Academic journal article Notes

The Rolling Stones in the 1970s: The Complete Review

Academic journal article Notes

The Rolling Stones in the 1970s: The Complete Review

Article excerpt

The Rolling Stones in the 1970s: The Complete Review. DVD. Produced and directed by Alex Westbrook. New Maiden, Surrey, UK: Pride, 2014. 2170. $24.99.

Most critics and long-time fans of the Rolling Stones agree that the band's most creative period was between 1969 and 1974, during which they ascended to a higher realm of rock and roll artistry. That phase coalesced when guitarist Mick Taylor joined the band in 1969 after the death of original band member, Brian Jones. Taylor had a profound effect on the chemistry of the band. While it was true that Keith Richards drove the music and Mick Jagger wrote the lyrics, the overall sound was truly a group effort (as it should be) shaped by Carlie Watts' drumming and Bill Wyman's bass playing. Guest artists like Bobby Keys, Nicky Hopkins, Billy Preston, Ry Cooder, Ian Stewart, Al Kooper, Jack Nitzsche, and Merry Clayton also left an indelible stamp on the music.

Even though Taylor came from a blues background--and theoretically should have reinforced the Stones' blues roots--he elicited a different sort of melodic element from the Stones, an unpredictable, lyrical musicality. The Rolling Stones recordings with Mick Taylor--Let It Bleed, Sticky Fingers, and Exile on Main Street--were masterpieces of rock and roll. Catchy, fresh, vibrant, and alive. Hit after hit dominated the radio and joined the soundtrack of the times. Martin Scorsese used the song "Gimme Shelter" as aural shorthand for an era in his movies Goodfellas, Casino, and The Departed. (He also used "Jumping Jack Flash" for Mean Streets and he directed the 2008 Rolling Stones concert film, Shine a Light.)

Eventually, as the 1970s wore on, the excesses that the band embodied, the reckless debauchery, the "sex, drugs and rock and roll" life that they lived, eroded their creativity. Richards, a long-time heroin user, became a debilitated junkie. Taylor left the band unexpectedly. Jagger became a scenester, a socialite, jet-setter, hanging idly with the Andy Warhol/Studio 54/New York art crowd. With every passing year, headed into the 1980s, as the music scene changed around the Rolling Stones, their music bordered on irrelevance. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.