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LET IT BLEED
Twenty-two Reviews - Overall Average Rating - 9.7 Tongues
(Sorry, we are no longer accepting fan reviews for this album at this time)
LET IT BLEED
by Fender Bender
May 27, 2015
For me, "Gimme Shelter" is the highlight of the album. Keith Richards' guitar intro/solo, Mick Jagger's ominous lyrics, and above all Merry Clayton's vocal break combine to take no prisoners. For "Love In Vain", the album version here is 'so-so'. Instead of mandolin, slide maestro Ry Cooder should have taken the guitar solo, but instead we're left with Keith's noodling about. The definitive version is on Get Your Ya-Ya's Out, with Mick Taylor's slide guitar demonstrating once and for all how the song should be performed.
"Country Honk" is a throwaway version of the hit single that should have occuppied groove space instead. "Live With Me" with Keith's strong bass line coupled with Charlie Watts' steady drumbeat makes the song work, as does the sax solo, although I've always wondered, with Mick Taylor in tow, why he wasn't asked to provide the honors on guitar. I'll take this version over the live one, which ain't so bad either. "Let It Bleed" is one of the better Rolling Stones country efforts. Succeeds where "Country Honk" fails! On "Midnight Rambler" Mick J demonstrates that he's become a fine blues harp player, although the studio arrangement tends to plod along in contrast to the dynamic interplay heard in the live recording. For "You Got the Silver", at long last Keith has a vocal lead throughout an entire song, and he was in good voice for the occasion. Great lyrics, arrangement, and solo break, I
would not change a thing.
"Monkey Man" is a great song with a classic riff and dense arrangement. The instrumental break is the only shortcoming as it sort of meanders around and Keith is not quite there with the slide skills. For "You Can't Always Get What You Want", this is "LIB's" "Salt of the Earth" closer, and to my ears the former is vastly superior. Brian Jones invited Al Kooper into the studio to lay down some tracks on this one, pehaps so he didn't have to. A smart move. The song builds up, but from a weak foundation, and the gospel and classical choruses, impressive as they are, don't do quite enough to salvage it.
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LET IT BLEED
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LET IT BLEED
May 27, 2015
When I listened to this album while writing this review, it was the first time in a very long time that I did. I know this is heresy to many Stones fans, but I always felt that this album is overrated, and there's always at least one I want to hear more. Hence the neglect. I figured it was time to put an end to that neglect. I'm enjoying the album so far, like I knew I would. Don't get me wrong, I love the album, always have. I just don't think it is one of their best. I am again struck by how much better some of these songs sounded live, thanks mostly to Mick Taylor's magic fingers. Here is my blow-by-blow list fod its songs.
Gimme Shelter: Well, how can anyone not LOVE this song! Merry Clayton (who, incidentally, is also heard on the studio version of Skynyrd's "Sweet Home Alabama") just makes it eerie. The live version doesn't top the studio version (how could it?) but it comes close, thanks to MT.
Love In Vain: Mick J does a good job on this one, but this is one of those songs that sounded so much better live in all those great '72 and '73 shows. MT's magic is definitely missing from the studio version.
Country Honk: I used to hate this song so much when I was young! The track was pristine on my vinyl copy while most of the others looked like they'd been played quite a bit. But I've made a 180 on this one. It's never going to be my favourite Stones song, but I now find it not only listenable, but actually enjoyable.
Live With Me: One of my favourites from the early days and it remains so to this day. It pisses me off to think that it's Keith and not Bill playing bass (why???) because, well, I really like the bass in this song. I'm sure that Bill could have played this too and he should be the one getting the kudos.
Let It Bleed: Nice song. I really like the slide guitar on this one.
Midnight Rambler: What makes the live version of this song so exciting (the drama, the "theatrical" feel, and of course MT's guitar) is missing from the studio version, which suffers in comparison.
You Got the Silver: I didn't like this song when I was young. I started discovering it much, much later but I preferred the bootleg version sung by Mick. I've done a 180 again and now prefer the official Keith version. Good thing that this is a democracy where we're allowed to change our minds!
Monkey Man: Another long-time favourite. A truly fabulous song.
You Can't Always Get What You Want: Studio version = yaaaaaaaaaawn! Live version = yaaaaaaaaaawn! I usually skip this one.
LET IT BLEED
by Darius Henry
November 27, 2009
Let It Bleed is a strong fan-favorite album by the Stones. Many felt that this is the Stones best album of all time. I dont believe it. No doubt that this is an excellent album. But is it the Stones best one? IMO, its not. Its not overrated (or maybe it is a little bit), but I never felt that its their best. With that said, I still believe that this is still a great Blues album. Great album to listen to while youre on the road (like most of the Stones albums).
This album starts off with one of the Stones best songs, Gimme Shelter. Great hippie song about all the social problems in the late 60s. While the music and Jagger singing is great, it was Merry Claytons words Rape, murder its just a shout away that really gives me chills everytime I listen to it. Great song. The next song is one of the most beautiful Blues cover ever, Robert Johnsons Love in Vain. Great song about losing a love one. One of the saddest, loneliest songs ever, and I love every minute of it. I guess its because Im a very lonely person is why I can relate to these type of songs. I love Jaggers voice on this one. Country Honk is a nice Country song. Good acoustic remake of Honky Tonk Woman, though I do prefer Honky Tonk. If Honky Tonk was on this album instead of Country Honk, I would most certainly consider this album as the Stones best. Live With Me is a cool song, one of harder rock songs on this album, but dont really dig it that much. I love the saxophone and the piano on this one though. The title track is a great Blues song. One of the dirtiest songs on this album. I love listening to it while Im on the road.
Midnight Rambler is one of the hardest songs the Stones has ever done. Great song about the Boston Strangler in the early '60s. One of the last songs with Brian Jones. Great guitar work and autoharp. You got to love it. You Got to Silver is actually my personal favorite song on this album. Great Country Blues song. I love Richards vocal on this. Plus I love the sliding guitar on here as well. The next song, Monkey Man, is not really my favorite song on this album. Still a very good song about a married woman. Like the vibes on this song. The last song, You Cant Always Get What You Want, is an epic. This is, along with Gimme Shelter, the best song on this album. Love the choir, love the singing, love the guitar, love the drums, love the Hippie-ness in this song, and love the message. Nice way to end this album.
No, Let It Bleed is not the best album of all time. But it's certainly not overrated, at least not as much as Bob Dylans Blonde on Blonde and Stevie Wonders Talking Book. I highly recommended to listen to this album if you want to know how great the Stones were, are, and always will be.
LET IT BLEED
by Travellin' Man
November 10, 2009
Let It Bleed starts off with the absolute Stones masterpiece, 'Gimme Shelter', sucking you in from the get go. Next up is a sweet bluesy nod to American music and Robert Johnson, 'Love in Vain'. The music is sublime even if Jagger's singing on this one lacks a bit (listen to the acoustic, the slide and the mandolin....makes me want to take a slow shot of whiskey as I listen to it right now), its' heaven and full of bluesy emotion. The nod to American roots and blues continues on 'Country Honk' and once again the instruments take center stage and shine, NOT Jagger's attempt to sound like he's from Tennessee. 'Live With Me' starts up and Jagger soon begins singing in his powerful, natural rock style voice that has helped make the Stones THE Rock And Roll band of all time. Add horns and a cool sax to the power of the Stones musicianship and you have a song that is sexy as hell.
The title cut, 'Let It Bleed', continues the sexy feeling and that slide guitar once again makes me want to reach for the shot glass. 'Let It Bleed' is the answer to the Beatles', 'Let It Be'. It is dirty, nasty sex and it feels good! 'Midnight Rambler' takes over and it might be the sexiest Stones song ever, some slow, sweet, fondling for foreplay, and then the pace and pulse continues to quicken through the song until finally erupting in an oragasmic, pulsating, frenzy! Live versions are even better but the studio version has that same image mix of sex and violence that sends the senses reeling. Strange and almost disturbing is the double images of sex and violence but it's highly effective at getting the adrenaline pumping.
More American roots on 'You Got The Silver' and Keith sings this love song with conviction. Ranks number three as a Keith sung Stones song for me. Kind of cool to see this side of Keith.
'Monkey Man' has never made it on a Stones "best of" compilation release and the only reason is that LIB has too many other great songs. It is a Stones classic with an incredible piano/bass intro that is soon guitar driven and Jagger sings like he means it. Man! I love this song!
'You Can't Always Get What You Want' is as good a closing song as the Stones have ever put on record and I love the creative use of classical instruments and Choir singers. Some of the best lyrics the boys have ever written, too.
The album is fantastic and diverse. What's not to love about it!
LET IT BLEED
by Matt Poppe
August 25, 2009
This album is probably the best album the Stones made. This was the first Stones album
I listened to, and it really attracted me. "Gimme Shelter" is one of the
Stones' best and most powerful songs. Its opening just draws the listener in and the
lyrics, although sometimes hard to understand, are very powerful. "Love in Vain"
is a great, yet sad, song. "Country Honk" is a song that I never have or
probably will care for. There's just not that much to it. "Live with Me" is
great and the desperation of it makes the song that much better. "Let it
Bleed" is a great song that I love even more every time I hear it. "Midnight
Rambler" is Jagger's best song on harp, and although it gets slow and dull in the
middle, it's a powerful and fun song. "You Got the Silver", which is Keith
Richard's first lead vocal, is a nice song, but it was never great to me. "Monkey
Man" is definitely one of the Stones' best songs out, and Keith on guitar is just
amazing. The lyrics don't make sense, but that's what make the song so cool.
"You Can't Always Get What You Want" is the best closing song in a Stones album
and a classic. Even when you're feeling bad, this song will always lift you up. A great
album and a great way for the Stones to end the 1960s.
LET IT BLEED
By Chad Hamby
August 3, 2001
This is probably the best rock album of all time. Brian Jones appears on only two tracks on this album, so the weight falls on the other band members (M. Taylor also appears only on two tracks, too). That gives this album a cohesion and an intimacy that I don't think is found on any other Stones album, and it makes for a very nice feel overall. The best example of this, I think, is 'Monkey Man'. Listening to this song is like being present for an informal jam session with the Stones. It's amazing. And the powerful presence and masterful touches of Nicky Hopkins on this and other tracks (especially 'Gimme Shelter') leaves on wondering why he wasn't made an official member of the band. I could not imagine a better way to open an album than 'Gimme Shelter', the first track of Let It Bleed. And 'You Can't Always Get What You Want' makes for an awesome conclusion. Throughout the rest of the album, the listener is shown a world of debauchery, and yet, and the same time, vulnerable humanity. 'You Got the Silver' is one of the most stirring ballads the Stones ever composed. 'Live with Me' contains about the most humorous lyrics in rock history. I could go on and on about this album. Let It Bleed is an indispensable part of any rock fan's music library. If you don't own it, make it your next purchase.
LET IT BLEED
May 16, 2001
Let It Bleed has one of the coolest album names ever, and, coincidentally, is one of the greatest albums ever made. Not too much can be said for this masterpiece that hasn't already been said, but the album is even more amazing given the time of it's creation. In between guitarists (Brian Jones and Mick Taylor only contributed their guitar to one or two tracks on this LP), by the all rights this should have been the band's worst album. But somehow, through the peaking creative genius of Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, the Stones not only made a great album but also made a piece of music that embodied the uneasiness and lowered expectations of the end of the 1960s. The highlights of this album are the opener, the title song, and the closing song. The first track, "Gimme Shelter", is one of the best examples of a song not really being a song but more of a feeling, an image. With a great backing vocal by Merry Clayton and a distressed singing performance by Jagger coupled with Richard's guitar playing, this song IS terror in 4:31. The image of people fleeing, gripped by fear from something unknown also complements the song nicely. The title song is a folky song made interesting by Stu's piano, Richards' slide guitar, and Jagger's great singing. Many songs on this album show how simple chord progressions can be very effective("Let It Bleed" is C-F-G the whole song and "YCAGWYW" is C-F the whole song!), and the closing track, "You Can't Always Get What You Want", with it's simple I-IV chord structure epitomizes this idea. Starting as a ballad and building up to it's epic finish, this song comas right behind "Moonlight Mile" as the Stone's greatest closing song. The rest of the tracks are consistently good. "Love In Vain" is unfortunately not a very good song, mostly because it lacks the inertia all great Stones songs have. "Country Honk" is an acoustic, fiddled-out version of "Honky Tonk Women", and while this song is ok, why they didn't just put the original on the CD is beyond me. "Live With Me" is song made great with a memorable riff and a healthy dose of swagger. "Midnight Rambler" is a good, updated-blues song that sounds fine, but does not come anywhere near the version off Ya-yas. If you don't have the previously mentioned album buy it. Now. "You Got the Silver", is a good ballady song that is sung by Keith, and it is a huge step up for him from "Salt of the Earth". Finally "Monkey Man" is a song that benefits from the tightest arrangement on the album, building up tension and releasing it at the best possible time to make a very effective little piece. Overall, if you don't have Let It Bleed, you need it. It is not their best album, but it is their most accessible, which allows for people to then listen to Sticky Fingers and Exile with an open mind. Apart from that it is a great rock album that has everything you'll ever need.
LET IT BLEED
Let it Bleed is definitely my favorite Stones album. Primarily because of 'Monkey Man'. That song has such a freshness to it. It sounds like it could've been recorded last week. It's a perfect album. The way it starts out with the quiet guitar on 'Gimme Shelter' slowly getting louder and louder. It's like a well written movie, 'You Can't Always Get What You Want' being the climax. One of my favorite songs on here is 'Live with Me' which I think is underrated. Keith plays bass on this song and just goes crazy on it. I think a great job and the lyrics are so funny. I love the line where Mick says, "the cook she is a whore, the butler has a place for her behind the pantry door". I laughed so hard when I heard that line. One of the things I love about Mick's lyrics is how he tells stories with them, like with 'Midnight Rambler'. NO review can do this song justice, it's too good, someone would just have to hear it. I'm only 21 yrs old, I wasn't even born when this album came out. If that doesn't prove that the Stones are timeless I don't know what does.
LET IT BLEED
By Rutger Janssen
February 22, 2001
This album contains the most fantastic song ever, GIMME SHELTER. The last few weeks I listened to the song 20 times a day. Keiths guitar is amazing. What a riff he created here, it's scary. This is deffently the best riff ever. It sends chills through your bones. Mick is also fantastic here ( like on every song). When he sings: "I tell you love, sister, it's just a kiss away", I forget everything in the world. I forget all the problems there are. Not forget to mention Marry Claytons vocal in the middle of the song. What a haunting vocal she puts out there, just great. In the last tour Lisa Fischer also sang her hart out on this amazing song, she did this in a superb way. Next to this song, there are other Stones classics. What about YOU CANT ALWAYS GET WHAT YOU WANT? This must be one of the best songs by Mick. Only he can sing songs this way. His voice goes up and down. There is no other singer in the world who could even try to get next to him. MIDNIGHT RAMBLER has the most scary lyric ever. This lyric is about an serial killer. This whole song contains haunting riffs and vocals. Next to these three classics, there are some other great songs on Let it Bleed. Take MONKEY MAN for example. This is one of the most underrated songs ever. Keith plays some great riffs on it (Keith also shines on his first vocal lead on YOU GOT THE SILVER). The title song, LET IT BLEED, is a great country song with a rough lyric. Keith plays a fantastic slide guitar and Mick sings great like always.
The only thing I can say about this album to people who dont have it is: BUY IT NOW. This is an album every one should own. To the people who already have it I can only say: RAPE MURDER, ITS JUST A SHOT AWAY!!!
LET IT BLEED
By Alan Alwiel
February 19, 2001
Keith Richards showed what a genius he was with the release of 'Let It Bleed. Due to Brian Jones's personal problems his contributions on the album were minimal and he tragically died before the album was released. Keith handled most of the guitar parts except for 'Live With Me' and 'County Honk'. The amazing Mick Taylor played rhythm on 'Live With Me', against Keith's Chuck Berry type lead fills and played slide on 'Country Honk'. The rest of the album is all Keith and Jagger.'Gimme Shelter', opens the album and wow, the best rock riff ever. Keith's seductive splash of notes is brilliant and Jagger delivers great vocals. Keith's lead solo is perfect. The glimmer boys take Robert Johnson's 'Love And Vain', and make it one of their signature songs. Jagger/Richards craft a wonderful acoustic version of the song. Keith's acoustic style is just perfect. 'Let It Bleed', showcases Keith's slide guitar which in prior albums was handled by Brian Jones. 'Midnight Rambler', the best rock blues song put on record has haunting lyrics against Jagger's vocals and all those guitars by Keith.'You Got The Silver', a gem, has Keith on lead vocals for the first time and boy does Keith deliver. Also Keith plays an amazing slide. On 'Monkey Man', Jagger sings his heart out and Keith's guitars are blistering.'You Can't Always Get What You Want' is a beautiful crafted ballad by the glimmer boys.The song starts off slow with Keith's perfect acoustic and then the song kicks off into another gear with Jagger's great vocals and the whole band playing amazing. Let It Bleed proved Keith was on his way in becoming a rock god and truly the best package in rock history. It's more Keith's album, in that he shaped the sound and feel of the record.
LET IT BLEED
By Alice Phillips
October 24, 2000
Gee golly but this is a great album! It was my first -- I was reading the reviews here a few months ago, a couple of days later my mother said she'd gotten me a CD player and I should acquire some discs. I went out to the HMV near my school and picked up Let It Bleed and Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, without knowing a single song on the former. You could not have gotten it more right, reviewers: I've been listening to this non-stop since then. It makes me wish I were living in my parents' (or, the webmaster's) day.
"Gimme Shelter" is a gorgeous, pained, poetic piece whose opening rivals any I've heard. Marred only by the sappy "love saves" conclusion (and to an extent the somewhat preachy chorus lyrics) -- which is unworthy not only of this savvy and sardonic album but also the rest of this raging, fantastic opening track -- this song is nevertheless more than deservedly a classic. "Love in Vain," also a bit too earnest, suffers more from it; still it is a worthy cover, if some of the singing is a bit too drawn-out.
"Country Honk," a countrified "Honky Tonk Women," shares the joyous vulgarity and malice of the whole LP; I like it."Live with Me" is dreadfully underrated. It is spirited, pounding, laugh-out-loud funny and vulgar as anything; it is sleazy and sarcastic and I cannot imagine anyone besides the Stones singing it and I still sing it out loud. "Let It Bleed" -- and "You Can't Always Get What You Want" shares this assessment -- is simply perfect. The title track is both beautiful and wicked. And I will nevermore be able to listen either to Bill Withers's "Lean on Me" or to the Beatles's "Let It Be" without hearing its echoes in my mind -- at least, I hope not. "Midnight Rambler," which is wonderful, is also scary. A bit more serious ("well, honey, it ain't no rock and roll show"), but never solemn, it tackles violent crime as a product of personal and social-environmental factors, closing in increasingly on the voice, persona, and thoughts of the title character, a "hit-and-run raper in anger" and murderer -- until the final chilling "I'll stick my knife right down your throat, baby, and it hurts." "You Got the Silver" I know some people appreciate, but I find the central conceit hokey, the lyrics underdeveloped, and the vocal rendering scratchy and unconvincing.
"Monkey Man" is a wild, inchoate, incoherent scream of a song on Mick Jagger's part, and a finely orchestrated, carefully executed, pretty cool instrumental on everyone else's. What binds it together is sheer energy. Good stuff. "You Can't Always Get What You Want" is shocking: There are not rock and roll songs like this. It's beautiful, it's ethereal, it's mature, it's worth the price of the album. Imagine the lyrical sophistication of "Sympathy for the Devil" combined with the delicacy of "Paint It, Black" and the ravishing beauty of ... of nothing else: this is the song to which others should be compared.
This is a damned good album. Get it!
LET IT BLEED
By Net Pimp
October 19, 2000
Like their previous album, this one bears a great album front cover. Almost as great as Beggar's graffiti-wall in the bathroom stall! Here we see the old looking toys of the band set up on top of the cake, placed on a pizza and a clock with a sticker reading "Stones-Let it Bleed" (with a figurine Brian Jones still there despite his appearance on only two songs and that he was dead even when the final touches were being put on it). Then, the inside perfectly contemplates the straying emotions inside with pieces taken out of the cake, half-eaten pizza strewn around, the record being played, smashed by the needle and the clock dismantled. A cool package!
Too bad that rule in the UK that banned singles from appearing on future albums (unless for a greatest hits package) existed because "Honky Tonk Woman" would surely be welcome on this harrowing great album that closed out the 60s with its reels. Nonetheless, it opens with the chilling anthem, a grim prediction of the Altamont terror, "Gimme Shelter." It oozes venom and dark rock power with Merry Clayton dueting along with her thunderous, (sometimes shrieking) vocals. The song has a great harp part from Mick. A top five Stones song in my opinion. It became the anthem for the fallen hippies until new youth power took over in the early 70s. After that enthralling experienced, they go mellow with a great cover of Robert Johnson's "Love in Vain" where we hear Ry Cooder contributing mandolin (the Stones needed all the help possible after Jones was kicked out, then subsequently died). "Love in Vain" is a surefire top ten in the all-time best covers the "Foul Five" ever recorded. Then comes an abomination in the face of the raunchy-spirited "Honky Tonk Woman," the alternate version titled "Country Honk" which is al little silly with all it's down-home fiddling and ragtime glory. That was better captured on Beggars Banquet with "Factory Girl." Here we catch a glimpse of Mick Taylor showing his slide guitar style could equal that of Brian Jones'. The former member of John Mayall's Bluesbreakers, Mick T., soon became the permanent replacement for Jones. Then, he appears again on "Live with Me," a nasty little song about a sleazy rich guy and his mansion ongoing. It sounds like it would've been a fitting inclusion for their next LP, Sticky Fingers.
Well, at this time, mid-1969, other future tracks for that album were being recorded at the Muscle Shoals Studios in Memphis, like "Brown Sugar," "Dead Flowers" and "Wild Horses." This song ranks okay in my book, but the sleazy excitement and bravado gets me a little bit turned off despite it's rocking sound. I still like it though. Besides Nicky H. providing piano (which he did throughout the album unless stated), Leon Russell also lends a hand. He even arranges the horn section, the debut of Bobby Keys' amazing tenor sax work. He became a much-hired sessionman soon afterwards. The lines about sex, coke and sympathy, junkie nuts being pleasant company, it gets me laughing. But "Let it Bleed," although it's a pretty good track, shouldn't have been the title track, why not "Gimme Shelter" or "Midnight Rambler." Bill Wyman gets to show he has some autoharp skills here too. Stu, of course, plays some boogie-woogie piano as well. Again, we are given violent images in the next track, the time-changing hard rock/blues fusion called "Midnight Rambler" which talks about the Boston Strangler. The awesome harp is played by Mick J. The slide guitar seems to be out of tune with the song, but that shouldn't matter because it's still and a half minutes of energetic mayhem.
An exsquistent acoustic number with Brain on autoharp called "You Got the Silver" with Keith taking his first full lead vocal and doing well I might add. His chorus singing is wild and uncontrollably pulsating and his scream sounds like that of John Lennon's on the hard-rock version of "Revolution." "Silver" has fine acoustic guitars and is a worthy unsung gem on this album. The next one, "Monkey Man" usually gets slammed because of its trite lyrics and overemphasized rabid monkey theme, with Mick J. doing his, uh, articulate imitation of a chimp during the fadeout. But, I think it's rather good with the eerie piano in the beginning and the great guitar riff. The closing seems progressive because the London Bach Choir opens it and can be heard backing it up. Female singers also spice up the funkiness. The song is an inspired philosophical reverse image of the horror of the opening track. It has a solemn message and builds up to a great finale with producer Jimmy Miller filling in for Charlie Watts on drums. Also, Al Kooper pitches in big time, playing the important French horn, piano and organ parts. This is a definite top ten Stones song in my book. Despite "Country Honk" this album houses a couple of Stones essentials, and for that reason it is a 10 in my book.
LET IT BLEED
By Dave Bennett
August 27, 2000
"Gimme Shelter" is unrivaled. It sends chills down your spine. "Love in Vain" is awesome and much better in studio than on Get Your Ya Ya's Out (NYC live in 1969). "Country Honk" is really good and some fans vastly underrate it. "Live With Me" is the most underrated song on this album (judging from the webmasters review). I think Leon Russell played on it. It doesn't get any raunchier than this (except maybe "Star Star" from Goats Head Soup). I don't know how relevant "shooting water rats and feeding them to his geese" is but it rocks none the less. "Let It Bleed" the song doesn't move me like it once did. It's gotten kind of stale for me after all these years. "Silver" and "Monkey Man" are decent. "You Can't Always Get What You Want" is one of the greatest Stones songs of all time. It took guts to put the London Philharmonic Orchestra in there. Very nice touch.
LET IT BLEED
By John Barnett
August 16, 2000
The Rolling Stones' 1969 release entitled Let It Bleed is a masterpiece on several different levels. On one hand, it is a brilliant collection of songs, all held together by incredible melodies and lyrics of pure, unabashed genius. On another hand, it serves it's purpose as the creative bridge between the Stones' early period and their later periods. The album really falls into neither period. On the final hand, Let It Bleed is one of rock's most subtle and powerful concept albums. Yes, I said 'concept' albums. Little would a person know upon the 1st, 2nd, or even 10th listen, but what the Stones have done here is created one of, if not the only concept album dealing with the topic of death and the finality of life. And what a job they did. It's almost as if they foresaw the Altamont tragedy (where a young black man w/ a white girlfriend was stabbed to death by a member of the San Francisco Hell's Angels in the front row of a free Stones gig in December of '69).
As for the band, Mick Jagger struts his stuff with godlike confidence, Keith Richards plays his heart out and captivates ours in the process, Charlie Watts beats the hell out of his drums but never misses a beat (and even adds a few surprise ones!), Bill Wyman's bass playing has been rarely matched in rock history, and newcomer Mick Taylor rips and tears some amazing sounds out of his guitar, and his playing here is only a hint of Mick's solos to come in the next 5 years.
Songs: GIMME SHELTER- One of those tunes where everything fell into place, especially Mary Clayton's haunting vocal. LOVE IN VAIN: Simply the Stones' best cover song. A fascinating, well played version of guitar guru Robert Johnson's blues ballad. COUNTRY HONK: A disappointment mainly because the hard rockin' version of this country jam (Honky Tonk Women) wasn't included instead. LIVE WITH ME: A fast and furious song in which the band's nasty and obscene side 1st surfaced in full form (besides "Stray Cat Blues"). Not that that's a bad thing by any means. LET IT BLEED: The only other disappointment on this wonderful album, even though many will disagree. Great lyrics and playing, just not very exciting. MIDNIGHT RAMBLER: Wow! What an epic song. It's essentially a song about a serial killer whose murders are oddly celebrated. The 2nd best tune on here. YOU GOT THE SILVER: Keith's vocal on this track is quite amazing. The 1st time his vocal talents were realized to great effect on record. And what an awesome chorus! MONKEY MAN: Mick Jagger uses this song to jibe and poke fun at himself and the rest of the band. The only but of humor you'll find during the entire 43 minutes. YOU CAN'T ALWAYS GET WHAT YOU WANT: In this reviewer's humble opinion, this is the greatest song the Stones ever recorded. Listen to it once and see if you agree.
Buy this today, if there are any copies left at the music store.
LET IT BLEED
By Chris McVey
July 18, 2000
The Rolling Stones Album Let It Bleed is indeed a fantastic album...It's probably the closest thing you'd ever get to a
greatest hits CD on a single album. I purchased this album in a Wal-Mart department store at 2:00 in the morning. I listened to it until dawn till I fell asleep...that was a memorable night. I have the 1986 Digitally remastered one which I'm sure is the most common and maybe only one available on CD. For some odd reason the songs are not in the correct order in which they are labeled on the actual compact disc. I don't know why they did that but it's still a killer album and I have the tracks memorized
I rated this album 9.5 being that it's an incredibly good album. You probably wonder why not a 10? Well I am a big fan of greatest hits albums and only those get 10's in my book...don't get me wrong it's a great album. There are a few problems with the album...it's like the stone in your shoe. This album has some greats like "Gimme Shelter"(my all-time personal favorite)which I think is a little underrated being that it is a really great rock and roll song. "Midnight Rambler" is really cool too. "Let It Bleed" another underrated classic, "Love In Vain" is a classic ballad, "Live With Me" is really neat and for some odd reason not famous at all, and of course there is "You Can't Always Get What You Want" which I'm sure all people have heard but may not have known was a Stones song. Another one of my personal favorites is "Monkey Man". This song should be loved by all true rock and roll fans...I think it is there most underrated song ever. How can you not like it, very musical and Mick's shouting of "I'm A Monkey!" is still on pitch for how loud he's actually screaming. The Real Kick in the groin is "Country Honk". If they had the song "Honky Tonk Women" instead it would probably be a 10 in my book. "You Got The Silver" is just average I think but I like the uniqueness of Keith singing, not Mick. It's "County Honk" that really spoils the CD I think. It is still a really cool album and probably the best one up to date. That's my opinion and I'm stickin to it!
LET IT BLEED
May 25, 2000
Let It Bleed is one of four greatest Stones albums.The opening song, 'Gimme Shelter', is one of the best songs to date and that raw energy that surrounds it is just incredible. 'Love In Vain' though is nothing compared to the live version on Get Your Ya-Yas Out, mostly because Jagger sounds awful and that bluesy Mick Taylor lead guitar is missing. 'Live With Me' and 'Midnight Rambler', both classic rock songs, but again much better done on stage (great example on the incredible Ya-Yas live album). 'Country Honk', I don't know...I'm glad they changed this song into 'Honky Tonk Women'. 'Monkey Man' is awesome, Keith's guitar licks, Charlie's impressive drumming, the bassline, the piano, the Jagger freak-out....this could have been the best Stones song ever, BUT the lyrics are awful...what a waste. Anyway 'Let It Bleed' (the song) is great and 'You Can't Always Get What You Want' is another Stones classic. This album is a must have for all true rock fans!
LET IT BLEED
April 14, 2000
The opener GIMMIE SHELTER has got the message, that love can help you from being lost, which is typical for the Woodstock time, in which it was released. That it became such a popular song without even being a single alone shows, how great the song is. The cover version of the Robert Johnson song LOVE IN VAIN gives the song new spirit by Mick's this time tear- jerking voice. COUNTRY HONK is the better, more dirty version of the song HONKY TONK WOMEN. LIVE WITH ME, LET IT BLEED, MONKEY MAN and especially MIDNIGHT RAMBLER must be among the most hated Stones songs by parents. When I hear "I slit my knife straight down your throat", I think about parents, who fear that their kids could happen something by being fans of that stupid band. YOU GOT THE SILVER just rocks and rolls greatly. YOU CAN'T ALWAYS GET WHAT YOU WANT, THE epic song, that alone would be worth the money for the album. The album also profits from having both Brían Jones and Mick Taylor on it (although each on only two songs) . Brian plays autoharp on YOU GOT THE SILVER and percussion on MIDNIGHT RAMBLER (tragically ironic, as he is rumored to have attacked Mick Jagger with a knife around the time ). The backcover shows all of them dead, only Brian alive, after the prediction on the FLOWERS cover (Brian's flower= the only one without leaves). LET IT BLEED is one of their biggest classics with only 1.5 songs from singles on it (because the HONKY TONK WOMEN here is different from the single version). What's more to say about the album? Well, it belongs to the ones, where I could only say -instead of talking a lot- that you just have to listen to it. So: THIS RECORD WAS MADE FOR BEING PLAYED LOUD!
LET IT BLEED
By Glen Speirs
July 12, 1999
After struggling with question of the Stone's greatest album quite seriously for some 15 years, I may have to give it to Let It Bleed. Not so much as it defines the Stones, but as for what it sets up. It was the first sight of how the Stones would put their everlasting mark on not just rock music, but music of the 20th century.
It set up the 1970 tour (Get Yer..Out) where the band got the confidence and maturity to release the next string of truly important albums (Sticky Fingers, Exile, Some Girls). Traces of Let It Bleed are all over these albums.
One thing to listen for on Let It Bleed: Most people think Let it Bleed only has one country song on it. (You've Got The Silver). Take a good listen over a few years and you will find another one.....The song Let It Bleed (Which happens to be the Rolling Stones finest moment).
LET IT BLEED
By John Missig
June 19, 1999
This is best album ever made with out a doubt. First of all the album starts off with 'Gimmie Shelter', perhaps the best Stones song ever with the exception of 'Sympathy For The Devil'. Keith's Guitar riffs in this song are exceptional. 'Let It Bleed' is another great tune and I think Mick's voice sounds the best on this song. Other great songs on this album include 'Midnight Rambler' one of my all time favorites, 'Monkey Man', and 'You Can't Always Get What You Want'. This album should be owned by anybody who digs rock and roll.
LET IT BLEED
By Jim Wilgus
May 6, 1999
'Country Honk' is a great alternative version of one of their greatest "throw-away"singles of all time.The real gem on this mixed blessing of an lp,(after-all it does include the last tracks of multy-talented Brian Jones) is contained within the track "Gimme Shelter".The moment I'm referring to is not even preformed by a Stone.A little-known diminutive back-up singer named Merry Clayton,delivers an orgasmic solo in one word"Murder",on "Gimme Shelter",it still makes the hair on the back of my neck stand on end. Well done!..is all I can add.
LET IT BLEED
By Vladimir Mihajlovic
Let it Bleed is one of the best albums by the Stones. Eight songs from this album were used in concerts. 'Gimme Shelter' is a great track.Great vocals by Mick Jagger and Mary Clayton.This song is one of the Stones best songs.Bass from Bill Wyman and guitar from Keith Richards are great. 'Love in Vain' is one of the best blues songs ever. It is a beautiful ballad. This song makes you wanna cry. 'Country Honk' is the worst song from this album. It is bluegrass version of 'Honky TonkWoman'. 'Live with Me' is a great fast song. Great drums by Charlie Watts. Mick Taylor's and Keith's guitars are very good. 'Let it Bleed' is a great song. Slide guitar and keyboards are great on this one.
'Midnight Rambler' is best track from album.The best blues song ever.Great guitars,drums and bass on this one.'You Got the Silver' is one of the best Stones ballads.Great vocals by Keith. 'Monkey Man' is a great rocker. Mick Jagger is great on vocals and guitar work is fantastic.' You Can't Always Get What You Want' is one of the best Stones songs. Mick J and Charlie are great on this one, it's a great ballad. Let It Bleed is one of the best albums ever so if you don't have it, buy it.
LET IT BLEED
By Hard Knox and Durty Sox
March 24, 1999
Let It Bleed, released at the end of 1969, gets my vote as the greatest rock album ever recorded. Mick Jagger and Keith Richards' peak creative period as songwriters occurred during 1968 through 1969, future developments notwithstanding, and it culminated with this masterwork.
The Stones have made other albums of equal consistency, "Beggars Banquet" in particular, but there is a critical and large distinction between songs that can be categorized as "classic" or "great", and the very, very few that are truly "masterpieces". What sets this album apart is the inclusion of two of the greatest songs in the history of rock music, the masterpieces that begin and end this album, "Gimmie Shelter" and "You Can't Always Get What You Want". Both tracks are great rock music performances, when judged strictly on that basis, but they transcend other Stones classics and other great rock songs by the way they also brilliantly invoke vivid imagery, through their lyrics and musical tones.
The tone is set for "Gimmie Shelter" by the introduction, starting from the delicate initial guitar notes and background vocals, followed by the second guitar, bass, and piano joining in with increasing volume until the full effect of foreboding is established, then maintained by the repeated, descending three-chord sequence. The lyrics conjure up images of disaster and destruction in successive verses - a storm is threatening, a fire is sweeping, a flood is threatening, war, rape, and murder are just a shot away. The second verse, describing how the fire "burns like a red coal carpet, mad bull lost its way" is especially evocative. The song does offer potential solace and salvation in the final chorus, as "love is just a kiss away". Last but not least, the exceptional performance by Merry Clayton as the female co-lead vocalist provides some vital, additional coloration to this track.
"You Can't Always Get What You Want" offers still more wonderful movie-like imagery, with its shifting of scenes, from the reception to the demonstration to the drug store, and back to the reception. This song also evolves, starting from a mood of quiet resignation, eventually transitioning to a feeling of uplifted triumph. This magnificent metamorphosis is realized through the creative use of instrumentation, voices, and tempo, from the intro with the poignant, lone acoustic guitar and French horn to the soaring crescendo at the end. Al Kooper's contributions are major, from the playing of the French horn to providing both melodic fills and rhythm accompaniment on piano and organ. Similarly, Keith switches from injecting lyrical fills to rhythm playing on the electric guitar, and doubles on acoustic guitar, multi-track guitar performances by Keith being a feature of the album. The choir imparts an ethereal tonal quality to the song, especially during the powerful crescendos in the middle and ending, and the female background vocals and additional percussion instruments add to this enormous and overwhelming production of a rock song.
Let It Bleed has no weak tracks, and does contain at least three other classic songs. The subject matter in "Midnight Rambler" might be of a dubious nature, since the protagonist is a rapist-murderer, but the murky sound quality achieved by producer Jimmy Miller works in creating a mood of darkness, mystery, and danger. The distinguishing characteristic of "Monkey Man" is its archetypal, Stones-ensemble instrumental work that is wonderfully pervasive throughout the album, in which optimal effect was achieved without lengthy, virtuosic solos. The song feeds on the tremendous energy generated by Keith's slashing lead guitar lines that drive the drums and bass (instead of the opposite, in most other bands), and are complemented by the resonance and brightness emanating from the piano (Nicky Hopkins) and vibes (Bill Wyman). "Let It Bleed" (the song) is another classic, highlighted by its clever poetry, Keith's slide guitar work, and typically bluesy piano from Ian Stewart. Noteworthy is the fact that this album was made with basically a four-member version of the Stones, as Brian Jones was on his way out, and Mick Taylor was just arriving.
Let It Bleed also works brilliantly as a concept album in terms of contrast and flow, possessing the strength to sustain interest, and unmarred by any stretches of monotony. On the first side, "Gimmie Shelter" is followed by a rural-style blues ("Love in Vain"), a country song ("Country Honk"), an uptempo rocker ("Live with Me"), and a country-rock number ("Let It Bleed"). Side two opens with an urban-style blues ("Midnight Rambler"), followed by a folk-country ballad ("You Got the Silver"), a mid-tempo rocker ("Monkey Man"), and ends with "You Can't Always Get What You Want".
Let It Bleed has stood the test of time, and will continue to do so because it contains depth, in both great musical compositions and inspired musical performances. The Rolling Stones will always have a prominent place in rock history, even if they had never done anything but create this artistic masterpiece.
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