Rapturous rock, reggae and soul!
Pieter | Johannesburg | 03/22/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
This often overlooked album in the Stones' catalogue shimmers with some good to great songs. It kicks off with the funky Hot Stuff, followed by the passionate Hand Of Fate which is vintage Stones.
Cherry O Baby is a lovely slice of reggae with intriguing organ lines and brilliant vocalizing, while the road epic Memory Motel is a moving story song. Hey Negrita is a wailing bluesy number and Melody soulfully ambles along with lovely guitar, sax, piano and Mick's falsetto voice.
Fool To Cry starts as a gentle ballad but gets pretty raucous eventually, while Crazy Mama is the Stones at their rocking best, a powerful conclusion to this great album.
It may not be amongst the Rolling Stones' top ten albums, but Black And Blue contains some strong songs with great melodies and enthusiastic playing throughout with no dud tracks. Rediscovering it was a great pleasure.
Better Then Expected
Morton | Colorado | 04/20/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The Rolling Stones-Black & Blue ****
The Rolling Stones have always been and always will be concedered one of the greatest rock and roll bands ever! Many concender them to be the all time greatest rock and roll band of all time. Others dare to say that The Rolling Stones are over rated, which is just not true. As the 1960's came to a close so did a chapter in The Rolling Stones book, they were no longer a bluesy psycadelic band but a actuall rock band. Making classic after classic album ending with It's Only Rock N' Roll, but must people say it ended before that with Exile On Main St. Black & Blue isnt concedered a classic Rolling Stones albums even though it is a very good album with a few minor exceptions.
Black & Blue is a guitar heavy, and lyricaly deep album. Even with Funk and Reggea songs on Black & Blue this is still The Rolling Stones most serous album lyricaly. Mick's Vocals are fantastic on this record especially during the harder rock songs and the slow ballads. Keith and Ronnies guitar playing is sharp and powerful as always and were a sign of things to come from those two. Bill Wyman and Charlie Watts ryhthm section was the tightest on this album compared to any other Stones record.
The album opens with the awful, funky song 'Hot Stuff' which is one of only a hand full of bad songs The Rolling Stones created during the 1970's. The next song 'Hand Of Fate' should of opened the album. Hand Of Fate is classic Stones, some of Keith's all time best guitar riffing and Mick's vocals are just perfect on this track, truly a signature moment in the Jagger/Richards catalogue. Next is the reggea flavored 'Cherry Oh baby' which is also another bad song. A huge mis-step, I mean you guys are The Rolling Stones, what are you doing making Reggea songs? Next were on to the Rolling Stone classic 'Memory Motel' which is one of the bands all time best songs which has some of the most heartfelt lyrics ever written. This is one of the songs that everyone knows and loves and yet it is never on Best of or a Greatest Hits by the band, whats up with that? Next is the cool and guitar heavy 'Hey Negrita' which is one of the better songs on the album. 'Melody' is a slow lounge singer type song that The Stones actually pull off, and well I might add. The albums only hit single 'Fool To Cry' is next which is a beautiful ballad that features nice guitar and is very soulful and could have easily been part two to Memory Motel. As the album comes to a close, it comes to a close well, with the albums best song, 'Crazy Mama' a heavy guitar driven blues song that can stand up to any classic Stones song such as Brown Sugar, or Heartbreaker. The album closes 100 times better then it opens thats for sure.
Even though this album has two slight mis-steps, as a whole this is still a very good rock album. With five classic Rolling Stones songs on one album how can you pass it up."
Give Me Some of that Old Time Religion
Sara Hackett | from the Darkside | 06/11/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I really love this record and it's one of my favorites, I suppose because of the reggae flavor of "Cherry." I spent a good part of my life living on a sailboat in the Caribbean and reggae is a good part of my life, sort of a little sister to rock and roll. Speaking of which, I can't really say this record is a rocker, it's kind of different, but different good. It's like the Stones are kind of experimenting here. After all they were trying out different guitarists on this one. No Mick Taylor anymore and Ron Wood is trying out here with Harvey Mandel and Wayne Perkins. Keith doesn't play all that much. Maybe that's why this record doesn't hold together as well as the records before and those that come after. Still, it's a solid album in my opinion and one I play an awful lot. There is one good rocker here and I've gotta say a girl like me just have to love a Rolling Stones rocker called "Crazy Mama." Come on give me some of that old time religion and let's all get up and dance."