2 of 3 thought this review was well writtenI'm re-reviewing this. It seems most people (including me) despised my other review (the "creative" one). A very shameful twentieth. So, instead of writing another review, I'm spending a good deal of time editing this. Think of it as cleaning my dirty plate. Anyway, onto the review.
The Rolling Stones - Forty Licks (Compilation)
Now. Think of the Rolling Stones. Did a bunch of old, skinny drugged up rockers wearing headbands and embarrisingly tight clothes come to mind? Because that's what they are now, 45 years after they made their mark as one of the most important groups in rock. Sure, they're new album has some moments, and they've been touring seemingly non-stop, but they used to be so much more. Remember the ABCKO days? The early sixties cover albums? The breakthrough Stones-written album? Well, neither do I because, well, I'm thirteen.
In dedication to Forty years, Virgin and ABCKO came together to put out forty songs on two discs to commemorate (aka bow themselves) to The Rolling Stones. The result? Forty Licks, a shakey compilation of the band. There are some gems, some completely un-neccesary tracks. But lets review the album already.
For me, the Rolling Stones were the best when they were on British label ABCKO. Of course they have some undeniably powerful and essential seventies Virgin albums, but lets face it. Who can resist that bluesy twist of the early stuff? This is the era when the Stones were more productful, releasing a mind-blowing five albums in two short years. There are the classics here, yes. There are also many unneccessary eighties and nineties songs on here that represent crap. In the eighties, they really were supposed to break up. They hadn't realeased that many albums in the eighties, and despite Tatoo You, they were all relatively bad for the Stones. The sound itself was really... unStonelike. It was glamrock. It was very mainstream rock, unlike the brilliant young sparks they were twenty years before. And the nineties? They tried to bring back the essentials, but failed with their album Bridges to Bablyon.They lowered the bar. Unfortunatley, this era found it's way onto the compilation as well. The good part? All the eras are scattered about on the album, almost tricking you to listen for the classics if you're a new Rolling Stones fan. My advice? Start with the ABCKO re-releases and make your way into the seventies era Stones.
There are some classics here though. One thing you can say about this compilation is that it carries the essentials. Jumping Jack Flash. Street Fighting Man. (I Can't Get No) Satisfaction. What else can be said? These are definite classics. Everything from they're definitive riffs to they're signature vocals, and everything inbetween. You really get the feel of the old-school Rolling Stones. Unplayed with, not re-mastered, not cleaner... wait a minute, those aren't good qualities! They forgot to make it more listenable then they're original versions! Argh! At the very least, they put the classics on here. What else can be said? They're great songs, but could've been modernized. The songs themselves? They are flawless. They contain everything that everybody likes about the Stones. The minor naugtyness. The classic solos and riffs. These are the real
Stones. As the classic flow by, though, you can also get a whiff of some different classics that you weren't aware of. Anybody a big fan of Wild Horses? How about Not Fade Away? To the experienced Stones listener, these are right up there with Satisfaction and the gang. To the new listener, they are soon to be.
That's pretty much all that can be said about this compilation. I suggest that you buy the two Hot Rocks cds and Sucking in the Seventies instead, and you may end up spending more than $30 that you would've paid for this album, but they include the definitive classics of the definitive era. They don't have any filler, but only contain the best of the best, if you will. Not that this album is bad. It's not bad at all, but I feel that they struggled to fit 40 songs on here, and couldn't use all of the classics, as they were all in one era. Maybe 15 of the songs are from the dreaded eighties and nineties, but that really isn't a huge problem. Just press the skip button.
Thanks for reading,