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Rolling Stones album reviews
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A Bigger Bang Order: Amazon 

The Rolling Stones Project
Beggar's Banquet
Let it Bleed
Get Your Ya Ya's Out
Sticky Fingers
Some Girls
A Bigger Bang
The Biggest Bang DVD

Rolling Stones album reviews

The Rolling Stones Project
Tim Ries

Tim Ries - The Rolling Stones ProjectSo what is The Rolling Stones Project? Is it any good? Who is Tim Ries?  For answers to those question and more read on.

The Rolling Stones Project is remakes of ten Rolling Stones classics arranged by Tim Ries, plus one original Ries composition to close the disc. Ries is a well-known and popular sideman well-known in the jazz world. In 1999, he was offered the opportunity to join the Rolling Stones on their No Security tour, and he has been with them ever since.

For the album, Tim Ries, did a phenomenal job assembling a superb cast of musicians and arranging the material. The styles of the remakes are quite diverse ranging from fusion to R&B, pop to Latin, from upbeat to mellow, and include both instrumental and vocal based music. Though, "Wild Horses" is the only song with vocals throughout the whole song, whereas on the other tracks the singing generally just includes the chorus or accents, while the versus are melodically sung with the sax or guitar.

The tracks are long enough to allow ample time to explore the melody, but not so long that it loses the listener. The one aspect of the Rolling Stones music that isn't present in these arrangements is the infamous dual guitar weaving, and frequent gorgeous piano fills. Except for "Slippin' Away," which features Richards and Wood in a modern jazz approach to the song. The vocal and saxophone dialogue to close the song features Sheryl Crow, Keith Richards, and Darryl Jones.

There are two versions of "Honky Tonk Women," the first is jazzy, while the second is in the mold of the original. They're both great! If you file this CD under Tim Ries, you'll likely prefer the first rendition, if you store it within your Rolling Stones collection, you'll likely favor the latter version. The second take features Keith Richards and Charlie Watts helping out and includes crunchy rhythm and lead guitar, superb sax and piano contributions, and back-up vocals that perfectly tie everything together.

Norah Jones fans will certainly want need this gorgeous version of "Wild Horses." It is not a replacement for the Stones version as that is a definitive version. But the country based classic is given a delightful jazz pop treatment with gorgeous singing and saxophone.

There are lots are great guitar passages. Richards rocks "Honky Tonk Women" to everyone's satisfaction, pun intended. Bill Frisell performs solidly on four tracks including the gorgeous duet with Ries on "Ruby Tuesday." John Scofield adds several lightning runs to the opening song, "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction." Ben Monder performs on three tracks and is afforded ample time to experiment on a spacey instrumental during "Gimmie Shelter."

The solid results on The Rolling Stones Project isn't cause to throw your Rolling Stones records away. Nevertheless this is a keeper. That is, if you like jazz, and / or Rolling Stones melodies. I've played it four times so far and don't plan to put it on the shelf yet; it gets better with each listen. 
Barry Small

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1. (I Can't Get No) Satisfaction
2. Honky Tonk Women-Organ Trio
3. Slippin' Away
4. Street Fighting Man
5. Wild Horses
6. Waiting on a Friend
7. Paint It Black
8. Honky Tonk Women-Keith's Version
9. Ruby Tuesday
10. Gimme Shelter
11. Belleli

Rolling Stones album reviews

Beggar's Banquet review

Beggars BanquetBeggars Banquet is an excellent Rolling Stones album featuring them in a creative period where they are really beginning to find an identity, that is, a smorgasbord of many of their musical influences, while making it their own. With this album, they take their rock 'n roll, psychedelic riffs, and blues to mold a masterpiece; they even offer some gospel to close the album with "Salt of the Earth," and Irish folk with "Factory Girl."

With the 2002 remastering the instruments sounds incredibly crisp, with Bill Wyman's bass lines really sounding fresh, but more than that, everything, is heard with perfect clarity. Special kudos to Nicky Hopkins as throughout the album he includes brilliant piano fills and solos, frequently adding the perfect ending to a song.

The albums starts with its strongest track, "Sympathy For The Devil" that has a simple melody that gets its lasting appeal by having all the right phrasing and accents. They move right into the bluesy "No Expectations," that offers excellent guitar voicing's that complement Jagger's singing. On Beggar's Banquet the Stones blues approach is more to the rural roots in the style of Robert Johnson, than Chicago Blues in the style of Muddy Waters.

Many of the tracks offer psychedelic undertone to their nature including their "Street Fighting Man." Personally, we think the song is overrated, but it does have a nice rhythmic feel to it.

"Stray Cat Blues" is rock song in the Rolling Stones style with upbeat blues inferences. The cool feel to the song has its foundation set with the bass line and is enhanced by a complementary rhythm guitar pattern, and perfect piano fills. The guitar melody fills are not as interesting.

Beggars Banquet is not filled with as many hits as some of the other Rolling Stones albums, but it has its share. It does offer a nice flow to the album blending many different styles. The sonic upgrade with the 2002 remastering warrants an upgrade. Barry Small
Grade 
A
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Rolling Stones album reviews

Let It Bleed review

Let It BleedHow do you like your blues? The Rolling Stones serves it up in a variety of ways on Let it Bleed. This album was recorded between the Brian Jones and Mick Taylor periods and Keith Richards is the only guitarist on most tracks. Taylor's only appearance is on "Country Honk." 

There are several acoustic based numbers. What gets the most discussion is their interpretation of Robert Johnson's "Love In Vain" and then the reinterpretation on "Honky Tonk Woman" entitled "Country Honk." Both tracks have elements of brilliance. "Love In Vain" features great interaction between Ry Cooder on mandolin and Keith Richards on guitar, and during the second instrumental Mick Jagger sings some high notes to complement Keith and Ry, with a real tight segue back in to verse .. All, My Love's In Vain. While not a replacement for the original, "Country Honk" effectively establishes a real foot tapping bluegrass effect with fiddle as a dominant instrument. 

Of all the acoustic numbers, I like the title track best. The melody of this track is a slide guitar riff that is very reminiscent of the style Dylan used on his 1966 classic Highway 61 Revisited, very Johnny Winter Texas blues like.

"Monkey Man" shows a glimpse of the direction the band would take in the albums to follow. That is, classic Rolling Stones rock 'n roll with an upbeat mood, and those Stones style riffs; the introduction and refrain are the best parts of the track. Along the same rock lines "Live With Me's" charm is derived from Wyman bass riff, crunchy guitar riffs and string bending, rolling piano. 

Let It Bleed includes three hits "Gimmie Shelter," "Midnight Rambler," and "You Can't Always Get What You Want" that continue to get radio play. The latter track incorporates some orchestra effects. 

Let it Bleed is an essential Rolling Stones album. It offers a sensational variety of blues material that is unique to this era of the Stones career, with only Beggar's Banquet coming close to establishing this musical statement. Barry Small
Grade A
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Rolling Stones album reviews

Get Your Ya Ya's Out review

Get Your Ya Ya's OutGet Your Ya Ya's Out offers an excellent sampling of live Rolling Stones just after Mick Taylor joined the band. The renditions of the material sound totally different than the album versions, without the studio polish, so this is a supplement to the albums, not a replacement. I am so familiar with the original versions that it took a few listens to get used to these renditions, but after a few spins I love this album. 

The interpretations here are generally raw and powerful. The rhythm section holds the foundation down perfectly and the guitarist wail.

A few of the highlights include exquisite interchange between the guitarists on "Stray Cat Blues." One of my favorite tracks is their interpretation of Robert Johnson's "Love's In Vain" that features Mick Taylor playing some wicked slide guitar and Wyman throws in some nice bass runs.

"Sympathy For The Devil" has some crunchy riffs by Keith with a nasty tone, before handing things off to Mick Taylor for some less effective wailing. "Carol" is excellent with the rolling piano riffs and Taylor's riffs superbly enhancing the track as Keith dominates on the guitar. "Street Fighting Man" Mick goes on a tear with Keith hitting some heavy power chords. 

Get You Ya Ya's Out is a superb live album. Which leads to the question of why the Rolling Stones don't release more concert material from their Taylor years.

Be certain to get the remastered version from 2002. 

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Rolling Stones album reviews

Sticky Fingers review

Sticky FingersSticky Fingers is arguably the Rolling Stones best album. While their last two albums, Beggar's Banquet and Let It Bleed, were very blues oriented this has a more diverse blend of music. While offering elements of those offerings it also ventures into more of a rock approach, and erases most of the psychedelic inferences that were common to Brian Jones' guitar style.

Sticky Fingers is the first studio record that includes Mick Taylor on the whole album. He was sure a good choice as his lead work and interaction with Richards is superb.

The upbeat material with rock 'n roll leanings is excellent with tracks such as "Brown Sugar" and "Bitch." The former gets all the praise with its catchy riff, while the latter shouldn't be overlooked, powered by Wyman's bass line. "Can't You Hear Me Knocking," a lengthy rock tune that offers great dual rhythm guitar from the inception and continues throughout. Not to mention an extended instrumental section featuring excellent sax and guitar. I never get tired of this one.

They continue with their acoustic blues Robert Johnson style with a cover of Fred McDowell's "You Gotta Move," as well as a more modern blues approach with "Sister Morphine." The Rolling Stones venture into the country genre with "Wild Horses" that features Mick Taylor on 12 string and Keith contributing an extraordinarily good guitar solo. 

Then to tie all the styles together we have "Dead Flowers." It opens with a country feel and has excellent dueling guitar with rock and blues leanings. This song is underrated big time.

Sticky Fingers has plenty of big hits but the whole album is great. The only average song is the last one, "Moonlight Mile," and it picks up towards the 3:30 minute mark. Welcome aboard Mr. Taylor. Barry Small
Grade A +
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Rolling Stones album reviews

Some Girls review

Some GirlsI remember when Some Girls was released and liking it back then, but even more so as I write this review in 2005. Years ago, I was seeking more of a dazzling guitar solo, something explosive. Some Girls does offer some peaks, though in subtle ways. Rather, the charm of this album is built on the guitar weaving between Keith Richards and Ron Wood. They also blend harmonica into their compositions creatively on tracks such as "Miss You" or the conclusion of "Some Girls." 

Some Girls offers a lot of upbeat tracks with some hitting really frenzied plateaus, most notably on "When the Whip Comes Down," but also on "Lies," and the Chuck Berry flavored "Respectable." They change gears for some country with the pedal steel guitar heavy "Far Away Eyes" featuring Ron Wood.

One of the other better guitar parts is the cleaver riff and straight forward guitar solo from the title track. The Richards sung "Before They Make Me Run" has a superb "Brown Sugar" like intro riff, but it doesn't close to matching that songs greatness; though the musical conversation between Richards and Wood during the instrumental section is excellent. 

One thing not present on this album is the gorgeous piano that complements most Rolling Stones albums. The horns are not dominate either, but they are present on "Miss You" courtesy of Mel Collins. 

Adding everything up, it would be criminal to grade Some Girls anything lower than A -. Not too many weak moments. One thing missing is, in my opinion, is that one killer classic Stones track. Or, perhaps that is what makes this album hold together so well. Barry Small
Grade A -
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Rolling Stones album reviews

A Bigger Bang

Press Release excerpts
Rolling Stones Title New CD and World Tour A Bigger Bang
First All-New Studio Album in 8 Years to Be Released September 6th on Virgin Records Order: Amazon 

Tour Kickoff August 21st at Fenway Park in Boston
NEW YORK, NY -- (MARKET WIRE) -- 07/26/2005 -- The Rolling Stones new CD, "A Bigger Bang," will be released September 6, 2005, on Virgin Records. Continuing their historic songwriting partnership, Mick Jagger and Keith Richards began the creative process last autumn and were later joined in the recording studio by Charlie Watts and Ron Wood. A Bigger Bang features all new songs, and is the first studio album by The Rolling Stones since the 1997 platinum-certified Bridges to Babylon. While in the studio recording the album last year, the band came up with the title A Bigger Bang reflecting their fascination with the scientific theory about the origin of the universe.

The Rolling Stones A Bigger Bang is an ambitious, wide-ranging collection of hard-hitting, high-powered rock and blues songs. Running a full sixteen tracks, it is the band's longest new album since 1972's Exile on Main Street. Key cuts include "Streets Of Love," the first international single; "Rough Justice," which will be targeted to U.S. rock radio formats; and "Back Of My Hand," a raw, rough-edged new song in the classic Rolling Stones blues style. Other titles include "It Won't Take Long," "Laugh, I Nearly Died" and "Rain Fall Down" as well as two tracks featuring Keith Richards' lead vocal, "This Place Is Empty," and "Infamy."

A Bigger Bang was produced by Don Was and The Glimmer Twins. Was previously co-produced the Rolling Stones studio albums Voodoo Lounge (1994) and Bridges to Babylon (1997) as well as the new songs included in the greatest-hits collection Forty Licks (2002). Was also co-produced the live album Stripped (1995), and last year's critically hailed double-CD Live Licks.

The release of A Bigger Bang follows the August 21st tour kickoff at Fenway Park, in Boston. The Rolling Stones will once again bring fans electrifying performances and state-of-the-art stage production. Ticket sales have reached record highs, with fans already purchasing 97% of all tickets currently available for sale.

A new song from A Bigger Bang, "Oh No, Not You Again," was previewed in the band's surprise live set on the balcony of New York's Juilliard School in May, at the announcement of the tour. Following the completion of 35 scheduled dates in U.S and Canada, the band will then tour Mexico, South America, the Far East, New Zealand, Australia, and finally Europe, in the summer of 2006.

The Rolling Stones hold the record for the top 2 most-attended North American tours of all time. The U.S. leg of the Rolling Stones A Bigger Bang tour is presented by Ameriquest Mortgage Company. The Rolling Stones' A Bigger Bang world tour is presented by Concert Productions International and produced by WPC Piecemeal Inc.
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Rolling Stones album reviews

The Biggest Bang

Press Release 

The Biggest Bang will be available starting June 12 for $ 29.99 exclusively at all Best Buy stores in the United States and at online www.BestBuy.com. Customers can pre-order the four DVD set at www.BestBuy.com beginning today. It will also be available in Canada at Best Buy stores as well as Future Shop stores.

The Biggest Bang will be released internationally mid-summer.

The Biggest Bang offers fans an all access pass including a behind-the-scenes look from the Rolling Stones' recent tour, A Bigger Bang - the biggest selling concert tour of all time. Additionally, the DVD set features full length concerts from the Rolling Stones historic show on Rio de Janeiro's famed Copacabana Beach, which was attended by two million concert goers, and a concert in Austin, Texas - a highlight of the U.S. tour.

"The Biggest Bang DVD set lets fans join us as we traveled around the world," said the Rolling Stones. "They will go behind the scenes at the Super Bowl, see us play an intimate club show in Toronto and for 2 million people on the beach in Rio, as well as gigs in Shanghai, Buenos Aires and Japan. It features classics but also rarities --- songs we've never released before on DVD."

The Biggest Bang is loaded with rare songs and music. It includes exciting never-before-released duets with artists including Dave Matthews, Bonnie Raitt and Eddie Vedder. There are also rare, never-released tracks including "Get Up, Stand Up" and "Mr. Pitiful," from a 2005 performance in Toronto. The Biggest Bang features more than 55 songs and footage from around the world, including concerts in Argentina, Japan and China.

"Four Flicks was great, but practice makes perfect and The Biggest Bang is even better - it's got all the right stuff," said tour promoter Michael Cohl. "It's great to be back with Best Buy, and we're pleased that they have decided to offer fans the same low price as they did with Four Flicks three years ago."

This marks the second time that Best Buy has worked with the Rolling Stones to release an exclusive DVD set. In 2003, Best Buy released Four Flicks, a four-DVD set from the Rolling Stones that was certified 19-times platinum and is the number one selling concert (long form) DVD in U.S. history.

"We're excited to bring our customers this exclusive DVD set giving fans an up close and personal look at the Rolling Stones and showcasing some of their most dynamic performances," said Gary Arnold, Best Buy's senior vice president of entertainment. "This partnership reinforces our continued commitment to bring unique entertainment into the homes of our customers. The Biggest Bang is truly a world class entertainment experience, and we are honored to be a part of this DVD launch."

The Biggest Bang was produced, conceived and created by The Rolling Stones, Michael Cohl, and Concert Productions International.

 

Rolling Stones album reviews
Rolling Stones album reviews

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Rolling Stones album reviews

 

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