Re: Re: Re: Bridges To Babylon-September 30, 1997

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Posted by keef on September 30, 1999 at 10:45:05:

In Reply to: Re: Re: Bridges To Babylon-September 30, 1997 posted by The Storm on September 30, 1999 at 00:49:45:


First of all, I'm a BIG fan of VOODOO LOUNGE. It think it's the best Stones' album since SOME GIRLS. It was great five years ago and it just gets better with age, IMHO. The boys almost came up with another "masterpiece" with that album. It sold very well--although I've never seen the total sales figure as high as you put it at 8 million. I have seen it at 5 million with over 2m in the U.S. alone. It also won a grammy--deservedly so.

BRIDGES TO BABYLON, an inferior but still good album, didn't fare as well, but still put up respectable numbers. I've seen the sales figures at nearly 4 million worldwide. I know it only sold about half what VOODOO LOUNGE did in the U.S., but I attribute this to more than just the difference in quality between the two albums.

In '94, when VOODOO came out, music was much different. Grunge music ruled the airwaves. Most of those bands were heavily influenced by artists like the Stones and expressed so publicly. The fans that were attracted to the grunge music were also attracted to the Stones' music, especially the stripped-down, raw sound of the Stones of old. So what did the Stones do to capitalize on this? Do what they always do. They came out with an album that fit in perfectly with the times and appealed to that crowd. Rock radio stations were still very popular, so the album got airplay. MTV was also still playing rock videos, so the album got exposure that way too. Long time Stones' fans loved the album, but so did many fickle, young music listeners who jumped on VOODOO because it was "cool" to like it and "cool" to like the Stones.

In '97, things had changed dramatically. Grunge was all but dead. Nirvana was history, and Pearl Jam no longer sold millions with every single they released. Many other bands were already broken up. The fickle kids got tired of it all and along came rap, hip-hop, and all that crap. Most people(I refuse to call them artists) that play that kind of music have very little or no appreciation for the music of 10 years past, much less for an old band like the Stones. If anything, they expressed disdain for the old "dinosaurs" as they call them. To them and their fans, the Stones were relics. How many kids that think Snoop is cool are big Stones' fans? The Stones became very "uncool."

How many radio stations were still playing rock music by established artists like the Stones in '97-'89? MTV had all but forgotten about them and their generation of rockers. Bob Dylan released a great album at that same time and got virtually NO airplay. It didn't sell nearly as well as it should have either. Rod Stewart came out with his strongest album in years at that time and it went nowhere. John Fogerty's album was great, won a grammy, and still didn't sell impressive numbers. John Mellencamp rebounded big time artistically at that time and flopped commercially.

I honestly believe that VOODOO LOUNGE would not have sold nearly as well as it did if it had been released just a couple of years later. If anything, it would've sold less than BRIDGES did at that time. Most die-hard Stones' fans prefer VOODOO over BRIDGES. However, it takes more than the die-hards to sell millions. Most casual fans and people that don't dislike the Stones' sound that I know actually prefer BRIDGES. My wife thinks it's their best album ever. She loves "Anybody..." and "Saint." She only likes one or two songs on VOODOO. I believe that most record buying members of the public would agree. "Out of Control" and "Saint" both went over extremely well live. People loved them. If radio were still Stones' friendly, I believe that those songs would've been big hits and that album would've sold millions. Many people sang along with those songs live and didn't even know what album they came from. Sure, B2B is a little too slick for my tastes, but there are some great basic elements there. With a grittier production, it could've been one of the great ones.

Keef--lover of VOODOO LOUNGE and admirer of B2B

Remember: VL sold 8 million worldwide and B2B only 3 million. Hell, even Stripped outsold B2B, and that was a live album. September 30th, 1997 was truly a dark day in the history of the Stones, a day when they cut off their own balls and offered them in bloody, shameful sacrifices to the twin gods of Popularity and Trendiness. They sold their soul to pretty boy pop producers. They flushed their dignity down the toilet. They crapped all over a burning blues ("Juiced.") They looped Charlie. They dumped Darryl. They grabbed any jackass they could find on the street to play bass and play guitar. They even used kiddie-porn freak Waddy Wachtel. Keith didn't play on Mick's best cut "Saint" (and neither did Charlie or Ronnie). Mick totally blew off Keith's songs, as well, not giving a good goddamn. They tried desperately to stitch two solo albums together and it came out sounding like a grotesque, hideous monster: drum loops, rap, self-conscious trend-seeking, trying to hard to fix what wasn't broke, crashing-and-burning on the charts, Keith's songs a joke, "How Can I Stop" a pathetic piece of trash, "Thief" unfinished (even by Mick's account), "ASMB" unlistenable with its drum machines, the pop-boy Dust Brothers using computerized rhythms to "suggest" how they might kraftwerk their songs. This is the anniversary of the death of the Stones. Sure, the tours were fantastic, since after all they couldn't loop Charlie for those (though Mick probably would be perfectly satisfied to let computers run the whole show). But that's all afterglow--at least until some new CD far off in the future suggests otherwise. The Stones began their final slide into a oblivion two years ago today. It's certainly not worth celebrating. Yes, indeed, a "brand new day." Because now we're living in a post-Stones world.

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