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Shane’s Music Challenge: ROLLING STONES – 1969 – Let It Bleed

| 13 February 2014 | Reply

ROLLING STONES – 1969 – Let It Bleed

Rolling Stones - Let It Bleed cover

With a Delia Smith bike tyre-clock-&-record cake on the cover and some wasted rock n’ blues in the grooves, Let It Bleed is one of The Stones’ finest examples of the drugs working for their creative process.

Seriously – the raunch and danger of Let It Bleed or Gimme Shelter, the indulgent, driving chug of Midnight Rambler – Taylor’s been popping up to play this live in recent tours, and we’re hoping to hear him rip it out here in Perth in March – the faux-sloppy drag of Country Honk… Let It Bleed is often overshadowed by their bigger hit albums from the 70’s, but it’s a serious contender for best Stones album of all.

Startlingly, Mick Taylor’s first album with the band is not all raw and wild – there is the choir-augmented You Can’t Always Get What You Want, which is as stunning as anything else in their enormous catalogue, and Keef takes the vocals for a delightfully louche You Got The Silver.

I also have a burnt CD of this album with a couple of obscure add-ons dug up during the early days of Napster – for one, Cocksucker Blues (aka Schoolboy Blues), which every aficionado of The Stones will be aware of. Offered to Decca to finalise their contract as the band moved on, it’s a deliberately stoned, sloppy, raucous and vulgar tale of a young rent boy sucking cock and getting arse fucked – not a sure-fire 1970 number one, then.

We also have Keef picking and singing an ode to Cocaine, Mick singing Dobie Gray’s Drift Away, apparently recorded in 1973 and featuring some very tasty playing from Mick Taylor and Nicky Hopkins’ piano. There’s even Keef’s first solo single – a boogieing take on the Chuck Berry’s Christmas rocker Run Rudolph Run.

That’s neither here nor there – the official album is the main thing here, and Best Bits abound: Let It Bleed, Midnight Rambler, Gimmie Shelter and You Can’t Always Get What You Want have all officially been minted Rolling Stones Essentials, while Robert Johnson’s Love In Vain and You Got The Silver are excellent deeper cuts.

Category: Shane's Rock Challenge

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