10 Best Rolling Stones’ songs

by TW on February 6, 2009

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The Rolling Stones were once heralded, and rightly so, as the greatest rock and roll band in the world. At their peak during the late ’60s and early ’70s, nobody did real rock better than the Stones. Even the most ardent Stones’ fan, though, would be hard pressed to argue that the band has made a memorable record in the last 25 years. So, I’ll present 10 songs from the band’s glory days – my personal favorites.

Are they the band’s best? I say yes.

What say you?

1. “Can’t You Hear Me Knocking” (Sticky Fingers) – Contrary to popular opinion, the greatest rock guitar riff isn’t Deep Purple’s “Smoke On The Water,” it’s the Stones’ “Can’t You Hear Me Knocking.”

2. “Moonlight Mile” (Sticky Fingers) – This is one of the softest breezes in the Stones’ whirlwind catalog. It sounds like a lost Van Morrison tune.

3. “Rip This Joint” (Exile On Main St.) – A stampeding boogie-rock free-for-all from the Stones’ 1972 masterpiece, Exile On Main St.

4. “Torn And Frayed” (Exile On Main St.) – At this point, the Stones did country rock better than anyone, thanks largely to the guitar genius of Mick Taylor.

5. “Casino Boogie” (Exile On Main St.) – I love the way Mick Jagger and Keith Richards sing together on this tune. It’s raw, ragged and perfect.

6. “Gimme Shelter” (Let It Bleed) – Hearing the opening guitar lines of “Gimme Shelter” always gives me chills.

7. “Paint It Black” (Aftermath) – Has their ever been a darker and more mysterious tune than “Paint It Black”?

8. “Stray Cat Blues” (Beggars Banquet) – A nasty, jagged masterpiece from when the Stones were really finding their own voice.

9. “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” (Let It Bleed) – The most ambitious song of the Stones’ career is a  transcendent mix of folk, rock, soul and gospel.

10. “Waiting On A Friend” (Tattoo You) – “Waiting On A Friend” is the last truly “great” Stones’ song, and stands out with a mesmerizing saxophone arrangement.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

David February 7, 2009 at 1:17 am

Wow, very good list.

More often than not, I’ll step aside from commenting on another person’s “top” list, because I don’t want to tell someone “you’re wrong about…”, or watch a debate about other peoples’ opinions, which is so often the case with these things.

Having said that, let me just add a couple songs off the top of my head that I would include in a top 10 list of my own.

I think I’d include “Wild Horses” in there. Love the Flying Burrito Bros’ version, but it’s still a top Stones’ song to me.

I’d definitely want “Satisfaction” in there, it’s probably the song that really put them over as original performers (self-penned tune by Richards and Jagger) and it’s one of the great rock n’ roll hits of all time. And it’s just an awesome song.

You’ve already mentioned many of my favorites, so I’ll just add one more. “Tumblin’ Dice”, especially as played live on their 1972 tour.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uL2Ee12HrCU

Anyway, good list and I couldn’t agree more with your #10 call. I’ve often thought the same thing about “Waiting on a Friend”.

CW February 19, 2009 at 2:44 am

The third side of Exile.

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