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I miss him a lot. D. Jones is very good but the loss of Bill, as well as Stu was the end of the classic Stones sound - at least to my ears. They're still great, but it's not the same.
Everybody changes over years. Bill in the 60s, Bill in the 70s and so on. But I disagree that "the classic Stones sound" got lost. How about Blue and Lonesome?
Yip, no Brian Jones, no Stu, no Bill, but definitively Rolling Stones. They can do it still, any time they want. When I listen to their first 60s albums, off course there is a difference, but would we want "the simplicity" of their music then instead of something like Blue and Lonesome now? 20 years "old" young men developed into 70+ old "old" men. How about lucky us. We can just pick a record/CD anywhere from the early 60s to (so far) 2015 as we like. The choice is ours. Man, aren't we privileged?
Blue and Lonesome being a covers album of old blues tunes was basically a one off situation (recorded in 2-3 days, etc.), and I believe HonkeyTonkFlash was referring specifically to live shows anyways.
If they could apply the B&L approach to a new set of original tunes that would be great, but the fact they've been working on the new album for eternity tells me that's not going to happen.
As for the rest of your post - yes we are lucky to have a catalogue that spans over half a century.
They should have tried to get Willy Weeks to replace Bill
So many people condemning Bill for Mandy Smith, but yet the morality police give Mick a free pass for his atrocious behaviour toward the women in his life.
Examples - constant public humiliation of Jerry, with endless cheating and his 8 year affair with Carla Bruni and then having his Balinese marriage declared invalid to avoid giving her a decent settlement following the end of their 20 year r'ship; most certainly being instrumental in L'Wren Scott's suicide, evidenced by flaunting his new 26 year old paramour Melanie Hamrick a short time later; flaunting his even newer r'ship with 22 year old Noor Al Alfali shortly after Melanie had given birth to his son. Bianca said that her marriage was over pretty much the day it took place, due to his constant cheating; Marianne attempted suicide; he hurt his oldest friend Keith with his affair with Anita.