Friday, June 6, 2014

Summer School of Rock ~ The Rolling Stones

When I started this series two years ago, I intended to end it with The Rolling Stones. Then stuff went down and I was so busy with real life issues that I didn't get to finish it.

They waited. Patiently.

Which makes sense, I suppose, once you realize that these guys have been doing this whole rock music thing forever.

Okay, maybe not forever...but since 1962 when the band first formed in London. This logo was specially commissioned for their 50th anniversary. 

The band's current lineup includes original members Mick Jagger and Keith Richards as well as Charlie Watts and Ronnie Wood. I say current lineup because they are still actively recording and touring, which is just insane when you think about how old these guys are now. Mick and Keith are both 70 years old and still kicking ass, though perhaps in slightly more sensible shoes these days.

The thing about a band like this one is that their history is so long, their production so prolific, their list of recordings so mindblowingly exhaustive, that it would be difficult to even begin to discuss it without a post like this ending up being the length of a book. In the interest of brevity, I'm going to do the best I can to condense their history and style. Deep breath.

They are a true rock band and their sound has always relied heavily on the foundation music that made rock and roll what it is - R&B and the blues. They aren't the ones who innovate new sounds, they aren't the first to cross genres, they aren't the loudest or the fastest or the hardest. They certainly aren't the most controversial. What they are is damn good and ridiculously consistent.

They do what works for them, and they seem to have figured that out because they've had one of the longest careers in music.

My personal favorite song of theirs is Beast of Burden. Probably because of the sweet falsettos. Maaaaan, can Mick hit those notes. His range is nothing short of spectacular, especially considering how deep his voice naturally is. This song also contains some of my favorite guitar solos by Richards, though he has one in almost every song they've ever recorded.

They have been inducted in both the US and UK Rock and Roll Hall of Fames. They've recorded 29 studio albums and 18 live ones. They are near the top of just about every single list ever compiled of rock bands in the history of time.

Mother's Little Helper is one of those songs that resonates after all these years...

Gimme Shelter defined not just a moment in history or a period of time, it is part of the background music for an entire generation.

Sympathy for the Devil...well....just watch this. How they are still this amazing live, I have no idea.

They are the band that can play a giant arena and actually pull it off. Still.

Okay, okay, okay....I'll stop here. Let's just say that it's hard not to get sucked into a youtube vortex with these guys. Wild Horses couldn't drag me away.

I'm really done now.

Keep rocking, gentlemen. The whole damn world just adores you.

All the other bands and artists profiled in the series so far:

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