Most overused phrase in rock journalism is, a return to form. Well this is not quite a return to form, but it is a pretty decent album. If The Stones were to really produce a return to form album it would have to be at least as good as Some Girls. This is a good album though and is easily the best thing they have done for 20 years (imagine not making a decent album for 20 years and still having a career) Back of my Hand is the real return to form and it is nice to hear them doing this stripped back acoustic blues again.
I think you can trace the highs and lows of the Stones career through the stimulants they used. Satanic Majesties is LSD, the 70s albums, Sticky Fingers and Exile on Main Street it’s cocaine and the 80s albums it’s Perrier and Lattes. After listening to this album maybe they have gone back on the gear.
Hidden gem: It Won’t Take Long
Micro review: Not exactly Let it Bleed, but not too shabby either
Is this album great by design or accident?
If they hadn’t written half the album the night before they recorded it, it may have turned out so differently. If Ron Asheton had been a better guitarist they would possibly have sounded like any other late 60 psychedelic blues band. If Iggy had looked more like Jim Morrison and wore less peanut butter, it all would have been so different. Yet these deficiencies lead to the creation of some of the greatest and most exciting rock songs in any genre. I can’t imagine a polished I Wanna Be Your Dog, the very thought sounds awful. I love the dirty, foul-smelling, smacked-up version on this album. I love the fact that everyone else was having fun in 1969, but not The Stooges, the weren’t having fun in 1969, just another year with nothing to do, and then that guitar kicks in.
Hidden gem: Not Right, just listen to Ashton’s wigout, he is the three chord Jimi Hendrix.
Micro review: And so The Stooges begat the New York Dolls who begat The Ramones who begat the Pistols/Clash and the rest as they say is history. Thank God for accidents.