1969 was another great year in music, here are my 20 chosen songs (and those who came close).
Gimme Shelter – The Rolling Stones
One of the greatest rock songs from any artist, “Gimme Shelter” is a glowering, snarling beast of a recording. It tiptoes in on one of music’s most recognizable chord-based riffs, ghostly “oooh’s,” and percussion ratcheting up the tension. When the full band enters—sinister low piano notes, fuzzy harmonica, organ chimes—it grabs you by the lapels and shakes you, begging you for shelter from an ominous storm.
-Bill Janovitz (Rocks Off: 50 Tracks That Tell the Story of the Rolling Stones)
It first appeared as the opening track on the band’s 1969 album Let It Bleed. Greil Marcus, writing in Rolling Stone magazine at the time of its release, said of it, “The Stones have never done anything better.”
The recording features Richards playing in his new open tuning on electric guitar. The recording also features 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.Lisa Fischer was later recruited to perform the song during their concerts.
– Oh, a storm is threat’ning
My very life today
If I don’t get some shelter
Oh yeah, I’m gonna fade away
A shitload of great music was released in 1968, here are my 20 chosen songs.
Madame George – Van Morrison
Madame George is the album’s whirlpool. Possibly one of the most compassionate pieces of music ever made, it asks us, no, arranges that we see the plight of what I’ll be brutal and call a lovelorn drag queen with such intense empathy that when the singer hurts him, we do too.
A song from the album Astral Weeks, released in 1968. It was recorded during the first Astral Weeks session that took place on September 25, 1968 at Century Sound Studios in New York City with Lewis Merenstein as producer.
In 1974, after he had recorded eight albums, Morrison told Ritchie Yorke when he asked him what he considered his finest single track and the one that he enjoyed the most that it was: “Definitely ‘Madame George’, definitely. I’m just starting to realize it more and more. It just seems to get at you… it just lays right in there, that whole track. The vocals and the instruments and the whole thing. I like that one.”
– Down on Cyprus Avenue
With a childlike vision leaping into view
Clicking, clacking of the high heeled shoe
Ford and Fitzroy, Madame George
Marching with the soldier boy behind
He’s much older now with hat on drinking wine
And that smell of sweet perfume comes drifting through
The cool night air like Shalimar
Volume two picks up with the BBC sessions in 1965 which include the excellent songs “The Spider And The Fly” and “Cry To Me.” Alternate and backing tracks for their early hits such as “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” and “19th Nervous Breakdown” follow in excellent sound quality. Their flirtation with psychedelia is represented by tracks from Their Satanic Majesties Request “Citadel” and “2000 Light Years From Home.” The disc ends with backing tracks to the single “Jumping Jack Flash” and the b-side “Children Of The Moon.”
From youtube channel – RollingStones50yrs3:
To mark the publication of Keith Richards’ autobiography, Life, this BBC2 Culture Show special looks at the life of the man with five strings and nine lives. In a candid interview he chats to Andrew Graham-Dixon about his childhood in Dartford, his passion for music and the decade that catapulted the Rolling Stones from back-room blues boys to one of the greatest rock ‘n’ roll bands in the world.
Ain’t I rough enough Ain’t I tough enough Ain’t I rich enough In love enough Oooo, ooh please.
Some Girls was released in 8 June 1978 and it was their first full album with Ronnie Wood. It’s a great album, up there with the best albums in their catalogue. They mixed in some new wave sounds, added a bit of disco and kept their soul, blues and country tinged rock’n roll. Released on the height of the punk and disco era, The Stones made this masterpiece of an album. Some Girls is very much a product of it’s time, but when Rolling Stones made a record that gave a nod to these “fads,” they did so with such anger and speed that the young people in 1978 must have been struck with envy. They certainly made an album that has stood the test of time and it’s a definitive Stones album.
The Rolling Stones prove time and again that they still have what it takes.
I love the title “Crosseyed Heart,” and I still can’t explain quite what it means. I wanted to make a record that gave thanks and praises to everybody that influenced me. So in a way, “Crosseyed Heart” was to Robert Johnson. And later on, I realized without realizing it that I was tipping my hat in a lot of directions: to Gregory Isaacs for “Love is Overdue,” and to Otis Redding, and to a whole lot of people. I was paying my dues!
~Keith Richards (Jim McGuinn interview @ thecurrent.org)
Naturally, there’s a dip into roots reggae: Gregory Isaacs’ 1974 lovers’ rock signature, “Love Overdue,” complete with brass and Neville’s sweet backing vocals. There’s also a straight read of “Goodnight Irene,” a folk standard that Richards likely heard as a kid when the Weavers’ version charted in 1950. Two originals are as strong as any Stones songs of recent decades: “Robbed Blind,” a “Dead Flowers”-scented outlaw-country ballad that echoes Merle Haggard’s “Sing Me Back Home,” and “Trouble,” all hiccup-riff swagger with a slide-guitar mash note from Wachtel to ex-Stone Mick Taylor. There’s a charmingly cheeky duet with Norah Jones (“Illusion”), and some beautifully telling moments (see “Amnesia”) where Keith’s guitar is nearly everything — his sublime grooves sprouting melodic blooms and thorny leads. It’s proof that, at core, dude’s an army of one.
~Will Hermes (review @ rollingstone.com)
Keith Richards on the Andrew Marr Show (Clips from Crosseyed Heart) Sept 2015: