Day: July 26, 2014

Look What You’ve Done

Short, but not sweet. Every Rolling Stones blues cover can’t be a classic; there’s just too many of them. This one flaunts an outstanding Brian Jones harmonica solo. It’s one of many times The Rolling Stones covered songs by Mr. McKinley Morganfield, and I would say that they did it justice, by that harmonica bit alone. Though it’s not one of Muddy Waters’ most famous, I can see why they chose it. It has a rhythm that’s ready to be sped up, as Keith Richards adds his Chuck Berry-filtered rock and roll tempo. And it’s the kind of slightly mean, real life-tainted lyrics that suit the Stones’ and their general disinterest in generic romanticism. One of the chief attractions of the blues is its truthfulness. Bluesmen wrote about harsh economic, romantic, and spiritual realities. Flying under the popular radar, they were able to express themselves with a frankness that more mass-appealing artists weren’t permitted. For fans of traditional blues, it’s hard to go back to the cheesy, impersonal, safe content of most pop songs. The Rolling Stones were huge blues purists (at least at first) and they were as uncompromising as they could get away with in terms of choosing interesting songs and frank subject matter, which contributed hugely to their ‘bad boy’ image, but their popularity helped bring into the mainstream music that valued honest self-expression over ideals of acceptability.