I’m ashamed to admit it, but I’m not very familiar with The Rolling Stones discography. I know most of their hits and a few deeper cuts through various friends and random chance, but it wasn’t until I was subjected to a full album listen of Exile on Main St, that I really wanted to dig in. So, I plan to listen to a bunch of their LP’s throughout the 365. I figured it was natural to start with Beggar’s Banquet because a couple of close friends (both of which rank “Exile” high on their album list), speak highly of “B’s B.”
Like Metric‘s “Gimme Sympathy,” which states “who would you rather be, The Beatles or The Rolling Stones?,” I find myself inevitably drawing comparisons and contrasts to The Beatles whenever I listen to the Stones. It isn’t helpful, but it is interesting to listen to, arguably, the two biggest bands of the 60’s and 70’s while noting their distinctly different approaches to songwriting and recording. While I appreciate and adore the Beatles and what they’ve done for music, as I age, I find myself invariably drawn to the loose, gritty and organic feeling of the Stones. You can picture these guys recording this album in their living room or garage.
Although the bluesy approach to their songwriting means the chord structures and progressions are somewhat unchanging and predictable, they undoubtedly capture a feeling. If I were playing pool and drinking at a local pub, I would choose this album or “Exile” over any Beatles album. They have succeeded in impacting me in a similar way that Jack White did at the turn of the century: by making music that is timeless, bluesy, highly emotive and amazing.
(Note: I would pick “Sympathy for the Devil” as it is an outstanding song, but I was quite familiar with it already and am going for new and fresh songs throughout this project).