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How does a warhorse become a warhorse?
Posted by: LongBeachArena72 ()
Date: September 13, 2017 07:51

Some random thoughts ...

For the purposes of discussion, let's call the following songs warhorses:

Satisfaction
Paint It, Black
Jumping Jack Flash
Sympathy for the Devil
Honky Tonk Women
Gimme Shelter
Midnight Rambler
You Can't Always Get What You Want
Brown Sugar
Tumbling Dice
It's Only Rock'n'Roll
Miss You
Start Me Up

How 'popular' are/were they as singles back in the day? How popular are they now on streaming services? Based on original chart position and current Spotify rankings what are the most glaring omissions from this list?

One of the first things that leap out at you is that 4 of these 13 songs were never even released as singles (SFTD, GS, MR, YCAGWYW) when the albums they appeared on debuted. So, how did they make the cut? Well, three of them (SFTD, GS, and YCAGWYW) are among the band's most-streamed songs on Spotify. Of these 4 non-singles, Midnight Rambler is the true outlier; it never charted and it is rarely streamed.

7 of the 13 songs were #1 singles in either the US, the UK, or Australia (Satisfaction, PIB, JJF, HTW, BS, MY, SMU). Of these 7, only Satisfaction and Paint It, Black are wildly popular on Spotify.

That leaves Tumbling Dice and It's Only Rock'n'Roll. Neither was a chart-topper at the time of release (songs like Fool to Cry, Emotional Rescue, and even Undercover of the Night had similar or slightly better charting history.) And the streaming numbers for both TD and IORR are lousy. (For example, Under My Thumb has been streamed more times than TD and IORR combined.)

What songs, based purely on chart performance and streaming #'s, could lay claim to being warhorses? The two most glaring omissions are Get Off of My Cloud and Angie. Both were #1 everywhere at the time of release; Angie is also one of only 7 Rolling Stones songs to be streamed more than 50,000,000 times.

Beyond Cloud and Angie, Ruby Tuesday is the only #1 US hit that's not a warhorse; It's All Over Now, Little Red Rooster, The Last Time, 19th Nervous Breakdown, and Let's Spend the Night Together were all #1 songs in at least one major territory at the time of their release.

Looking purely at Spotify numbers, Beast of Burden (as the band's 6th most-streamed song) could lay claim to warhorse-dom.

All of this analysis leaves aside of course the question of performance: which songs do the band play the best in concert? That factor alone explains a song like Midnight Rambler, of course.

(Out of Control, Dancing with Mr D, and Street Fighting Man, from the current tour of Europe were not especially popular at the time of release. SFM has a decent--by Stones standards--10 million streams, but neither OOC nor DWMD are popular online. Play with Fire has about 9 million streams.)

Based on this it's hard to imagine that most casual Stones fans would care much if instead of TD and IORR they played two of the following every night: GOOMC, Angie, Ruby Tuesday, or Beast of Burden.)

How a song gets to be a warhorse is obviously far beyond the ken of a single post; but clearly it is determined by many more factors than original chart performance or current online popularity.

Re: How does a warhorse become a warhorse?
Posted by: Hairball ()
Date: September 13, 2017 07:59

Dude...that's too intense for my brain...(spoken in the voice of Spicoli). cool smiley




Seriously though, interesting post - wish I could add something of value. thumbs up

.
.
_____________________________________________________________
Nothing to do, nowhere to go...you're talkin' to people that you don't know....

Re: How does a warhorse become a warhorse?
Posted by: Rockman ()
Date: September 13, 2017 08:14




If ya catch ya stallion behind the barn reading The Art Of War .. then ya know ya gotta problem ........ XFX

ROCKMAN

Re: How does a warhorse become a warhorse?
Posted by: ryanpow ()
Date: September 13, 2017 08:36

I don't think this really answers the question but its related...Although you could argue it started in 75, I think 81 was when the last part of the show became the "Warhorse Section".



Edited 4 time(s). Last edit at 2017-09-13 08:48 by ryanpow.

Re: How does a warhorse become a warhorse?
Posted by: stonehearted ()
Date: September 13, 2017 08:39

"Satisfaction
Paint It, Black
Jumping Jack Flash
Sympathy for the Devil
Honky Tonk Women
Gimme Shelter
Midnight Rambler
You Can't Always Get What You Want
Brown Sugar
Tumbling Dice
It's Only Rock'n'Roll
Miss You
Start Me Up"

By being hits and by being iconic. I wouldn't include Paint It, Black as a "warhorse" per se, even though it was a number 1 hit in its day, wasn't it? I mean, they don't play it too often.

Then there are some songs like Wild Horses which were never hits, but which become expected at Stones shows.

It's that damn Hot Rocks collection. They should have included only B-sides, so that we'd be complaining about instead Stoned, Gotta Get Away, Who's Driving Your Plane, etc.

It's those record companies that did it! I swear, the fans of these #1 iconic songs had nothing to do with it.

Re: How does a warhorse become a warhorse?
Posted by: Aquamarine ()
Date: September 13, 2017 09:19

I think the only criterion is that people love it so they play it a lot and the people are happy but then there are also other people who complain about it because--they don't like being happy? confused smiley I dunno. But the only way you know a song has reached true "everybody loves it and wants to hear it!" status is when there's that "stop playing that one!" component.

Re: How does a warhorse become a warhorse?
Posted by: StonesSmeth99 ()
Date: September 13, 2017 09:48

All I know is the whole stadium was up on their feet for the first time last night on HTW.

Re: How does a warhorse become a warhorse?
Posted by: shattered ()
Date: September 13, 2017 09:48

Quote
Rockman



If ya catch ya stallion behind the barn reading The Art Of War .. then ya know ya gotta problem ........ XFX

I knew it, I knew it. When I saw this thread, where is Rockman?hot smiley

The band's on stage and it's one of those nights, oh yeah.

Re: How does a warhorse become a warhorse?
Posted by: Rockman ()
Date: September 13, 2017 10:10

HAAAAAAAAAA .... I'm everywhere man .. ya just know when I'm gonna appear XFX

ROCKMAN

Re: How does a warhorse become a warhorse?
Date: September 13, 2017 10:25

<How does a warhorse become a warhorse?>

You take it with you to war...

Re: How does a warhorse become a warhorse?
Posted by: GJB ()
Date: September 13, 2017 11:20

Nice topic - and some interesting research Longbeach,

I think IORR possibly because its quite easy to get the audience singing along to it, Tumbling Dice as it represents the exile period and midnight rambler because Keith thinks thats the tune that only him and Mick could have done that no other band could (or words to that effect I think he said).

But I agree with your point, I actually think most of the audience would not care if it Tumbling dice and IORR were replaced with either Get off my cloud, lets spend the night together or the last time.

But also of course, the people who stream the music may not be the people going to the gigs...so it might not be that audience they are trying to aim at.

Re: How does a warhorse become a warhorse?
Posted by: JumpinJimF ()
Date: September 13, 2017 11:30

"How does a warhorse become a warhorse?"

There is a democratic secret ballot of IORR members once a year (twice if the band is touring).

Don't tell me no-one ever sent you your polling card?



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2017-09-13 11:30 by JumpinJimF.

Re: How does a warhorse become a warhorse?
Date: September 13, 2017 11:32

Some years ago on IORR, we defined warhorses as the staple songs in the setlist that they ended their shows with. Nothing could go wrong with these songs – when they started with THAT string of songs, they won us over (aka «the war»).

However, after having many songs in the same slots (IORR early in the set - MR in the middle etc.), and being gradually more conservative in changing the setlist, those other songs also became warhorses.

Re: How does a warhorse become a warhorse?
Posted by: dcba ()
Date: September 13, 2017 11:54

How does a warhorse become a warhorse?

With lots of enriched oats?

Re: How does a warhorse become a warhorse?
Posted by: liddas ()
Date: September 13, 2017 12:26

I would say that as a general rule, every time a tour follows a proper album, singles and concert cuts of the album are included in the set list. The survival of the song in the set lists of the following tours is based on the reaction of the audience.

When a song has the energy to stay alive for more than two tours in a row, we might have a warhorse.

The energy of the song is very important. When a song has energy, it exciting to listen AND to play. When it does not, usually the band (or some members) gets board with it and deliver only on a professional level. Instantly the boredom is transmitted to the audience, and goodbye warhorse.

A good example of how tough the selection can be is You Got Me Rocking: just when people were starting to get used to the idea of having a new warhorse, it sunk.

Of course, if the above rule had been followed strictly, we would have 50+ warhorses in every show, so some sort of cropping is necessary.

Then I am quite sure that Mick and Keith are allowed to choose at least 1 song they particularly love, for whatever reason. I can't explain otherwise why a song like tumbling dice is a warhorses. Of course it is a great song, but I can't say I've ever seen an over excited reaction when it's played.

I agree with those who noted that streaming or sale statistics are not relevant, clearly two different markets. In fact not all top selling singles generated excited audience reactions. See the recent performances of Get Off of My Cloud, just for one example.

On the other hand probably the only time the streaming audience got what they wanted - i.e. streets of love in Italy - the reaction was great, much to the purists disbelief and horror. COudl this be the exception that confirms the rule?


C

Re: How does a warhorse become a warhorse?
Posted by: 35love ()
Date: September 13, 2017 12:40

How much wood could a woodchuck chuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?

Re: How does a warhorse become a warhorse?
Posted by: Thommie ()
Date: September 13, 2017 14:14

"4 of these 13 songs were never even released as singles (SFTD, GS, MR, YCAGWYW) when the albums they appeared on debuted"

In fact YCAGWYW was released on a single months before the Let It Bleed album. Even if it was as a flipside (of Honky Tonk Women).

Re: How does a warhorse become a warhorse?
Date: September 13, 2017 14:42

I think we started to use the term «warhorses» about these songs round Licks tour-time, no?

Re: How does a warhorse become a warhorse?
Posted by: wonderboy ()
Date: September 13, 2017 14:46

Hot Rocks.

Agree that TDice and IORR don't fit that mold. But IORR still gets played a lot on classic radio. TDice not so much anymore. BOB and MY and StartMeUp are probably the most heard on classic radio, probably for demographic reasons.
In a different universe, maybe Crazy Mama or Hand of Fate becomes a warhorse.

Re: How does a warhorse become a warhorse?
Date: September 13, 2017 15:50

How does a warhorse become a warhorse ??

Based purely on how much a given song is performed live in concert. That's where the war part comes from.

Classic rock radio , YouTube videos , top 40 charts are not "war". A live concert isn't either but,I guess that an analogy was trying to be drawn.

Anyway,it has just been recently that "Paint it Black" and "Midnight Rambler" have entered into that territory.

Between 1969 and some point in 1998,"Paint it Black" was only performed live in 1989 / 1990. Then it was performed towards the end of 1998 and 1999 but not in 2002 and not in 2003 until they got to Europe.

"Midnight Rambler" was not performed in '78,or '81,or'82,or'94,only a very few times in '95,not performed in '97 or '98 either.

They also used to go long stretches of time without performing "Gimme Shelter".

Probably because of the large amount of other quality material they had / have. For the sake of making the different tours different from each other. An idea that they have since given up on. Likely because circumstances have largely changed.

Re: How does a warhorse become a warhorse?
Date: September 13, 2017 16:03

Quote
Aquamarine
I think the only criterion is that people love it so they play it a lot and the people are happy but then there are also other people who complain about it because--they don't like being happy? confused smiley I dunno. But the only way you know a song has reached true "everybody loves it and wants to hear it!" status is when there's that "stop playing that one!" component.

People complain because they play some of these songs ..... not "a lot" but,almost every time when there are other songs that people like which they have almost no chance of hearing performed live by the Stones.

Also they complain because the live versions of some of these songs are not that good these days.

I would much rather hear a song that they can still perform reasonably well such as "Play With Fire" instead of the horrible "Casio" sing-a-long version of "Sympathy for the Devil" which completely pales in comparison to some past live versions of the song.

If "Miss You" always sounded like this : [www.youtube.com] ,it never would have been a hit. It has become painful to listen to. But,there are songs not being played often (or at all) which they can still perform well. Not as many as there were 15 or 20 years ago but,there still are some.

Re: How does a warhorse become a warhorse?
Posted by: Silver Dagger ()
Date: September 13, 2017 16:14

Question - are there any Warhorses that have been written after 1981?

Can't think of any myself.

Re: How does a warhorse become a warhorse?
Posted by: grzegorz67 ()
Date: September 13, 2017 16:18

Quote
Silver Dagger
Question - are there any Warhorses that have been written after 1981?

Can't think of any myself.

You got me rocking sad smiley

A warhorse-ish, though not yet played on this tour.

Re: How does a warhorse become a warhorse?
Posted by: hockenheim95 ()
Date: September 13, 2017 16:23

Quote
Silver Dagger
Question - are there any Warhorses that have been written after 1981?

Can't think of any myself.

Out of Control is on the way to become one smiling smiley

Re: How does a warhorse become a warhorse?
Date: September 13, 2017 16:23

Quote
grzegorz67
Quote
Silver Dagger
Question - are there any Warhorses that have been written after 1981?

Can't think of any myself.

You got me rocking sad smiley

A warhorse-ish, though not yet played on this tour.

Out Of Control is being bred as we speak winking smiley

Re: How does a warhorse become a warhorse?
Posted by: liddas ()
Date: September 13, 2017 16:25

Quote
DandelionPowderman
I think we started to use the term «warhorses» about these songs round Licks tour-time, no?

I do not know in English, but in Italian "war horse" (cavallo di battaglia) is used to indicate someone's specialty. So in our case, war horses would be the Stones' signature songs.

C

Re: How does a warhorse become a warhorse?
Posted by: grzegorz67 ()
Date: September 13, 2017 16:31

Quote
DandelionPowderman
Quote
grzegorz67
Quote
Silver Dagger
Question - are there any Warhorses that have been written after 1981?

Can't think of any myself.

You got me rocking sad smiley

A warhorse-ish, though not yet played on this tour.

Out Of Control is being bred as we speak winking smiley

True grinning smiley But it was cryogenically frozen for nearly 15 years before being moulded into a warhorse winking smiley

Re: How does a warhorse become a warhorse?
Date: September 13, 2017 16:40

Quote
liddas
Quote
DandelionPowderman
I think we started to use the term «warhorses» about these songs round Licks tour-time, no?

I do not know in English, but in Italian "war horse" (cavallo di battaglia) is used to indicate someone's specialty. So in our case, war horses would be the Stones' signature songs.

C

Discussing war-semantics with the romans would be stupid grinning smiley

On a serious note, I've always interpreted the term as «bringing with you something that you know won't fail you», though.

And your «speciality» or «signature songs» usually won't fail you in concert, I believe smiling smiley

Re: How does a warhorse become a warhorse?
Date: September 13, 2017 16:50

It depends on what your definition of failing might be. Reaction of the target audience or in more of a quality of performance sense.

"Jumping Jack Flash" usually passes both. "Miss You" only passes one of them.

Re: How does a warhorse become a warhorse?
Posted by: ryanpow ()
Date: September 13, 2017 16:52

---



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2017-09-13 16:53 by ryanpow.

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