Posted by cc on May 17, 2000 at 08:00:59:
In Reply to: jealous jones and touring charlie posted by brother morphine on May 16, 2000 at 23:12:05:
Just to add that Brian originally was the blues purist of the band, at least according to myth. At the outset, the Stones often had to justify even some of their cover choices, because they talked a big game about being a blues band (and had played blues with Alexis Korner previously), then would cover rock and roll tunes and soul ballads. They started writing their own tunes only at the request of management, b/c that's what the Beatles did, and they were the leaders. Plus there's more money in royalties off your own songs. Strangely, many of the early J/R efforts are very simple pop, which they in fact gave to other acts (As Tears Go By, for one)--maybe b/c it's easier to write, but they also have some formulaic blues. It's possible Brian was only interested in playing the classic blues at this point and did not want to write songs, though I'd believe that there was inner politics involved as well.
Anyway, it's ironic then that Brian, formerly the conservative purist, went hog-wild with experimentation in the mid-60s, then was left out when Mick and Keith, formerly the victims of pop, decided to get back to roots music after Satanic. It could be seen that they were still following pop trends to some extent, or at least very canny in predicting that the whole scene would simplify its music, like The White Album and Dylan's John Wesley Harding. I'm not sure of the timing of those albums within 1968.
It's fascinating to think what might have happened if Satanic had been more successful, either with the critics/fans, who overlooked its good points, or from a musical standpoint, if the Stones (Brian included) had been able to put in the kind of effort it required. Considering it was their first self-production, how ambitious the album is, and the innumerable legal and personal distractions they had at the time, they did a good job. But if it had been more well received, maybe Brian's approach would have been vindicated (I think it is him who dominates that album), and the Stones might have been very different--maybe he would have lived. We wouldn't have the Beggars-Exile albums as they are; they could have been even better!
One of the pre-Stones assemblages of these guys was Blues by Five, and I believe the Stones have a British EP called 5x5, which is, right, 5 songs. It's kind of a common thing at that point--a Yardbirds album is called 5 Live Yardbirds. I'm not sure what the fascination with the number of members is all about...
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