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The Rolling Stones Rolled Gold Review

Compilation. Released 2007.  

BBC Review

Need some Stones in your life? Of course you do. Start here…

Chris Jones 2007

How times change. If you read Mick Farren’s review from the NME of this compilation from 1975 and then compare it to one from any of the trendier online review sites today you’d wonder even if it were the same BAND that’s being dissected. Farren can’t even begin to countenance a view that allows for any of the tracks to be regarded as below par. Recent reviews treat the whole thing like a record from your rather embarrassing uncles. Once these West London boys were a threat to society. Now they’re something you buy for your mum and dad to play in the car. Sheesh…

So why should you care if you happen to be one of the (presumably very) young people for whom this band signifies little more than knighthoods and Wembley-filling superannuated gigs? Well, because for at least a decade they were, as they announced on Get Yer Ya Yas Out; the greatest rock ‘n’ roll band in the world. Often speciously pitted against the Beatles; their roots lay less in pure rock ‘n’ roll and more in the London blues scene. Originally Brian Jones’ band, they bonded over a mutual love of all things gritty and Chicagoan.

Forced by scene-maker/manager Andrew Loog Oldham to write their own material after a string of hits covering everyone from Chuck Berry ("Come On") to the Beatles themselves ("I Wanna Be Your Man"), "The Last Time" ushered in a period where Jagger and Richards easily rivalled Lennon and McCartney for the holders of most important cultural icons of the 60s.

It’s all here: The ur-riff of "Satisfaction", the snarling blues of "Little Red Rooster", the social anxiety of "19th Nervous Breakdown". Every month saw them glowering on the set of Top Of The Pops.

Rolled Gold, spans their transition from chart heroes to album kings, and from Decca to Atlantic (and their own label). recent revisionism bumps up the psychedelic whimsy from Their Satanic Majesties album on this re-release, but then gets stuck into the really dirty stuff. From Beggars Banquet ("Sympathy For The Devil") to Sticky Fingers (the oh-so-politically-incorrect Brown Sugar) the second half of this set is a perfect lesson in how to grow up disgracefully in public and still make awesome sleazy blues rock while you’re at it.

Essentially Farren was right then, this is all glorious stuff, with hardly a dip in quality. Need some Stones in your life? Of course you do. Start here…

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