"Sway" – 3:52
Welcome to the band, Mr Taylor. Make yourself at home.
Micks Jagger and Taylor finished this song off together while Keith was off doing Christ knows what. The slide solo in the middle shows off what Taylor brought to the table, and what in retrospect the band had been needing for years. Because while Keith was an excellent rhythm guitarist, inventive and versatile, his solos lacked a true identity. How the band managed to get to this point without a true lead guitar player is a credit to the strength of their songs. But once Taylor entered the studio it must have felt like the missing piece of a puzzle falling into place.
"Sway" is, I would argue, the best Stones ballad. The competition is pretty thin – ballads are not what the band did best. But "Sway" is a legitimately great song, it's dragging tempo full of regret and missed opportunities. Jagger's vocal is one of his best performances.
Thursday, July 10, 2008