Saturday, February 27, 2016

Rolling Stones – "Monkey Man" (1969)

Yes, I'm a sack of broken eggs
I always have an unmade bed
Don't you?

I’ve always wondered what the point of making your bed is – after all, you’re just going to get back into it when it’s time to go to sleep tonight and mess it up again . . . right?  

I also don’t understand why you have to put your bath towel in the washing machine.  You’re clean when you use a bath towel, so the towel doesn’t get dirty – it just gets wet.  So why the need for the washing machine?

Rolling Stone magazine ranks the Rolling Stones’ Let It Bleed #32 on its list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.

That’s about 31 spots too low.

I wouldn’t insist on ranking Let It Bleed as the best album of all time.  You could make a case for Pet Sounds or Revolver or Are You Experienced or the first Led Zeppelin album, all of which rightfully made the magazine's top 15.  

But I would give Let It Bleed the nod over all of them because it is the Platonic ideal of a rock album – Jagger sneers and leers, Richards slashes, Charlie Watts and Bill Wyman are rock steady, and the dollops of piano, vibraphone, and tenor sax contributed by various guest musicians add just the right amount of seasoning to the basic Rolling Stones stew.

And let’s not forget Merry Clayton’s heart-rending vocals on “Gimme Shelter” – not only the best song on Let It Bleed, but the best song period.

Rolling Stone also ranked U2’s The Joshua Tree and Fleetwood Mac’s Rumors and John Lennon’s Plastic Ono Band and The White Album ahead of Let It Bleed.  YOU HAVE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME!

The arrangements of the songs on Let It Bleed are almost perfect – none more so than “Monkey Man,” which begins quietly before some defibrillator-like chords from good ol’ Keith Richards give you a jolt.  From that point on, the song is 50% controlled, 50% chaotic . . . the tried-and-true Rolling Stones formula for success.

Two different snippets of “Monkey Man” are heard during the incomparable “Last Day as a Wise Guy” sequence at the end of Goodfellas.  Click here to view a fascinating discussion of that sequence.

Here’s “Monkey Man”:

Click below to buy the song from Amazon:

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