Thursday, April 10, 2008

Mona (I Need You Baby)

The Rolling Stones, Now!
Side 1, Track 6
"Mona (I Need You Baby)" (Ellas McDaniel) – 3:35

The old Bo Diddley number. I've always loved this song, some of Bo's best lyrics. He tries to write a love song, but is unable to get away from that beat, although it sounds slinkier than usual here – appropriate given the subject matter. The Stones don't stray far from Bo's version, which is wise. I agree with this man's opinion:

... this was R & B at it's best. It goes to show that London records never really wanted the blues stuff, but the commercial blasters like Around And Around. Mona (I Need You Baby), was as dark as any black musician could ever hope to sound.
It's true. This is the one thing that Bo Diddley added to the blues lexicon, which bands like the Stones and Them and the Kinks picked up on: that menace and despair made the blues, that you didn't have to rely on those hoary 12-bar shuffles to get it over. The menace here is all in the beat and that great guitar sound – the band sounds approximately 10,000 times more convincing on tracks like these than they do on, say, "Confessin' the Blues".