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My Album Reviews. Please post differing opinions on the message board.

The Rolling Stones Review Message Board

1. Good. 2. Pretty Good. 3. Great. 4. Excellent. 5. Classic.

I hope to have all the albums reviewed soon. These reviews are my opinion. I am an old guy and I have been listening to The Stones from the start. I give these albums a fresh listen before each review.

In no special order, here we go.

 

 

 

 

Flowers

1/2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

With the exception of the soulless "My Girl", Flowers stands out as one The Stones better efforts.  "Ruby Tuesday" starts out the album in favorable fashion.  Nothing really outstanding about the song, after The Beatles many bands were trying this sound.  "Have You Seen Your Mother, Baby, Standing In The Shadow?" differs from The Beatles in subject matter.  That's not a bad thing.  It's a Stones classic.  "Let's Spend The Night Together" one of many Stones AM hits to sneak in sex, another classic and an excellent song. "Lady Jane" well, certainly inspired by Brian Jones as surely much as this album is...just sucks.  "Out Of Time" just plain rocks.  Simple and to the point. Listen to the bass work....double lead and backing vocals.  "My Girl" the less said about this effort the better.....really bad. Good acoustic guitar work highlights "Backstreet Girl".  "Please Go Home" a theme explored many times by the Stones.  Some distortion, echo's, and studio tricks, good work.  "Mother's Little Helper" is one of the Rocks era's best songs period.  "Take It Or Leave It" well, not bad not great.  "Ride On, Baby" is a girl trouble song, pretty good.  "Sittin' On A Fence" British blues, Stones style.

Okay the final word. This is an Abkco and I am not an expert on who picked the songs and all the stuff.  As I recall things when this one came out, The Stones didn't much input about the content of their albums.  The line up of  songs on this one are solid but, the record company wanted Beatles. There are some classic moments here...but the Stones best is yet to come with many previews here.

 

 

 

 

 

Goats Head Soup

 

 

"Dancing With Mr. D" starts things off with a whimper. "100 Years Ago" an okay song, kinda bland about growing up. "Coming Down Again" a Keith song. I suppose it's one of his better ones. It seems nobody loves you when you're down and out. "Doo Doo Doo Doo Doo (Heartbreaker) did quite well on the charts. Most bands were backing away from "protest" songs about now. The Stones have captured the feeling of the sixties let down with a classic song. "Angie", what can I say? One of the better Stones songs, nearly perfect. "Silver Train" is a bluesy number. Good slide work done here. Listening to the songs I just wish they would let Taylor in the studio for a while. One can forget just how good "Hide Your Love" can be, fine song. We all miss Nicky. "Winter" has that "Wild Horses" feel to you. I get it, do you? Enough said. "Can You Hear The Music" demonstrates fine work by the whole band. Another bio song. "Star Star" good little rocker. The working title was a bit different though.

Overall not a bad album. It can grow on you.

 

It's Only Rock 'N Roll

1/2

"If You Can't Rock Me" is another in a series of songs The Stones sing about the band, that aside, this is a fine song. Moves along quite nicely, good lead off song. Batting second is a cover of "Ain't Too Proud To Beg". I will catch some flack again, but this is a better version for me. I like the way it moves along better than the original. The third cut is the title song, "It's Only Rock 'N Roll (But I Like It)". What can I say? The Stones pushed the song like crazy. You may recall the "video", the boys were decked out in sailor uniforms in a big bubble filling with soap suds as the song progressed. This "video" was actually a film The Stones sent around to variety shows so these shows could say they were appearing. The song itself is classic. Noteworthy, of course, is Charlie's drum work. In the clean-up spot in "Till The Next Goodbye", a acoustical ballad that holds up well among Stones ballads, including the next song. The classic and beautiful "Time Waits for No One" is one of the best Stones songs of all time. As I get older I learn to love this song even more and I understood the message when I was younger. "Luxury" is the clinker. It's okay song, it's just sounds "phoned in". "Dance Little Sister" is Rock & Roll from top to bottom. This song demonstrates again, why I heap so much praise on Charlie Watts. The Drumming is faultless. Excellent song. "If You Really Want To Be My Friend" is the kind of song the band quit doing after Mick Taylor left. In my opinion his influence is over this one. This Stones have this uncanny ability to write songs that mirror my life. I love this one. "Short And Curlies" a snappy little ditty that one must instantly like; however, officaly the lyric is she's got you by the boards, but, well, I don't know...... "Fingerprint File" is one of those songs only The Stones can do. I consider this a classic.

With the exception of "Luxury", this album is pure Stones all the way through. A must have.

 

Dirty Work

 

 

 

 

 

 

I should start off by saying I was real glad to see this album come along when it did. The Stones were in the middle of another big break up phase, this one looked for real. Thank goodness it never happened. Now on to the review.

"One Hit (To The Body)" starts off this album. Charlie is in perfect form once again. This is different sounding song for the Stones, not great, not bad. "Fight" tries to be a fast in- your-face rocker, in the regard it succeeds on some levels, but not to a convincing degree. The musicianship is first rate. "Harlem Shuffle", you either love this one or you hate it. Compared to the original I like this one better. The Stones are without doubt the best cover band in the world, I think this one stands up well with their other "covers". The next song is a bit political. "Hold Back" seems to me to be advising moderation, but it also begs us to stand up for "worthy" causes. I like it. "Too Rude" is a Woody cut. Keith contributes quite a bit. I am not sure what this style was called, ska? You tell me. It was tired when the Clash was beating it to death. Bad song interesting experiment. "Winning Ugly" seems to be an attempt to get some radio play. Not a great song. The next cut, "Back To Zero" is one of my favorite songs. Nice little number. A political song, not a dancer. "Dirty Work" & "Had It With You" are both cut from the same cloth. I like them both. "Sleep Tonight" is a not too bad Keith song. It's put together well and focused. There is a hidden cut, a short piano diddy.

To sit down and listen to the whole album is a pleasant experience, it's just that there isn't any songs I love on this one. I try not to pay attention to all the "inside stuff" but, it is my understanding the Stones were really not getting along during the recording of this one. I hear they were rarely together during the process. The lack of focus shows. Despite all this, the album is still good, just not a classic.

 

 

Beggars Banquet

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"Sympathy For The Devil" starts off this album with gusto. Many non fans didn't get it. That being said, there is a lot going in this song. The melody is tight and the gang is really cooking. Anyway, the deeper message is that we can't blame the devil for all the evil the world. Good Song. "No Expectations" slows things down a bit. The Stones have always been able to deliver great acoustic songs. "Dear Doctor" is perhaps my favorite on the album. Again an acoustic number. This song has a bit of humor to it. It's saying you get what you deserve. "Parachute Woman" a blues number with some electric additions is very nicely done and I have said it before and here I go again, Charlie Watts is the best drummer of all time. "Jig-Saw Puzzle" is auto-biography song. It's well done. Apparently the jig-saw allusion is a nod to the Stones personal goings-on. "Street Fighting Man" it seems it's about the Stones, but different. The Stones are relating things going on around them, I think they did better with "Gimmie Shelter", but I like the song anyway. "Prodigal Son" is an excellent number. It would help some of our younger people to really listen to this song. "Stray Cat Blues", okay this song is a doozie. The subject is disturbing but therein lies the appeal. Graphically described, this song as with others on the album shows how low we can sink. Fine song. "Factory Girl" is I suppose one of the better songs on the album. (Note to Mick: Most of us end up with Factory Girls) A violin and mandarin in a Stones song? Nicely done. The closer "Salt Of The Earth" is very good and I appreciate what they are trying to say. The strength of the Stones have been lyrics and this song is up there with their best.

My final word? Well the Stones are exploring the underbelly of the working class. They came from working class and they represent it very well in this outing. Musically this one of the best efforts for the Stones. The Stones owe Nicky Hopkins a deep debt on this and other albums and made a special effort to thank him on this one. Buy it.

 

Bridges To Babylon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Okay, let's go! "Flip The Switch", Mick is ready to go. An execution? Yeah I guess so, not sure what he did but, he wants to go with a bang! I'm not if anyone else has covered this ground before, anyway the song moves along quite nicely and is, always, mixed to perfection. Next is the hit "Has Anybody Seen My Baby?". That has to be Woody on the bass. The arrangement is very good. I'll tell you what, k. d. lange should be thrilled to death that she gets writing credit on this one. (They did just to keep from getting sued.) "Low Down" is okay. It's a fast little ditty, Charlie is perfect on this one. "Already Over Me" is a fine "love lost" song. Everybody is clicking on this one. This is the kind of song The Stones do really well. I think my Top, in the Marine Corps put it best. "Snyder," he would say in his deep voice, "you know the honey moon is over, when your new bride comes in and takes a shit while you are shaving." Enough about that. "Gunface" is another new Stones classic, it puts me in the mind of "Under My Thumb", except the result is a bit more severe. "You Don't Have To Mean It" the Keith song. Seems like Woody had some input as well. (Just my opinion). Well now, Keith has got himself in a jam here. He just wants a girl like himself. Not a great Keith song. "Out Of Control" I mean listen to it move along. In case y'all haven't noticed there has been a shift of the focus with the Stones. They are grown up. I digress, this is a fine little blues rocker. "Saint Of Me" h'mm remember "Sympathy For The Devil" kids? My point? Listen to the song. Some new Stones fans, with goth leanings, don't get it. Nobody is perfect okay? We gotta keep trying. The song is nearly perfect, it mixes electric and acoustic to perfection. Great song. "Might As Well Get Juiced" I don't think I need to go over the content. Musically I haven't heard anything quite like this. Very good song. Don't follow the advice given though. "Always Suffering" seems to me like the subject has been covered. Good little song, again, nice work by Charlie. "Too Tight" a fine rocker. How do I take this song? Is it about jail-bait? I don't know for sure....well yeah I do. Fine song indeed. "Thief In The Night" the back tracking is a little annoying. Keith, a little advice. Try ROCK AND ROLL! This is a bad song. Finally "How Can I Stop?" a slow one from Keith... Why? This would be a great CD except the Keith songs really drag this otherwise fine effort down.

 

Steel Wheels

1/2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"Sad, Sad, Sad." starts off Steel Wheels with a bang. The band is hitting on all eight, sounds like quite a party. Nice sound, good song. Next is "Mixed Emotions" a really fine number, Charlie is holding this song together. This was a hit for the boys and is without a doubt, belongs in the vast library of Stones classics. Basically I suppose he's telling this girl I have doubts too, is he telling the truth? I think so. Now "Terrifying", h'mm I don't think it's very focused. It doesn't seem like a Stones song to me. It's not my favorite. I guess Mick's falling in love and is afraid, yawn. "Hold On To Your Hat" a fast little rocker with a very nice progression. The Stones are the only band I know that can carry these type of songs. The song is a rocker pure and simple and gets a little better every time I hear it. "Hearts For Sale" now this one I like, I got to admit I don't listen to the radio too often, I don't remember if this was a hit. It's the kind of song the Stones do best. I mean this is Rock and Blues. You know R&B? The Stones wrote the book but everyone seems to forget what it's all about. Anyway a fine song with Keith cooking and Ron adds the substance. Now "Blinded By Love", a little love song saluting the power of women. Again the music is fine but this song has no heart, it's by the numbers. "Rock In A Hard Place" is another song that was a hit, I wonder why. It was done much better with "It Must Be Hell" from the album "Undercover". Good work by all, especially Charlie. The boy's have done better. "Can't Be Seen" a Keith song that seems to have been phoned in. Again I have to say the Stones have done better. Now "Almost Hear You Sigh", I guess it's hard not like this song. It's ok. "Continental Drift", huh? What's going here? It's really bad. "Break The Spell" a bluesy number with good bass work. Now this song has a different sound for the Stones, sorta'. This one works for me. It goes on a little longer than it should. Closing the album off is another Keith song "Slipping Away" A sensitive love song from Keef? It seems so. One of Keith's better efforts.

Okay here's the deal this album was after "Dirty Work" one of my favorites and I expected much more. I have given this album another listen to review it for this site and I just can't warm up too it. Thank goodness the Stones must have listened to it and got their act together for "Voodoo Lounge". Something else to consider, I suppose is, there was a lot going on with The Stones and the distractions show. This is a bad Stones album, get it after all the others if you are new to The Stones, and if you are a Stones fan I'll bet this one gathers a lot of dust.

 

Black And Blue

 

There is nothing really remarkable about "Black and Blue" other than this is the beginning of the "Golden Age". You see this is the one that put Woody in the band. At the time this one come out, the promotional machine made more noise than the album itself, which quickly made it into the cutout bins. Some of y'all may not be old enough to remember the promotional posters. They featured a scantily clad young woman who had been beaten, tied up, and forced to sit on a block of ice. Though the music itself nothing to write home about, other than "Hot Stuff", "Memory Motel", "Fool To Cry", and "Crazy Mama". (One of my favorites.) It seems more like a bootleg than anything else. This one is only special because of Woody and the direction the band would take. So if you a new Stones fan put this one off awhile...

 

Emotional Rescue

 

How do you follow up "Some Girls"? Not all bands can. This album starts out with a bang. The funky "Dance Pt. 1" is still quite fresh. ("Pt. 2 is available on "Sucking In The Seventies"). "Send It To Me", "Let Me Go", and "She's So Cold" would be hits today. However, even The Stones are capable of a clinker. "Indian Girl" just doesn't sound right. I get it, but what's the point? Oh well they can't all be winners. Then again being a veteran, I think they may have picked the wrong side on this one. That being said, "Where The Boys Go" is a serviceable Stones song and "Down In The Hole", and "Emotional Rescue" are very good. Keith's closer "All About You" is pure Stones. So..."Emotional Rescue" has got it all. A Few hits, the blues, and a ballad. This is how an album is supposed to be made. Don't believe what you've heard. It's one of their best.

Tattoo You

 

 

 

I have the pleasure of reviewing "Tattoo You." I would have to say this, if you going to buy your first Rolling Stones cd, this would be a fine choice. Who hasn't heard "Start Me Up"? A fine example of what the Stones do best, rock & roll. One of personal favorites is "Hang Fire", this song has it all. Rousing harmonies and an excellent Stones "feel". "Slave" is a strong Stones song chronicling Mick's eternal struggle with women but, that's one reason why we listen. (He lost this time too.) Next up is a number by Keith. "Little T & A" is arguably his best song. "Black Limousine" has a nice blues progression, here it seems that Mick is saying, karma is on my side to an ex-love. "Neighbors" is a fun little song. Now in the old days when had lps, this one had a fast and slow side. "Worried About You" leads off the slow side. Mick attempts a falsetto with favorable results. "Tops" became a "running around" song for me. I found this song related to a lot of games I was playing in those days. That being said, this song could mean a lot of different things to different people. "Heaven", well all I can say about this is....it's the only poor song on this album. "No Use In Crying" moves along nicely, about growing apart and changing. "Waiting On A Friend" a classic buddy song. Whew, that's the whole thing. All in all "Tattoo You" is a fine album. Get It.

Let It Bleed

 

 

 

This month I take a look at "Let it Bleed". First off I must say this album is a "must have". There seems to be central "theme" to this album and it's the world is not necessarily a wonderful place. The reality of living hard and fast is explored with great depth. With "Gimme Shelter" one can only hope that the "shelter" isn't as bad as the "storm". "Love In Vain" and "You Got The Silver" takes us to a place we've all been before, a place where love is lost and we don't understand why. "Midnight Rambler", "Live With Me", and "Monkey Man" introduces us to characters we all would be better off not knowing but, they are out there and we've met them. "Country Honk" is a light hearted look at "Honkey Tonk Women" and proves once again that if you have "musicians" in your band you can play anything well. The title track "Let it Bleed", well all you have to do is hear it and you'll love it; however, the massage to the song is, misery loves company.

The music is excellent as always but, the subject matter of this album can be a bit depressing when one considers we've been through this stuff. It seems that about this time you might ask yourself, "Why would I buy such a depressing album?" It's like this, reality is out there, we can't escape it. "You Can't Always Get What You Want" has been a credo of mine for a long time. When you listen to the whole album, it's puts all together quite clearly. Be very careful what you wish for because you may get it.

 

Voodoo Lounge

 

 

 

 

 

After "Steel Wheels" I thought it was all over. How wrong I was. "Voodoo Lounge" is one the best Stones albums period. It starts of with "Love Is Strong" the required hit. "You Got Me Rocking" says a lot of things about the state of the Stones, and they are telling us they are back! "Sparks Will Fly" is one great song, one is reminded of "Shattered". Those of us who are Keith fans will not be disappointed with "The Worst". The song sends a warning to the girls who become involved with selfish men. "New Faces" reminds me of the old ballad days. A classic breakup song. "Moon Is Up" is one of those songs that just get better with age. "Out Of Tears" again is another song that throws us back to the 60's Stones. "I Go Wild" moves along at a relentless pace, this song moves us into 90's Stones. "Brand New Car" well other artists have made comparisons to girls and cars, here is The Stones take. "Sweethearts Together" slows things down a bit and is quite a contrast to the next song. "Suck On The Jugular" has a good message but, the presentation may not be for everyone. The song is good, it just has some hard language. "Blinded By Rainbows" goes back again to classic Stones, this is such a well done song. "Baby Break It Down" is fine exercise in rock. "Through And Through" another Keith song, not one of his best. "Mean Disposition" a little blues progression, another fine song. My final word? Those of you who have discovered The Rolling Stones from the 60's will not be disappointed with this one. This is a fine gateway to the other era's the Stones have been through. This is just one hell of a album. It's in my top 5 Stones Albums.

 

Some Girls

 

 

 

 

 

Time for "Some Girls"!!! This album got me through the 70's with my faith in rock & roll intact. Let's hop right in.

Is "Miss You" the best song of all time? Yep! Put it on and dance, right now. "When The Whip Comes Down" could have been better it seem like filler to me, it's just ok. "Just My Imagination" is another example how The Stones can cover a song and take it, I may get some flak here, the original was damn good. The infamous "Some Girls", well every man needs to feel this way every now and then. While it may not be true, we'd like to think we had this type of control in our younger days, but "who's zooming who"? "Lies" moves along quickly and is a bit of a let down when compared to the really good songs on this album. "Far Away Eyes" is humorous poke at country music. "Respectable" again moves along at a good pace and reflects events in the life of Mick at the tine. Keith fans will not be disappointed with "Before They Make Me Run". It's not only a good Keith song but a good Stones song. "Beast Of Burden" is another classic. It seems to contrast the song "Some Girls" in every way. "Shattered" ranks right up there with "Honkey Tonk Women". If you don't get up and dance to this one it's time to go to the doctor. Overall "Some Girls" is a good album. I don't rate it as one of the best, but with the 5 or so hits on this one it is well worth buying. The hits carried this one, which isn't so bad when you consider that today one hit will carry a cd. "Some Girls" came along at a great time. It shut down the disco phase the Stone were in and signaled their return to rock and roll, while I can recommend this album highly, it's not great from top to bottom.

 

Sticky Fingers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

While "Sticky Fingers" has not been one my favorites, one of my Stones Web buddies became a Rolling Stones fan because of "Wild Horses". So I'll get it out and have another listen. Do The Stones know how to start of an album off or what? "Brown Sugar" gathered in a lot of people into the fold. "Sway" a bluesey rocker that moves along nicely, not a great song but without fail a fine song. "Wild Horses", would not be possible without Mick Taylor, who obviously has control of the acoustic work here, please come back Mick. Anyway the scope of the song involves doing whatever it takes to hold on to all the things that make love special, the "Wild Horses" allegory goes in a few different directions but, I believe we all know what the Stones are driving at. "Can't You Hear Me Knocking" is an exercise in jamming, Stones style, a fine song. You want the blues? Here you go. "You Gotta Move" would seem to be instructions on technique for a certain activity. (nudge, nudge, wink, wink.) Allow me to relate a short story about the song "Bitch". When I was in the service I was woke up by mistake for guard duty, when I let the Duty NCO know the guy he wanted was in the next bunk. He replied "Oh well, life's a bitch", I said, "No," in a melodic cadence, "Love, chile', it's a bitch, well all right now." Anyway the song is pretty good. "I Got The Blues" is okay, just a song relating to relationships and such, heard it before. "Sister Morphine" with it's sinister sound and tone captures the hell of substance abuse and it's consequences. Good gravy I would hope the message of this song would get through to more people, excellent song. The bass work is particularly noteworthy. "Dead Flowers" is a Stones classic. From the opening chords we find Mick is sitting pretty again...enough said. "Moonlight Mile", in my running days this song played on the Walkman. I'm not sure what it's about really, but it kept me going. It's the Stones trying a different sound. The final say? This a good album. I suppose the "serious" nature of it has kept me away. For those wanting to try out the Stones, this would not be a first choice, for those already familiar with them, go get it, if you ain't got it.

 

Undercover

 

 

 

 

"Undercover" is under my critical eye. "Undercover Of The Night" starts out this effort from the Stones. It moves along nicely, a political tune that covers a lot of ground. It's just okay. Now "She Was Hot", however, is a Stones classic. Everything about it is perfect. This song demonstrates why Charlie Watts is rock's best drummer. "Tie You Up (The Pain Of Love)" could be a "Keith" song, that aside, this is another great song, those of you who have had to fight for love can identify. "Wanna Hold You" is a Keith song. Quite tender when compared with other Keith songs. "Feel On Baby" is a exercise in rhythm. What I call an experiment. Okay song. "Too Much Blood". Filler? Don't care much for it, have to wonder why it was included. It's a misdirected commentary on violence I guess. "Pretty Beat Up" a little bluesy number, not a great song, not a bad song. "Too Tough" is a neat song involving a theme the Stones return to often. The eternal struggle between man and woman. Looks like Mick may have lost this one too. "All The Way Down" another Stones type song. Good work by all the musicians involved, fine song indeed. "It Must Be Hell" is my favorite on this album, this song has political themes as well. Listen to the bass line. Anyway a lot of the problems in the world are addressed here. I figure the "message" is fix what you can, and somebody always has it worse off than you do. Do I recommend this one? Yeah, it's not the best Stones album ever but, the good far outweighs the bad here and overall the album has all the elements that make The Stones the worlds greatest rock & roll band. Get it after you have acquired some of the others.

 

Exile On Main Street

1/2

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The first thing this album should do is make you wish Mick Taylor was back, he is all over this one. Exile starts of with the suggestive "Rocks Off". Actually it's not that suggestive, it slaps you in the face. It seems that Mick is suffering from a condition some of us associate with the color blue. The song is good one moves along at a steady pace. Not the best choice for first song. "Rip This Joint" is a working guy rocker. Nobody else in the 70's was doing this kind of music, it's a fine song indeed. A classic two minute single, although it was a "b" side. "Shake Your Hips" is just a work out song, an interesting mix of rhythms though, not bad. "Casino Boogie" another workout song but, much better than "Shake Your Hips". While I am not a trained musician the progression of this song is excellent in my opinion. "Tumbling Dice" has single written all over it of course, I would have lead off the album with it. Great song, Stones at their best. "Sweet Virginia", well here is a song they need Mick Taylor for, although they perform it still. In this song they just have a good ol' time. "Torn And Frayed" is kind of a feel sorry for me type of song.....my muse torments me with depressing revelations, I am the troubled artist. Anyway I would left this one out. "Sweet Black Angel" a good little song. "Loving Cup" is very good, the boys are all in sync on this one. "Happy" is a Keith song and it may be his best. "Turd On The Run" another workout song....you can hear Charlie drop a stick on this one. "Ventilator Blues" another fine song. "I Just Want To See His Face" is a song about needing help fast. Of Course we know this isn't how God works. Who mixed this song anyway? "Let It Loose", finally a song with some focus but not much. "All Down The Line" gets a lot of airplay and it's good but not great. "Stop Breaking Down" a good bluesy number, fine work here. "Shine A Light" a very good song to give you hope. A bit more inspired than most of the songs on this album. "Soul Survivor" again good not great. Okay then, that's all of 'em. I don't understand why this album is heaped with so much praise. Yes, it contains everything The Stones do best. I got to tell you though, it just doesn't have the impact of a lot of their other work. Everyone is playing at their best. I have a game I play where I try to make this into a single disc album, you know about 12 or 13 songs. It just seems like nobody could decide on what to cut and a lot of this one need to be cut. Nothing bad on this one, it just doesn't work for me. I like it I just don't love it. Sorry "Exile" fans.