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Wednesday, 14 March 2018


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I think you might need to adjust your intake of meds, Mike. How could you otherwise compile such a list and omit "You Can't Always Get What You Want?" (And yes, I know I just opened myself up to a snappy comeback on that song title. Go for it.) Get some more rest. It looks like you need it more than you realize.

Lisa Fischer makes it...


Gimme Shelter ...

The recording features guest vocals by Merry Clayton, recorded at a last-minute late-night recording session during the mixing phase, arranged by her friend and record producer Jack Nitzsche.
[ ... ]
Summoned - pregnant - from bed around midnight by producer Jack Nitzsche, Clayton made her recording with just a few takes then returned home to bed. It remains the most prominent contribution to a Rolling Stones track by a female vocalist.
[ ... ]
For the recording, Richards used an Australian-made Maton SE777, a large single-cutaway hollowbody guitar, which he had previously used on "Midnight Rambler". The guitar barely survived the recording before literally falling apart. "[O]n the very last note of 'Gimmie Shelter,'" Richards told Guitar World in 2002, "the whole neck fell off. You can hear it on the original take."


Driving home. Late at night. Dark. North on I-271 merging onto I90 West. Linda and me singing along. Screaming along. Loud.

Its just a shot away.
It's just a shot away.
It's just a kiss away.
Gimme shelter!

Nice try, but nope. You got nearly half the list "right" (tongue-in-cheek) but try this:

Street Fighting Man
Start Me Up
Wild Horses
Dead Flowers
It's Only Rock'n Roll
Gimme Shelter
Time Waits For No One
Ain't Too Proud To Beg

Rank 'em in any order you like!

These 2 monsters didn't even make it to any of their "official" albums...



You've seen this, right?
Then see the one about Mick Taylor...

Definitely #1 is correct, but then I personally would have #4 next.
The rest can be in any order you like!

Brown Sugar would be my no1.....

Perfect, except half of these are middling: Sympathy, Midnight, Monkey, Harlem, Wild, and Shattered should be replaced by Lady Jane and Play with Fire, as well as Street Fighting Man, Brown Sugar, Not Fade Away, and She Loves You.
Wait a minute, that last one was by someone else.

I always thought Shattered was a kind of hokey song, but strong agreement on the rest. Only 2 released after '72. I think they Stones just got lazy after that.

You missed three:
Dead Flowers
Girl with Far Away Eyes
Paint It Black

Maybe you should make it a baker's dozen.

While you are recuperating, here is something to pass the time. The Annenberg Space for Photography included a link to a website I had never seen before - Photography Mag - and I've spent much time perusing their lists of current exhibitions.

Oh, great choices! I always thought Monkey Man was under-appreciated. And Sympathy for the Devil belongs right up there near the top. And Shattered - yes! My only quibble is that I've never been a fan of Satisfaction -- sacrilege, I know.

"You can't always get what you want," was always one of my favorites. Perhaps appropriate for the GAS afflicted readership of TOP.

I think often: how does Brown Sugar exist? I’ve never heard anyone say the obvious...it’s probably the most offensive song ever played on the radio.

Al of Exile is the best song list.

It's not allowed to leave Honky Tonk Woman off the list.

I would demur on a few choices, like Harlem Shuffle, for one. I'd probably include Dead Flowers in it's place. And I'd also find room for Salt of the Earth and You Can't Always Get What You Want as well. And Let it Bleed. I concur that Gimme Shelter should be in the top spot.
Much harder would be picking The Beatles top ten.

Finally. After endless, tiring arguments online about controversial topics like "is the Earth round" or "are space launches fake", it's good to see a nice set of straightforward facts we all can agree on.

Even after all these years, hearing Merry Clayton's voice crack on Gimme Shelter still raises goosebumps on my skin.

You can hear her isolated voice here ... wow!

I'm happy to see Monkey Man on the list, but I miss Beast of Burden.

: )

While I’d need some time to think more about this question, I immediately have to say that if cover songs are included, its hard not to include any one of the 4 first tracks on side 2 of Love You Live - Mannish Boy, Crack’in Up, Little Red Rooster, and (my nominee) Around and Around. Oh to have been at that club in Toronto that night...sigh.

Brown Sugar -- just for the intro riff

The core of your list seems to be from their last blues album, Let It Bleed. That's the album that's always been where I can find it. Here's fighting words - did Hendrix put out an album as solid top to bottom? All I have of Aretha's and Stevie Wonder are chart toppers so I don't know if they have an album where the weakest song is as strong as Country Honk. Hey, I just lost two hours looking at albums!

I'm not a huge Stones fan, but his cover of Satisfaction is devine (YMMV): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gs7X3Jk5KOc

The Stones came back from the dead with Beast of Burden.

Nothing from High Tides and Green Grass - clearly I'm an early arrival/departer for the Stones. I'd therefore need to include 19th Nervous Breakdown or some such. Sticky Fingers was probably my favorite 'later' album.

Curiously, I did the same with the Grateful Dead; Morning Dew is probably one of my faves from them.

ps/oopz - Satisfaction was from that early album :o

The only reason I drop-by the The Online Philosopheri are the non-photo posts.

Lists are a good way to raise your Google ranking. How about a Top Ten Ramones Songs , or perhaps a Top Ten Happy Hardcoe Hits of All Time.

BTW I prefer Gram Parson's version of Wild Horses—hear it on Burrito Deluxe.

Best of the Rolling Stones, in no particular order:

19th Nervous Breakdown

Let's Spend the Night Together

Jumpin' Jack Flash

She's a Rainbow


She Was Hot

Start Me Up

Rocks Off


Country Honk

I like your list a bunch. Top 2? Absolutely.

But no "Paint It Black"!? Really great song. I don't think of it as just a Stones' song, even. It feels God-given (where God is some sort of rock-interested deity).

And I have a real soft spot for "She's Like a Rainbow."

The movie "Gimme Shelter" is also one of the best music documentaries. Seeing them live at their peak before the mess/tragedy that was Altamont... Quite honestly I was never a big fan of the Stones and especially Jagger (though I've always liked the songs we're discussing here, and "Exile") until I saw him onstage in the first 45 minutes of that film.

one edit needed:

"Monkey Man" and "Can't You Hear Me Knocking" are in the wrong slots. They both belong at #1 - a tie.

But if you force me, Can't You Hear Me Knocking" is #1. So druggy, just such a trip.

"Exile on Main St." With photos by Robert Frank.

Ok....no one for jumpin jack flash?.....have you ever heard leon russel's version of it...?leon takes it up a notch....unbelievable!!!

[Right, and any time a cover is better than the original, then how can the original be one of the band's best? It's like saying "All Along the Watchtower" is one of Dylan's best songs. --Mike]

Brown Sugar. Mother's Little Helper also figures on my list, mainly because it amuses me rather than any musical merit. Feel better.

It is a mathematical impossibility to have a Rolling Stones Top Ten songs list because you'd have to fit these in, too.

Honky Tonk Women

Jumpin' Jack Flash

Mother's Little Helper

Paint it Black

Street Fighting Man

You Can't Always Get What You Want

Under My Thumb

Have You Seen Your Mother, Baby, Standing in the Shadow?

Brown Sugar


Little Red Rooster

1. Time.

I don't really like any others!

Regarding this garage band, I think I agree with Ginger Baker.

“Rolling Stones” by Mick Jagger / Keith Richards
“Rolling Stones” by Os Mutantes
“Rolling Stones” by Lincoln Jesser
“Rolling Stones” by Johnny Rogue
“Rolling Stones” by Mayday Malone
“Rolling Stones” by 3010
“Rolling Stones” by Mid West Playaz
“Rolling Stones” by Aguaviva
“Rolling Stones” by Peter Belli
“Rolling Stones” by John Heberman

Street Fighting Man - "...'cos in sleepy London town there's no just place for a street fighting man...". I was only 18 but we were looking across the Atlantic to the US all the time, that year.

Who cares. Far more important is the fact that Keith Richards is the coolest Rock 'n' Roller ever!

I'm with the "paint it black" crowd especially playing it too loud in the car. You get Brain Jones coming in hard on te right and then you just get thumped by Charlie Watts on the left and that is just during the intro!

Jumpin´ Jack flash.. Come On

[Just never liked that song. No accounting for taste! --Mike]

Satisfaction is a love it or hate it thing. I am in the hate it camp. I would replace it with "You Can´t Always Get What You Want".

I join those infuriated by the omission of 'Paint It Black', which is a million times better than 'Harlem Shuffle', but I'd keep 'Gimme Shelter' at the top anyway.
And I'd add 'Emotional Rescue' to a rather subjective list - mainly because I've danced to the sound of it so many times when I was in my teens. Oh the fond memories...

LOl. We are the million monkeys . . .Glad to see you back in the saddle Mike.

She would never say where she came from....... Ruby still gives me shivers

"Jumpin' Jack Flash" from Get Your Ya Yas Out, which is the greatest Stones album ever.

Just sayin' ...

Any list has to include

It's All Over Now (even though it's not a Jagger-Richards composition)
Honky Tonk Woman
You Can't Always Get What You Want

Frankly, I'm not sure it's possible to reduce the list to only 10 songs. Which is why, 56 years on, the Rolling Stones are still the greatest rock band that ever lived.

The Stones only did 4 albums worth bothering with from Beggar's Banquet to Exile. Now The Who, OTOH, even at their weakest were better than that. Time to listen the best album by either band, Who's Next and then get going on my day.

I largely agree, but "Can't you hear me knockin'" has to be at the top. Honestly, it's my third favourite song of all time. Mick Taylor was on fire!

(The other two are, #1 "Green Onions," by Booker T. and MGs and, #2, "Take Five", by the Dave Brubeck Quartet)

I think my Stones top-ten contains at least 20 songs, including She’s a Rainbow.

@Zave Shapiro, yes, Axis: Bold As Love. As for Stevie, I’m not entirely convinced the Stones have ever put out an album that’s as solid top-to-bottom as Talking Book, Innervisions, or Songs in the Key of Life are, and that’s saying something; as rock critic Dave Marsh put it (and I’m paraphrasing a bit, as I don’t have the quote in front of me), “The Stones are the greatest white R&B band of all time. This is fact, not opinion.” That seems to fit in with Mike’s theme here, too....

And Mike, glad to have you on the mend!

After their last Amsterdam concert, fall last year, one newspaper wrote (quoted from memory): "we have reached a point where most cover-bands do The Rolling Stones better than The Rolling Stones".

You Can't Always Get What You Want !!

Hope you are feeling much better Mike. Be well soon.

* Angie - can't omit that
* Like a Rolling Stone (Stripped album) - ok not their song but a great version

Some years ago we had a completely useless very senior manager. At a time of general discontent he emailed everyone quoting the track "you can't always get what you want". I was absolutely itching to reply, caustically, that I can't get no satisfaction. I bottled it in the end - decided it was probably a CLM (career limiting move)

Gimme Shelter is the greatest rock song of all time.
Sister Morphine gives me shivers every time. Can't play it just once. It's gotta loop.

I'll chalk up the omission of Paint It Black to your meds.

Now you're picking fights.

Too much time on your hands, young feller!

Moonlight Mile? Happy? Loving Cup ? I believe the real difficulty for me is that once upon a time, way back when we had to walk home barefoot from school while being chased by dinosaurs, we listened to vinyl lps one side at a time. I can see ten best album sides (side four of "Exile On Mainstreet" being #1 obviously :P ). It's just too painful to think of all the incredible tunes you have to leave out. ;-)

It makes sense for you to be in music mode. Hang in there. I recently bought my first turntable (Denon) since high school (1970's) and have been rediscovering beloved songs from my youth. I've lugged my old album collection from closet to closet for years now and its a pleasure to finally here some forgotten gems. I'm also exploring the catalog of these older bands so this post was perfect timing for me.

Back in the day, I did not buy Beatles and Stones albums. They were just to wildly popular and got way to much air play. Every time I turned on the radio in my rusty 1968 Mustang Grande (with malfunctioning gas gauge and mighty Thriftpower I6) I heard their music. Now I have plenty of great old Beatles and Stones stuff to explore and the comments are helping!

Commercial for Mustang Grande - 1968 (Flamenco music..."Color this one cool")

Here's a couple "gems" I've unearthed that have a reggae groove. Enjoy while you rest that arm.

Frank Zappa - Lucille has messed my mind up - 1979 - Vocals: Ike Willis

David Bowie- Don't Look Down - 1984

Girl with the Kaleidoscope Eyes
Honky Tonk Woman
And the ubiquitous but still excellent Can't Always Get What you Want

For me starts with Andrew Loog Oldham ends with Exile on Main Street.

Two nights in. Sleeping bag in Newcastle to get tickets for the Sticky Fingers Concert. The best concert of my life. So Sister Morphine has to be there.

Interesting about Satisfaction. Loved it on the dance floor but looking back Paint it black holds its own better.

Brown Sugar may be iffy but my oh my how fantastic from the very first second!!

Gimme Shelter
Jumpin Jack Flash
Sympathy for the Devil
Let it Loose
Can You Hear Me Knockin
Rocks Off
Torn and Frayed
Wild Horses
Shine a Light

Glad to see "Shattered" made the cut. Yes, it might be "kind of hokey" (as Jnny commented), but if someone asked me to boil down the essence of rock 'n roll to a single piece of music, it would be the bridge from that song.

As a long time Stones fan (seen them live four times) I’d have to have Paint it Black on there near the top along with Brown Sugar and Dead Flowers. I’d also include one that is not often heard because it is so long: Going Home. Just listen to it Mike, it’s an amazing track for a rock band to put out!

Hard to argue with any of these choices, but to ignore many of the Brian Jones influenced early R&B covers leaves a glaring omission.

Exile. Oh, that's 18. So be it.

I have no argument with the songs you included in your list, but couldn't you try and squeeze "Beast of Burden" in there somehow, maybe as number 5 and half.

Or perhaps do what the author Bill Janovitz did and just up it to 50. His book "Rocks Off, 50 Tracks That Tell the Story of the Rolling Stones" is a an enjoyable read too.

I'd bump Shattered for Sweet Virginia . . .

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