Rolling Stones - Beggars Banquet (1968)
After years of relentless expansion in every direction, the infamous Jagger-Richards drug bust of 1967 and the chemical cloud that hang over the band at that time had put the Stones on the back foot for the first time. Beggars Banquet was the album that saw them pugnaciously regaining ground. Even if Brian Jones was by now losing focus and commitment, Mick and Keith’s writing was ever more versatile and imaginative, and Jimmy Miller’s production gave the band plenty of space to swagger. 'Sympathy For The Devil' was a daring introduction even by their satanic majesties’ standards, but the album then took a gentler turn into 'No Expectations' and the countrified, lighthearted 'Dear Doctor'. That returns later on 'Factory Girl', which these days would be called Americana with its fiddle and mandolin. 'Parachute Woman' and 'Prodigal Son' showed that, for the all the mansions and millions, they were still in touch with their blues roots, 'Stray Cat Blues' is an early, lesser-heard example of the rock strut they soon perfected. 'Street Fighting Man' a timely accompaniment to the social strife of the day, and the album ends in "everyman” mood with 'Salt Of The Earth'.
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
- The original "toilet" album art (pictured above) was rejected by the band's label and instead a plain white RSVP style sleeve was released. It wasn't until 1984 that the original album art was given a wider release with the first CD pressing.
- For 30 years the album was pressed with a serious mastering fault - it was running too slow. In 2002 a new remaster corrected the error, speeding the album up, changing the key slightly and shaving 30 seconds off the running time.
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