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the band’s artistic vision. US record executives randomly cut out songs to insert singles at the start. (This practice is what inspired the famous “Butchers” cover that the Beatles did for one of their US compilations. They also liked to cut off songs from the album so they could release it in a future compilation.) Now, it’s tricky because the singles that were inserted on those two albums are “fucking amazing,” while the non-album tracks are usually just “pretty great.” Therefore, the US versions might appear, and might even actually be better. But my advice would be to listen to those two albums as God and the Glimmer Twins intended, and get the UK versions. If you don’t have them, you can get the singles elsewhere.
Now for everything before “Aftermath,” I just got the American versions. Yeah, I know what I jsut said, but none of these albums were really “albums” albums and, the single and b-side omissions hurt, amdthe deep-cuts aren’t as interesting as they would soon be. If you have the “London Years” singles collection or a good comp, maybe you want to look into the UK versions though. It would be cheaper because they’re only three pre-Aftermath UK albums as opposed to 5 for the US.
As far as quality, I’d say “Aftermath” and “Between the Buttons” are mist-owns. (As well as “Satanic Majesties”, which is I think people defend for being interesting than good).I enjoy all the pre-”Aftermath” stuff, but to be honest they kind of blend together a bit. Each album has some highlights, some enjoyable moments, some interesting ideas, but each has some filler, with the exception of”England’s Newest Hitmakers”/Self-titled which is pretty bad ass and menacing for being the album that knocked “With the Beatles” off the top spot of the UK charts.. It’s not really a Stones album, but it’s probably the one album you need to listen to if you want to understand the Stones.
Sorry for being really, really long winded and I hope this helps.
I kinda mentioned this above, but I’ll risk somewhat repeating myself. First, no offense intended, but hellblau doesn’t know what he’s talking about. I get what you’re saying, but to say that the Stones didn’t find their sound until ’68 is just an abortion of an opinion. “Beggars” was somewhat of a creative shift for the band, and it probably marks the beginnings of their being considered an “album band” capable of competing with the Beatles, but the Rolling Stones were already the Rolling Stones before 1968.
You only have to worry about the US/UK split for everything before “Satanic Majesties.” The reason why these splits exist is because singles were not traditionally included on a LP in the UK. The BBC wasn’t allowed to play studio recorded singles, bands would come to the radio studio and perform live sessions, this is why you see BBC sessions on a lot of bonus material. So if you wanted to hear “Satisfaction” you had to go out and buy the single. In fact, full albums were originally seen as a side course to keep fans excited about the next single. The music culture was different in the US. Singles got played on the radio which drove record sales. So to increase album sales record labels wanted the big radio hits on the album.
The conception of an album as a coherent work, rather than as a collection of non-singles didn’t really start until ’66. The two pre-Beggars LPs that can definitely be thought of as conerent wholes and definitely belong in your collection are “Aftermath” and “Between the Buttons.” The UK versions are
The best bits of “Goats Head Soup” and “It’s Only Rock n’ Roll” would be one hell of an album.
If we’re talking UK versions, I agree with you 100%. The singles on the US version of Aftermath might push it ahead, but I have always owned the UK version. I’m pretty sure that the Stones, like the Beatles, were pretty upset with the American versions of their albums by this point.
Here’s my advice of putting together an early Stones collection. Get the American version of everything before Aftermath. Get the UK versions of Aftermath and Buttons. Get everything that you don’t already have from Flowers, and fill out your collectiong with The Singles Collection.
I’ve never actively watched the show, but it’s been on around me before, and I’m pretty sure your admittedly ignorant take is also pretty inaccurate. The show follows a family who are from backwoods Louisiana who made a shit ton of money making and selling duck calls, which are decoy ducks used by duck hunters. They’re basically rubber duckies for grown ups. While the show may involve hunting, but it’s really about the supposedly hilarious hijinks that arise out of the paradox that this family of hillbilly-looking fellows have fuck-you money.
I’m not saying the show has any redeeming qualities, but it’s not “about shooting at ducks.” It’s the “Beverly Hillbillies” meets “The Osbournes.” If you’re gonna argue that it glorifies gun culture, then so does pretty much every other piece of culture out there. At least Duck Dynasty doesn’t involve shooting at humans, which I can’t say about “The Wire,” “The Sopranos,” “The Godfather,” “Pulp Fiction,” etc. etc.
Pretty sure nobody has mentioned my early pick for standout track, and today’s nominee for coolest song title ever, “Higs Boson Blues.”
My read was that Zeppelin aped followed the Who much more than vice versa. I mean, Jimmy Page’s first post-Yardbirds plan was for him and Jeff Beck to form a supergroup with. Moon and Moose. (Holy shit, would that have rocked faces off!) Anyways, here’s my version of the truth…
2. Who Sell Out
3. Who’s Next
5. My Generation
6. A Quick One
7. By the Numbers
Err.. Yes. Misread your post…
Best version is the one from the Stones “Rock and Roll Circus” that’s also on the “Kid’s Are Alright” soundtrack. Nearly eight minutes of capital r Rawk. Story is the Circus wasn’t released for 30 years because Jagger knew that the Who had blown the Stones off the stage. My theory that I completely made up is that it was that eight minutes that led to Brian Jones being shown the door in favor of Mick Taylor five months later.
Tommy has its moments, but it also has its weak points and it really drags in the second half before being rescued by “We’re Not Gonna Take It.” Quadrophena is a much more complete, mature, and if you ask me, interesting. Quadrophena is the Annie Hall to Tommy‘s Bananas.
“Ceremony” is probably my favorite New Order song. But I’ve only dabbled in New Order. And it’s not like “Ceremony” is a quintessential New Order song. It’d be a lot weirder if the list snubbed “Bizarre Love Triangle.” So I kinda appreciate this article pointing out six or seven New Order songs that I either haven’t heard before or listened to closely as a single song. Shit, it’s not like I need anybody to validate my opinion that “Ceremony” is awesome. On the other hand, I hadn’t even heard “Crystal” before tonight. So thanks, and well done sir.
Putting ‘Greatest Hits’ on a best albums list is lame, as far as those things go, but I’m okay with compilations of non-album tracks. Especially in cases like this. I know I don’t want to have a conversation about The Smiths with “Please, Please, Please Let Me Get What I Want” or “Sweet and Tender Hooligan” or “William, It Was Really Nothing” or “Shoplifters of the World Unite” neglected. And when you think about it, all those songs were recorded in the same lenght of time that an average non-Ty Segall band will release one, maybe two albums. I’m a big believer in the concept of the cohesive album, but when you’re talking about a single band’s discography, as opposed to a general best albums list, it seems silly to object to considering compilations of non-album singles. Especially when the comps are as great as the two here.
How are singles, or standout tracks, any more mainstream now than they were at any point in the past ten years that p4k has done lists like these? Maybe their writers think that the non-single tracks are more interesting, rather than picking them to be purposefully obscure.
Pitchfork’s has historically tended to ignore guitar-driven alt-rock bands unless the work is pretty exceptional. It’s not like they turned against Arctic Monkeys when they got popular. You say the bands you like are ignored because they’re the new normal, I would guess they’re ignored because they don’t have anything new to say. I love rock, but look at it this way. If I listen to Grimes there is nothing else on my ipod quite like “Oblivion.” While I may prefer the style of the Arctic Monkeys, why would I listen to them when I can listen to the Clash, or The Replacements, or the first Strokes album, or countless other records?
Intriguing point. Although I’d point out that MTV was only dominated by left-field acts in their early years, because the more MOR acts weren’t making videos.within a few years MTV was much more mainstream. Even though MTV drove the conception of what is mainstream in a way p4k never has come close to. After a few years, the out-of-mainstream music that MTV pushed was mostly done on specialty shows, which had a huge influence on some of us, wasn’t watched by a ton of people.
Yeah, I remember that. I wonder how much of a case it was of votes getting split between Kanye songs. My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy had just come out a few weeks before, and it was still kimd of an overwhelming experience. I remember trying to decide between “Runaway,” “All of the Lights,” and “Power” in the Readers poll that year. I think “Monster” might have been in my top 10 as well.
Yeah. Maybe I wasn’t clear, but that’s not whatI meant at all. A year’s musical legacy is created by individual opinions which are turned into ‘conversations’ about those opinions. These lists are just another form of conversation that give shape to the overall body of opinion in different communities of interests.. I’m not saying that I let p4k or anybody else tell me how to remember a year. I’m just saying that these lists should reflect the ‘conversation’ we had throughout the year.
I always thought it’d be fun to revisit these lists (or start from scratch) a few years down the line. See what people still listen to frequently, what they’ve lost interest in. I don’t know, what are you guys doing three years from today?
and they’ve been all over the Japandroids and Bat for Lashes records. Not to mention the network’s longstanding advocacy of Fiona Apple.
I’d say that “I’ll Stand By You” has the same place in The Pretenders catalogue that “Wild, Wild, Life” has in Talking Heads’. Both singles are commercial hits several years removed from what is widely concieved as the prime of either groups career. And while neither song is a drastic departure from the band’s earlier dicography, they are less adventurous, perhaps more conscious of corporate radio, than the bands eariler singles. Not that there’s anything wrong with accessibility.
Look, after I got into the first few Pretenders albums a few years ago, I stumbled onto “I’ll Stand By You” for the first time in years and was somewhat surprised to see it was a Pretenders song. Hearing Chrissie’s vocals, it totally makes sense, but before that I would have never guessed that would have been produced by the same group that did “Tattooed Love Boys.” I like the song, it’s on my ipad, but I swear to god, I used to confuse it with “What’s Up.”
“I’ll Stand By You” is a good song, a nice 90′s love ballad, but this list reflects the fact that Chrissie wrote plenty of great songs that you will never mistake for a 4 Non-Blondes song. Definitely deserves a spot on the top ten “Best ‘Bryan Adams’ Songs That Are Better Than Any Actual Bryan Adams Song,” but not here.
You know, I’ve never really loved that track, but the SNL performance completely won me over. Maybe it was the accompaniment, or the live choir, but I’ve changed my views.
I’m pretty sure that the song is a product of a jam session. That doesn’t excuse any weaknesses, “Helter Skelter” was also the product of a jam session. But considering that it was probably shaped together quickly, by a bunch of guys who hadn’t played together regularly for close to two decades, with another guy who had never played with the other guys… well, there’s a reason it isn’t “Helter Skelter.” But just because something is frivilous doesn’t mean that it can’t be interesting or fun. You’d probably have a better time with the tune if you didn’t interpose the qualative standards of an actual song. But maybe that’s just one of the remaining vestiges of my jam-band worshipping teen years shining through.
Anyways, I upvoted you even though I disagreed because your arguments were cogent and reasonably put.