Saturday, October 13, 2012

Top 50 Rolling Stones songs (Part 2 of 2)

This recent photo supplied by the Rolling Stones shows the group posing during a photo shoot. They are, from left to right: Charlie Watts, Keith Richards, Mick Jagger, and Ron Wood. (AP Photo/The Rolling Stones, Mark Seliger)


25. "All Down The Line"
A bullet train with red-hot slide work by Mick Taylor and shotgun blasts of brass, this come-on rocker has rightfully been a concert favorite since shortly after appearing on "Exile."  

24. "Memory Motel"
The seven-minute centerpiece of "Black and Blue," the tender, downbeat ballad finds Jagger and Richards taking a road trip while trading lead vocals and reminiscing about the girl(s) that got away.

23. "Get Off Of My Cloud"  
The followup to "Satisfaction," the Stones sound gleefully young, tough, cocky and ready to conquer the world.
 
22. "Ruby Tuesday"
This No. 1 U.S. hit from 1967 showcases a sensitive Jagger reading of Richards' most melodic and lovesick ballad.

21. "Happy"   
While not as autobiographical as "Before They Make Me Run" or as randy as "Little T&A,"  Richards' most famous lead vocal performance remains this ebullient rocker from "Exile."

20. "I Am Waiting"  
An obscure, folksy nugget from "Aftermath" with dulcimer by Brian Jones, the song, used to great effect in the outstanding 1998 film "Rushmore," features a stirring vocal by Jagger as he reflects on love lost.

19. "Beast Of Burden"
The slow number from "Some Girls" serves as a soulful, straight-forward love song; or a mea culpa from Richards (writer) to Jagger (singer) for shouldering the burden of running the band while the former was off getting high. Either way, with Richards' and Woods' interweaving guitars, it's a thing of beauty.  

18. "Sway"
Like "Moonlight Mile," it's a "Sticky Fingers" song with a strong Mick Taylor influence (he probably deserves a writing credit) marked by his ace slide guitar playing, strings and lyrics that allude to drug use.  

17. "Waiting On A Friend"
Jagger has tired of womanizing — at least temporarily — on this brothers-of-the-road ballad elevated to heavenly heights thanks to a sax solo by jazz legend Sonny Rollins. Started in 1972 or '73 depending on the source, the song finally appeared about a decade later on "Tattoo You."
 
16. "Honky Tonk Women"
The ultimate cowbell-laced twang rocker, this single released on July 4, 1969, marks the beginning on the Stones' Mick Taylor period that lasted through "Goats Head Soup."
   
15. "Wild Horses"  
A bittersweet ballad about Marianne Faithful? No one really knows and it doesn't really matters. From "Sticky Fingers," it's a an earthy, emotional powerhouse that makes for a richly complicated and tireless love song.

14. "Rocks Off"
The opener to "Exile" is a shot of decadence that includes one of rock's most debauched couplets: "I'm zipping through the days at lightning speed / Plug in, flush out and (expletive) and feed."

    
13. "She's a Rainbow"
The Stones' psychedelic mess "Their Satanic Majesties Request" includes this wonderfully strange and pretty song about a princess.
   
12. "Let's Spend The Night Together" 
A controversial single in 1967 that had to be famously altered to "let's spend some time together"  on "The Ed Sullivan Show," the song remains a joyous, timeless celebration of the libido.
 
11. "Dead Flowers"
The Stones' greatest country song, this "Sticky Fingers" cut finds Jagger delivering a most creditable backwater croon as he sings about leaving his woman for the comfort of narcotics.

10. "Street Fighting Man"
The Glimmer Twins take a look around at the political turmoil of the times and deliver this cynical blast of revolution rock from "Beggar's Banquet." Rather than pick sides, Jagger smartly sings: "What can a poor boy do but sing for a rock 'n' roll band?"  


9. "Can't You Hear Me Knocking" 
This seven-minute roller-coaster ride features a hungry Jagger pleading for sanctuary over a ridiculously sexy Richards riff followed by a funky, sax-laced breakdown and then a monster closing jam owned by Taylor, which amounts to something very close to blues-rock perfection.

8. "Gimme Shelter" 
When "Let it Bleed" came out in 1969, much like today,  the world looked ready to burst into flames at any moment. No song captures the feeling of impending doom better than this, the album's ominous-defining opening track. 

7. "Brown Sugar"
Credit Richards for coming up with a riff so upbeat and catchy that ever since the song first appeared on "Sticky Fingers" most people, and we're talking tens of millions of listeners here, have failed to notice that Jagger is singing about some seriously taboo stuff, which makes the song still wildly subversive four decades after its release.

6. "Tumbling Dice"
A slice of rock and soul excellence from "Exile," the song is an anthem of perseverance for the gambler dwelling deep down in all of us. 
 
5. "You Can't Always Get What You Want"
The epic closer of "Let it Bleed" is rock 'n' roll gospel at its most pragmatic, and perhaps most compelling.

   
4. "Paint It, Black"
If fear and loathing has a sound, it's this song. As dark as the title suggests, this single from 1967 drips with unease and features one of Brian Jones' most important contributions: scarily hypnotic sitar playing that perfectly complements Jagger's nihilistic lyrics delivered with gripping despair.


3. "Sympathy For The Devil"  
The Stones opened "Beggars Banquet" with this spellbinding rock-samba that serves as a lengthy ode to Lucifer and a giant one-finger salute to The Establishment. A biting history lesson told from the perspective of Mr. D, it's Jagger's greatest lyric punctuated by stinging guitar licks courtesy of Richards and those irrepressible "woo woos" sung by Richards, bassist Bill Wyman and producer Jimmy Miller.

2. "Jumpin' Jack Flash"
By the time Jagger howls the mighty opening line — "I was born in a cross-fire hurricane" — you're already helplessly hooked, forced to ride out one of the fiercest rock 'n' roll storms in history.  Released about six months before "Beggars Banquet," this perfect beast built around one of Richards' famed "open tuning" riffs signaled the start of the Stones' greatest creative period, an amazing run that would last straight through 1972's "Exile." 
   
1. "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction"  
A brilliantly singular sound matched by an infinitely cool statement, 1965's "Satisfaction" captures the Rolling Stones in all their youthful rebel glory.  From Jagger's swagger to Richards' unbelievable way with a riff — this one written in his sleep, the story goes, while staying just up the coast in Clearwater — it's a song that has survived a zillion radio plays, still sounding awesome when accompanying you on a midnight drive or when played during a killer episode of "Mad Men."

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Someone who places You Can't Always Get What You Want on 5 and don't mention Let It Bleed at all is not to be taken seriously

Dharma Beach Bum said...

"and don't mention"
how about "doesn't"
When one uses such horrible grammar, they can't be taken seriously.
The lists are fine with me.
The Rolling Stones are the all time best rock and roll group. Period.

Dharma Beach Bum said...

This is the best rock and roll group ever -- bar none. Fifty years and counting.

"and don't mention" Horrible grammar. No wonder you signed anonomously.

Anonymous said...

No "Let it Loose"? No read.