Friday, October 10, 2014

Holy Crap -- It's Another Totally Brand New Weekend Listomania: Special Would You Let Your Record Collection Marry a Rolling Stone? Edition

Okay, after last weeks Worst of the Beatles Listomania I'm sure you didn't see this coming, but in the interests of fairness here we go:

All-Time Worst Rolling Stones Track of All Time!!!

For purposes of our discussion, I'm restricting the nominees to the period between England's Newest Hitmakers (1964) and Tattoo You (1981). This is strictly arbitrary, I'll grant you, and I know some people have argued, plausibly, for some of the Stones' less celebrated 80s albums. But since I am not one of them, I'm gonna have to put my foot down about this.

Okay, that established -- here's my totally Top of My Head number one worst.

It's a tie!!! Between...

1. Dancing With Mr. D


1. Ain't Too Proud to Beg

"Dancing With Mr. D" actually has a great riff and a great groove, but as the late great Lester Bangs famously said of it, the lyrics are about exactly what you fervently hoped they weren't about. "Ain't Too Proud to Beg," however, is one of the Stones very few unconvincing soul or r&b covers -- stiff, by the numbers, and groove-less, especially compared to The Temptations' classic original.

Alrighty, then -- what would YOUR choices be?


Anonymous said...

i'm probably the only one, but I always looked for another channel when the FM dj put on "Midnight Rambler." zzzzzzz

Anonymous said...

Daning with Mr D is bitchin, bra! Aint Too Proud kicks butt you guys are trying hard enough.. here:
"Something happened to Me Yesterday" (Between the Buttons) -
crappy Kinks rip off.. pass the asprin

"In Another Land " Idiotic Psych song by Bill Wyman from Satanic Majesties with heavy Tommy James style Tremelo on the vocals hah ha ha ridiculous

"indian Girl" from ?Emotional Rescue? sappy tune thats pretty but should just ne covered by Jimmy Buffet

Brooklyn Girl in Queens said...

A bunch of their soul/Motown covers sound like throwaways to me ("Just My Imagination", for example), but I have to agree with Anon that "Something Happened To Me Yesterday" is just silly.

steve simels said...

I actually think Just My Imagination is one of their all time classics. Heartbreakingly beautiful, and Greil Marcus agrees with me.

Brooklyn Girl in Queens said...


(I'm a real purist when it comes to Motown --- )

Mark said...

Gotta agree with B Girl in Queens, Just My Imagination notwithstanding.

Once the Stones became the STONES, I never understood the reasoning for recorded Motown covers. Live, maybe, but on disc?

Gummo said...


All I can say is, "ugh" is right.

Worst waste of time ever committed by those guys (during the period in question).

steve simels said...

What Gummo said. And I was in a band that covered that song when it was current, and enjoyed playing it.

Joe Lee Henderson said...

"In Another Land" is technically the answer but I don't think a Bill Wyman should even be eligible

pete said...

Lots of sappy ballads among their earliest songwriting efforts - "That Girl Belongs to Yesterday," anyone?

But my nominee is "As Tears Go By."

Anonymous said...

I'm throwing this one in for my daughter.

I played Angie (I LOVE that song) and she asked me "is this music to commit suicide by, because it makes me want to kill myself so I don't have to hear it anymore"

M_Sharp said...

Gomper, Hey Negrita, Lady Jane, Dancing With Mr. D.

I haven't listened to anything except Stripped after Tattoo You, so I'll have to rely on my instincts and old reviews I can't remember now and figure that most of it bites the royal root since 1981.

edward said...

Since Angie's been taken, Wild Horses is next, immediately followed by The Girl With Faraway Eyes and Country Honk from Let It Bleed.

wardo said...

Stones songs I hate more than the two you posted, off the top of my head:
On With The Show
Sing This All Together (See What Happens)
Please Go Home
Sweet Black Angel

And those don't include some of the more wretched covers, of which My Girl takes the cake.

Anonymous said...

I don't know if this song is exactly the worst, but one of their most overplayed, over-rated, over-LONG songs, in my opinion, is "Sympathy For The Devil". I'll grant you that, lyrically, it's an interesting IDEA for a song, with the historical/topical references, but, frankly, I've always found something kind of jive and silly and trying-too-hard about the words and the concept. Musically, unlike "Gimme Shelter", which I find repetitive but still very exciting, "Sympathy" I find repetitive and boring (and those endless woo-woo background vocals annoy the crap out of me.) To be fair, the guitar work at the end of the song does redeem it a little. But, to be honest, as with the Beatles" "Hey Jude", I now lunge for the radio dial to change the channel every time my local FM stations play "Sympathy...". I generally like the Stones a lot but, god, it feels good to get that off my chest...

J. Lag

Anonymous said...

Worst single: Emotional Rescue with Fool To Cry a close second. Tell Me (You're Coming Back To Me) is third.

Assuming we're not including Metamorphosis, which is a pretty convincing worst of the worst record, the most foul album tracks are:

100 Years Ago, Gomper, Under the Boardwalk, My Girl, Heaven, Indian Girl. Actually, the whole Emotional Rescue LP except All About You. I never cared for Cherry Oh Baby either. The Stones are a shitty reggae band.

There's lots to disagree with in the above choices. Sympathy For the Devil? Midnight Rambler? Wild Horses? What the hell is wrong with you guys?

I'll put in a good word for Angie which I think is a great single. I will admit it's direction surprised me on first listen, but so did Miss You, and they're both great singles IMHO. The live Angie from Brussels 1973 is very tasty and much more bluesy.

Vickie Rock - I'd Much Rather Be With the Boys

Mark said...

J. Lag - I disagree with you on Sympathy. Great song, great historical and religious references, great drumming, and yes, the distinctive woo-woos are a matter of taste, and are if anything, a signature Stones sound.

If you don't like the woo-woos, then don't listen to The Dandy Warhols' BOHEMIAN LIKE YOU, which is the best Rolling Stones song not created by the Rolling Stones (including the Sympathy woo-woos), or The Brian Jonestown Massacre's NOT IF YOU WERE THE LAST DANDY ON EARTH, which is the best Dandy Warhols-doing-the-Rolling Stones song ever, and yes, NOT IF YOU WERE THE LAST DANDY ON EARTH contains the signature Stones woo-woos, too.

Anonymous said...

By far my least favorite track would be another Motown classic "My Girl" with "Under the Boardwalk" a close second.

Capt. Al

buzzbabyjesus said...

Now that my daughter is fifteen, I'm having a little trouble with "Stray Cat Blues". "Sympathy For The Devil" is boring and overcooked. "Girl With The Faraway Eyes" actually pisses me off it's so unconvincing and lame. A lot of "Between The Buttons" is pretty iffy. The tambourine in "Heart Of Stone" is so out of time I can't listen to it.

Anonymous said...

Steve: With regard to your two picks. While neither are my favorites, I don't believe they are close to the worst.

I have never really minded Ain't Too Proud to Beg. It's not overly long and the album sequence of it preceding It's Only Rock 'N' Roll is brilliant.

With regard to Mr. D, it drags on too long and never really takes off. But I wouldn't say it's their absolute worst. The Brussels 1973 live version is much ballsier and makes dancing with death as arousing as it should be. Who listens to the lyrics anyway? It's all about the groove. And just the right pressure on the neck.

Vickie Rock - Let's do some living after we die

Alzo said...

'Angie' is dreadful, mostly for the vocal. And because it's about that horrid woman, it's double-dreadful.

Anonymous said...

Angie's about heroin. With a smidgen of witchcraft and a dash of Anita.

Vickie Rock - There ain't a woman that comes close to you

Jeff in Denton TX said...

"She's So Cold"
My main grudge against this song stems from my attempts to request radio DJ's to play "She Was Hot"--one of the couple of decent tracks from "Undercover"--and getting this turd instead.

Anonymous said...

Read your post, and while I may not change my mind about "Sympathy...", I've decided to be more careful not to pooh-pooh the woo-woos.

J. Lag

buzzbabyjesus said...

I don't know why I thought "Dancing With Mr D" was about Bowie, and "Angie", his wife.

Anonymous said...

Ya know, there are so few throwaway tracks on the early Stones albums up through Exile that I just can't believe it.

And what makes Angie so vile is that it got so much airplay.

Stones Fan

Anonymous said...

Sorry, I like the later Motown covers. I have no use for anything on Satanic Majesties, so my vote goes for just about any song on that album. The whole concept/vibe just goes against anything the Stones were about and the result is a miserable failure, IMHO. YMMV, of course.

Anonymous said...

Hello, please remain seated,

I've always loved Ain't Too Proud....great drum sound, great rythm guitar sound. Life's rich pageant.

I suppose I grudgingly agree with our host about Dancing with Mr. D. It does have a great riff and groove. The lyrics just sink the whole ship.

Matter of fact, Steve, an even more fun topic would be: what otherwise great Stones backing performance is sunk by horrible lyrics?

My nominees for that would be:

I Go Wild (from VooDoo Lounge). Try to tune out Mick's vocals because underneath it all is a great sounding backing track. Just listen to the wallop on Charlie's drums.

She's So Cold - again, ignore the vocals. There's a great guitar weave underneath, although why they decided not to put a proper guitar solo on it is a mystery. It always sounded to me like they meant to do one more overdub but, in the end, forgot. That's why they really needed to work with a producer.


John Werner said...

Dancing With Mister D reminds me of when FM radio in Birmingham Alabama still had a progressive channel which was WJLN (morphed into WRKK). Artie Dreikos (sp?) had this show "The Greek Hour" and he'd play like The Stones back to back with The Andrews Sisters. Now that's progressive for folks who just love music that rocks no matter what format. Hell, I miss that because the closest I can come is Little Steven's Underground Garage. There's got to be some internet radio channel that still really mixes it up with great music only I've not found it. I let my Sirius sub go cause they just got too greedy and my Polk Audio home tuner bit the dust. Help, internet radio suggestions?