"Dear Doctor" – 3:26
This is the blueprint for "Sweet Virginia" and "Far Away Eyes" and other songs that I guess we'd classify as "country-rock". Doing this type of stuff was a real breakthrough for the band: unlike their attempts at blues, which were almost farcical in their slavish attempts at authenticity, the Stones achieved a level of credibility on the country songs precisely because they paid no mind to the traditional values of the genre – they brought their rock and roll sensibility to these songs, and produced music that was vital and exciting.
"Dear Doctor" doesn't quite have the formula down yet – the vocals are mannered and unsure, and the band doesn't quite seem committed to the idea of mixing a country waltz ballad with their rock and roll instrumentation. But this is an important recording for the Stones in that it pointed in a direction that would, in time, produce some of their best music.
Wednesday, June 4, 2008