172 of 188 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Delightful...the best upgrade of the current reissue series
As you undoubtedly know if you're reading this review, on August 27 2002 ABKCO finally reissued the Rolling Stones catelogue on CD. While some entries are hit and miss, this disc is an unmatched success, and is one of the most delightful surprises I've heard in a while.
Apparently, ALL copy tapes ever used for production versions of this album (and this includes the...
Published on August 27, 2002 by David Goodwin
18 of 22 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Don't Get Ripped Off With Old "Product" Sold As New!
This is without a doubt one of the best albums the Rolling Stones have released over their long career. The problem, as is the case with all the Universal/ABKCO Rolling Stones releases on CD, is the poor audio quality and packaging. These releases were remastered in the mid 80's using the current technology of the time. The packaging is minimal and the CD only has the...
Published on May 21, 2001
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172 of 188 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Delightful...the best upgrade of the current reissue series,
This review is from: Beggars Banquet (Audio CD)As you undoubtedly know if you're reading this review, on August 27 2002 ABKCO finally reissued the Rolling Stones catelogue on CD. While some entries are hit and miss, this disc is an unmatched success, and is one of the most delightful surprises I've heard in a while.
Apparently, ALL copy tapes ever used for production versions of this album (and this includes the original vinyl!) were running slow, and were made on incorrectly-calibrated tape machines. This is the first time the original master has been used, and the difference in audio quality is absolutely stunning. It really is *that good*, folks, and if you have any trepidation about upgrading your copy of this milestone album, throw it to the wind. You won't be disappointed.
And as an addendum, need I add that my estactic reaction above comes from the CD layer only? All of the Stones reissues are "hybrid" SACD discs; they have two layers, one that will play in normal CD players, and one that takes advantage of Sony's DSD-based SACD format. Apparently, the SACD format is another "night and day" difference as well.
In summary: excellent album, and an absolutely amazing upgrade. You won't be disappointed.
62 of 66 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The First of the Big Four,
By A Customer
This review is from: Beggars Banquet (Audio CD)Beggar's Banquet is the first in a string of albums in which the Stones could do no wrong musically. Try this puppy on for size: it'll knock your socks off guarenteed. The cover alone says enough: a dirty, putrid toilet nestled before a gloriously decorated (with graffiti) yellow-stained wall. For an unmatched rock n' roll/blues blend that puts the rest of the music world to shame, check out this album by the only group worthy of the title "Greatest Rock and Roll Band in the World"!
Here's a quick list of the songs, my (obsequious and hyper-adjectival) comments, as well as a personal favorite moment/part/aspect of each tune.
1. Sympathy for the Devil-- unreal; one of rock's all time great tunes; smart, cool lyrics; a constant build-up of energy. Personal favorite moment: Keith's solo.
2. No Expectations-- Soft, quiet, and lovely; impeccable slide guitar by Jones; Hopkins adds flavor with an intimate piano backdrop. Personal favorite moment: Jones' slide guitar work.
3. Dear Doctor-- a Country-Blues beauty; Jagger and Co.'s singing is top-notch; irresistable acoustic sound; Personal fav moment: Jagger(?) hilariously reading a note he found in his pocket.
4. Parachute Woman-- Sounds a lot like it belongs on Exile on Main Street; decadent and down-right raunchy; muscular riff; great Jones guitar work; Personal fav part: tightness and speed, in an effort to avoid censorship no doubt.
5. Jigsaw Puzzle-- Dylan-esque lyrics; Non-stop barrage of sound leaves one puzzled: will it ever end?; Jones in another incredible slide guitar performance; Charlie rules. 'Nuff said. Personal Favorite moment: Nicky Hopkins rocking and rolling on the keyboard.
6. Street Fighting Man: Has, next to Satisfaction, my favorite Stones' riff; unprecedented barrage of guitars; lyrics are revolutionary (literally). Fav moment: Charlie's first couple of beats.
7. Prodigal Son-- Another tremendous Stone's romp down country-blues lane; the only non-Jagger/Richards song on the album; placed next to Street Fighting Man, the two tracks show off Mick's vocal range with great success. Favorite part: subtle yet awesome harmonica playing. Note: For an interesting/cool song with a similar feel and sound, check out Zeppelin's "Poor Tom" which can be found on Coda.
8. Stray Cat Blues: Two words: Charlie. Watts. A powerful antithesis to Prodigal Son; even more raunchy than Parachute Woman; hard rocker with searing guitar work; flawless blues/rock blend; Personal favorite part: dizzying, almost frightening final two minutes of sweet jam action. Did I mention Charlie rules?
9. Factory Girl: An intimate glimpse of a working class folk relationship/mentality; short but to the point acoustic gem. Personal favorite part: very appropriate fiddle/mandolin conbination used throughout.
10. Salt of the Earth: Another prophetic glimpse into the future: has a feeling similar to Let it Bleed's You Can't Always What You Want (though not as sprawling); uplifting in a gospel/evangelical sorta way; Personal Favorite part: Hopkins again with his powerful piano accompanyment leading the way to the end of this incredible album, the first of four must haves by the Greatest Rock and Roll Band in the World!
75 of 81 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Blueprint for much of rock during the 70's,
This review is from: Beggars Banquet (Audio CD)1968 turned into a very good year for the Stones. Jumpin' Jack Flash and Beggar's Banquet allowed Jagger and Richard to finally emerge from the shadow of Lennon and McCartney. Sure, the Stones produced many great songs before BB, but they were always being compared to The Beatles. The comparison was unfair (both bands had slightly different roots and played a different brand of rock). Beggar's Banquet established the Stones as one of the greatest rock 'n' roll bands around (I say one of the greatest because the argument could easily be made for a number of other bands including The Who).
The band had finally found their George Martin. Jimmy Miller's sympathetic production captured the band's raw edge. This is as raspy and as close to the blue as rock ever got. From the stunning opening salvo of percussion, piano and vocals on Sympathy for the Devil to the gospel tinged backing vocals that close out Salt of the Earth, BB proved to be the most consistently brillant album the band would make. Let It Bleed and Sticky Fingers followed on the heels of this great album and, while both are great in their own way, they basically use the blueprint of this terrific album to construct those masterpieces. Let It Bleed ranks up there as one of the band's finest moments but it has a little bit of filler. Every track on BB is essential and works.
The sound quality is amazing. Some tracks benefit more from others. The opening track, Jigsaw Puzzle and Parachute Woman all benefit from the razor sharp sound found on this CD/SACD hybird. My only reservation is with the artwork. I really dislike digpaks. They are a bizarre love child of the CD replica of original albums and the CD plastic box format. It's neither fish nor fowl (well, I'd call it foul--if the plastic spindle breaks you can't replace it and it becomes pretty useless as far as storing the CD). The cardboard digipak doesn't stand up to wear and tear very well (then again the original cardboard vinyl sleeves didn't either). I don't know that there's a happy medium here.
It would have been nice to include extras (bonus tracks, out takes or even a booklet with lyrics, comments from the band, etc.). Still, I'm happy with the stunning sound quality (I'm not so happy about the UK/US release format that Abkco has used. Personally I would have preferred having bonus tracks from the US releases and then sequenced them myself). Nevertheless, BB along with Let It Bleed, Aftermath, Between the Buttons and Sticky Fingers are essential Stones albums. I know lot of folks would include Exile on Main Street as well but for me it's an over rated album. The sound is murky, the songwriting sloppy on many tracks and it has too much filler (much like The Beatles' White Album--oops there's that comparison again).
23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rediscover it!,
This review is from: Beggars Banquet (Audio CD)I got this album with its sanitized cover for Christmas in 1968, along with the Beatles White Album, and at the time preferred it. You want your profundity, you got Sympathy for the Devil. You want your social commentary, you got Salt of the Earth. You want the Stones vote on bein' a radical, you got the awesome and unique Street Fighting Man. Time passed, and I lost the album. Picking up the CD today, what strikes me is that this is probably their richest album MUSICALLY, and indeed it is timeless. The headliner songs are still great, but what makes this album worth owning (rather than just cherrypicking the hits on best of albums) are the other cuts, which are primarily acoustic and slide blues. Cuts like Prodigal Son and Parachute Woman, and the sublime No Expectations don't get anthologized, and don't get played on the radio, but they are the very soul of the Rolling Stones, the calling card they will present when they knock on the door of St. Peter's. A rewarding musical experience.
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beggars Banquet,
This review is from: Beggars Banquet (Audio CD)Unquestionably one of the best albums of 1968, this blues-rock masterpiece started off the Stones' best years, from 1968-1972. Although I prefer its sister album, Let It Bleed, Beggars contains Sympathy For the Devil, perhaps the best thing the band ever did. Starting with the opening conga beat, the song rolls into a relentless groove, propelled by Nicky Hopkins' piano and especially Bill Wyman's magnificent bass playing. Keith's slashing solo is icing on the cake, and Jagger writes some of his best lyrics. The ferocious rocker Stray Cat Blues features more of that screeching electric guitar, with a coda to knock your socks off.
The rest of Beggars is primarily acoustic. Also seen are the last flashes of brilliance from the late Brian Jones. On the beautiful ballad No Expectations, he delivers a terrific passage of bottleneck guitar, and there's more of his tasty slide on Jigsaw Puzzle. Soon after, his drug use worsened, and he was found dead in his pool a year later. Moving back to the songs, the 2nd most well-known number here is Street Fighting Man. A hard rock song with vicious acoustic guitars and revolutionary lyrics, this one of the record's best. Also standing out for me are the Dylan-esque Jigsaw Puzzle, and then there's Salt of the Earth, one of the most uplifting songs I've ever heard. Prodigal Son has some great guitar and hilarious singing by Jagger, as does Dear Doctor (the latter cracks me up every time!). Finally, there's Parachute Woman, a raw blues number, and the gorgeous Factory Girl. All in all, a superb album. Buy it today.
18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It Never Sounded This Good,
By A Customer
This review is from: Beggars Banquet (Audio CD)After a brief foray into psychedelia (culminating with the December 1967 release of "Their Satanic Majesties Request"), The Rolling Stones hooked up with American producer Jimmy Miller and came out swinging from the hip the following year, determined to return to the raw r&b roots on whose wings they first rose to prominence. The first result was the "Jumpin' Jack Flash" single released in May '68, and then, after being held up for a few months due to squabbles between the band and their label over the original cover art, "Beggars Banquet" appeared in early December. One listen to this newly-remastered cd reminded me just why this is my all-time favorite Stones album. First, I've been through a handful of copies of this album over the past quarter-century, and I've never heard it with the impeccable quality, clarity and stereo separation this reissue produces. And then there's the meat: From the metal prototypes "Street Fighting Man" and "Stray Cat Blues," to the heartbroken ballad "No Expectations," the gritty hardcore blues of "Parachute Woman" and "Prodigal Son," the playful country-flavored "Dear Doctor--" and of course, the downright in-your-face funky "Sympathy For The Devil." It just doesn't come any better than this. While The Stones' next two studio albums, "Let It Bleed" and "Sticky Fingers" are brilliant and garnered more commercial radio airplay, "Banquet" comes roaring out of my stereo a good bit more often. Perhaps the band's hunger to get back on track is a factor in this album's having (to my ears, anyway), a more impassioned, driving undercurrent than the following classic albums: After all, when a greyhound is hungry, he's meaner, leaner and runs a lot faster than he does when he's fat and happy-so it only makes sense. This album's a winner from top to bottom, and I urge you to buy this reissue; you will not be sorry.
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outcasts All Their Lives,
This review is from: Beggars Banquet (Audio CD)After a year of infamous drug busts and a spotty psychedellic release, the Rolling Stones came back with a vengeance on Beggars Banquet (but vengeance was always their specialty)! It seems as if the Stones were influenced a lot by the American sounds (old country and western, acoustic blues, and current folk music) and it wouldn't be long until other rockers would be influenced by the sounds on this album (note that Glynn Johns, the engineer on this album would later work for the Eagles). Here, the original toilet design is restored as well as their performance.
The 1st track is the controversial "Sympathy for the Devil," which started out as a folk song and worked its way into a samba beat. Here, Mick Jagger recalls the history of evil in the world with tongue firmly in cheek, starting with the crucifixion of Christ and recalling the Russian revolution, working its way to the then-recent assassination of Bobby Kennedy ("I shouted out 'Who killed the Kennedys?,' when after all, it was you and me.").
"No Expectations" is a lamenting blues dirge featuring a lovely slide guitar by Brian Jones (Brian's work was supposedly limited on Beggars Banquet, probably due to health problems and drug busts) and some standout bass lines by Bill Wyman.
"Dear Doctor" is a country and western style song, with Mick having cold feet on his wedding (his imitation of his fiancee at the end of the song is a scream, complete with a falsettoed southern accent- "Darlin', I'm sorry if ah hurt yew!").
"Parachute Woman" is a 12-bar blues, with some wicked acoustic and electric guitars duelling and a snare drum march by Charlie Watts.
"Jigsaw Puzzle" has some of Mick's most poetic lyrics starting with a tramp with a "mentholated sandwhich", then leading to a gangster who's really a "family man," adding himself and the Stones into the picture, the anger singer (himself), a shy but flirtacious bass player (Bill), a drummer just trying to keep on top (Charlie), and the guitar players (Keith and Brian), well, they've just been "outcasts all their lives!", then concluding with 20,000 grandmas protesting to the queen.
"Street Fighting Man," one of the 1st songs recorded for this album, features Charlie on a toy drum kit, Brian on sitar and Nicky Hopkins playing a chaotic piano lick at the coda (with Vietnam currently going on in the States, this didn't do so well on the charts).
"Prodigal Son" is an old gospel number (based on the story in Luke 15), with Mick singing in baritone, Keith Richards strumming away on acoustic guitar and Charlie provides an interesting drumbeat (John Bonham was probably inspired by this one, if you listen closely to Led Zeppelin's "Poor Tom" on Coda and "Bron Y Aur Stomp" on LZIII).
"Stray Cat Blues" is one of the raunchiest songs here (lyrically and musically), with Mick singing to a minour "I can see you're 15 years old and I won't want your ID." Bill adds some moody bass lines and Keith lets loose with some raunchy sounding electric guitar licks.
"Factory Girl" is almost a relief, with its downhome country sound, a fiddle, a mandolin and acoustic guitars (Mick wryly sings of a girl with "curls in her hair," "stains all down her dress," "she gets me into fights; we get drunk on Friday nights, she's a sight for sore eyes!").
The closer is "Salt of the Earth." Joan Baez supposedly did a cover version of this song and the chorus of Tina Turner's "What's Love Got to Do with It" sounds a little like the opening line. Keith sings the 1st verse, toasting the hard working people and the "lonely at birth." Mick takes over, asking us to pray for the common foot soldiers and then comments on the "faceless crowd; a swirling mass of greys, blacks and whites. They don't look real to me!" Then a gospel chorus reprises the 1st verse. Then the tempo picks up near the coda and Nicky plays a honkey tonk piano lick.
All in all, this album is a classic and has earned its status as many Stones fans' personal favourite (it's up there on my list!).
19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Stones Look Back and Forwards,
This review is from: Beggars Banquet (Audio CD)Though The Stones recording were well-revered at the time,Beggars Banquet is where this group shows they can reach the next level of musical progression.Coming after the ill concieved,yet quirkily brilliant psychedelic foray Their Satanic Majesties Request,they come out with BB which brings them back in touch with their blues roots as well as open new doors.Sympathy For The Devil and Street Fighting Man must of been a shock to the ears of ill prepared listeners who soaked up the non album preview single Jumping Jack Flash.But its also songs like No Expectations,Jigsaw Puzzle,Stray Cat Blues & Salt Of The Earth that fortifies this albums classic stature.Factory Girl,Prodigal Son and Parachute Woman makes you wish they'd return to this genre today instead of using their music to promote their concerts.At the time when most groups were spewing out SGT Pepper rip-offs or even falling apart(Cream and even The Beatles themselves)The Rolling Stones were ready to take the mantle,and Beggars Banquet was their first victory.
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One terrific CD,
Amazon Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Beggars Banquet (Audio CD)After "Their Satanic Majesties Request" (not as bad as some critics say, but clearly not one of their best), the Rolling Stones produced a very different album, and one of their best, "Beggar's Banquet." The sound is much sparer than its predecessor, including some country sensibilities.
The CD starts out with one of the most well know of Stones' songs, "Sympathy for the Devil." While the "philosophy" behind the song may not be compelling (We all killed the Kennedys?), this is a fine rock and roll work. The work begins with percussion, some yelps by Jagger, and keyboard. After a bit, the rest of the band comes in, with growling guitar work. There is some social and political commentary here, not always typical of the Rolling Stones. One of their greatest hits indeed.
Another iconic song, a book end, if you will, to "Jumping Jack Flash," appears on this CD--"Street Fighting Man." This is a play on an earlier hit, "Dancing in the Streets." There is an interesting juxtaposition between the singer wanting to be a "street fighting man" and the context of living in "sleepy London town." So, "What can a poor boy do but sing for a rock and roll band?" A wonderful rocker!
And so many other fine, spare, and often underappreciated songs.
Praise to the common working people in "Salt of the Earth." "Stray Cat Blues," a raunchy rocker with a strong blues sensibility. "Factory Girl," another paean to the working class. "No Expectations," "Jigsaw Puzzle," and so on.
This is a Rolling Stones' work that seems to have a social and political sensibility--and is also a fine work of rock and roll. They play with country music and still retain a Stones' sound. This is probably one of their best, and it suggests that sometimes less is better. Anyhow, what a fine work!
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sympathetic,
This review is from: Beggars Banquet (Audio CD)A year after the psychedelic "Their Satanic Majesties Request", the Rolling Stones returned to their blues roots with "Beggars Banquet", the first of an incredible string of five classic rock records ("Beggars Banquet", "Let It Bleed", "Get Yer Ya-Ya's Out", "Sticky Fingers" and "Exile On Main Street").
"Beggars Banquet" opens with the Stones' classic aren't-we-evil samba "Sympathy For The Devil", but the bulk of the material is acoustic blues, including the slide guitar-driven pieces "Jigsaw Puzzle", "No Expectations" and "Parachute Woman", and the country-flavoured "Dear Doctor".
The funky "Street Fighting Man" is one of the few genuine rock songs on the album, and one of the best songs as well.
"Prodigal Son" is a traditional country blues (originating with either Robert Wilkins or Josh White), and it is followed by a tough, mid-tempo, three-chord blues-rocker, the raunchy, tounge-in-cheek "Stray Cat Blues", about underaged groupies.
The album then winds down with the slightly silly folkish satire "Factory Girl", and the underrated rocker "Salt Of The Earth", with the first verse sung in a raw, smoke-coarsened voice by Keith Richards.
"Beggars Banquet" is one of the classic Rolling Stones records, and it is among the bluesiest albums they have ever recorded.
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