Rolling Stones -Beggar's Banquet Review

“Thank God I’m a Country Boy”

Album: Beggar’s Banquet
Artist:  Rolling Stones 
Year:   1968
Producer: Jimmy Miller 
Label:  Decca

Songs: Sympathy for the Devil, No Expectations, Dear Doctor, Parachute Woman, Jigsaw Puzzle, Street Fighting Man, Prodigal Son, Stray Cat Blues, Factory Girl, Salt of the Earth.

Type of Music: (Country) Blues/Rock 


Please allow me to introduce myself. I’m Beggar’s Banquet, a Rolling Stones Album about the Salt of the Earth starring Stray Cat Mick Jagger and co-starring Street Fighters, Devil Worshippers, Parachute Women, Factory Girls, Prodigal Sons and (young) Groupies.
Serious subjects for a dark and dirty Rock Record surely. Well, actually it’s mostly Country Blues here, discovered – and produced by Jimmy Miller. 

For sure we have three great rocks songs here, all three Stones Classics. I’m sure everyone is familiar with the Voodoo Samba Sympathy for the Devil and the Hit Single Street Fighting Man. This song is one of the few examples (as far as I know) of what I would call Acoustic Hard Rock. Listen again to the song.
You will be surprised that the song is basically made of layers of acoustic guitar. Very well done.

Less air-play gets Stray Cat Blues. That’s strange because this Rock song and its lyrics about young groupies ready available for Mick and Keith and the rest of the boys could be the Stones National Anthem.     

But, as stated above, most of the songs are Country Blues. In some cases they are Dylan inspired, courtesy Highway 61 Revisited (Parachute Woman, Jigsaw Puzzle). But when I listen to Prodigal Son and, particularly, Factory Girl, I imagine good old Mick sitting on the balcony of some old southern farm after a hard day of cotton picking. The songs sound quite authentic. 

That’s not the case with Dear Doctor, an obvious parody on a country song. It’s not that Mick can’t sing a good honest tear inducing country song. Just listen to No Expectations and you will understand what I mean.
Actually, sometimes I think that Mick isn’t quite sure whether he wants to be a Rock- or a Country Singer. On most Stone Albums he is both.        

The only song on the album I don’t care for is the Gospel drowned Drinking Song Salt of the Earth. And although I like most of the songs on an individual basis, I don’t listen to the album a lot. A bit too much Country Blues for my taste. 
Nevertheless, this album starts off a great Rolling Stones period that will end with Exile on Main Street a couple of years later. And, I almost forgot to mention that this album was the last Stones Album with a more or less active Brian Jones participation. 

Album Rating: Maximum Points = 10                          

Average Song Quality                   7           
Production/Sound Quality             6,50                      
Do I want to hear it again soon?   6           

Who should buy this Record: Stones Fans for Sure. And if you like authentic Southern (Country) Blues you will like this as well.  

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