Thursday, July 24, 2014

The Rolling Stones - Singles Collections * The London Years

The title pretty well says it all for this one - this 3-CD box set contains all of the Stones' singles - A'n'B-Sides - from their debut (covering Chuck Berry's "Come On") through "Sympathy For the Devil", which was apparently released as a single well after the album since this is the last track on this (supposedly) chronological collection and the "Brown Sugar"/"Wild Horses" 45 is several cut prior. Most fans will have most, if not all, of these cuts, but it's a good compilation, with a few surprises.

While they were still struggling, their more famous pals, the Beatles, wrote a number for them and "I Wanna Be Your Man" is blistering compared to the Fab Four's take on it, with Wyman's drivin' bass and Jones' fantastic, stingin' slide work. Another early r'n'b work-out, "Stoned", is mostly instrumental but has Mick claiming that he is "stoned...out of my mind" backed by Ian Stewart's rollickin' piano and some excellent lead work. Not surprising that this one didn't hit the charts! Of course, all the big hits are here - plenty of early r'n'b ravers, some acoustic sides, some pure blues and, as time went on, some psych numbers from Their Satanic Majesties Request. I dig that stuff a lot, but it is a kind of a knock-out when the next release after these psych songs was the damn-near-perfect rock'n'roll of "Jumpin' Jack Flash". Talk about a return to form!

The final CD has cuts from their three best records - Let it Bleed, Beggars Banquet and Sticky Fingers - as well as Mick's "Memo From Turner", cut with Ry Cooder for the Performance soundtrack, and a couple more obscure ones, "I Don't Know Why" and the swingin' "Jiving Sister Fanny".

Don't know if I'd call this essential, seeing as all of the albums through Exile on Main Street are all essential, but this is a cool comp and it's nice to have all of these in one place. Good stuff!