The Rolling Stones, Gimmie Shelter, First Performance Ever!

Posted in The Rolling Stones, Youtube Favs on September 28th, 2011 by Willie

Like the title says, this video represents the first time the Rolling Stones played, “Gimmie Shelter” in public.  They played the song on “Pop Go the Sixties,” a variety show no doubt, (the 60s were rife with them,) and they pull it off as good as they ever would.  Made for the brilliant Let it Bleed record, “Gimmie Shelter” was Richard and Jagger’s genius abstract mashup of all the apocalyptic violent atmosphere dominating the hearts and minds of people across the world in the late 60s.  It’s one of the best songs of the Vietnam era, and it just drips cool and burns with bluesy hellfire.  The song also reflected the tumultuous time the Stones were going through themselves what with increased heavy drug use from Richards, the death of Brian Jones, and killing at their massive free Altamont Concert.  Oh, and I can’t end my little entry without mentioning how legendary guest vocalist Merry Clayton, the female vocalist who burns her voice into music history with her lines, “Rape, murder, it’s just a shot away, its just a shot away.”  Of course Mick performs that part in the live performance, but still, timeless.

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The Rolling Stones, Out of Time

Posted in The Rolling Stones, Youtube Favs on June 6th, 2011 by Willie

For part 82 of my youtube countdown, you’re in danger of running “Out of Time” with the Rolling Stones incredible 1966 single.  First released on the UK version of Aftermath, the song is a fabulous example of 60s Brit pop, as well as being another song in a string of misogynistic themed lyrical exercises the Stones had going at the time.  (For the record, just pointing the misogyny out, not celebrating it.)  The first version of the song had a slow experimental garage rock feel, featuring Brian Jones on the marimba, (close to a xylophone.)  Version 2 has a more sweeping Beatle-esque  arrangement, with thicker background vocals, a faster tempo, and a dramatic string arrangement.  Version 2 is my favorite, mainly for the killer Motown vocal chorus where Mick’s voice mixes sloppily (yet sublimely) with the female singers.  It’s a hook that makes my knees buckle.  I’ve also included the Mick Jagger produced cover version done by obscure British pop singer Chris Farlowe.  His backing version is identical to the Stone’s second mix, and Mick is singing backup on that one too.  Farlowe’s version went to #1, but I’m including it because this guy is so British looking.  He’s like a cross between Austin Powers and Prince Charles.  It’s really funny.  So, here you go, all three versions of one of my favorite Rolling Stones songs of all time, “Out of Time.”

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Muddy Waters and The Rolling Stones

Posted in Muddy Waters, The Rolling Stones, Youtube Favs on April 14th, 2011 by Willie

In part 35 of my youtube favorites countdown, we take a trip to rock school.  In our lesson we’ll look at two thunderously classic clips.  The first features the immortal Muddy Waters leading his band through his genre defining blues cut “Rollin’ Stone.”  This song, as you probably know, was the original inspiration for the Rolling Stones’ name, as well as Bob Dylan’s classic “Like a Rolling Stone.”  Beyond that bit of history making, the song itself, which many people aren’t familiar with, is a snarling bit of cool contained electric blues.  Muddy kicks it off with a peculiar wish, to be a catfish, swimming in the deep blue sea, where presumably, a whole bunch of sexy ladies will be fishing after him…Hmm, pretty strange, yet awesome imagery.  The second clip unites Muddy with his disciples, the Stones, hammering out a nasty good version of “Mannish Boy.”  Now “Mannish Boy” is probably where you’ve heard Muddy proclaim his Rolling Stone status more famously then the actual “Rollin’ Stone” song, where the proclamation was more of a throwaway.  This video is a lot of fun.  Muddy sounds fantastic, and looks like he’s having a great time grooving with his “children.”  I like that Muddy seems more bemused, and not annoyed as Mick dances, struts, and vamps all around him.  When Mick takes the mic, his vocal interactions with Muddy are just too cool, as Muddy cheers him on in the slickest way possible.  Thus endeth the lesson.

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