#185: Beggar’s Banquet, Rolling Stones
Another album I listened to in the middle of the snow storm, which started up right as I started playing #183. Weird, that this album will always make me feel cold.
This RS blurb gave me a LOT to unpack as a casual Rolling Stones fan. First of all, what an album cover. If you listen on Spotify, you don’t get the toilet cover, but instead get a cover with floral script. Kind of crazy that’s the original, since their label rejected the toilet. God, I’m so glad it’s not the Sixties.
Second, the blurb references an album called Their Satanic Majesty’s Request. Sue me, but I’ve never even HEARD of this Rolling Stones album, which apparently immediately preceded Beggar’s Banquet. Looked up the track listing and I’ve never heard any of the songs, either. If you judge from the album cover alone, it looks like a low budget Sgt. Peppers. I guess Mick and Keith aren’t infallible.
Finally, founding member and guitarist Brian Jones was essentially totally checked out on drugs during this last album. Jones died in ’69 at the age of 27, making him a member of the 27 Club. This was the last Stones album released while he was alive.
By the way, apparently all’s fair in love and war if you’re in the Rolling Stones: The year before Jones died, his girlfriend and actress Anita Pallenberg left him for Keith Richards. Man, those guys really took no prisoners.
“Sympathy For The Devil” — Please allow me to introduce myself/I’m Mick Jagger.
“No Expectations” — Jagger says that this song was the last time Jones played with the Stones “with care.” He’s on the slide guitar.
“Dear Doctor” — Have you ever seen those episodes of British TV where they all pretend to be cowboys? That’s what this song is.
“Parachute Woman” — This crazy, octave-jumping melody is so ahead of their time.
“Jigsaw Puzzle” — I love the part where he talks about all of the band members’ feelings.
“Street Fighting Man” — What can a poor boy do/Except to sing for a rock ’n’ roll band.
“Prodigal Son” — This album is so American it’s crazy. When I saw the album cover I was fascinated by the “Bob Dylan’s Dream” graffiti above the toilet. Now I can tell that this is the most Dylan-influenced Stones album. It sounds like he ghostwrote all these songs, and then the Rolling Stones ran them through a cheese grater.
“Factory Girl” — I just love the Rolling Stones’ odes to working-class women. Waiting for a girl who’s got curlers in her hair/Waiting for a girl she has no money anywhere/We get buses everywhere. I love it.
LEAST FAVORITE SONGS:
“Salt Of The Earth” — Keith! Bud! I’m proud of you for trying to sing on this one. And a harmony?! Good try, champ. I love how much make-up Keith and Mick are wearing in this music video.
IS RS FULL OF IT?
Intellectually, I know the Stones have no business hogging up a full 1.2% of this list. But in my heart, I just can’t act like I don’t love listening to every single Stones album. As long as I don’t have to listen to “Angie,” I think I’ll always be on their side.
But seriously, Keith Richards. Talk about a dick move.