This one comes in all the way from wherever the hell Townswoman Blue Meanie is because she requested it and wants to dedicate it to Hrrundi, whom she figures “will be on eBay trying to figure out where to get one of those.”
Well alright Blue Meanie. Thanks for contacting us here in the All-Star Jam department of YOUR – ROCK – TOWN – HALL.
(Pointy-guitar snobs beware.)
If I can’t get my hands on a Craig Chaquico signature model pointo-Carvin, I *must* acquire one of these. Size matters, fellow rockers — size matters!
ROCK AND ROLL CONFIRMATIONS, THRIFTY MUSIC DIVISION
Recent finds at thrift stores have confirmed the following to be true:
CONFIRMED: Lenon’s “Some Time In New York City” is pretty awful.
CONFIRMED: the mono mix of “Hard Day’s Night” is much better than the stereo.
CONFIRMED: the Stones’ “Black and Blue” is a real undiscovered gem in their catalog — and it’s a great *sounding* album as well.
Great contribution, Blue Meanie. You know, that high among the most-missed participants in the Halls of Rock since we switched over to the blog format is you. We care.
How is Black and Blue “a real undiscovered gem?” I suppose if you’re not put off by the fact that half the songs are auditions for guitar players and the cover sucks (reminds me of that Styx album, Pieces of Eight), then maybe there’s gold to be mined in their, uh, “interesting” takes on reggae and soul. But, I remain rather skeptical.
I gotta run, but my short answer follows:
Fool to Cry
Hand Of Fate
All of the above are either pretty decent (“Negrita,” “Crazy Mama,” “Hand Of Fate”) or downright excellent. There are only one or two total turds on the album — by post-1975 standards, that’s pretty darn good!
I think this is a classic case of an album being damned by reputation. I literally hadn’t listened to the record since it came out, when I was a punk-ass kid who didn’t understand the funk/reggae jam attitude that flows through it. Well, I’m older now, and I’ve discovered that it’s got a loose charm (I even kind of enjoy “Melody”) that the Stones lost after this record came out.
I actually think it’s as good as “Beggars Banquet” — though I’m damning with faint praise by saying that.
Ledt me also say, as further proof that this record has been damned by reputation, that, other than Keith, there are exactly *three* lead guitarists credited on the record. One of those is Ron Wood, and the other two are ace session cats who were clearly paid by the hour. This notion that the B&B LP is an “audition” album just seems like apocryphal horseshit to me.
It’s about time somebody shows “Hey, Negrita” some love. I enjoy a few of the songs you listed, although I honestly can’t recall what “Hey, Negrita” sounds like. I’ve since learned that the best mid-70s Stones album is the stuff Don Covay put out a few years before Black and Blue: “Hot Blood”, “I Stayed Away Too Long”, “I Was Checking Out (While She Was Checking In)”, “It’s Better to Have and Not Need”… I get the feeling that Mick and Keith spent their post-Exile years soaking in the then-latest gems from Covay.
Hrunndi sometimes cracks me up. Just when I’m prepared to agree with him that Black and Blue is really a pretty good album, especially once you get past the first song, he’s gotta go and say this:
Black and Blue isn’t as good as Goat’s Head Soup, but it might very well get the nod over It’s Only Rock and Roll. But comparing it to Banquet? With that level of praise, you’ve just managed to kill the record’s reputation all over again.
An EXTREMELY cool Comment from a favorite post from the past!