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Re: Is Jagger the most underrated songwriter ?
Posted by: Doxa ()
Date: April 8, 2009 09:39

Quote
skipstone
But by GHS there was nothing left to say. So he started having fun with it all. Then he followed it up with IORR, a horrible song no matter what, that was making fun of ALL OF IT.

I think this is accurate that by GHS there was nothing to say - by EXILE Mick had emptied his pockets - the whole album (EXILE I mean) is like the end of the development they had done since 1962, and anything they (he) know is invested there. After EXILE, the question would be: what's next? What ELSE there is to be expressed by this vehicle (Mick and the Stones)? Even though there are great, new sonic moments in music- and lyricwise, GHS has the feeling GETTING out of ideas and inspiration: they TRY to reach out from EXILE but sound quite unsecure how. Especially "Dancing With Mr D" is a symptom of trying to recicle old ideas in a new, forced setting. This kind of feeling or impression is familiar ever since, especially since 1989. IORR album is Mick and the Stones going nowhere, and knowing that "this is it, nothing more, nothing less"; lyrics of the title song really reflect the situation almost too well. "If You Can't Rock Me" is even more clearer document of their (and his) tired, repitive, 'out of fresh ideas' condition: the ship has lost its direction. From the "original era", 1963-1983, I would say IORR is the most uninspired moment of their career. It is interesting that something of it is due to Keith's condition as well, but - like stressed in this thread - it also has to do with Mick's muse as well. He was not doing any Sympathies, Brown Sugars anymore. In "Time Waits For No One" Mick perhaps tries to express it in words, but I think, does not sound convincing. The guy's running out of direction and ideas, and there is nothing left but whine... (Without Taylor's guitar the track would not be much to remembered any how).

I find the next album BLACK&BLUE Jagger more relaxed and coming to terms with his maturation and growing up - and being able to express that in words and music. Before the inspired, punk inspired, short fast rockers, with crazy lyrics the Paris era, from SOME GIRLS to TATTOO YOU (okay, to an extent, add UNDERCOVER), I find B&B Jagger's best work since EXILE. He was not able to repeat anything such convincing and personal in his solo career, for instance. Something happened to Jagger in the 80's, and seemingly he has not been able to come up with nothing but cliches and too obvious song sketches and schemes ever since (well, with few, VERY few expectations)

- Doxa



Edited 5 time(s). Last edit at 2009-04-08 09:55 by Doxa.

Re: Is Jagger the most underrated songwriter ?
Posted by: SwayStones ()
Date: April 8, 2009 12:52

Quote
elunsi
oh, that is a thread for me! thank you!

I think it is true what Doxa said. I often think it is a shame how much Mick gets underrated among Stones-fans. Many believe that Keith is the true talent, while Mick is only interested in making money.
.

Exactly !!!
I am sure that if I ask people aorund me about good songwriters,they will talk about Dylan or Lennon because they expect a poet but not a business man like Jagger .


Quote
Amsterdamned

Do you expect me to read this?tongue sticking out smiley

I am sorry because the text is for sure very thick and dense.
But I was able to read it even if english is not my birth langage because I am so interested in Stones stuff tongue sticking out smiley



I am a Frenchie ,as Mick affectionately called them in the Old Grey Whistle Test in 1977 .

Re: Is Jagger the most underrated songwriter ?
Posted by: CousinC ()
Date: April 8, 2009 20:10

@ Rip This

I didn't say all of GHS is bad! I said there is still some great stuff on it!
But it was the beginning of decline lyricalwise - on songs like Mr D.

And I think it had to do with his changing lifestyle as well. Exile had been recorded in 71. Now Bianca and all that empty glitter is really shining through.

But I don't think all had been said.
If this is true, RocknRoll would have been dead in the 50's, 60's, . .

Jagger still writes good songs now and then. But he couldn't keep the great quality he had up to Exile.

Re: Is Jagger the most underrated songwriter ?
Posted by: stonesrule ()
Date: April 9, 2009 03:58

There is not a better businessman in the music industry than Bob Dylan.

Re: Is Jagger the most underrated songwriter ?
Posted by: Doxa ()
Date: April 9, 2009 10:33

Quote
stonesrule
There is not a better businessman in the music industry than Bob Dylan.

This could be true taken the premise that in doing business one is not making any kind of compromises in his/her art. Being such a 'thick head' Dylan is doing very fine. He has also the best dealt image policy by any artist ever, intentional or not. He is to modern songwriting what Einstein is for physics or Picasso to arts - he is always the symbol or reference anyone else is compared.

- Doxa

Re: Is Jagger the most underrated songwriter ?
Posted by: bombayturner ()
Date: April 9, 2009 11:22

Imagine Bone would put out a GS and market it the way Bono does. It would be on every 20somethings' ipod.

We like Jagger not being political and some kind of morality prophet.

Re: Is Jagger the most underrated songwriter ?
Posted by: Doxa ()
Date: April 9, 2009 11:55

One thing came to my mind about the "underrated Jagger" - I think the person who might underrate Jagger's skills as a song writer is no one but Jagger himself!. And that is a part of the charm of Jagger - he does not rate very high any Stones efforts. He has this approach I would call "instrumental". When the album or a song is done, lived its time in charts, he will drop it out of his mind, and starting making a new one. He doesn't seem to have very tight connection to his own past work or musical legacy - when thinking of what is good and what is bad, what to play and what not, he seems to rely on single chartings, radio-friendliness - what he THINK people might want to hear. When they made the theme album idea (was it in NO SECURITY?), he seemed to read what the critics say of their legacy and what albums were praised and what not.

When the Stones got the R&R fame bullshit in 1989, the way Jagger read about how "proud he was of the songs he and Keith had written", I think he sounded non-convincing and uncomfortable. Maybe he approaches - this is my guess - his own talents as easy and effortless (to compose songs) that it doesn't feel anything special. It's perhaps too 'easy' for him - and this is to reflected in his attitude towards his own compositions. When he learned to make songs, he discovered how easy it was, and thereby, not a big thing.

One other feature is that he never DEFENDS his music, or seeing anything "significant" in that but describes it quite roughly; like the Stones "just making noise". (Compare him to. i.e. Lennon!); he likes some songs - like "Ruby Tuesday" - when he likes PLAYNG them. He does not seem to take very seriously what he is doing, and THIS attitude might be one of his secrets.

This is just my observation.

- Doxa



Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 2009-04-09 11:58 by Doxa.

Re: Is Jagger the most underrated songwriter ?
Posted by: SwayStones ()
Date: April 9, 2009 12:57

I never felt Jagger exploring his own emotions and feelings .

He always creates an illusion of spontaneity and improvisation. Onstage, he can be inventive, but never the sort of singer who simply picks up a lyric and sings the words in his own way. He studies a lyric, creating a character, then coming up with the sort of phrasing and vocal textures that seem appropriate.

Agree that Jagger isn't in Dylan's lyrical league, but Mick does still write some good poetic lyrics surprisingly .



I am a Frenchie ,as Mick affectionately called them in the Old Grey Whistle Test in 1977 .



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2009-04-10 22:16 by SwayStones.

Re: Is Jagger the most underrated songwriter ?
Posted by: Greenblues ()
Date: April 9, 2009 13:21

Quote
Doxa
Quote
skipstone
But by GHS there was nothing left to say. So he started having fun with it all. Then he followed it up with IORR, a horrible song no matter what, that was making fun of ALL OF IT.

I think this is accurate that by GHS there was nothing to say - by EXILE Mick had emptied his pockets - the whole album (EXILE I mean) is like the end of the development they had done since 1962, and anything they (he) know is invested there. After EXILE, the question would be: what's next?

- Doxa

I just dipped into this thread and read your quotes - and they just felt right. Yes we can reason about what great work was yet to come after Exile, the greatness of Memory Motel or how Some Girls was a brand new start. It was - and still, just reading your quotes, it's like... yeah, to be honest its basically true (sigh). Because up to Exile it was like a fresh oil well with the juice erupting quite naturally. Then by the mid seventies it became work, sometimes great work, but often "going through the motions" as well.

Do you remember this Jagger quote from an interview? I can't exactly place it but it read something like this: "Yeah, we've got another album to do. And then a tour. Of course we'll do it - Keith and I will write songs, and then there will be lyrics, and then we'll tour it - but how boring has it all become..."

I know it may be 35 years ago now since this interview happened, and they still keep going. But it's different now, as it became tightly scheduled work. Up to Exile they were gifted, celebrated amateurs, now they've become real professionals, working out on stage and sticking to their respective roles,lovely entertainers, but hardly "burning" any more. It's entertainment just like Star Wars, endlessly remodeling the same formula (which is still working surprisingly well, somehow).

I couldn't have imagined Stones "action figures" in the seventies, but now I can clearly imagine Keith in plastic, in his Pirates Of The Carrebian look. And then there's Mick in his workout dress...



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2009-04-09 17:15 by Greenblues.

Re: Is Jagger the most underrated songwriter ?
Posted by: Stargroves ()
Date: April 9, 2009 13:58

Any better?

Quote
SwayStones
I

[www.observer.com]

Mick Jagger :Our Most Underrated Songwriter ?

By Ron Rosenbaum
December 9, 2001 | 7:00 p.m
I learned about George Harrison after a draft of this column went to the copy editors. Reading the many well-deserved tributes he's getting now made me feel even more strongly the importance of paying tribute to artists while they're still with us rather than waiting for death to provide a "peg." It's one of the things I've tried to do since I began The Edgy Enthusiast, and you can think of this Mick Jagger tribute in that light.


Recently I came upon a startling remark by Stephen Booth, a brilliant literary scholar who occupies a special place in my pantheon for his transformative edition of Shakespeare's sonnets. (His Yale University Press commentary on the sonnets is an exhilarating exercise in polysemous pleasure–which is not as dirty as it sounds.)


Anyway, I'd been tracking down some of Mr. Booth's other essays in places like Pacific Coast Philology when I came upon that remarkable opening line from one of his essays: "Shakespeare is, of course, our most underrated poet." Shakespeare underrated ? In a tongue-in-cheek kind of way, Mr. Booth is saying that all the millions and perhaps billions of words expended on Shakespeare's poetry have still not come close to justly rating his immensity. So he's underrated!

In that spirit, I would like to argue that Mick Jagger is our most underrated songwriter. Despite the millions and millions of words expended on Mick Jagger's rock-star persona, on the mansions and the babes and the paternity suits and the Tootsie Roll soaked in acid on the tour plane (or was that Led Zeppelin?), despite–or because of–the millions and millions of words about Mick Jagger the celebrity , no one has done justice to Mick Jagger as a writer .

A writer of brilliant, soulful, soaring, incantatory anthems, hymns to broken hearts (Memory Motel), broken spirits (Wild Horses) and fragmentary hopes for redemption (the incomparable Sweet Virginia). And let's not forget, at this particular moment, that he's one of the rare rock songwriters who has addressed the question of evil and apocalypse (Sympathy for the Devil, Gimme Shelter) in a sophisticated way.

He's more well-known for his "Jumpin' Jack Flash" manic-exhibitionist stage persona, but he's done some killer slow, aching ballads, such as "You Can't Always Get What You Want" and "Angie" and "Time Waits for No One."
He's been doing it from the beginning of his songwriting career, with underappreciated slow-tempo numbers like "Blue Turns to Grey," "The Singer Not the Song" and one of my all-time, all-time faves, "Tell Me (You're Coming Back to Me)." That's the one where I think he first discovered the power of incantatory repetition that transforms simple love songs into soaring sonic prayers in the gutter religion of love. Sometimes it's the despairing prayer of a Graham Greene whiskey priest, as in the almost completely overlooked "Till the Next Good Bye." Sometimes it's the bleak beauty, the spare Beckett-like eloquence of "No Expectations."


He's got another potential classic in the anthemic "Wild Horses" mode on his new solo album, Goddess in the Doorway –a song called "Don't Call Me Up." But that's not what prompted this column, or even my call to radio guru Jonathan Schwartz. No, what prompted me to call Mr. Schwartz was the dispiriting news that I first read in Page Six, that Mick Jagger's new solo album only sold a paltry 900 copies in its first week of release in the U.K.!

This despite a prime-time network documentary (ABC's Being Mick Jagger ) about his living the high life, hobnobbing with Prince Charles at the royal premiere of the film he's just produced ( Enigma , starring Kate Winslet), and making music with the many children of his several wives. I say "despite" the prime-time documentary, but maybe because of it–because, again, it played into the image that people have always used to underrate him, to write him off as a jet-setting celeb these days, rather than the serious artist he was and still is.

This jet-set stuff obscures the fact that Mick Jagger has written powerful songs that will last forever (the unbearably sad and beautiful "Memory Motel" will last as long as memory–or at least as long as motels). But before I go any further, I think it's important to say that when I say "Mick Jagger has written," I mean the songs that Mick Jagger and Keith Richards have written. Most of them are written for Mr. Jagger's voice , for his persona. But I have a feeling that the writing credit "Jagger/Richards" represents a real collaboration, whatever the division of labor may be.* Actually, I'd love to know how Mick and Keith work together as a team. (My fantasy is to do one of those Paris Review "Writers at Work" interviews with them.)


But when I say Mick Jagger is our most underrated songwriter, I also believe he's our most underrated voice. A voice–and a delivery–that deserves comparison, by this time, with Frank Sinatra, Count Basie, Bob Dylan and Neil Young as one of the defining male voices of the century. Yes: Jagger and Sinatra. That's why I felt compelled to put in a call to my friend Jonathan Schwartz, an elegant advocate for Sinatra, Bennett, all those guys, but someone who also has a deep understanding of Dylan. I've had some of my most illuminating Dylan conversations with Jonathan, and yet I couldn't recall any real conversation about the Stones.


Jonathan Schwartz, as I'm sure you know, is the gifted novelist, memoirist and host of two widely admired Saturday and Sunday afternoon music-and-meditative- monologue shows on WNYC. When I reached him, he told me he was about to send me news of an additional gig as on-air producer and programmer on a singer-songwriter channel of the new no-commercials satellite-radio service XM, where, he said, they allow him the freedom to play "deep tracks"– overlooked classics by his favorites, such as (in the order he reeled them off) Lena Horne, Count Basie, Nat King Cole, Tony Bennett and that other guy he likes so much, Frank whatever.


I felt that Jonathan might be the one person who could redress the imbalance in Mick Jagger's reputation, repair the underestimation of Mr. Jagger as a songwriter. I was ready to say, "See here, Jonathan, you're one of the few people who has the perspicuity to appreciate both that Frank guy and Bob Dylan. It's time you did the same for Mick Jagger's songs."

But before I got two sentences into my prepared rant, Jonathan stopped me to say that, in fact, he has played Jagger on his mostly Sinatra and Tony Bennett show. He told me how he segued recently from a conga riff at the end of "Sympathy for the Devil" into Mel Tormé's "I Don't Want to Cry Anymore" in a way that perfectly "married the two genres of music," as he put it. And then he cited several other Jagger songs he'd played, including some of those classic anthemic ballads that are my favorites as well, among them "You Can't Always Get What You Want," "Wild Horses" and "Angie." I shouldn't have been surprised at Jonathan's discernment.

We went on after that to consider the relationship between Jagger and Dylan as songwriters. Was Jagger, as Jonathan initially suggested, "a blue-collar Dylan"? I put it differently: Mick Jagger's audience might have been more authentically blue-collar, in the sense that Bob Dylan's initial audience bought their blue work shirts at the Harvard Co-op, so to speak.

But Mick Jagger's songwriting was anything but blue-collar, even when–Jonathan had a point here–portraying blue-collar kids in "Satisfaction" and "Street Fighting Man." Mick Jagger, I argued, was more of an aesthete in the sense that his art–or part of his art–was not to call attention to his art. Not to call attention the way Dylan did, with over-the-top verbal pyrotechnics, at least until Dylan shifted into a new, more pared-down mode of songwriting with Blood on the Tracks –not necessarily better, perhaps, or as novel as the Highway 61-Blonde on Blonde Dylan, but very, well, Jaggeresque. (I await the sensitively written Ph.D. thesis comparing "Gimme Shelter" with Shelter from the Storm.)

Meanwhile, though, Mick Jagger–always a peacock on stage–was, in his ballads, more in the mode (or the pose) of the aristo-poet than the blue-collar rocker.
At his unaffected best, Jagger can display flashes of the tossed-off brilliance of Byron. But there's something else about Jagger that defines him as a songwriter, defines him as a singer–something that doesn't necessarily appear on a lyric sheet. It's his beautiful use of incantation.

Incantation : a lovely word for a special kind of vocal recurrence, one that combines overtones of prayer, magic, spell casting, all that. Incantation: It's a kind of vocal voodoo that has almost completely overcome the genius of Van Morrison, so that sometimes you feel he's only about incantation. Ecstatic incantation: It's what defines rock music against the "standards" given such knee-jerk reverence by young fogies and old. (Well, maybe that and the Little Richard-like, ecstatic " Whooo-oooo! " that made the Beatles the Beatles.)

But what made the Stones the Stones is Jagger's jagged-edge incantation. No one does more with the incantation of a first line–a focused incantation–than Jagger. It's there in the beautiful, desperate, hopeless urgency of "Tell Me (You're Comin' Back to Me)." And in the way it's not just "Wild Horses" but "Wild, wild horses." And then there's the amazing apocalyptic couplet that fades to infinity in "Gimme Shelter": War …it's just a shot away, shot away, shot away Love …it's just a kiss away, kiss away, kiss away…. (By the way, has anyone ever compressed a deeper truth about human nature in two lines of a song?) It's not "You're just a memory," but "You're just a memory, just a memory, just a memory" in "Memory Motel." Each incantatory reiteration of "memory" conjuring up a very real ghost, rather than consigning the unquiet spirit to the memory hole–which is the ostensible declarative intent of the song.

So many Jagger/Richards songs deal with time (and, implicitly, memory), don't they? "Time Is on My Side" ("Time, time, TIME / Is on my side … yes it is"), "Good Times, Bad Times," "Out of Time," "This Could Be the Last Time" …. I've celebrated before the brilliant visionary metaphysics of "Time Waits for No One," with Mick Taylor's guitar somehow spilling out a vision of beauty and complexity that virtually translates Stephen Hawking's theory of "imaginary time" into guitar runs. String theory!

Recently, I came across an extraordinary phrase in a poem by Robert Lowell: We are all old-timers, Each of us holds a locked razor. I found it in the foreword of the fascinating book I'd just picked up, Gracefully Insane (by the Boston Globe writer Alex Beam). It's about McLean's, that remarkable institution right outside Boston where some of the best and brightest madmen and madwomen, from Lowell to Sylvia Plath to Susanna Kaysen, were resident–some recurrently, like Lowell. In a section of "Waking in the Blue," Lowell talks about waking up there and then glimpsing the "shaky future grow familiar" in those who were older and had been there longer–and more often.

Thus: We are all old-timers, Each of us holds a locked razor . For Lowell, the "locked razor" suggests mortality, insanity. In the songs of Mick Jagger, the "locked razor" is the heart, a ticking time bomb–the locked razor whose jagged edge scars when it opens.

Re: Is Jagger the most underrated songwriter ?
Posted by: elunsi ()
Date: April 9, 2009 14:08

I think we can discuss the importance or qualitiy of albums after album xy, though I don´t see THAT much of a decline like others do, but that does not take any greatness away from the previous ones.
So I think, that he did write some not so good songs, like every other artist did in a career, that lasted that long, should not be a reason, to rate his songwriting generally as mediocre. Or does it take anything away from Keith´s reputation as a songwriter, that he did not produce anything great in the last 25 years?

Of course, Jagger is not the most underrated songwriter. But he is the most underrated talent among the Stones.
The reason for that might be Mick´s modesty, or, if you like it better, his lack of taking himself too seriously, or the lack of talking about his work too much. He lets others talk about who wrote what.

Re: Is Jagger the most underrated songwriter ?
Posted by: skipstone ()
Date: April 9, 2009 17:34

What's funny about Dancing With Mr D is that I love it - great groove, great lick and - I know they're seemingly tongue in cheek - great lyrics in an absurd way. He takes a comical creature (basically) and describes him. I find that amusing and clever. Sure, it's not SFTD but it is an interesting song if you enjoy the humour.

100 Years Ago is a fantastic song but from my understanding it's a Sticky Fingers leftover that was never copyrighted at the time hence it NOT being ABKCO Music.

Regardless of the 'Oh we've got to do another album - it says right here in the contract' - which I've always found funny because Atlantic just DISTRIBUTED their albums - I still think GHS is a fantastic album. So is B&B but in a totally different way.

Blah blah blah...

Re: Is Jagger the most underrated songwriter ?
Posted by: Doxa ()
Date: April 9, 2009 18:12

Quote
Greenblues
Quote
Doxa
Quote
skipstone
But by GHS there was nothing left to say. So he started having fun with it all. Then he followed it up with IORR, a horrible song no matter what, that was making fun of ALL OF IT.

I think this is accurate that by GHS there was nothing to say - by EXILE Mick had emptied his pockets - the whole album (EXILE I mean) is like the end of the development they had done since 1962, and anything they (he) know is invested there. After EXILE, the question would be: what's next?

- Doxa

I just dipped into this thread and read your quotes - and they just felt right. Yes we can reason about what great work was yet to come after Exile, the greatness of Memory Motel or how Some Girls was a brand new start. It was - and still, just reading your quotes, it's like... yeah, to be honest its basically true (sigh). Because up to Exile it was like a fresh oil well with the juice erupting quite naturally. Then by the mid seventies it became work, sometimes great work, but often "going through the motions" as well.

Do you remember this Jagger quote from an interview? I can't exactly place it but it read something like this: "Yeah, we've got another album to do. And then a tour. Of course we'll do it - Keith and I will write songs, and then there will be lyrics, and then we'll tour it - but how boring has it all become..."

I know it may be 35 years ago now since this interview happened, and they still keep going. But it's different now, as it became tightly scheduled work. Up to Exile they were gifted, celebrated amateurs, now they've become real professionals, working out on stage and sticking to their respective roles,lovely entertainers, but hardly "burning" any more. It's entertainment just like Star Wars, endlessly remodeling the same formula (which is still working surprisingly well, somehow).

I couldn't have imagined Stones "action figures" in the seventies, but now I can clearly imagine Keith in plastic, in his Pirates Of The Carrebian look. And then there's Mick in his workout dress...


Yeah, I know what you mean. Sometimes I also figure that The Stones are taken themselves too much as a "final product" that they haven gotten to the stage that there there is nothing else to improve but just to enjoy of the fruits. Till the 81' or 82' they were trying to reach something, to better themselves, to cope with the times etc. They were "amateurs" like you said in the sense of always trying to find a new gear of their machine. hen they "came back" in 1989, it was another game, and the nostalgy started to work for them. Funny co-incidence (if it is) that since 1989 their age does not seem to be SUCH an issue anymore - in fact, during the last few years it seems to work for them, especially for Jagger.

- Doxa

Re: Is Jagger the most underrated songwriter ?
Posted by: Anonymous User ()
Date: April 9, 2009 18:28

Quote
terry
I must admit, micks awfully good

In fact analyzing the RS-Sound its 80% Mick's voice, 10 % Keith playing openG-G sus
and 10% Charlie's snare sound that make the Stones sound like they do over the last 33 years. Without Jagger's voice the Stones were gone a long time ago.
Jagger=the Rolling Stones musically spoken.Songwriting is not the issue in this context.

Re: Is Jagger the most underrated songwriter ?
Posted by: Beelyboy ()
Date: April 9, 2009 19:13

Quote
Rip This
Quote
CousinC
Mick started to loose his "touch" with doing Goats Head Soup!

...wow.......I disagree...for Star @#$%& alone he gets a pass....that's one of the cheekiest and smartest songs ever written in rock n roll.

the above regarding @#$%& very very true imo.

yeah sometimes the high point of an etire days in my entire LIFE revolves around HG version (and some others)...just a totally totally firecely great song. easy to overlook as seriously great cause of the pink penis balloons and androgenous stage act hump-a-thon (which i got a kick out of at msg in '75)....but a great song imo.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2009-04-09 20:56 by Beelyboy.

Re: Is Jagger the most underrated songwriter ?
Posted by: baxlap ()
Date: April 10, 2009 08:09

Jagger wrote a lot of brilliant songs during the Stones' first decade that pretty much assure his endurance as a writer. But, as a general proposition, he has been a hack since Goats' Head Soup. From a head full of snow to a head full of sh-t, basically.

England's most underrated songwriter is Ray Davies. And even he reduced himself to pandering for much of the late 70s and 80s.

Re: Is Jagger the most underrated songwriter ?
Posted by: Muppet HiFi ()
Date: April 10, 2009 08:45

Haven't read this whole thread, but I reckon Mick's a great melodic ("pop", if you will) tune-smith, whilst Keef is a more bare-bones, "primal" arranger.

The Winos- although I loved them- seemed more about the physical force of the songs. And though the songs were very, very good, they seemed to lack the sort of in-your-face immidiacy and melody (oh, DARN that evil "pop" music!) of a proper Stones tune.

Mick, on the other hand- on his solo albums- had many great songs, but, aside from 'Wondering Spirit', lacked the requisite noise-"sturm und drang", if you will- to create the trademark Stones sound, even post-'86 sound.

So yeah- I say he's a truly great songwriter. Just better with Richards.

Re: Is Jagger the most underrated songwriter ?
Posted by: paulywaul ()
Date: April 10, 2009 09:12

Quote
Mathijs
How can you be underrated when the songs you wrote sell over 200 million copies, turns the band into a multi-billion multinational company, and leaves you and the other bandmembers multi-milionairs?

Mathijs

Indeed, I'm also trying to reconcile the question with these facts. Mick underrated ? I don't think so.

Re: Is Jagger the most underrated songwriter ?
Posted by: CBII ()
Date: April 10, 2009 17:13

Underrated? Mr. Ron Rosenbaum must of been on on Acid in 2001. Lyrics alone can move and stir the mind. Without music lyrics are called poetry. As hard as it maybe to ponder, there are people that have never seen the Rolling Stones live yet know the lyrics quite well.

I too, am at a bit of a loss as to the legitimate basis of his opinion. Oh well, he managed to be a good provocateur. We are analyzing his comments 8 years later.

CBII

Re: Is Jagger the most underrated songwriter ?
Posted by: mickschix ()
Date: April 10, 2009 17:42

Mick approaches his song writing as a craft because it is! It takes discipline and a certain amount of seriousness. You cannot always be inspired by the muses and Mick knows this. To be a respected song writer over a very long period of time, as he is, you must reserve a certain amount of time wherther it be daily or weekly, to write. Even if you only do outlines; I believe Mick has a notebook that he keeps with ideas for songs, some lyrics, etc. I think it's safe to say that his success does not just fall out of the sky and into his lap! He earns it! I've taken writing classes and from what I know about Mick's writing methods, it is straight out of a lesson plan! I have always respected his discipline. I don't love every song he's ever written ( I bet he doesn't either!), but he has created a body of work that needs no explanation, no one to defend them ,the songs speak for themselves.

Re: Is Jagger the most underrated songwriter ?
Posted by: SwayStones ()
Date: April 10, 2009 18:11

Quote
Muppet HiFi
Haven't read this whole thread, .

You should have winking smiley
There were a lot of very interesting posts as an answer to my thread ;I thank all of you for your thoughts ! I am very pleased you were all so prolix (wordy ?) but sorry I am not able to express myself with the right words ...

mickshix
You get here an interesting point ,the notebook,I am also sure he writes a lot ,and may be he uses the camera he always has with him ,to find later ideas,apart from family "souvenirs"



I am a Frenchie ,as Mick affectionately called them in the Old Grey Whistle Test in 1977 .

Re: Is Jagger the most underrated songwriter ?
Posted by: ghostryder13 ()
Date: April 10, 2009 18:15

if anyone in the stones are underrated songwriters it's keith and ronnie. sees like in every band it's the frontman who gets credit for everything

Re: Is Jagger the most underrated songwriter ?
Posted by: elunsi ()
Date: April 10, 2009 19:02

Quote
ghostryder13
if anyone in the stones are underrated songwriters it's keith and ronnie. sees like in every band it's the frontman who gets credit for everything

no, ghostryder, it is usually Keith who gets credit for everything

Re: Is Jagger the most underrated songwriter ?
Posted by: mickschix ()
Date: April 10, 2009 19:05

Elunsi, that's the truth! Keith is the guy who constantly has praise and credit heaped upon him and it is usually not warranted or deserved!! Mick gets the crap, Keith gets the credit so let's do something to correct that!! LOL!

Re: Is Jagger the most underrated songwriter ?
Posted by: Doxa ()
Date: April 10, 2009 20:22

Yeah, I think Keith usually wins in the credit section (that is: he always gets credition of his contributions, and some of others as well). I guess most of the people might think that the signature riffs of "The Last Time", "Jumping Jack Flash", and "Brown Sugar" are invented by him, but as we know it is not such simple. Not so many years ago there was an article in some guitar magazine where Keith's guitar contributions were listed, such as the slide of "Little Red Rooster"... I think Keith has always - or at least since the 80's when Keith got his recognized hero status - been treated with silky gloves by the music media. And usually by the expense of Jagger.

- Doxa

Re: Is Jagger the most underrated songwriter ?
Posted by: Gazza ()
Date: April 10, 2009 20:32

Quote
baxlap
Jagger wrote a lot of brilliant songs during the Stones' first decade that pretty much assure his endurance as a writer. But, as a general proposition, he has been a hack since Goats' Head Soup. From a head full of snow to a head full of sh-t, basically.

England's most underrated songwriter is Ray Davies. And even he reduced himself to pandering for much of the late 70s and 80s.

Whilst I dont necessarily agree with all that (I think the 'Some Girls' album is one of Mick's high points as a writer), that description is absolutely priceless.

Re: Is Jagger the most underrated songwriter ?
Posted by: VoodooLounge13 ()
Date: April 10, 2009 21:13

I have to agree that - especially for the last 20 years - Mick has been a very underrated songwriter. I don't think he's been phoning it in post-GHS. They went on to make some fine fine albums after then: IORR, SG, B&B, EM, TY (granted mostly leftovers), SW, VL, and lyrically DW. Some of his solo stuff is fantastic too, especially Wandering Spirit and Goddess. Don't Call Me Up is one of the most touching songs I think he's ever written. For me, you can almost hear the ache in his voice on that one. I love that track. While I would agree that '89 and Steel Wheels was a fresh start for them as a band, I would say that Voodoo Lounge was their Renaissance, the return to the 70's glory days.

For me, I think they began to lose it on B2B, the first album of theirs that I've ever skipped songs on (and still do to this day). There are 3 absolute fillers on this album, and as disappointing as that was at the time of it's release, I thought they rebounded well with the 4 tracks on 40 licks. But that was only 4 songs, and certainly even they could muster up four great tracks.

As much as I LOVE ABB, and I do - it's my #2 all-time of theirs - this was the album that lyrically had me cringing. The music is great thru and thru, but lyrically there are some really low spots here. As a song/concept, I like SOL, but the constant, and over-use, of 'awful' completely killed that song. A thesaurus woulda done him wonders here. I don't mind the 'basement/shits' lyrics or the 'yellow/jell-o' either. The dubya lyrics work, too, but this was the first time I really remember where Mick seemed to be out of things to write and fell in with cliches. Yes, they did Rock and A Hard Place, but I took that one as fresh life on an old cliche, in the same vein as Back Of My Hand and Old Habits Die Hard. On ABB the cliches became the lyrics, and I never remember Mick, prior to that, being so unimaginative. In hindsight, I think Don't Wanna Go Home and Under The Radar would have been better track choices.

I do shake my head in wonder at why they've become soooooooo unimportant to music these days. Everyone I know just laughs at their mention - those guys are still around?? I saw them before you were even born! Young people don't listen to them, and they are no relevance anymore. The new single gets played for about a month, and then no subsequent singles ever and its back to the warhorses. I think for those of us outside of the camp, Mick's craft is lost and underrated because most only think of the warhorses, but it's really the deep cuts where his craft is at its best. Tracks like Memory Motel, Time Waits For No One, Out of Tears, Lowdown, Sway, Sweet Virginia (really all of EOMS), Salt Of the Earth. Most people have never heard these songs and don't know just how great of a songwriter Mick is. I'm always amazed at some of the lyrics strung together myself.

Re: Is Jagger the most underrated songwriter ?
Posted by: cc ()
Date: April 10, 2009 21:17

Quote
baxlap
From a head full of snow to a head full of sh-t, basically.

"Moonlight Mile" should close the case for mick's greatness as a writer--even if the guitar line owes something to taylor.

he definitely got simpler, but through the 70s and maybe the 80s he usually had the knack for the right phrase. Since then it's just been bits of wit.

Re: Is Jagger the most underrated songwriter ?
Posted by: VoodooLounge13 ()
Date: April 10, 2009 21:36

Quote
cc
Quote
baxlap
From a head full of snow to a head full of sh-t, basically.

"Moonlight Mile" should close the case for mick's greatness as a writer--even if the guitar line owes something to taylor.

he definitely got simpler, but through the 70s and maybe the 80s he usually had the knack for the right phrase. Since then it's just been bits of wit.



OMG how could I possibly forget Moonlight Mile!?!? Or Hand of Fate?!!

Re: Is Jagger the most underrated songwriter ?
Posted by: Bliss ()
Date: April 10, 2009 22:56

I think if the quality of the lyrics had been consistently maintained after Exile, Mick would have been on track to having the stature of lyricists like Dylan, Leonard Cohen Joni Mitchell, to name a few.

There are two things I don't understand: why he has allowed his sub-standard work to be released, and why he has apparently declined, not improved, as a lyricist. Obviously, it's understandable that his performing abilities would decline as he moved from his 20's to mid-60's, but if anything, his skills as a poet should improve with decades of experience.

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