The Essential Rolling Stones

by Steve Ricciutti
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I love this band. But rather than go through their entire catalog and try and rank them, I thought I'd present a list of the ten albums that I believe best explain my love better than any words I could write. Sure, they’re heavy on the Mick Taylor era, not so much because of him, but rather because he hopped on board the train just as it was hitting full speed. He came on after Brian was given the boot, but not before Keith and Mick had assumed full control of the proceedings (one big reason Jones was asked to leave). Let It Bleed and Beggars Banquet along with Get Your Ya-Ya's Out are basically what the band would be like as a four piece with a guitarist gun for hire. As for the lone Ron Wood contribution, it’s certainly earned its way on the list. Given that they were already legend by the time they released their best work (Exile), and had been coasting since, the inspired and desperate Some Girls is one of the best late-career albums by any band, one appearing fifteen years/studio albums after they first released a record, so give credit where due. Everything else since 1978 has had moments but is certainly not essential in any way. And if I never heard “Start Me Up” again, that would be perfectly okay with me. I excluded any collections regardless of whether they contained new materials and only included two live albums because they represent the band at their live rawest. Click an album below to read a review

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Nail on the ahead. The 1-6 are IT. Could not agree more. I'd add the US High Tide and Green Grass. Fills in the gaps with some essential singles. Metamorphosis also has some worthy deep cuts. And while I think most of Satanic Majesty's Request is...

Nail on the ahead. The 1-6 are IT. Could not agree more. I'd add the US High Tide and Green Grass. Fills in the gaps with some essential singles. Metamorphosis also has some worthy deep cuts. And while I think most of Satanic Majesty's Request is crap, The Lantern and She's A Rainbow are terrific. I also wonder why Between The Buttons is overlooked. Goat's Head Soup I also think has much to commend it.

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Thanks, Kevin. I probably would've produced a different list every time I set out to create one, but I went with "most listened to by me" as the final decision maker. You're right on the singles collections bc they have stuff on them that wasn't...

Thanks, Kevin. I probably would've produced a different list every time I set out to create one, but I went with "most listened to by me" as the final decision maker. You're right on the singles collections bc they have stuff on them that wasn't released on studio albums (Through the Past, Darkly with both Jumpin' Jack Flash and Honky Tonk Women, for example). I think parts of Goats Head Soup, Tattoo You, and Emotional Rescue as essential listening. Between the Buttons is too much Stones trying to be the Beatles for me (culminating in the follow-up, Their Satanic Majesties Request). The kazoo solo, the silliness, the ugh...It's a shame, too, because BtB has some really good stuff on it to try and counter the ridiculous. If they took the best of Between the Buttons and Their Satanic Majesties Request, it'd be one excellent album.

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