Thursday, November 06, 2014

Mick, Clarence, and Keith - a Top 10 List

I don't think I can follow Zman and Dave's suit.  There are just so many songs, the rest of my year would be adding addenda like Dave's "Gigantic" (great song) epilogue.  I look at the sea of songs I listen to on a routine basis, and it's a huge challenge.

I can, however, contribute to the theme.  As I mentioned in Rob's conversation transcription, a subset of favorites could be more manageable and perhaps more interesting.  As such, here we go...

Clarence's 10 Favorite Stones Songs 
That Aren't On Their Plethora of Greatest Hits

Boy, the Glimmer Twins do like their best-ofs, don't they?

The Rolling Stones first released a record in 1964.  The released their first compilation of hits in 1966.  And it just went from there:

1966: Big Hits (High Tides and Green Grass)
1969: Through the Past Darkly: Big Hits Vol. 2
1971: Hot Rocks: 1964-1971
1972: More Hot Rocks: (Big Hits and Fazed Cookies)
1975: Made in the Shade
1984: Rewind (1971-1984)
1989: The Complete Singles Collection: The London Years
1993: Jump Back: The Best of the Rolling Stones 1971-1993
2002: Forty Licks
2012: GRRR!

These albums total 249 Stones songs -- okay, 101 different Stones songs -- that have been released, re-released, and re-re-released on hits packages.  "Brown Sugar" appears on a ridiculous seven of these compilations.  And these are the major hits releases, there are dozens more import collections, rarities, and stupid crap like Sucking in the Seventies. (Which I own. And like.)

The thing is . . . these collections are all pretty much great.  Whether it was pilfering my folks' High Tide and Green Grass vinyl when I was 12, or listening to Rewind on cassette repeatedly a few years later, or buying Forty Licks on CD like a lemming during my complete addiction to that form of music media a dozen years ago . . . or having pretty much all of them in digital format now, I continue to listen to Mick and Keith.  I mean, who didn't have Hot Rocks when they were in high school, no matter when you grew up?  (Probably Rob.)

If asked yesterday, I probably would have told you that I like the Beatles or the Kinks or maybe even another British Invasion act more than the Stones, but I think my listening habits tell the story.  The Stones are just the Stones, as Keith would tell you mock-intellectually.  Like a sore schwanz, they are hard to beat.

Then again, classic rock deejays around the world -- like the ones on 106.9 The Fox here in SE VA -- have tried their very damnedest to ruin our affection for these tunes by playing them ad nauseum for decades.  Truly, Charlie Watts never had anything on the clowns who drummed "Sympathy," "Wild Horses," "Angie," "Honky Tonk Women," and especially "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction" into the ground.  (Clever girl that I am, click on those links for something fresher.

So I could do what Jan Wenner, Tiger Beat, VH-1, and their ilk do all the time and tell you the 10 or 50 or 100 "best" Stones songs.  (#100: "Harlem Shuffle"  I do not dig on that swine.)  Instead, I have culled through the handful songs that aren't on the aforementioned compilations and found some all-timers.  Have a listen.

1. "Monkey Man," Let It Bleed, 1969

As cool a first 30 seconds of any rock song, and it doesn't get worse from there.  I'm glad you are a monkey woman, too.

2. "Sweet Virginia," Exile on Main Street, 1972

Wouldn't the Commonwealth of Virginia have loved to use this as a tourism slogan song? Whoops, not unlike the issues highlighted in this amusing take on "Born to Run" as the NJ state anthem, you don't hear many state songs that mention hiding drugs on one's person or that you've "got to scrape the shit right off your shoes."  Still, it's a fantastic tune for late in some bleary evenings.

3. "Little T and A," Tattoo You, 1981

Let's keep the bawdy coming.  My favorite Stones tunes include a disproportionate number of Keith tunes, and this is a dandy.  An ode to groupies.  Listen for the mention of what T & A stand for, in case you have virgin ears.  (Keith doesn't.)

4. "Can't You Hear Me Knocking," Sticky Fingers, 1971

Such a good song.  Great intro.  Great outro. This might be my favorite Stones song.

5. "Time Waits for No One," It's Only Rock and Roll, 1974

Hours are like diamonds, don't let 'em waste.  Well spoken, Mick.  Time waits for no one, Gheorghies, and it won't wait for me.  Time waits for no one, and it won't wait for thee.

6. "Loving Cup," Exile on Main Street, 1972

Our demised friend Flynn was an enormous fan of the Stones, and this was his favorite song. I never really got it until my 100th listen, long after he was gone.  It's a gem.

7. "Salt of the Earth," Beggars Banquet, 1968

Let's drink to the hard working people.  Let's drink to the lowly of birth.  Keith.  Raising a glass.  Why wouldn't you reciprocate?

8. "One Hit (To The Body)," Dirty Work, 1986

The Stones' latter-day stuff (meaning after I turned 16) gets glossed over, and with mostly good reason.  This one seems to stick with me, though.  I like the guitar.  Not the video.

9. "She's So Cold," Emotional Rescue, 1980

A good, simple rock song, almost like a throwback to their 60's stuff.  And an even worse video -- made just before MTV was hatched.  Prancing Mick. Sulking Keith.

10. "Dead Flowers," Sticky Fingers, 1971

I never like to admit when Dave is right, but he was when he picked this song.  It's a keeper by any standards. How it was omitted from all those compilations is puzzling.

There you go.  There are plenty of good songs that appeared on just one of the 10 greatest hits collections, like "Rocks Off," "Bitch," Dance Little Sister," "Waiting On a Friend," and others.  But these are the ones curiously left off entirely, and it has made all the difference.  Or something like that.

I saw the Stones last summer for their 50th anniversary tour.  It was my first time seeing them; funny, I remember not seeing them in 1989 and thinking I may have missed my last shot.  I finally caught the Rolling Stones, and they were tremendous.  And they played "Satisfaction."  And it was fucking killer.


rob said...

simmons is both completely right and totally fucked. this is his howard beale moment.

Mark said...

He's trying to get fired, IMO.

In other co-worker beef news, I had a package delivered to my office today. I wasn't there when it was delivered. One of my co-workers decided she'd open said package and go through it. A package addressed to ME. What the what??

zman said...

Monkey Man is a tremendous song that I honestly considered for my top 10. It would appear on my hypothetical list of top 10 songs that should have been on my top 10.

Marls said...

Mark, just start rummaging through her purse. She should not have an issue with that.

If you find some gum, can you send me a piece?

rob said...

she give you your weed back, mark?

Clarence said...

It was a his-n-hers rabbit.

zman said...

I work with a guy who is 3-4 years younger than me and who just got promoted to Vice President, which was well deserved. He has no wife or kids or mortgage (he rents a small-ish condo) and, suddenly, much more disposable than a few weeks ago. And the lease was up on his 3 Series. So he got a Maserati Ghibli last night, the one with the big engine too. I am stewing in silent jealousy.

Mark said...

The coworker in question on my end is divorced from a a high school acquaintance of mine. I was friends with and played basketball with his older brother in high school. The older brother married his second cousin (same uncommon last name) that he met at a family reunion. Not that this has anything to do with her rummaging through my bag of OG Kush but I thought it merited a mention.

Zman's coworker sounds waaay cooler.

rob said...

florida, man.

Danimal said...

My Toyota Forerunner turns 5 years old next month. The Honda minivan not far behind. Maserati pfft.

Clarence said...

Zman, I saw an episode of "Suits" the other night that reminded me of you. Tesla and such.

zman said...

So it involved an unexpectedly sexy pudgy balding guy?

rob said...

came home tonight to find my in-laws sitting in my living room. that was neat.

Mark said...

All you needed was Buckhantz there too so he could yell 'Dagger!!'

Clarence said...

Mark made me chortle. Goooood visual. We should make a video.

zman said...

We should invite robs inlaws to his house every night.

TR said...

Great list, Clarence. So subjective, but some good picks there.

Winter (from Goat's Head Soup) would my deep cut pick. Listened to it a ton on vinyl after 9/11 during a depressing NYC winter. Epic.

TR said...

While we're at it, Moonlight Mile (Sticky Fingers) is amazing.

And Factory Girl, the glue of Beggar's Banquet, the band's tribute to blue collar life (my theory on that album), is brilliant.

If I don't stop drinking wine, I'll keep chiming in all night...

rootsminer said...

Speaking of Moonlight Mile, have you heard the Lee Fields cover of it? Pretty cool.