The Rolling Stones
Beggars Banquet


4.0
excellent

Review

by Edmund Blackadder USER (32 Reviews)
December 24th, 2009 | 33 replies | 9,621 views


Release Date: 1968 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The Rolling Stones' breakthrough album, as well as a genre-mashing work of art.

Rolling Stones
Beggar's Banquet
Decca Records, 1968


1968 was destined to be a big year for the Rolling Stones. The psychadelic, sprawling Their Satanic Majesties Request had brought the band much attention, and had helped escalate many of their earlier songs on the pop charts. Many comparisons to The Beatles were made, with many reviewers criticizing the band for cashing in on the psychadelia craze. With Beggar's Banquet , the Rolling Stones would change their sound, creating a much more raw, bluesy form of rock music.

Sympathy For The Devil is arguably the Stones' most famous song. With some brilliant percussion, a bluesy solo, and classic vocals, the song paints a dark picture of lucifer himself, bragging about is exploits over the centuries. This is truly a brilliant song, and a blues rock epic. Much of the excitement caused by the climax of this song is, unfortunately, eradicated by the slow, boring No Expectations . Aside from some interesting slide guitar, nothing really manages to save this song from being a total bore.

Luckily, the pace picks up with Parachute Woman and Dear Doctor . The former is a sort of acoustic rock song, with a powerful, raw acoustic riff and some great harmonica parts. Dear Doctor is a rather experimental tune, using dual vocal parts, as well as a hilarious staccato spoken part, to help tell the story of a man who does not wish to be married (to a woman who he comically describes as a 'bow legged sow'). Jig-Saw Puzzle is a hidden gem, featuring some great drumming and slide guitar parts. Street Fighting Man , the most straight forward rock song here is a catchy, short number with a brilliant, marching feel and some driving inspirational vocals from Mick Jagger. From here the album only improves, with the Stones' utilising many different songwriting techniques, even incorporating country into their signature sound ( Factory Girl ). Beggar's Banquet concludes with the acoustic Salt Of The Earth .

When this album was released, it was considered revolutionary. Sitting here, in 2009, it is still easy to see why. The vast number of instrument at work here, and the mash-up of so many different genres provides an exciting, unique sound, one that many bands have tried to replicate. Indeed, the variation of instruments and styles is quite amazing, as you never know what you will hear next. Sympathy For The Devil uses blues coupled with tribal percussion and animalistic howls, Stray Cat Blues combines jazzy-as-hell drumming with some blues riffs, and Salt Of The Earth combines rock, gospel, and soul music into one bluesy ballad. Despite the sheer number of styles and influences, the music never manages to feel too cluttered up or pretentious; and perhaps that is why this album is so interesting.

Overall Beggar's Bangquet , while rough around the edges, is a great blues-rock album that also combines innumerable different styles. It managed to bring the Stones to a more mainstream audience, as well as distinguish them from their pop/psychadelic counterparts.



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Chart.
4.3
superb
other reviews of this album
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Comments:Add a Comment 
shindip
December 24th 2009


3536 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

two in one day...but i couldnt resist ; )

BigHans
December 25th 2009


26454 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Nice work, love this album. Salt of the Earth is very underrated.

AtavanHalen
December 25th 2009


17927 Comments


Sympathy sends me into a fucking fit. What an incredible tune.

STOP SHOUTING!
December 25th 2009


631 Comments


Woo who, ooo who, oh yeah.

Nagrarok
December 26th 2009


8239 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I've always wondered where to start with the Stones. This seems a good spot.

Musicface42
August 1st 2012


64 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

You are one of my new favorite reviewers! Great job.

dannyboy89
February 13th 2013


11960 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

60's-70's Stones rules hard. Haven't actually listened to this though.

dannyboy89
June 2nd 2014


11960 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Sympathy is such a great opener. The Stones sure had a knack for melody.

SharkTooth
June 2nd 2014


4273 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

60's Stones was the psychadelic age, this is the 'return to blues' age.
And yeah, this is a really good album

dannyboy89
June 2nd 2014


11960 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Stray Cat Blues rules.

dannyboy89
June 2nd 2014


11960 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Salt of the Earth is a sweet closer.

treefingered2
June 2nd 2014


179 Comments


One of the only stones albums I haven't listened too yet but will soon that's a promise

Digging: Black Sabbath - Live at Hammersmith Odeon

dannyboy89
June 3rd 2014


11960 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Street Fightin' Man is awesome.

dannyboy89
June 3rd 2014


11960 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

PLEASED TO MEET YOUUUU
HOPE YOU'VE GUESSED MYYYY NAME

SharkTooth
June 3rd 2014


4273 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

This is prob my fav Stones album atm,
need to relisten to Sticky Fingers and Main Street though,

dannyboy89
June 3rd 2014


11960 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Still haven't heard Sticky Fingers, sadly.

SharkTooth
June 3rd 2014


4273 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

you should prob get on that

DikkoZinner
June 3rd 2014


3060 Comments


Sympathy is top shelf

Digging: Skinless - Trample the Weak, Hurdle the Dead

dannyboy89
June 3rd 2014


11960 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Agreed. Lyrics are gold. One of the best history lessons ever.

dannyboy89
June 4th 2014


11960 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Street Fighting Man is too good.



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