March 25, 2016 at 7:33 pm #42597DKeymaster
To me 1978 is the hideen gem of the Stones career. Most casual fans have no idea such a kickass tour exists. The Stones in their punk rock form doing raging Chuck Berry songs (two of them every night!)… I know there were bad shows, but the highs outweigh the negatives dramatically to me…March 25, 2016 at 11:46 pm #42614UpgreyddParticipant
Their peak was in the big four era, but ’78 is still my favorite. Whenever I start talking about it, it sounds like a bunch of cliches. Oh well… I think they happen to be true. They really tapped into something and re-captured their essence while at the same time doing something new. I don’t know if it can be called a peak or something else but the Some Girls album and tour are special. As crazy as it sounds, I think this inspiration has its origins at the Knebworth show where they mixed up the set list with a bunch of old songs including 2 Chuck Berry numbers. Its a bit sluggish, but on Around and Around there’s a spark emerging from the druggy haze:March 26, 2016 at 1:01 am #42617taukParticipant
UPGREYDD wrote: I agree that their peak was in the big four era, but ’78 is still my favorite. Whenever I start talking about it, it sounds like a bunch of cliches. Oh well… I think they happen to be true. They really tapped into something and re-captured their essence while at the same time doing something new. I don’t know if it can be called a peak or something else but the Some Girls album and tour are special. As crazy as it sounds, I think this inspiration has its origins at the Knebworth show where they mixed up the set list with a bunch of old songs including 2 Chuck Berry numbers. Its a bit sluggish, but on Around and Around there’s a spark emerging from the druggy haze:
Hmmmm interesting…that “Around and Around” in this video sure seems like a whole different song and Mick seems like a very different person than when I see them doing it on the T.A.M.I.. Show or black & white films of early to mid ’60’s over in Germany or wherever those filmed shows were where the stage was so low that fans jumped onstage and “attacked” them. I didn’t know The Stones ever performed “Around and Around” much past that early period. But I really haven’t yet learned much about their Live shows-I’m still concentrating on learning the studio albums. I am always inspired by watching them do this song on The T.A.M.I. show…when Mick proved what a masterful command he could take of a stage on which he had about 2 square feet to operate due to the stationary camera on him–to dance, to hoist himself up in a high jump from a standing still position almost doing the splits in air, defying gravity, seemingly making up his dance moves right there on the spot, some of the coolest fancy footwork I’ve ever seen. In this late video he basically runs short little sprints. It’s all good, just so different. Mick’s singing on the early taped versions seems very authentic and effective imo. He was really giving it his all. Their first shot in the big Ol’ US of A.
So imho 1978 Pinnacle of Excess, yes, I can see how that is probably true, but “Peak Form”? To me that was in their earliest giving-it-all-they-had-go-“break-a-leg”-here’s -your big-chance- to make it or break it- youthful-proving themselves-to-the-world-gusto. Also, Peak to me is 1968-72. They’ve had their peaks and valleys, then peaks again. And what I really appreciated when I was at the San Diego Zip code opening night May 2015 was I felt that Mick and all of them, were still exerting the same level effort and energy to be just as dazzling that night as say, on The T.A.M.I. show or Ed Sullivan Show or any shows from 50 years earlier. I did not feel one single second that they were lazy or content to sit on their laurels–seemed like Peak form then to me. Peaks and valleys, valleys and peaks but never down for too long. Or they wouldn’t still be around I would guess, at least not in stadiums.
"The Tauk Abides" (inspired from "The Big Lebowski" film-Jeff Bridges' last line)
'I need a..I need a bohemian atmosphere" ("Performance" Warner Brothers film)March 26, 2016 at 1:10 am #42619UpgreyddParticipant
Well, hard to top the TAMI Show.
The Knebworth version has a more Punk, Not giving a fuck vibe.
Here’s a cool promo video from ’78:March 26, 2016 at 2:13 am #42622taukParticipant
I like the last part when they all fall on and over the little twin bed. 35 year olds very convincing in the role of playing 18 year old skinny little punkers. Who else their age could’ve looked/acted like this to fit into the 1978 scene?
During all the different periods of music history while they were still writing new music they proved themselves to be very adaptable to whatever style was predominant at the time in the world of rock/popular music. Of course it was a basic requirement to do music videos back then. I tend to winch (sp?) a little in empathy for The Stones when I see some Stones music videos…it always makes me wonder just how bad did they hate doing some of those? But it was adapt or die re. that stuff
During their active songwriting years they continually adapted their style just enough to stay relevant, that is, to keep having radio hits and album sales. Other older bands and solo artists did not have as good of an ability to be so flexible and yet still sound essentially like themselves, like The Stones did.
I contend The Stones have displayed Peaked Form several times during different phases over these 50+ years. Individual listeners sometimes prefer some of those phases over other phases. I think there’s some good stuff from all of their phases…but if I were ever to be separated too long from my 1968-72 Stones I think I’d die from Failure To Thrive syndrome…I’d just stop eating altogether.
"The Tauk Abides" (inspired from "The Big Lebowski" film-Jeff Bridges' last line)
'I need a..I need a bohemian atmosphere" ("Performance" Warner Brothers film)March 26, 2016 at 6:04 am #42636DoxaParticipant
Probably not the peak of their whole career, but 1978 surely was an important, fascinating chapter in their story – probably the last time they could re-invent themselves convincingly big time. (Okay, 1989 they did that as well, but the whole thing was so strongly nostalgia-based that it is hard to see it as an artistic re-invention even though their sound changed from the previous tour more than ever – only 1969 can be compared to it).
But the ‘miracle’ of 1978 – the punk, the disco, ‘back-to-basics’, the ancient art of weaving – didn’t come out of the blue. Good points here about Knebworth show. Some signs of ‘going back to roots’ and of new attitude can be seen briefly there. This can be heard even more clearly in El Mocambo shows, and Love You Live made that explicit. It seems to be forgotten from a standard rock history a brief period in UK, just before the punk explosion, in which good old pub-based rhythm’n’blues, lead by Dr. Feelgood, was seen cool again. I think Jagger was awere of that movement, and both Knebworth gig and ‘El Mocambo Side ‘ are some sort of responses to that. My picture is that Jagger was able to read the change of the times, and actually knew that the concept of Love You Live started to be old-fashionable in 1977, that of painting them as a typical ‘dinosaur band’ doing their mega hits in a mega concert. Adding, maybe a bit artificially, the club side of R&B standards was probably thought to be a needed fresh air’, giving them a kind of new street-credibility, reducing the superstars (back) to closer to their audience. But even that didn’t help or it was too late: by the time Love You Live was released, the punk was everywhere. But Jagger was already busy writing new (“Faster! Faster!”) material and re-inventing his public persona then….
Another thing about those El Mocambo gigs… as far as I can hear from the bootlegs, that’s the rough beginning of ‘ancient art of weaving’, so typical for 1978 tour. Wood/Richards chemistry had by then evolved to that level (which I think had been more a natural process than that of a conscious artistic decision), which I think was as crucial to 1978 sound as Jagger’s ‘attitude’, and actually independent from the latter (or Jagger’s will/leadership). The Stones were still by then like a living organism, each member contributing to the outcome and development of the whole thing.
March 26, 2016 at 6:20 am #42640errolParticipant
I totally disagree. This was the beginning of the end where punk afforded them the cocoon to create and play simple crap where image trumped music. How anyone can say this crap is in the league of 1969 to 1974 is crazy. If I want high energy post 1974 I will listen to jagger with his joe satriani in 1988. Voodoo longer and bridges to Babylon were excellent albums with wood. But some girls is so overrated and basically a jagger solo album since all the songs except before they make me run , and parts of shatters and bob were written by jagger. Miss you is disco crap with that ridiculous falsetto. Lies , respectable, before they make me run, beast of burden are crap. I really never want to hear a song about a gay garbage man having anal intercourse. Some girls is always lionized by jagger because it madea lot of money and was basically a solo albumMarch 26, 2016 at 6:55 am #42642Cocaine EyesParticipant
If the key words are PINNACLE, EXCESS & FORM then I disagree it was in 1978. I’d say their PEAK of all that was in ’72 – ’75. Exile. 1978 was the beginning of the end. If you want to see EXCESS, think of the ElMo. Wasted, on trial, nervous, uncertain, NYC’s Warhol scene, etc.
~CEMarch 28, 2016 at 3:52 pm #42771
I totally disagree. This was the beginning of the end where punk afforded them the cocoon to create and play simple crap where image trumped music. How anyone can say this crap is in the league of 1969 to 1974 is crazy. If I want high energy post 1974 I will listen to jagger with his joe satriani in 1988. Voodoo longer and bridges to Babylon were excellent albums with wood. But some girls is so overrated and basically a jagger solo album since all the songs except before they make me run , and parts of shatters and bob were written by jagger. Miss you is disco crap with that ridiculous falsetto. Lies , respectable, before they make me run, beast of burden are crap. I really never want to hear a song about a gay garbage man having anal intercourse. Some girls is always lionized by jagger because it madea lot of money and was basically a solo album
What if he was singing about having anal intercourse With women?
Don't you think it's sometimes wise not to grow up?March 28, 2016 at 4:11 pm #42775andrew tParticipantMarch 28, 2016 at 4:17 pm #42785keefriffhardsParticipant
Fantastic pics Andrew, when people were people not sheepleMarch 28, 2016 at 4:25 pm #42786Cocaine EyesParticipant
I wonder when people actually became sheeple!
~CEMarch 28, 2016 at 5:10 pm #42799keefriffhardsParticipant
I wonder when people actually became sheeple! ~CE
Well when i grew up and i was a teenager people had a voice and they had attitude, they stood up for what they believed in. Even in music, the type of person you were was reflected in the music you loved, from punk to reggae and everything in-between, you felt like you were part of something, i don’t see that in people today. Its just mainstream Pop or Rap and not much more, the industry is controlled by money men, and its closed out, i doubt anyone will make it big these days by starting out in clubs and bars slowly getting a following. People are hand picked now, its not much to do with passion for what you love, from Pop Idol to X Factor, its contrived with people like Simon Cowell, its just glorified karaoke all the way, nothing to do with originality imho. Well its the same with politics, we elect these control freaks to govern for us, and they take it upon themselves to govern us, telling us what to think, what to buy, eat , drink, smoke , its just political correct bullshit and everyone eats it up like its their last meal. I call them Sheeple because they cant see what’s coming if they don’t wake up. We are heading for Totalitarian states where if you don’t agree with the powers that be, then you’re basically the enemy. Its almost like communism, the Elite want one world order, one government, one religion , one giant peace keeping force that decides what’s best for you, and you’d better be on-board or your on the outside in the cold begging to get back in. Its like George Orwell’s 1984, we are heading closer towards it everyday and people can’t see that their freedoms are being taken away. I just find it strange that people don’t want to see it, its like fear has paralysed them into submission. Sorry CE but you did ask lol, now where’s the wine !!March 28, 2016 at 5:51 pm #42803March 28, 2016 at 5:58 pm #42804March 28, 2016 at 6:02 pm #42805March 28, 2016 at 6:04 pm #42806March 28, 2016 at 7:36 pm #42813munichhiltonParticipant
Definitely the pinnacle for the fans but the Stones had already burned up in the atmosphere…still fantastic in the studio and then in 1981 Keith regained momentary control….March 28, 2016 at 8:33 pm #42821March 29, 2016 at 2:19 am #42830NaturalustParticipant
I must protest the title of this thread ! Perhaps our fine site owner trolling a bit to get a reaction. Well he brought me out of lurk mode to post a dose of reality. Although there seems to be a faction of fans who go hog wild over this 1978 tour, it was neither the height of excess or the peak form for the Stones. The singing was mostly god awful, the guitar playing manic but rarely musical and the sheer size of the shows took something away rather than added to them.
As Munich points out it did appear to be the height of excess for the audience, they were finally catching up to the seriously hard partying ways of their rock star idols who had already hit the zenith and were on the way down that slope of unbridled decadence. Of course Ronnie was a bit behind the ball then and this was right before he stared his several year romance with the freebase pipe, but we all know what a negative effect that had on the music and his abilities. He only just recovered somewhat in 2013 and lost a lots of years to mediocrity.
I think this era can’t hold a candle to the years when true creative juices were flowing, the drugs were still working and everything was super fresh, with Mick Taylor upping the musicianship and the shows were dynamic and cutting edge. Mostly 69-72 but a few shows in 75 were also pretty awesome.
The real difference when I try to nail it down are two fold. One the new music was just so much better in 69-72 and two the shows were more about the music and less about the party and show. By 1978 the party atmosphere was more important that the music, imo. The audience was too high to care and the band was too concerned about being relevant in the face of all the new music coming out at the time and somewhat forgot what made them so great in the first place. Sure is was a bit of a pinnacle based on the success of Some Girls but in retrospect it was kind of a last gasp of true musical relevance for the Stones. Like summitting the top of a the last foothill after crossing a huge mountain range.
Finally I think their sound sucked on this tour too. Keith with that delay/reverb unit and Ron with his thin sounding strats , they lost their way in that respect, imo. It didn’t take Keith long to recover however with him reverting back to his more pure tube overdrive tones, Ronnie, as usual took a bit longer as seems to be his habit. Certainly the last couple tours have put the 1978 guitar sounds to shame! And it isn’t just the new sound reinforcement technology. These guys are old school when it comes to guitar rigs.
Pinnacle of Excess and Peak Form…ppffftt!
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