Rolling Stones Bonus Video Included Below
It’s often been said Burt Bacharach and Hal David wrote American contemporary standards, well if that’s the case, the Rolling Stones not only wrote “rock” standards, they “are” “The Rock Standard” as almost every bit of their music, spanning 50 years, has proved to be timeless. This year, the “Hall of Fame” rock band is celebrating their 50 year anniversary, with concerts in London, Newark New Jersey, the release of a large hardback book, entitled “50,” and the just released new compilation album, GRRR!, available in four different formats, it would seem they’d be satisfied by now. In any case, their longevity has served the music industry well. Evidence of this argument can be heard at the conclusion of this article. Makes it one more compilation you can add to your own personal inventory in celebration of what might be, undisputedly, the band of the 20th and 21 century.
It speaks volumes for a rock band or any group of musicians for that matter, to have stood the test of time as the the Rolling Stones are without precedence, still rolling a half-century later. 50 years of uninterrupted contributions on a global scale will perhaps never be equaled.
Fifty years ago this month, the newly formed British band was touring the U.K., ranked third on a bill behind the Everly Brothers and Bo Diddley. Before long, they were cranking out hits to challenge The Beatles’ grip on global charts.
In their early day, the band was managed by record producer Andrew Loog Oldham, who, according to the New York Daily News, helped the band create their bad-boy image. Today, the former “Stones” manager views them as musical corporation entity, coming together every few years to supply fans the music they crave when they sense enough built-up demand.
While some of Oldham’s remarks are contrary to my own, his comment that the “Stones” have compiled an astonishing catalogue of great rock ‘n’ roll hits is undeniably true.
Perhaps, one of the most important observations Oldham made in the Daily News article was that the Rolling Stones were able to create hits without changing their sound. “All those other early British bands had a terrible time with radio play and commercial success,” Oldham says. “Look at the Yardbirds. They practically broke up over ‘For Your Love’ because they felt it was too pop and commercial. “Bands like Manfred Mann always said they made two kinds of music — their ‘real’ music on their albums and then the singles for radio.
“With [The Rolling Stones,] there was no difference. There was no dividing line. Their albums and singles were the same music,” quoted the Daily News.
As in their 40th year anniversary, fans are snapping up every ticket to a short run of arena shows, despite some seats selling upward of $800. The band will perform Nov. 25 and 29 in London’s O2 Arena and Dec. 13 and 15 in Newark’s Prudential Center. The final concert will air live at 9 p.m. ET as a pay-per-view special, “One More Shot,” distributed by WWE to cable and satellite outlets.
As I mentioned earlier, the 50th anniversary also comes with yesterday’s release of “Grrr! Greatest Hits,” a classic collection that includes two new songs “Doom and Gloom” and “One More Shot.”
As the band prepares for their upcoming concert tour, Mick Jagger has weighed in on the widely spreading controversy surrounding “Stones” ticket prices. In fact, Jagger defended the Rolling Stones exorbitant ticket priced for their four London and New Jersey shows. The top-tiered ticket, which topped out at over $800, has quadrupled in price on the black market, depending on which scalper is selling the seats. Jagger spoke about the ticket controversy to Rolling Stone and defended the price of the seats, explaining, “I don’t think there should be a secondary ticket market. I don’t think it should be legal. To my mind, there has to be a better way of doing it, but we’re living, really, with the way the system functions. We can’t, in four shows, change the whole ticketing system.”
He went on to say: “You might say, ‘The tickets are too expensive’ — well, it’s a very expensive show to put on, just to do four shows, because normally you do a hundred shows and you’d have the same expenses. So, yes, it’s expensive. But most of the tickets go for a higher price than we’ve sold them for, so you can see the market is there. We don’t participate in the profit. If a ticket costs $400, let’s imagine, and goes for $1,600, I just want to point out that we don’t get that difference.
Jagger made the statement to help quell the increasing outrage expressed by fans online.
Mick Jagger and the Stones have come a long way from July 12, 1962, when they played their first gig at the Marquee Club in London. Since then, they’ve performed before more people than any band in history, graduating from club brawls and bad-boy headlines to full stadiums, high-tech productions and box-office fortunes.
But in spite of their years of good fortune, Jagger says: “I am the same person…, I’m doing all the same songs, hopefully with the same aplomb and enthusiasm. You can’t be a lead singer without having a certain forceful ego. You have to have a ton of ego or you’ll have a nervous breakdown. It’s not for shy people.”
History would agree with Jagger’s and so does the “USA Today” writing: “the Rolling Stones… earned their reputation as ‘the greatest rock ‘n’ roll band in the world” as a result of their on stage performances. The newspaper goes on to say, “whatever the size of the venue, the Stones still play like a band in a club on a Saturday night, ripping, scratching and tearing at their bottomless catalog of hits as if they still had everything to prove.
That’s why fans turn out to see them in such huge numbers. They’re legends who in performance burn as hot as ever.”
With no other rock band mildly within reach of their accomplishments, “the greatest rock ‘n’ roll band in the world” isn’t ready to relinquish its title.
“I haven’t seen anyone else dare to take it from us,” Keith Richards remarks in the “USA Today” interview. “Remember, we’ve never said that. Other people have called us that. The greatest rock ‘n’ roll is probably played by a different band in a different part of the world every night. I’m very happy people think that of us. It’s something to live up to.”
There is perhaps a large number of people that would argue the band has already lived up to the claim, and as proof, simply point to the release of “Grrr!’ With 50 tracks spread over three discs. It would be awfully difficult to find an unfamiliar song on the album. In fact, I have included 12 of them at end of this article: “Paint It Black,” “Honky Tonk Women,” “Miss You,” “Satisfaction,” “Angie,” “Time Is On My Side,” “Get Off Of My Cloud,” “As The Tears Go By,” “Ruby Tuesday,” “Jumpin’ Jack Flash”’ “Brown Sugar,” “Start Me Up.”
The album plays out chronologically, it hits its stride on the second CD, which begins with “Jumpin’ Jack Flash” and wraps up with the disco-era ballad ‘Fool to Cry.’ But even the last disc, which attempts to sum up the past 35 years in 17 songs, comes off surprisingly filler-free, including latter-day hits like “Miss You,” which I have also included below and “Undercover of the Night” and ‘Mixed Emotions.”
Overall, the good news is that the Rolling Stones are still physically able to entertain an enthusiastic fan base that they have ingeniously cultivated over the span of 5 decades. Though their still planning a monumental tour for 2013, my appetite is quite satisfied with the concert dates and the new compilation, not to mention the fact that they started their sixth decade today.
Contributor D. Chandler