Monday, January 23, 2012

Portfolio entry Part 2 (The Rolling Stones)

Here is the second of the CD reviews that garnered attention from the New Jersey Press Association. A complementary copy of a Rolling Stones CD landed on my desk. That's all I needed to start hitting my stride.

This appeared on B2 of The Daily Journal in Vineland, N.J., on Nov. 7, 1998 (less than a week before I turned 28. Maybe that's why I was hitting my stride, too -- hunger for success was growing).

Headline: You'll get "Satisfaction" out of Stones' latest

By Todd Norden
Staff Writer

Disc: "No Security"
Artist: The Rolling Stones
Label: Virgin Records

The Stones keep rolling and gather no moss on their seventh live album built with highlights from shows during their "Bridges To Babylon" tour.

Few groups endure long enough to record seven live albums (unless of course you're The Grateful Dead). But beyond The Stones' incredible longevity is a vault of timeless songs.

You won't get no "Satisfaction" here, and "Jumping Jack Flash" takes a seat to mid-1970s nuggets and recent singles. That's a welcome treat.

"No Security" begins with Mick Jagger and the gang actually sounding a bit worn on a note-for-note version of the "Voodoo Lounge" anthem "You Got Me Rocking." However, an enthusiastic Ron Wood guitar solo and Chuck Leavell's rollicking honky-tonk piano save the day. Other newer songs included in this set are "Saint Of Me," "Flip The Switch" and "Out Of Control." "Saint Of Me" transforms into a clap-along, sing-along arena chant with a revved Jagger intermittently spitting "C'mon y'all" and "C'mon sugar" between refrains.

Bigger surprises are delivered when The Stones delve into their catalog and share the stage with special guests. Dave Matthews collaborates with Jagger on a foggy-blue version of "Memory Motel" from The Stones' obscure 1976 album "Black and Blue." And blues great Taj Mahal offers an appropriately loose and sloppy interpretation of his song "Corinna" to the mix, while Jagger puffs away at the harmonica.

The redeeming value of "No Security" is several songs that haven't been, or were rarely captured, on live Stones albums. Even Jagger admits before "Live With Me" that it's something they hadn't done in a very long time. Thank God they brought it here. "Live With Me," from 1969's "Let It Bleed," is classic and dirty Stones, especially with Darryl Jones' vigorous bass line drawing naughty grins from listeners' faces. The Stones also effectively recreate "Gimme Shelter's" creepy undercurrent, although Lisa Fischer's backup wailing about rape and murder isn't nearly as spine-tingling as the original. The Stones do its fans a favor by dusting off "Sister Morphine" from 1971's "Sticky Fingers." A rubbery slide guitar gives the song its seedy edge, but when Jagger sings, it eerily recalls another era and yet firmly describes the drug daze of today. And much like the United States since the turbulent 1960s, our country's "stained white sheets are now stained red."

Jagger's and guitarist Keith Richards' songwriting abilities are too often ignored. Compare their mop-topped dance-hall jam "The Last Time" to the snotty and cynical "Respectable," to the soul-searching "Saint Of Me." The differences are like black-and-white versus Web TV.

"No Security" is not "Get Yer Ya-Yas Out," but it shows why you can't keep this good -- actually, the world's greatest -- rock 'n' roll band down. The Rolling Stones' lyrical power has matured from a stealthy panther into an arresting other-worldly power.

No comments:

Post a Comment