Friday, June 27, 2008

Love in Vain

Let It Bleed
Track 2
"Love in Vain" (Robert Johnson) – 4:22

Not the first time the Stones perform a blues as if it was a country song. This would prove to be fertile creative territory not just for them, but dozens of other artists who were perhaps uneasy at the thought of appropriating another culture.

The folkie-influenced "authenticity" movement had its day, but now some artists were tired of performing blues in blackface, and wanted to put their own creative spin on the art form. It was an interesting twist, and several artists, from Van Morrison to Gram Parsons to Lyle Lovett, produced some of their greatest music by exploring the territory. As George Carlin reminds us, it was a losing proposition overall, and in general white people were content to stand on stage and mimic their blues heroes without any artistic ambitions beyond homage. That is no way for a genre as powerful as the blues to end up. A fucking sacrilege indeed.

I have always given credit to Mick and Keith and the rest of the guys for breathing new life into the body of this dying art form. It was a brave move. While Cream and Zeppelin and all the other bands of the era were content to tread water, the Stones continued to search for ways to honour their heroes appropriately.


Ron said...

The live version of this song on "get yer ya ya's out" is fantastic. The slide solo blows me away.

Nanker said...

Yeah, I'm still not sure if I'm going to do Ya Yas. I don't have it, and I don't know if it's worth buying just so I can make fun of it on a blog.