8 Songs, 41 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

By the mid-70s the Rolling Stones were suffering major adjustment problems as the world's biggest — did someone say greatest? — rock n' roll band. Keith Richards was mired in heroin use, guitarist Mick Taylor quit the group and Mick Jagger seemed more interested in celebrity than rock n' roll. Black and Blue was put together piecemeal from a variety of sessions while the group auditioned for Taylor's replacement, eventually settling on the Faces' Ron Wood. With Richards faltering, Jagger mimicked and expanded the Stones' textbook approach. They had raised the bar to impossible heights and two egregious miscues are good for a laugh at our heroes' expense: the flat reggae of"Cherry Oh Baby" and the unfunk of "Hey Negrita." But "Hand of Fate" is purebred Stones, a chunky slasher of whiplash rhythm and gratuitous violence. "Fool to Cry" features Jagger with a Curtis Mayfield falsetto in a tale of unusual sensitivity. "Crazy Mama" recycles Chuck Berry. "Memory Motel" serves as the album's opus, climaxing with Richards waking from the dead to let us know, "She's got a mind of her own and she used it well, yeah."

EDITORS’ NOTES

By the mid-70s the Rolling Stones were suffering major adjustment problems as the world's biggest — did someone say greatest? — rock n' roll band. Keith Richards was mired in heroin use, guitarist Mick Taylor quit the group and Mick Jagger seemed more interested in celebrity than rock n' roll. Black and Blue was put together piecemeal from a variety of sessions while the group auditioned for Taylor's replacement, eventually settling on the Faces' Ron Wood. With Richards faltering, Jagger mimicked and expanded the Stones' textbook approach. They had raised the bar to impossible heights and two egregious miscues are good for a laugh at our heroes' expense: the flat reggae of"Cherry Oh Baby" and the unfunk of "Hey Negrita." But "Hand of Fate" is purebred Stones, a chunky slasher of whiplash rhythm and gratuitous violence. "Fool to Cry" features Jagger with a Curtis Mayfield falsetto in a tale of unusual sensitivity. "Crazy Mama" recycles Chuck Berry. "Memory Motel" serves as the album's opus, climaxing with Richards waking from the dead to let us know, "She's got a mind of her own and she used it well, yeah."

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