Wed. May 22nd, 2024

Review: The Rollings Stones - Hackney Diamonds

I bought Hackney Diamonds last year and I love it. One of the best for the year. And man, Sweet Sounds of Heaven with Lady Gaga, what a song, what a performance! I even like the song Keith sings on the album – quite melodic. See, I’m still a rock guy, despite all my Kpop palaver!

Gave the Stones‘ Hackney Diamonds another listen. Gets better every time, though I detect a dip in quality in the middle. The first five or six songs are so great. Bite My Head Off is so punky, and that riff is relentless! Ballad Dreamy Skies has that classic tasty Beggar’s Banquet sound, all acoustic guitars and country feel. I love it. I really like the sax on second song, Get Close. Keith’s vocal song Tell Me Straight continues to impress with its melody and stark sound. Album highlight, Sweet Sounds of Heaven, with Lady Gaga, really reminds me of Gimme Shelter, as I think it was meant to. I notice the lyrics feature some defensive language, like ‘why are you angry with me?’ and ‘why’d ya bite my head off?’ Mick has a beef. He’s a victim of his accusers, so he runs away for respite to the ‘dreamy skies’, listening to the ‘sweet sounds of heaven’. Album closer Rolling Stone Blues couldn’t be more fitting, and makes a nice call-back to the fine last album, Blue and Lonesome. If they never make another album, this will be a great way to go out.

I got into the Rolling Stones‘ live disc of Hackney Diamonds for my evening listening today. It’s an amazing set, sprinkled with classics and some tunes from the new album. The first ‘single’, Angry, and second one, Whole Wide World, are featured along with the blazing Bite My Head Off and encore of Sweet Sounds of Heaven, with Lady Gaga tagging along. These are great, but it’s the oldies that I’m into at the moment. The set starts with Shattered, then Tumbling Dice and Jumpin’ Jack Flash get an outing in between the others. I’m really loving this live version of Tumbling Dice. The original studio version from Exile On Mainstreet was never much of a favourite, but here it’s reborn and new and fresh to my ears. There’s a chick singer on this one too, but it’s not Gaga, it’s a woman called Chanelle Haynes, and she does a splendid job backing Mick. I definitely have a soft spot for the Stones live. If push comes to shove I’d have to cite their Get Yer Ya Yas Out album of 1970 as my favourite live album ever. It has that definitive version of Midnight Rambler, and the groove they get on Carol is rock heaven. And that cover, with Charlie Watts and the donkey (or is it a mule?). Beautiful! RIP Charlie.