing a compilation of songs he wished he could have heard that night.
His list was endless, to the point that he seemed to recite the entire Stones discography. I was sure that in the case of any other band, such a long list of proclaimed hits would be almost incredulous.
But the Rolling Stones aren’t just any band. They are the oldest band to date, having survived the British invasion of 21st century rock, disco, grunge and pop. The Rolling Stones have become rock n’ roll’s most ubiquitous symbol, with their genre music representing a cultural revolution in its own right. When you understand this level of sheer greatness the Stones achieved, you can begin to see how even after naming over 50 songs, the man’s list had just scratched the surface of the Stones’ influence.
Yes, the Rolling Stones are really that good.
The Rolling Stones formed in 1962 amid the British pop-rock invasion. Like most other British bands at the time (eg the Bee Gees), the Stones spent the majority of their early years chasing the Beatles. Early Stones sound, like their 1965 song “time is on my side”, was practically indistinguishable from the sound of traditional British pop-rock. Even their first five album covers show the Stones looking like poster children for the standard British boy band image.
But the Stones were not destined to remain photocopies of the Beatles. Over the years, the Stones began to enter into their dark reputation as the “bad boys of rock n’ roll” – an image for which they have the blues to thank.
Blues artists like Muddy Waters and Howlin’ Wolf influenced the Stones in finding their distinctive sound. If you compare Howlin’ Wolf’s”Lightnin’ Fireplace“stones”little red rooster», the inspiration is palpable. The blues allowed the Stones to create dirtier, grittier and sexier rock music than the Beatles. It is for this same reason that Martin Scorsese chose to create a blues-inspired soundtrack for the 2013 film “The Wolf of Wall Street”; there’s no better sound than blues that captures the rebellious lifestyle of a rockstar.
Despite popular singles such as “(I can’t get no) Satisfaction” and “Paint it black“, it’s only their 1968 album”Banquet of beggars” that the Stones elevated their status from popular musicians to cultural icons. And if you listen to this vinyl on a record player, it wouldn’t be hard to see why.
It only takes twenty seconds of listening to the album’s opening song”Sympathy for the Devil” to realize that what you hear is not music at all, but rather history. As the needle drops, the listener is transported back to the tumultuous times of the late 1960s, a time when the Vietnam War, riots and political unrest threatened to tear America apart. The world was changing, and it was changing rapidly, reflected in the disorderly escalation of the song’s percussive rhythm and the chilling moans of Mick Jagger. While other hippie and psychedelic artists of the late 1960s chose to flee that obscurity, the Stones pledged to release an album that was raw, honest, and resonated with fans around the world.
1968 may have been the first time the Stones produced an album bigger than the music itself, but it wasn’t the last time. The magic they found on “Beggars Banquet” soared to unimaginable heights with each subsequent release. It only took the Stones a year to align “Sympathy for the Devil” with the “let it bleed” opener”give me shelter– a track that marks one of the greatest rock songs ever written.
Even with 10 consecutive gold albums, the Stones have never been confined to one genre. They were a wildly unpredictable band, all out of the blues (“Fan Blues), funk (“100 years ago“), the country (“dead flowers“), disco (“I miss you”) and pop (“start Me Up”). The Stones were rock & roll at their best, possessing the power to leave a fan who had seen them live 19 times wanting more.
Today, listening to the Rolling Stones invites you to enter their universe. When you listen”Out of sightyou can hear the time Rita – an infamous blind Stones groupie – saved Keith Richards from jail time for heroin possession in button the judge.
Or maybe with “Can’t you hear me knock“, you can hear the night that Jagger woke up from an LSD trip only to discover he had bought a ramshackle Hampshire mansion – an estate the band renovated and recorded albums”Exile on the main street” and “sticky fingers” in.
For me, every time I hear “Jumpin’ Jack Flash” I think back to that night in Austin surrounded by good music, good people, and way too much dirt in the bed of a pickup truck. I had the opportunity to create my own world in these memories, and I invite you all to do the same.
Editor’s note: This article is a review and contains subjective opinions, reflections and criticisms.