Saturday, June 14, 2008

Beggars Banquet Roundup

Beggars Banquet Roundup

1. "Sympathy for the Devil" – 6:27
2. "No Expectations" – 4:02
3. "Dear Doctor" – 3:26
4. "Parachute Woman" – 2:23
5. "Jigsaw Puzzle" – 6:17
6. "Street Fighting Man" – 3:18
7. "Prodigal Son" (Rev. Robert Wilkins) – 2:55
8. "Stray Cat Blues" – 4:40
9. "Factory Girl" – 2:12
10. "Salt of the Earth" – 4:51

See also the related single "Jumpin' Jack Flash".

A seminal album in many ways: It established a fruitful musical direction for the band, which they would explore for the next ten years, producing the bulk of their greatest output, perhaps best heard on Exile on Main Streeet. With it's country-ish songs and instrumentation, Beggars Banquet provided a blueprint that numerous other bands over the years would use – most memorably Rod Stewart's first few solo albums. Finally, the album gave the band's "dark side" image real definition, an image that gave credibility to later songs like "Torn and Frayed" and "Dead Flowers" and "You Can't Always Get What You Want".

Background from Wikipedia:

Following the long sessions for the previous album in 1967, Mick Jagger and Keith Richards decided that the band needed more direction in the studio and in early 1968 hired Jimmy Miller, who had produced the Spencer Davis Group and Traffic. The partnership would prove to be a success and Miller would work with the band until 1973.

In March, the band began recording their new album, aiming for a July release. One of the first tracks cut, "Jumpin' Jack Flash", was released as a single-only that May, becoming a major hit.

Beggars Banquet was Brian Jones' last full effort with The Rolling Stones. In addition to his slide work on "No Expectations", he played harmonica on "Dear Doctor", "Parachute Woman" and "Prodigal Son", sitar and tambura on "Street Fighting Man", mellotron on "Jigsaw Puzzle" and "Stray Cat Blues". On "Stray Cat Blues", Richards for the first time used the "open G" chord style that became a staple of numerous Stones classics for the rest of their tenure, including "Monkey Man", "Brown Sugar", "Start Me Up", and "I Go Wild".

By June, the sessions were nearly completed in England, with some final overdubbing and mixing to be done in Los Angeles during July. However, both Decca Records in England and London Records rejected the planned cover design - a graffiti-covered lavatory, and the band held back the album. By November, however, The Rolling Stones gave in, allowing the album to be released in December with a simple imitation invitation card cover. The idea for a plain album cover was also implemented by The Beatles for their eponymous white-sleeved double-album, which was released one month prior to Beggars Banquet. This similarity, coupled with Beggars Banquet's later release, garnered the Rolling Stones accusations of imitating the Beatles. In 1984, the original cover art was released with the initial CD remastering of Beggars Banquet.

Critics considered the LP as a return to form.[1] It was also a clear commercial success, reaching #3 in the UK and #5 in the US (on the way to eventual platinum status).

The original LP pressing did not credit Rev. Wilkins as the writer of "Prodigal Son". His performance of "Prodigal Son" at the 1964 Newport Folk Festival was included on the Vanguard LP Blues at Newport, Volume 2; that performance is similar to the Stones' cover, and this may have been where the band first heard the song, although this is not certain.

On 10 December 1968 and 11 December 1968, the band aimed to promote Beggars Banquet by recording a television extravaganza entitled The Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus featuring John Lennon, Eric Clapton, The Who and Jethro Tull among the musical guests. However, the project did not air and would not receive an official release until 1996.