The Rolling Stones

The Beatles-Stones comparison/analogy has been with us ever since the onset of the first British Invasion of the sixties. This unjust comparison, for me, is just that – unjust.. It’s like comparing apples and oranges, While one is, more often than not, sweet, the other can sometimes sting. Pero maski na na paso ka na sa asim nung isa, binabalik balikan mo pa rin yung asim niya.
(But no matter how many times you get burned, you still come back to savor that sting)
The only similarity these two groups have is probably their accent.
Ironically it was a Lennon-McCartney composition that propelled the early Stones to the top 15 on the charts

Here at home, it’s not surprising why the music of the Stones is not embraced as generously as the songs of the Fab Four. We Filipinos are suckers for love songs, which was amply supplied by those Lennon-McCartney classics – from “If I Fell” to “Here, There” and too many others to mention. Generations of Filipinos have been humming these tunes for the last four decades. In contrast, “Satisfaction” is the only Stones song recognized by the average listener. The next song this average listener would be in familiar terms with would probably be “As Tears Go By” – yup, a love song.

For hardcore Stones fans, the breakaway (and subsequent death) of Brian Jones initiated the Stones’ artistic demise. Although Jagger was the famous flamboyant frontman, for these fans, Jones was the perceived leader who charted the Stones musical course during the 60’s. For them, Jones defined the Rolling Stones and was the only band member who could compete toe-in-toe with the Beatles as far as musical experimentation was concerned –  introducing the sitar to “Paint It Black” and the recorder to “Ruby Tuesdsay”

He (Jones)did not receive any individual songwriting credits for songs that the Rolling Stones recorded; he did not sing lead vocals on any of their records; and he was not a star guitar soloist. Nevertheless, he is more famous than any of the Rolling Stones except Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, and for good reasons. His attitude and stage presence did a good deal to help define the Rolling Stones’ image in the 1960s, and his skills on a variety of instruments lent many of their records a diversity and eclecticism that the group would never match after his departure. (Stephen Erlewine)

During the 70’s most Stones’ ballads unfortunately ended up in the jukebox/beer garden circuit after brief radio airplay success. “Angie”, Wild Horses” and a few other down tempo Stones numbers were regular companions with your favorite cerveza. Nagkaroon tuloy ng stigma ng medyo pagka “baduy”. Suddenly the Stones weren’t that cool . Their lightweight output during this period did not help any. “Beast of Burden”,Miss You”, for me, where really nothing to write home about. Their major comeback was in the early 80’s with their smash hit “Start Me Up”. Undeniably, this 1981 single was the last great Rolling Stone song. But if you notice, this is a riff-rocker in the tradition of their 60’s “Satisfaction” or “Honky Tonk”

But after everything has been said and done, the music that the Stones have given us during their peak (for me 1964-1972) vastly overshadows the mediocrity of their late 70s-80s output.. “Sympathy”, “Jumpin Jack” and all the other songs of that’64-’72 era is enough to give one “rocker’s orgasm”.

Bad boys, rebels, substance abusers, grandfathers, . . – call them what you like. The Rolling Stones have been rocking for almost half a century. Their reign as “The Greatest Rock and Roll Band” is undeniable. It will take us another 50 years to find out if anyone can topple them from their throne.

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