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Blood on the Rocks
Let It Bleed - The Rolling Stones
Member Name: blackbob
Let It Bleed - The Rolling Stones
Date: 14/02/04, updated on 14/02/04 (306 review reads)
Advantages: Great Music, Stones at their Best
There are good albums which sell well in their time and their bad albums which the singles from always seem to get played on Top of the Pops.Then there are the timeless classics,the ones that stand the test of time,the ones you can be sure will still be listened to decades from now.True,a lot of them seem to come from the sixties and seventies but regardless of release date they're the sort of work that must be classed as pieces of true art in a world where a used condom seems to be art if you paint it green.
The follow-up album to Beggars Banquet was a masterpiece first released at,aptly enough for the Stones,the midnight hour of the 1960's - November '69.Let it Bleed,possibly a swipe at the soon to be released Let it Be by those ever cheeky chappy scousers the Beatles (yawn!!) and a perfect antidote to their flower power hippy smiley brand of pop,this was the Rolling Stones finest hour packed full of tough,moody,dark and real rock songs everyone a hit by itself.
While making the film Performance Mick Jagger worked on the soundtrack with the brilliant slide guitarist Ry Cooder who jamming with the band showed Kieth arrangements in open G tuning and on the electric Kieth found the sound he would go on to use to launch a thousand songs.Soon inspired he wrote the two classics Honky Tonk Woman and the portentious Gimme Shelter.Noticeable for the abscence of Brian Jones,resigned or sacked? but soon to be dead,and the fleeting input of Mick Jones the guitar on this album is practically all Kieth Richards work though Jones played on Honky Tonk Woman with the now famous double-stop lead over Kieth's gutsy ryhthm guitar.This song is not on the album though.
It is Gimme Shelter that opens side A,the gathering storm ever present and waiting to hit this song with its thinly vieled references to Vietnam trancends all that the Stones have written before or since with additional vocals by Mary Clayton which lend to the apocalypti
c quality of this song.
Love in Vain yet another reworking of a Robert Johnson number but faithfully done and sounds great with the accoustic slide and Mick's mournful,sorrowful voice.Ry Cooder features on Mandolin.
Country Honk a country,blue-grass version of Honky Tonk Woman is probably my least favourite of the album mainly due to the originals overall impact but it's a fine song all the same.Mick Taylor playd slide.
Live With Me with Mick's brilliantly sleazy lyrics is a true Stones classic from the bass intro and Kieths bluesy double stopping and ryhthm and the rock piano.
The title track Let it Bleed another country blues accoustic track in which Mick suggest 'We all need some-one to lean on.'and that 'We all need a little coke and sympathy.'
'Did you here about the Midnight Rambler?' a rocking bluesy number about a serial killer,nearly seven minutes long with that harmonica against the pumping bass and slide giutar building all the time till the end where he screams 'and I'll stick my knife right down your throat and it'll hurt'
You Got the Silver is a charming little folky song with Kieth on vocal this time.
Monkey Man is a funk,Jazz,blues rocker with a churning main riff dripping in drug-fuelled lyrics 'I'm a flea-bit peanut monkey.All my friend are junkies!' this is my favourite song the guitar is inspired and the lyrics somewhat tongue-in-cheek while giving a possible warning to the listening media 'I hope we're not too Messianic or a trifle too satanic.'
You Can't Always Get What You Want so true an anthemic close to the album and the 'Jimi' he refers to in the lyrics,or so I once read is Jimi Hendrix another icon of the era.
Much has been said and written about this album and The Stones hammering a death-nail into the coffin of the whole flower power movement and the love and peace generation with the il
l concieved Altamont Speedway festival given by not only The Stones but The Greatful Dead and Jefferson Aeroplane and where a member of the audience,Meredith Hunter was stabbed right in front of Mick Jagger as he sung 'Sympathy for the Devil'.The security was supplied by Hell's Angels who used fists and pool cues to keep order and in the case of the unfortunate fan Let him Bleed to death.Apparently,believing American Hell's Angels to be rather theactrical bike fanatics like their more civilised British counterparts who did a very competant job of security at the free festival in Hyde Park,they expected the same service in San Fransisco.
Whatever else this is a brilliant album full of the best music that the Stones produced and if you have never heard it try buying a copy and put it on in the car or somewhere you can appreciate the Stones at their very best.
Release date - Nov 28,1969
Brian Jones plays percussion on Midnight Rambler and autoharp on You've Got the Silver.
London Bach Choir and Al Kooper playing piano,organ and french horn all feature on You Can't Always Get What You Want.
Fiddle by Byron Berline on Country Honk.
'Tea and Sympathy' provided by Jock