Posts Tagged Rolling Stones

Album of the Day: Guns N’ Roses (7/21/87)

In mid-summer 1987, punk had mellowed out, the New Wave had largely settled into synth-dance pop, heavy metal had mostly gone mainstream to pop-metal, and good ol’ rock ‘n roll was on life support, waiting for a savior. The White Knight, it turns out, was Guns N’ Roses. With their July 21, 1987 debut LP, Appetite For Destruction, they burst into the void with a swaggering, down-and-dirty, loud and unpretentious hard rock that instantly covered the landscape with sounds not heard since the Stones, Aerosmith and Led Zeppelin in the 70s.

GNR formed three years earlier when the cream of two Southern California bands, L.A. Guns and Hollywood Rose, joined to form a new band and took to the road to spread their venomous bites of grinding rock ‘n roll. Lead guitarist Tracii Guns (nee Tracey Ulrich) and singer/frontman Axl Rose (William Rose Bailey. Jr.) formed the nucleus of the group, but Guns left before Appetite…. His replacement, Slash (Saul Hudson) formed a twin-guitar attack with guitarist Izzy Stradlin (Jeff Isbell), matching licks and riffs atop the pounding rhythm section of drummer Steve Adler and bassist Duff McKagan.

Appetite For Destruction started slowly, but increasing grassroots pressure on radio and MTV programmers gained significant airplay, especially for the three great singles that came off the LP. “Sweet Child O’ Mine” (#1 in the U.S.) is power balladry at its best (and a signature GNR track). “Welcome To The Jungle” (#7) speaks to the dark underside of L.A. and its careless rock ‘n roll scene. Hard rocker “Paradise City” (#5) is about anything but paradise.

Those three hit singles and the heroin-laced, late-80s gem “Mr. Brownstone” make Appetite… a true classic and (for good reason) one of the hottest selling debut albums of all time. It’s available for purchase as a CD or individual MP3 files on Amazon, and as iPod downloads on iTunes. GNR is in Dr. Rock’s Playlist Vault.

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Album of the Day: Rolling Stones (6/9/78) 32 Years!

Soon after the release of the masterpiece Exile On Main Street in 1972, the Rolling Stones got caught in a fog of self-indulgent superstardom and lost their bearings. The four subsequent albums – Goats Head Soup (1973), It’s Only Rock ‘N’ Roll (1974), Black And Blue (1976) and Love You Live (1977) – were all chart toppers, but, with few exceptions, the material was largely mediocre. Ominously, while the band enjoyed its drug, booze and celebrity lifestyle, disco and punk rock were creeping in from the fringes of the mainstream, threatening to render the Stones superfluous to a new generation of rock and pop music fans.

Some Girls (released June 9, 1978) could aptly be named The Stones Strike Back. With Mick Jagger’s leadership and focus (Keith Richards was distracted by legal trouble from a heroin bust in Toronto in early 1977), the band settled into a five-month recording schedule in Paris that produced dozens of new tracks, many of which ended up on the LP. Some Girls takes direct aim at the mirror ball dance crowd with the thumping disco beat of “Miss You.” The steady roller “Shattered” serves up a 70s New York City street groove with a slice of proto-rap. “Lies” is straight-forward rock ‘n’ roll built on punk influences. “Before They Make Me Run” is Richards’ faux-country answer to the Toronto constabulary. The cover of the Temptations “Just My Imagination” provides a grittier, faster and louder version than the soul classic. “Respectable” and “When The Whip Comes Down” are decent second-tier Stones rockers. “Far Away Eyes,” and the title track add off-center flavor, and a personal favorite, “Beast Of Burden” is one of Jaggers’ best mid-tempo ballads, topping out the whole disc.

Some Girls jumpstarted the Stones’ career and led to three great albums and three major tours (two U.S. and one European) in the five years following its release. It registered #1 on Billboard’s Pop Album chart (#2 in the U.K.) in 1978 and is ranked #269 on Rolling Stone magazine’s Top 500 albums of all time. There are two Stones playlists for review and download (comments welcome!) in the Playlist Vault and Some Girls is on Amazon and iTunes.

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Album of the Day: Rolling Stones (5/12/72)

I previously opined (on April 23) that Sticky Fingers was one of the greatest rock albums of all time. Add Exile On Main Street (released May 12, 1972) to that list. The double album includes tracks the Rolling Stones recorded over four years, some from the Sticky Fingers sessions in England (early 1970 to ‘71), some from a trip to Los Angeles in early 1972, a few leftovers from as far back as 1968, and many from over six months of drug- and liquor-induced work at guitarist Keith Richards’ chateau-turned-party-house in southern France starting in mid-1971.

Exile On Main Street owes a good part of its existence to British taxing authorities. For reasons beyond this scope, the Stones accumulated more taxes than they could pay in the U.K. by early 1971. Choosing to flee across the Channel (and still further south) and start afresh, they reconnoitered at Richards’ vacation palace on the French Riviera. Of course, buried below the booze and stash in their baggage was their unparalleled ability to create the best hard rock, raunchy blues-rock and pure rock ‘n roll music the world has known. After several months on the Riviera scene, the result was one finished track (“Happy”) and a box of raw takes that would become Exile On Main Street when the Stones resumed recording in L.A. in early 1972.

Exile On Main Street is ragged and frayed and gloomy – pure Stones from the 70s. It’s a masterful blend of rock ‘n’ roll, blues, country and soul, fueled by booze and drugs and life in the fast lane. Downloads for mp3 players and CD purchases are on Amazon, and iPod downloads are on iTunes. Two Stones’ playlists are in the Playlist Vault.

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Album of the Day: Rolling Stones (4/23/71) 39 Years!

The Rolling StonesSticky Fingers is one of the best rock ‘n’ roll albums of all time. Released on April 23, 1971, it’s a raunchy masterpiece of American roots music – some country, some blues, a dose of Southern soul and heaps of raw rock ‘n’ roll – all packaged in an Andy Warhol-designed, blue jean crotch shot cover with a working metal zipper (at least on my copy of the original LP release).

The Stones were at the top of their game on Sticky Fingers. The album was the first on their own label, Rolling Stones Records, it topped the charts on both sides of the Atlantic, featured new lead guitarist Mick Taylor, introduced the now iconic lips and tongue logo, and firmly established the Stones as the self-appointed World’s Greatest Rock ‘n’ Roll Band. And the music’s great: druggy “Sister Morphine,” extended guitar work on “Can’t You Hear Me Knockin’, countrified “Wild Horses” and “Dead Flowers” (with Mick’s twangy vocals), the fine “I Got The Blues” and its bluesy partner “You Gotta Move,” the mid-tempo “Sway” and finally the late night closer “Moonlight Mile.” Capped with the intro hit “Brown Sugar” and the raunch-rockin’ “Bitch” and you couldn’t find a single bad tune on the disc.

Sticky Fingers is among my favorites and is ranked #63 on Rolling Stone magazine’s Top 500 albums of all time. There are two Stones playlists in Dr. Rock’s Playlist Vault and Sticky Fingers is available on Amazon and iTunes. Enjoy!

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This Week’s Birthdays (January 24 – 30)

Happy Birthday this week to:

Jan 24
1936 ● Doug Kershaw → Country fiddler, “Louisiana Man” (1961)
1939 ● Ray Stevens (Harold Ray Ragsdale) → “Everything Is Beautiful” (1970)
1941 ● Aaron Neville → Neville Brothers
1941 ● Neil Diamond → “The Jewish Elvis”
1947 ● Warren Zevon → “Werewolves Of London” (1978)
1949 ● John Belushi → Blues Brothers
1953 ● Matthew Wilder (Weiner) → “Break My Stride” (1983)
1958 ● Julian Miles “Jools” Holland → Squeeze

Jan 25
1938 ● Etta James (Jamesetta Hawkins) → “Tell Mama” (1967)
1950 ● Michael Cotton → The Tubes
1954 ● Richard Finch → KC & The Sunshine Band
1956 ● Andy Cox → English Beat, Fine Young Cannibals
1958 ● Gary Tibbs → Roxy Music, Vibrators
1962 ● Peter Coyle → Lotus Eaters
1963 ● Carl Fysh → Brother Beyond
1971 ● China Kantner → Daughter of Grace Slick and Paul Kantner
1981 ● Alicia Keys (Alicia Auguello Cook) → “Fallin'” (2001)

Jan 26
1934 ● Huey “Piano” Smith → “Rockin’ Pneumonia” (1957)
1945 ● Ashley “Tyger” Hutchings → Fairport Convention, Steeleye Span
1946 ● Deon Jackson → “Love Makes The World Go ‘Round” (1966)
1948 ● Laurence Gordon “Corky” LaingMountain, West Bruce & Laing
1949 ● Derek Holt → Climax Blues Band
1951 ● Andy Hummell → Big Star
1951 ● David Briggs → Little River Band
1953 ● Lucinda Williams → “Car Wheels On A Gravel Road” (1998)
1957 ● Edward Van Halen Van Halen
1958 ● Anita Baker → “Sweet Love” (1986)
1958 ● Norman Hassan → UB40
1963 ● Andrew Ridgeley → Wham!
1963 ● Jazzie B. (Trevor Beresford Romeo) → Soul II Soul
1966 ● Pim Jones → Hipsway
1970 ● Kirk Franklin → Contemporary gospel
1972 ● Ya Kid K (Manuela Barbara Kamosi Moaso Djogi) → Technotronic

Jan 27
1918 ● Elmore James → Blues slide guitarist/songwriter
1919 ● David Seville (Rosdom Sipan “Ross” Bagdasarian) → Creator of Alvin & The Chipmunks
1930 ● Bobby “Blue” Bland (Robert Calvin Bland) → “Stormy Monday Blues” (1962)
1931 ● Rudy Mauger → The Crew Cuts
1944 ● Kevin Coyne → “Marlene” (1973)
1945 ● Nick MasonPink Floyd
1946 ● Kim Gardner → Ashton, Gardner & Dyke
1947 ● Nedra Talley → Ronettes
1951 ● Brian Downey → Thin Lizzy
1951 ● Seth Justman → J. Geils Band
1955 ● Richard Young → Kentucky Headhunters
1961 ● Gillian Gilbert → New Order
1961 ● Margo Timmins → Cowboy Junkies
1961 ● Martin Degville → Sigue Sigue Sputnik
1964 ● Miguel John “Migi” Drummond → Curiosity Killed The Cat
1968 ● Mike Patton → Faith No More
1970 ● Mark Trojanowski → Sister Hazel

Jan 28
1929 ● Bernard Stanley “Acker” Bilk → “Stranger On The Shore” (1962)
1936 ● Jack Scott (Giovanni Dominico Scafone, Jr.) → “Burning Bridges” (1960)
1943 ● Dick TaylorRolling Stones, The Pretty Things
1944 ● Brian “Chambers” KeenanChambers Brothers, Manfred Mann
1946 ● Rick Allen → Box Tops
1959 ● Dave Sharp → The Alarm
1962 ● Leslie “Sam” Phillips → “Holding On To The Earth” (1989)
1963 ● Dan Spitz → Anthrax
1968 ● DJ Muggs (Lawrence Muggerud) → Cypress Hill
1968 ● Rakim (William Michael Griffin, Jr.) → Rapper
1968 ● Sarah McLachlan → “Adia” (1998)
1977 ● Joey Fatone → *NSYNC
1977 ● Raphael “Tweety” Brown → Next
1980 ● Nick Carter → Backstreet Boys

Jan 29
1933 ● Alexandre “Sacha” Distel → “The Good Life” (1965)
1943 ● Kenneth “Tony” Blackburn → “So Much Love” (1969)
1947 ● David Byron (David Garrick) → Uriah Heep, solo
1952 ● Tommy Ramone (Tom Erdelyl)The Ramones
1953 ● Louie Perez → Los Lobos, Latin Playboys
1959 ● Johnny Spampinato → NRBQ
1961 ● Eddie Jackson → Queensryche
1962 ● Marcus Vere → Living In A Box
1964 ● Roddy Frame → Aztec Camera
1981 ● Jonny Lang (Jon Gordon Langseth, Jr.) → Blues guitarist

Jan 30
1928 ● Ruth Brown (Ruth Alston Weston) → “Teardrops In My Eyes” (1950)
1941 ● Joe Terranova → Danny & The Juniors, “At The Hop” (1958)
1942 ● Marty Balin (Martyn Jere Buchwald)Jefferson Airplane/Starship, solo
1947 ● Steve Marriott → Small Faces, Humble Pie, solo
1951 ● Marv Ross → Quarterflash
1951 ● Phil CollinsGenesis, solo
1952 ● Steve BartekStrawberry Alarm Clock, Oingo Boingo
1959 ● Jody Watley → Shalamar, solo (“The Queen of Cool”)

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This Week’s Birthdays (December 13 – 19)

Happy Birthday this week to:
Dec 13
1940 ● Tony Gomez → Foundations
1945 ● Robert Martinez → ? and The Mysterians
1948 ● Andy Peebles → BBC Radio DJ
1948 ● Jeff “Skunk” BaxterSteely Dan, Doobie Brothers
1948 ● Ted Nugent → Amboy Dukes, solo
1949 ● Randy Owen → Alabama
1949 ● Tom Verlaine → Television
1950 ● Davy O’List → The Nice, Roxy Music
1952 ● Berton Averre → The Knack

Dec 14
1932 ● Charlie Rich → “The Most Beautiful Girl” (1973)
1937 ● Warren Ryanes → Monotones
1943 ● Frank Allen → Searchers
1946 ● Jackie McAuley → Them
1946 ● Joyce Vincent-Wilson → Tony Orlando & Dawn
1947 ● Anna Marie “Patty” Duke → “Don’t Just Stand There” (1965), TV show
1949 ● Cliff WilliamsAC/DC
1958 ● Mike Scott → The Waterboys
1958 ● Peter Stacy → Pogues

Dec 15
1915 ● Edith Piaf (Edith Giovanna Gassion) → “Milord” (1959)
1921 ● Alan Freed → Radio DJ, coined term “rock and roll”
1933 ● Jesse Belvin → “Goodnight My Love” (1956)
1939 ● Cindy BirdsongThe Supremes
1942 ● Dave ClarkDave Clark Five
1946 ● Harry Ray → Moments
1946 ● Carmine Appice → Vanilla Fudge
1955 ● Paul SimononThe Clash
1958 ● Don Johnson → Actor (Miami Vice), singer

Dec 16
1931 ● Karl Denver (Angus Murdo McKenzie) → “Wimoweh” (1961)
1943 ● Tony HicksThe Hollies
1946 ● Benny Andersson → ABBA
1949 ● Billy GibbonsZZ Top
1972 ● Michael McCary → Boyz II Men

Dec 17
1936 ● Tommy Steele (Thomas William Hicks) → “Rock With The Caveman” (1956)
1937 ● Art Neville → Neville Brothers
1938 ● Carlo Little (Carl O’Neil Little) → First Rolling Stones drummer
1939 ● Eddie KendricksTemptations
1942 ● Paul Butterfield → Butterfield Blues Band
1947 ● Simon Bates → BBC Radio DJ
1948 ● Jim Bonfanti → The Raspberries
1949 ● Paul Rodgers → Free, Bad Company, Queen
1950 ● Carlton “Carlie” Barrett → Wailers
1958 ● Mike MillsR.E.M.

Dec 18
1938 ● Bryan James “Chas” Chandler → The Animals, producer (Jimi Hendrix)
1941 ● Sam AndrewBig Brother & The Holding Company
1942 ● Les Cauchi → Del Satins, Brooklyn Bridge
1943 ● Keith RichardsRolling Stones
1953 ● Elliot EastonThe Cars, New Cars
1963 ● Greg D’Angelo → White Lion
1966 ● Steve Dullaghan → Primitives

Dec 19
1918 ● Professor Longhair (Henry Roeland Byrd) → New Orleans blues pianist
1940 ● Phil Ochs → “I Ain’t Marching Anymore” (1965)
1941 ● Maurice White → Earth, Wind & Fire
1944 ● Zalman “Zal” YanovskyLovin’ Spoonful
1944 ● Alvin Lee → Ten Years After
1945 ● John McEuen → Nitty Gritty Dirt Band
1958 ● Limahl (Christopher Hamill) → Kajagoogoo

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Album of the Day: Rolling Stones (11/28/69) 40 years!

The Rolling Stones (playlist at DrRock.com) released Let It Bleed on November 28, 1969. It’s the second in the string of five great Stones albums that together represent the best of the band’s music and the peak of their influence on rock music and culture: Beggar’s Banquet (1968); Let It Bleed; Get Yer Ya-Ya’s Out! (1970); Sticky Fingers (1971) and Exile On Main St. (1972). It contains some of their best songs, including the smoothly rolling title track, the near-anthem “You Can’t Always Get What You Want,” the dark “Gimme Shelter” and the rocking “Midnight Rambler.” While the album charted at #1 in the U.K. and #3 in the U.S., it’s not surprising that only one single came off Let It Bleed (“You Can’t Always Get What You Want” peaked at #42 in the U.S., and then not until 1973). Considering the rough themes and edgy music (quite typical of the other Stones’ albums of the time), there just weren’t any upbeat, pop-rock tracks that could drive the broad radio airplay and 45 rpm sales that make hit singles.

Let It Bleed is ranked #32 on Rolling Stone Magazine’s Top 500 albums of all time. It’s available as a CD from Amazon (click here) and as download tracks on iTunes (click here).

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