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Posted by Lord Voodoo on April 05, 1999 at 14:17:32:
I would hope that we can all (us sane people that is) agree on this. The two greatest Rock and Roll Groups ever were the Beatles and the Rolling Stones. Yes, there are those who might argue for the Jimi Hendrix Experience or Led Zeppelin or even the Grateful Dead and Bob Marley.
Marley in my opinion is not rock music, and I dont' think the dead are top two. Hedrix is miles ahead of everyone is you just concern yourself with the guitar, but rock is more than that. And while Led Zeppelin is the sound of Rock, they were outlasted and outmatched by the Stones. So that leaves us with the Beatles and the Stones.
The Beatles were the unquestioned number 1 while they were together. With Albums like Rubber Soul and Sgt. Peppers, who can deny them that up until 1967. The Rolling Stones did not even put out an album all their own until Aftermath, and the albums they put out contained singles that while they were good, never quite got them to the level of the Beatles. You can try to argue this but try comparing Rubber Soul to Between the Buttons or Aftermath, and the Beatles always win. Its just one of those albums. I view the Stones up until 1968 as preparing for what was yet to come. Clearly everything the Beatles did after Sgt Peppers in on a lower level that what the Stones did from 1968 to 1972. When you compare Magical Mystery Tour, Abbey Road, The White Album, and Let it Be to Beggar's Banquet, Let it Bleed, Sticky Fingers and Exile on Main Street, the Stones clearly dominate musicaly. But the Beatles were remembered as better during those times. "The White album is the greatest double album of all time" Frankly its a distant 3rd to Exile and Electric Ladyland. Most musicians I think would give you that.
After Sgt Pepper the Beatles were relying on their fame to sell what I consider a second rate effort. The songs were still good, but they weren't great and they were intermixed with songs that even the stones would have cut from Satanic Majesties Request (which was their poor attempt to be the Beatles).
In my mind even if the stones stopped at Goats Head when Taylor left they would have been the greatest. But the fact that they went on to make some girls, and Tattoo You, as well as songs like It's Only Rock and Roll, and Memory Motel or Beast of Burden should only add to their greatness.
But for some reason people still pick them second. My question is this. And keep in
mind my example will be Zeppelin.
What if the Stones had quit with Tattoo You or even Undercover or Dirty Work. The fact that many non fans view them as old men and a joke can only hurt their non fan standing. They don't remember Gimme Shelter, they remember Start Me Up. And that's alot to do with the Steel Wheels Tour. I have few friends that thought Start Me Up was from Steel Wheels. They don't remember Happy, they remember Miss You. That has to do with the fact that the song was played on every tour until 99 from 1978. The don't remember Street Fighting Man, they remember Anybody Seen My Baby. With those memories over the old ones I would also rank the Stones lower.
Part of Zeppelins and the Beatles greatness is that they never really got a chance to fall apart. Bonzo dies, and Zeppelin quit. The Beatles broke up. In my opinion, the last two or three albums by both of these bands were considerably weaker than thier previous work. Those bands had a 10 year shelf life and those 10 years were over. The stones were just beginning to enter stage 2 after ten years. Could you imagine if they had stopped after Some Girls. They would have been known as the greatest band ever by far.
This probelm is because the stones have managed to put out a whole lot of crap in the last 20 years. There have been some goods and some greats even, but percentage wise, they do not put out anything that even has half great songs on it. Look at Kenos own album list, the older albums tend to be higher up on the list because nothing weighed those albums down. Imagine if the Beatles had continued and started to put out something like Undercover. Sure some of the superfans would love it. We can find redeming qualities in anything. But a string of basically mediocre albums (and simply bad albums when compared to the hayday) only hurt the status of the band. When you think of the last 7 albums that the stones have put out (and most bands retire after 7 albums) are there enough great songs to peice together even one Let it Bleed quality. This non stones like quality makes the band seem less what they are (the Greatest Rock band in the world, EVER) and more like an average band (the Who). Not only does this feeling hurt them but the poorer music makes non fans wonder why anyone would want to see them. First off they don't like the new stones music and they only remember Satisfaction. "Who wants to see satisfaction for two hours?". If they only knew. But whatever.
Those are my feelings on this issue, pehaps this will spark some debate. Also, if you
respond to this, try to keep it muture, just a bit. I know that some of us are in 3rd
grade, so if you are in 3rd grade, respond "Beatles suck" but if you actually
have an opinion and can back it up. Post away