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40th Anniversary of It's Only Rock' N Roll
Posted by: 69firebird ()
Date: February 1, 2014 13:20

The album It's Only Rock 'N Roll was released 40 years ago. I was in high school,and bought it brand new.I think I bought it through The Record Club Of America,where you could get 5 records for $5 with no other commitments. At the time I thought it was much better than the previous Goats Head Soup.Now I like them both about the same. My favorite song off that album back then was If You Can't Rock ME,and still is now. Which album do you think is better,and should the Stones acknowledge this anniversary with a deluxe box set?

Re: 40th Anniversary of It's Only Rock' N Roll
Posted by: RobertJohnson ()
Date: February 1, 2014 13:49

Remember my first hearing, too. My first impression was: A great album, one of the best in Rock history. And my impression today is the same. In any case far better than GHS. Great song writing in different musical fields, great guitar playing. Keith's solo on Ain't too Proud to Beg is one of my all time favorites, the same goes for MT's solo on Time Waits for No One. A gloomy It's Only Rock'n Roll with a unforgettable rhythm, soul ballads like Till the Next Good Bye etc. One of the remarkable advantages is the variety of song writing. In my opinion under the top five of all Stones albums.

Re: 40th Anniversary of It's Only Rock' N Roll
Posted by: seitan ()
Date: February 1, 2014 14:00

great album, i love it.

i think from beggars banguet to some girls - every album is great !
Love 'em

Re: 40th Anniversary of It's Only Rock' N Roll
Posted by: ab ()
Date: February 1, 2014 14:20

A mediocre album that does not deserve a box set or even a deluxe edition.

Re: 40th Anniversary of It's Only Rock' N Roll
Date: February 1, 2014 15:29

Changed my mind about this album over the years.

First time I heard it i thought it was garbage, but it wasn't the music it was the format - sonically rotten CD's during the Columbia period.

I was wrong....... now the sound is sorted on the new releases it rocks!!

Always loved fingerprint file though from the first time i heard it and dance little sister always made me want to close my eyes and play air guitar...it swings! Even Jimmy page mentioned dance little sister in an interview - can't recall when

Re: 40th Anniversary of It's Only Rock' N Roll
Posted by: bryanoakville ()
Date: February 1, 2014 16:11

Very enjoyable album (GHS too). Highly suggest having a giggle - not too much - putting on some decent headphones, then both albums - one right after the other. Listen to the instruments fade in and out with a brief intro. then delay then swooping back in, swirlling around then to fade out , replaced by another round.
Wow (man winking smiley). Really fun. Really creative. Terrific production. Finally did this on a beach at Ocho Rios last year. So good I'm gonna do it again soon come.

Re: 40th Anniversary of It's Only Rock' N Roll
Posted by: treaclefingers ()
Date: February 1, 2014 16:12

Yes this is an excellent album...I think it holds up particularly well 40 years on.

Re: 40th Anniversary of It's Only Rock' N Roll
Posted by: latebloomer ()
Date: February 1, 2014 16:23

It certainly does hold up well, IORR is a great album. For me it's a toss up between IORR and GHS for favorite studio Stones album after the big five (I include Aftermath).

Re: 40th Anniversary of It's Only Rock' N Roll
Posted by: kleermaker ()
Date: February 1, 2014 17:33

When I bought it, it was a bummer after GHS. Only Dance L. Sister and Time are great, FF being pretty good too.

Re: 40th Anniversary of It's Only Rock' N Roll
Posted by: RollingFreak ()
Date: February 1, 2014 17:54

Listening to the album, although it was because I thought TODAY was the anniversary and not just the year lol.

Always really liked this album. Never though it was fully appreciated. Side A, IMO, is as good a Stones side as any they've ever done. Not a bad song on there. Side B is quite great as well, but may take some time. Always liked Dance Little Sister and Short And Curlies, although admittedly both are throwaways. If You Really Want To Be My Friend is... interesting, but seriously a great song that is truly underrated. The only two that took me years to warm up to were Luxury and Fingerprint File, but I know enjoy those too.

Excellent album that along with Goats Head Soup is too often ignored by the public. This one is a little rockier than GHS so I tend to like it more, but GHS is perfect in the right mood. Aside from Some Girls, this was basically the last of their great album run. Then they started with stinkers (again IMO) like Black And Blue and Emotional Rescue. One of their usual great covers as well!

Re: 40th Anniversary of It's Only Rock' N Roll
Posted by: runaway ()
Date: February 1, 2014 18:16

Great Vinyl Album. The last album with Mick Taylor and one with Ron Wood.
My favorites are: It's Only Rock 'N Roll, Till The Next Goodbye, Time Waits For No One and Fingerprint File.

Re: 40th Anniversary of It's Only Rock' N Roll
Posted by: More Hot Rocks ()
Date: February 1, 2014 18:26

My favorite Stones album!

Re: 40th Anniversary of It's Only Rock' N Roll
Posted by: slew ()
Date: February 1, 2014 20:17

Its a good record. I do like GHS better though.

Re: 40th Anniversary of It's Only Rock' N Roll
Posted by: jamesfdouglas ()
Date: February 1, 2014 20:31

Is it a masterpiece like Exile (accidentally) was? No.
Is it a terrible album? Absolutely NOT.
It's fun. I like it.
Time Waits For No One and Fingerprint File are standouts for me. Crank it!

[thepowergoats.com]

Re: 40th Anniversary of It's Only Rock' N Roll
Posted by: tomcasagranda ()
Date: February 1, 2014 20:59

Great album: it was the first CD of the Stones that I bought, followed by Between The Buttons. IORR was on CBS, at the time, and the sound quality was shabby, but I've grown to love it as per the 2009 reissue.

Re: 40th Anniversary of It's Only Rock' N Roll
Posted by: whitem8 ()
Date: February 1, 2014 23:39

A fantastic 70's album of rock n' roll, r and b, soul, gospel rock, funk, and blues... and sounds a lot better than GHS. The Glimmers do a damn fine job producing. Search out a good vinyl copy and hear it in its sonic glory. Opens with a subliminal archetype riff, with a heavily in sync rhythm section. Charlie's snare hits are rifle shots punctuating Bill's slap back bass. Trivial lyrics that wonderfully captures the life of a rocker on the road, "the girl in the bright blue hair..." They get going so hard and fast it practically barrels into a full tilt soul revue. Fantastic version of Ain't too Proud to Beg. Jagger gives the song more menace and anger; as if he actually would tear his hair out for one more dip into the well. Keith choruses with savage slabs that tear through with the perfect Stones' heroin chic swagger. You can see the ashtray and smell the ganja. The song cascades into a trance of guitars and growls until it lulls you into a meditative rock n' roll state. Then without a second of vinyl crackle the title track lifts the mood like a sticky fingered can opener.

I have always preferred Jagger's studio vocal on Its Only Rock n' Roll. The perfectly drawn out delivery that moves to a glorious coke addled mocking taunt. His slinky delivery spits in the eye of fame, yet thanks it for the weekends at Zuma Beach and warm nights in front of a Swiss Alp fireplace. Again, Keith slices at your ears with more glorious smack glistened raw riffs of ragged rock candy. I love how on the vinyl there is barely a pause between track 2 and 3. A glorious headphone experience. In a lot of ways Its Only Rock n' Roll is the natural full circle return to the glories of Exile on Main Street, yet with a more refined and calculated drive. Not better, but a natural progression from the road back to the Studio. They seem to sample what they loved best from Exile, into a more LA polished studio sound, balanced by their road grit and cocaine/smack circus. Till the Net Goodbye is perfect mid 70's rock ballad. Lovely acoustic guitars shimmer against Jagger's lovely drawl of sardonic romanticism. The production is layered with the intro folding into beautiful acoustic leads that crescendo into Nicky's beautiful piano stanzas. Then topped with the sublime decadent chorus of the Glimmers shining and swaying in a beautiful skeletal dance among dead rose petals and coke spoons. This is such a strange song with dread and romanticism with strange images of decayed movie theaters covered in Spanish moss where you drink potions of cider vinegar. Such a lovely ballad of excess, decay, and beauty.

Side one ends with the perfect rock epic. Its almost as if Jagger says, "yeah I listened to the Doors, I know how to write a rock epic with shimmering guitars, Berber jewelry, and blond lead guitar honey..." Such a gloriously jaded song of regret and sadness for a band that just spent the past few years living gypsy jetset Caligula escapades. The song just keeps building to one of Taylor's finest moments as the Stones' lead guitarist. He was robbed, as it is so clear his melodic musicianship probably created the foundation for this potboiler.
This was one of those perfect album experiences where you couldn't wait to turn to the other side, feeling the plastic disc spin from the palms of your hand until the it flipped over the other tongue. Hearing the needle lock into the groove and a few crackles until Keith pulses with a Jamaican ganja cloud of guitars. And just As soon as the refer cloud dissipates Keith comes storming through with his un-relentless guitar assault of Dance Little Sister. He lays out such a quintessential Stone's groove its easy to ignore the simple message of the song. That is another thing I love about this album, it is an album of grooves and atmosphere. The Stones shift the atmosphere from Jamaica, New York, back to the Southern Gospel revere. If You Really Want to Be My friend is A beautiful pleading gospel soul hybrid with more of Jagger's caustic love hate dance with romance and jungle sex. Never wanting to pay for it, but always getting a bill. Lovely vocal interplay with another very successful layered production. Jagger delivers a perfect mix of breathless passion and acerbic angst.

The hearse pulls out of the bayou and heads downtown to a small Smokey club. The corpse of the passion of If you Really Want to Be My Friend is thrown into the Delta and Jagger realizes that the whole ruse had him by the balls. A Dr. John styled romp full of swagger and juvenile nail scratches with lipstick. Could Jagger be singing about a lover? Another man? Bowie? Bianca? Or all the parasites he had the pleasure of rolling with between satin sheets and torn pillowcases? While the song seems trite and playful, it is a comedic blues diary that he would revisit, more successfully, on Some Girls. Then the second side ends with yet another side ending epic. This one is full on funk ala Curtis Mayfield. A song of drug addled paranoia and a jet set story of woe. Was Jagger singing about Lennon's tales of Nixon harassment, tapped phones and Green Card persecution? Mixed with Keith's dance with the law, tax exiles, and backstage parasites, it is a heady storm of rock funk. The Clavenet roils against Keith assertive funk riffs. Jagger sings as a sly and slithering 70's rock archetype. He owns it, and knows it. And then the song slowly reduces to a simmer, a heart beat that slows, until you are given a kiss goodnight. And its over. A wonderful ride through the Stones' life, loves, and battles. It is interesting to think how this album started as a road project that was going to be an album of covers on one side and live road souvenir on the other side. But when they got into the studio they were more inspired than they had any right to be. I love this album. It brings back great memories of discovering new Stones gems. And it is a great stoner album. Enough said.



Edited 7 time(s). Last edit at 2014-02-02 03:49 by whitem8.

Re: 40th Anniversary of It's Only Rock' N Roll
Posted by: 24FPS ()
Date: February 2, 2014 05:53

I was very disappointed in it when it came out. I expected a big rebound after the big drop off of Goats Head Soup. And the single seemed too easy. The cover was great but it was evident the music wasn't going to get back to the level of Exile and before. Taking the album out of context though it's not bad. Definitely better than GHS. I can put it on for a spin.

Re: 40th Anniversary of It's Only Rock' N Roll
Posted by: flacnvinyl ()
Date: February 2, 2014 07:26

This thread is fantastic. I always liked this album as an album and not for the single. IORR is a fantastic track which has been done very effectively live, but has been overplayed on every station in the world. The album, on the other hand, is GORGEOUS. Some of Taylor's best moments with the Stones.

Think I'll put it on!

Re: 40th Anniversary of It's Only Rock' N Roll
Posted by: treaclefingers ()
Date: February 2, 2014 07:58

Quote
whitem8
A fantastic 70's album of rock n' roll, r and b, soul, gospel rock, funk, and blues... and sounds a lot better than GHS. The Glimmers do a damn fine job producing. Search out a good vinyl copy and hear it in its sonic glory. Opens with a subliminal archetype riff, with a heavily in sync rhythm section. Charlie's snare hits are rifle shots punctuating Bill's slap back bass. Trivial lyrics that wonderfully captures the life of a rocker on the road, "the girl in the bright blue hair..." They get going so hard and fast it practically barrels into a full tilt soul revue. Fantastic version of Ain't too Proud to Beg. Jagger gives the song more menace and anger; as if he actually would tear his hair out for one more dip into the well. Keith choruses with savage slabs that tear through with the perfect Stones' heroin chic swagger. You can see the ashtray and smell the ganja. The song cascades into a trance of guitars and growls until it lulls you into a meditative rock n' roll state. Then without a second of vinyl crackle the title track lifts the mood like a sticky fingered can opener.

I have always preferred Jagger's studio vocal on Its Only Rock n' Roll. The perfectly drawn out delivery that moves to a glorious coke addled mocking taunt. His slinky delivery spits in the eye of fame, yet thanks it for the weekends at Zuma Beach and warm nights in front of a Swiss Alp fireplace. Again, Keith slices at your ears with more glorious smack glistened raw riffs of ragged rock candy. I love how on the vinyl there is barely a pause between track 2 and 3. A glorious headphone experience. In a lot of ways Its Only Rock n' Roll is the natural full circle return to the glories of Exile on Main Street, yet with a more refined and calculated drive. Not better, but a natural progression from the road back to the Studio. They seem to sample what they loved best from Exile, into a more LA polished studio sound, balanced by their road grit and cocaine/smack circus. Till the Net Goodbye is perfect mid 70's rock ballad. Lovely acoustic guitars shimmer against Jagger's lovely drawl of sardonic romanticism. The production is layered with the intro folding into beautiful acoustic leads that crescendo into Nicky's beautiful piano stanzas. Then topped with the sublime decadent chorus of the Glimmers shining and swaying in a beautiful skeletal dance among dead rose petals and coke spoons. This is such a strange song with dread and romanticism with strange images of decayed movie theaters covered in Spanish moss where you drink potions of cider vinegar. Such a lovely ballad of excess, decay, and beauty.

Side one ends with the perfect rock epic. Its almost as if Jagger says, "yeah I listened to the Doors, I know how to write a rock epic with shimmering guitars, Berber jewelry, and blond lead guitar honey..." Such a gloriously jaded song of regret and sadness for a band that just spent the past few years living gypsy jetset Caligula escapades. The song just keeps building to one of Taylor's finest moments as the Stones' lead guitarist. He was robbed, as it is so clear his melodic musicianship probably created the foundation for this potboiler.
This was one of those perfect album experiences where you couldn't wait to turn to the other side, feeling the plastic disc spin from the palms of your hand until the it flipped over the other tongue. Hearing the needle lock into the groove and a few crackles until Keith pulses with a Jamaican ganja cloud of guitars. And just As soon as the refer cloud dissipates Keith comes storming through with his un-relentless guitar assault of Dance Little Sister. He lays out such a quintessential Stone's groove its easy to ignore the simple message of the song. That is another thing I love about this album, it is an album of grooves and atmosphere. The Stones shift the atmosphere from Jamaica, New York, back to the Southern Gospel revere. If You Really Want to Be My friend is A beautiful pleading gospel soul hybrid with more of Jagger's caustic love hate dance with romance and jungle sex. Never wanting to pay for it, but always getting a bill. Lovely vocal interplay with another very successful layered production. Jagger delivers a perfect mix of breathless passion and acerbic angst.

The hearse pulls out of the bayou and heads downtown to a small Smokey club. The corpse of the passion of If you Really Want to Be My Friend is thrown into the Delta and Jagger realizes that the whole ruse had him by the balls. A Dr. John styled romp full of swagger and juvenile nail scratches with lipstick. Could Jagger be singing about a lover? Another man? Bowie? Bianca? Or all the parasites he had the pleasure of rolling with between satin sheets and torn pillowcases? While the song seems trite and playful, it is a comedic blues diary that he would revisit, more successfully, on Some Girls. Then the second side ends with yet another side ending epic. This one is full on funk ala Curtis Mayfield. A song of drug addled paranoia and a jet set story of woe. Was Jagger singing about Lennon's tales of Nixon harassment, tapped phones and Green Card persecution? Mixed with Keith's dance with the law, tax exiles, and backstage parasites, it is a heady storm of rock funk. The Clavenet roils against Keith assertive funk riffs. Jagger sings as a sly and slithering 70's rock archetype. He owns it, and knows it. And then the song slowly reduces to a simmer, a heart beat that slows, until you are given a kiss goodnight. And its over. A wonderful ride through the Stones' life, loves, and battles. It is interesting to think how this album started as a road project that was going to be an album of covers on one side and live road souvenir on the other side. But when they got into the studio they were more inspired than they had any right to be. I love this album. It brings back great memories of discovering new Stones gems. And it is a great stoner album. Enough said.

You clearly love this album...lovely description

Re: 40th Anniversary of It's Only Rock' N Roll
Posted by: Toru A ()
Date: February 2, 2014 14:18

Quote
treaclefingers
Quote
whitem8
I love this album. It brings back great memories of discovering new Stones gems. And it is a great stoner album. Enough said.

You clearly love this album...lovely description

thumbs up

I have been keeping this poster since October 10th, 1974.smiling smiley
It's now hanging on the wall in my office. Clients sometimes get overwhelmed.
Anyway, I love this album. Especially, the brilliance of first three songs whould be passed on from generation to generation.

Re: 40th Anniversary of It's Only Rock' N Roll
Posted by: crholmstrom ()
Date: February 2, 2014 14:59

I luv this record. Probably could've lived without "Short & Curlies" but "Time Waits for No One" more than makes up for that.

Re: 40th Anniversary of It's Only Rock' N Roll
Posted by: Doxa ()
Date: February 2, 2014 15:01

Yep, I really enjoyed reading whitem8's post. My taste doesn't quite agree with the merits of the album, but who cares - the music matters.

Like mentioned by him and some other here it is the EXILE receipt used to serve again, and I think that is the problem with it. The masterpiece model is simply impossible to top, or even to get close. The stars that were on their side when doing EXILE, are not so friendly any longer. Like mentioned here probably the tours they had in their belts by then, had made them more professional, they really master their game as musicians and as a band, but some of the old inspiration and loose feeling is gone, replaced by more uptight autopilotism. Actually, sounding so professional, IORR is more close to STICKY FINGERS than to EXILE. Probably by that time, the idea they had of the perfect album was that of STICKY FINGERS, their biggest seller by then, EXILE not yet having that reputation.

But be the role model that of EXILE or STICKY FINGERS, the result is rather lame compared to them. Thereby I would rank GOATS HEAD SOUP over it, since that album has a more unique touch and feel in it. IORR catches the band first time ever not going forward, but more that of looking back. I also agree with the standard music press interpretation that the Stones were in an artistic downhill, and probably IORR is the nadir point in the 'mid 70's low period', of which they get out with SOME GIRLS.

But there is still so much greatness in the album. The loose and groovie title track is still a fun to listen. Jagger's vocals have more bite and expression and gets more out of the witty lyrics than in any of its live versions. Even though if it was intended to be another big classic a'la "Honky Tonk Women" or "Brown Sugar", it fails. "Time Waits For No One" sounds epic, and shows reflective maturity and of course, offers one of the greatest contributions Mick Taylor ever did to the band. "Luxury" is a good experiment in sailing new waters. "Fingerprint File", too. "If You Really Want To Be My Friend" continues their exercises in studying the rich black music culture, but for some reason it has never worked on me. The rest of the material does not offer much surprises, and is rather mediocre compared to over-all strong STICKY/EXILE material. Even though I think that they started to have that problem also in GOATS HEAD SOUP in regards to their rockers. There was a quote by Andy Johns (?) discussed here at IORR some time ago of the problems the band over-playing the numbers due to Keith finding for a perfect take, and I could easily this could be heard in IORR - generally the band sounds bit lifeless and tired, and 'rocks' more than 'rolls' (especially in "If You Can't Rock Me"). Probably Keith's famous intuition, that had guided the band into highest artistic mountains, due whatever reasons, started to show some human weaknesses.

I guess this was my review vol. 37 of IORR or something.... Lets' write another one in some months again... grinning smiley

- Doxa

Re: 40th Anniversary of It's Only Rock' N Roll
Posted by: pepganzo ()
Date: February 2, 2014 15:07

it's just a good album.

Re: 40th Anniversary of It's Only Rock' N Roll
Posted by: treaclefingers ()
Date: February 2, 2014 17:11

Quote
crholmstrom
I luv this record. Probably could've lived without "Short & Curlies" but "Time Waits for No One" more than makes up for that.

you are like my brutha from anotha mutha...exactly as I would describe this.

Re: 40th Anniversary of It's Only Rock' N Roll
Posted by: treaclefingers ()
Date: February 2, 2014 17:14

Quote
Toru A
Quote
treaclefingers
Quote
whitem8
I love this album. It brings back great memories of discovering new Stones gems. And it is a great stoner album. Enough said.

You clearly love this album...lovely description

thumbs up

I have been keeping this poster since October 10th, 1974.smiling smiley
It's now hanging on the wall in my office. Clients sometimes get overwhelmed.
Anyway, I love this album. Especially, the brilliance of first three songs whould be passed on from generation to generation.

classic Toru san. I have that image on a European (German I think) 45.

Re: 40th Anniversary of It's Only Rock' N Roll
Posted by: whitem8 ()
Date: February 2, 2014 17:18

Just to clarify, Its Only Rock n' Roll isn't my favorite Stones album that I love beyond reason. It was one of my first Stone's albums, and it captivated me. It was strange, rocking, and layered. And not a lot of it was played on the radio at the time, so it was very fresh and exciting. I just like writing sometimes about these things and like to be creative, but yeah, I do like the album! Like I said, it was as if they wanted to revisit Exile, but were more refined, had a lot of years on the road influencing them. And some very interesting ideas floating around that seemed to try to recapture aspects of Exile. The cover too! Love it! A beautiful piece, and a great story how Jagger poached the idea from Bowie. Bowie famously says.. "done wear a new pair of shows around Jagger!"

Toru, I also love that poster of yours! The size is beautiful. Where did you get it?

Re: 40th Anniversary of It's Only Rock' N Roll
Posted by: mighty stork ()
Date: February 2, 2014 17:28

Quote
bryanoakville
Very enjoyable album (GHS too). Highly suggest having a giggle - not too much - putting on some decent headphones, then both albums - one right after the other. Listen to the instruments fade in and out with a brief intro. then delay then swooping back in, swirlling around then to fade out , replaced by another round.
Wow (man winking smiley). Really fun. Really creative. Terrific production. Finally did this on a beach at Ocho Rios last year. So good I'm gonna do it again soon come.

So the ganja helped?

Re: 40th Anniversary of It's Only Rock' N Roll
Posted by: treaclefingers ()
Date: February 2, 2014 17:30

Quote
whitem8
Just to clarify, Its Only Rock n' Roll isn't my favorite Stones album that I love beyond reason. It was one of my first Stone's albums, and it captivated me. It was strange, rocking, and layered. And not a lot of it was played on the radio at the time, so it was very fresh and exciting. I just like writing sometimes about these things and like to be creative, but yeah, I do like the album! Like I said, it was as if they wanted to revisit Exile, but were more refined, had a lot of years on the road influencing them. And some very interesting ideas floating around that seemed to try to recapture aspects of Exile. The cover too! Love it! A beautiful piece, and a great story how Jagger poached the idea from Bowie. Bowie famously says.. "done wear a new pair of shows around Jagger!"

Toru, I also love that poster of yours! The size is beautiful. Where did you get it?

I'm pretty sure I've heard that story the other way around, Jagger mentioned Peelaert and their cover to Bowie, and Bowie usurped the Stones with the Diamond Dogs cover.

Which is true?

Re: 40th Anniversary of It's Only Rock' N Roll
Posted by: donvis ()
Date: February 2, 2014 18:16

A few questions. Does Mick Taylor play on the title track? Does Ron Wood play acoustic guitar on the title track? Does the rough demo version without Keith still exist?

Re: 40th Anniversary of It's Only Rock' N Roll
Posted by: hbwriter ()
Date: February 2, 2014 18:45

Quote
whitem8
A fantastic 70's album of rock n' roll, r and b, soul, gospel rock, funk, and blues... and sounds a lot better than GHS. The Glimmers do a damn fine job producing. Search out a good vinyl copy and hear it in its sonic glory. Opens with a subliminal archetype riff, with a heavily in sync rhythm section. Charlie's snare hits are rifle shots punctuating Bill's slap back bass. Trivial lyrics that wonderfully captures the life of a rocker on the road, "the girl in the bright blue hair..." They get going so hard and fast it practically barrels into a full tilt soul revue. Fantastic version of Ain't too Proud to Beg. Jagger gives the song more menace and anger; as if he actually would tear his hair out for one more dip into the well. Keith choruses with savage slabs that tear through with the perfect Stones' heroin chic swagger. You can see the ashtray and smell the ganja. The song cascades into a trance of guitars and growls until it lulls you into a meditative rock n' roll state. Then without a second of vinyl crackle the title track lifts the mood like a sticky fingered can opener.

I have always preferred Jagger's studio vocal on Its Only Rock n' Roll. The perfectly drawn out delivery that moves to a glorious coke addled mocking taunt. His slinky delivery spits in the eye of fame, yet thanks it for the weekends at Zuma Beach and warm nights in front of a Swiss Alp fireplace. Again, Keith slices at your ears with more glorious smack glistened raw riffs of ragged rock candy. I love how on the vinyl there is barely a pause between track 2 and 3. A glorious headphone experience. In a lot of ways Its Only Rock n' Roll is the natural full circle return to the glories of Exile on Main Street, yet with a more refined and calculated drive. Not better, but a natural progression from the road back to the Studio. They seem to sample what they loved best from Exile, into a more LA polished studio sound, balanced by their road grit and cocaine/smack circus. Till the Net Goodbye is perfect mid 70's rock ballad. Lovely acoustic guitars shimmer against Jagger's lovely drawl of sardonic romanticism. The production is layered with the intro folding into beautiful acoustic leads that crescendo into Nicky's beautiful piano stanzas. Then topped with the sublime decadent chorus of the Glimmers shining and swaying in a beautiful skeletal dance among dead rose petals and coke spoons. This is such a strange song with dread and romanticism with strange images of decayed movie theaters covered in Spanish moss where you drink potions of cider vinegar. Such a lovely ballad of excess, decay, and beauty.

Side one ends with the perfect rock epic. Its almost as if Jagger says, "yeah I listened to the Doors, I know how to write a rock epic with shimmering guitars, Berber jewelry, and blond lead guitar honey..." Such a gloriously jaded song of regret and sadness for a band that just spent the past few years living gypsy jetset Caligula escapades. The song just keeps building to one of Taylor's finest moments as the Stones' lead guitarist. He was robbed, as it is so clear his melodic musicianship probably created the foundation for this potboiler.
This was one of those perfect album experiences where you couldn't wait to turn to the other side, feeling the plastic disc spin from the palms of your hand until the it flipped over the other tongue. Hearing the needle lock into the groove and a few crackles until Keith pulses with a Jamaican ganja cloud of guitars. And just As soon as the refer cloud dissipates Keith comes storming through with his un-relentless guitar assault of Dance Little Sister. He lays out such a quintessential Stone's groove its easy to ignore the simple message of the song. That is another thing I love about this album, it is an album of grooves and atmosphere. The Stones shift the atmosphere from Jamaica, New York, back to the Southern Gospel revere. If You Really Want to Be My friend is A beautiful pleading gospel soul hybrid with more of Jagger's caustic love hate dance with romance and jungle sex. Never wanting to pay for it, but always getting a bill. Lovely vocal interplay with another very successful layered production. Jagger delivers a perfect mix of breathless passion and acerbic angst.

The hearse pulls out of the bayou and heads downtown to a small Smokey club. The corpse of the passion of If you Really Want to Be My Friend is thrown into the Delta and Jagger realizes that the whole ruse had him by the balls. A Dr. John styled romp full of swagger and juvenile nail scratches with lipstick. Could Jagger be singing about a lover? Another man? Bowie? Bianca? Or all the parasites he had the pleasure of rolling with between satin sheets and torn pillowcases? While the song seems trite and playful, it is a comedic blues diary that he would revisit, more successfully, on Some Girls. Then the second side ends with yet another side ending epic. This one is full on funk ala Curtis Mayfield. A song of drug addled paranoia and a jet set story of woe. Was Jagger singing about Lennon's tales of Nixon harassment, tapped phones and Green Card persecution? Mixed with Keith's dance with the law, tax exiles, and backstage parasites, it is a heady storm of rock funk. The Clavenet roils against Keith assertive funk riffs. Jagger sings as a sly and slithering 70's rock archetype. He owns it, and knows it. And then the song slowly reduces to a simmer, a heart beat that slows, until you are given a kiss goodnight. And its over. A wonderful ride through the Stones' life, loves, and battles. It is interesting to think how this album started as a road project that was going to be an album of covers on one side and live road souvenir on the other side. But when they got into the studio they were more inspired than they had any right to be. I love this album. It brings back great memories of discovering new Stones gems. And it is a great stoner album. Enough said.

what a wonderfully written post

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