The Rolling Stones’ Tattoo You falls into the second category. I’ve done my share of dipping into The Stones’ catalog, with most of my focus on the remarkable period between 1966 and 1972 (regardless of your opinion of the band, it’s hard to deny the sustained creative excellence of that stretch). The latest Stones album I know well is 1978’s Some Girls.
My #2 album of 1971 is one of The Rolling Stones’ best albums ever, Sticky Fingers. This was the third album in a run of four classics that stand up as one of the best all-time musical streaks. Between 1968 and 1972, The Stones reeled off Beggars Banquet, Let it Bleed, Sticky Fingers and Exile on Main Street.
Ranking those four would be tough, but I can definitely make a case for Sticky Fingers as the best of them.
It starts with 1968’s Beggar’s Banquet, then 1969’s Let It Bleed, Sticky Fingers in 1971, and finally Exile On Main St. in 1972. Five years, four stone-cold classic albums featuring some of the most indelible rock music ever recorded.
Randy Newman got here by defeating Adele with 90% of the vote in Round One, while The Stones took out Toad the Wet Sprocket in a unanimous vote. Pretty easy pickings for both of them.
Now it gets interesting. Continue reading
Toad the Wet Sprocket is one of my favorite 90s bands and I have outsized affection for them due to the role they played in the early years of my relationship with my wife. But it takes more than that to topple The Rolling Stones, inarguably one of the greatest rock bands of all time.
The Rolling Stones essential period lasted from the mid 60s to the early 70s, when they ran off more than a dozen albums that are sexy, cerebral and alive. They faded after that, as all great music acts do, and have churned out solid if unspectacular work ever since.
But for a brief period in the late 70s and early 80s, they had a bit of a resurgence. 1978’s Some Girls and 1981’s Tattoo You are the standouts, but nestled between them, 1980’s Emotional Rescue is a serviceable collection of odds and ends.
1966’s ‘Paint It Black’ was The Rolling Stones’ third #1 single in the U.S. (following ‘I Can’t Get No Satisfaction’ and ‘Get Off of My Cloud). They would release five more over the next 12 years and never again reach the top of the charts (barring a surprise new release by the octogenarians).