Monday, April 30, 2012

"Dog S**T In The Doorway"

The title is how Keith Richards famously referred to Mick Jagger's solo album, "Goddess In The Doorway." That's no surprise. Jagger could have released "Sticky Fingers 2," and ol' Keef would have reacted the same way. I didn't hate "Goddess In The Doorway." As a matter of fact, I thought the second single "Visions Of Paradise" was a perfectly crafted, rock ballad.

The single only made it to 43 on the Billboard Top 100. Again, no surprise. The top 10 singles of 2001 included Alicia Keys, Lifehouse, Train, J. Lo, Janet Jackson and Dido. (And we complain about the 80s!) But the real memories I have are of Stones fans stepping up to the counter at my shop and reacting to the song with the same emotion one usually reserves for a hot Vicks enema. 

If you compare a high-gloss, radio-friendly track by a preening, aging rock star to a version of "Little Red Rooster" recorded almost 40 years prior, you might find yourself leaning toward the primal sounds of the former. But, as a music lover, I'm always a bit baffled by other music lovers' resistance to pop music.

Solo work from an established and successful band member is always a target, regardless of how good it might be. I'm not calling Jagger's solo work brilliant. 1987's "Primitive Cool" is about as thin  and calculated as Bono's Live-Aid hug and his most recent project, SuperHeavy was downright awful. But if a member of the Rolling Stones decides to branch out on his own and release records that sound just like the Stones, like say Keith Richards did, what is the point really? That said, I think both of Keef's solo records are better than anything the Stones or Jagger released since "Steel Wheels." But, I don't have an aversion to Jagger's attempts at something else simply because they are Jagger's attempts at something else. And I think "Goddess In The Doorway" was mostly good.

The single is below. It certainly isn't any worse than any of the Stones singles of the last 25 years, all of which have more street cred.


oldkdawg said...

At least Mick didn't pull a Rod Stewart on us and do an album of standards. It is better than that Superheavy thing. Still for side projects Keith's are so much better. Also it is great to see your song for the day. Love those two solo Phil Lynot albums. They also were better than Mick's solo albums.

Chris Collins said...

Wasn't this co-written by Rob Thomas?

That may have been part of the backlash. But I don't think this is a bad album either. I really like "Joy" (speaking of Bono) and "Too Far Gone".

The funny thing is that the sincerity that Mick is either showing wearing in his better solo projects (this one, "Wandering Spirit") is so confusing to Stones fans that we don't really know what to make of it.

FD13NYC said...

Truthfully, I never cared much for any of the solo Stones offerings. Except maybe Keith's Take It So Hard and a nice ditty from Bill Wyman called Feet off of Monkey Grip.

I really just listen to everything up to their last good single Start Me Up, and very little after that. That does me just fine, from one of my top 5 favorite bands of all time.

buzzbabyjesus said...

I gave it a minute and twelve. I hate it so completely that the words logjam trying to get out. Then I realize it isn't worth trying to string too many together when one will do nicely: execrable.
I don't like Keith's solo work any better with the exception of "I Could Have Stood You Up" from "Talk Is Cheap".
"Emotional Rescue" was the last song these suckers made worth listening to. And even that was because of the continuously lowered expectations after "Some Girls", which was only good in that it reminded you that they were once great.

Sal Nunziato said...

You do not disappoint, Buzz. But my question will always remain, what is the aversion of so many to pop music? While I do like this track, I'm not surprised why people don't. I'm just surprised by how much venom is involved.

And I certainly don't understand how a person can be a Stones fan and not love "Some Girls," and at least like "Talk Is Cheap," which is one of the best rock and roll records of the last 25 years.

FD13NYC said...

No venom Sal. Just a matter of opinion and taste for the real musical meat of The Rolling Stones. Most long running bands are never consistent after a certain peak. Band members who break off and do solo albums are rarely ever as good as the band they are in, with very few rare exceptions. Believe me, I could listen to Brown Sugar every day of my life, and it always puts a smile on my face.

Sal Nunziato said...

Sorry, but my pal Buzz is a little venomous. I expected that. And actually, I was referring to other people, not you FD13NYC. You weren't there at my shop. It was indeed, venom.

And also, you saying "real musical meat of the Stones" implies "Some Girls" and everything after, isn't. Personally, I think "Some Girls" and "Tattoo You" and "Talk Is Cheap" are more meaty than "12x5," but that is hardly the point.

A friend once said, after I told him how I had no interest in the World Series now that the Yankees had been eliminated, "You're not a baseball fan. You're a Yankees fan." I think about that a lot when discussing music.

My feeling is, if you're a Stones fan, you may not like Jagger's solo stuff. But if you're a music fan, why give up on the Stones, band or solo in 1978? Seems unreasonable. You'd be unnecessarily denying yourself some good music.

Anonymous said...

Aargh, I had to shut if off too. I love pop (one of the great things about getting older is finding my ears opening to music I once dismissed), but the arrangement here just sounds schlocky and derivative, to my ears, and I don't think Jagger has the voice, at least at this stage in his career, to pull of this kind of smoother style. He sounds exposed to me.

But I totally get your larger point, Sal. I've pretty much given up on the Stones, but there are plenty of other bands and performers I'll follow record by record to the grave, theirs or mine, whoever gets their first.

Bruce H

Sal Nunziato said...

Join us tomorrow for another episode of "You Asked For It," when Sal Nunziato discusses the finer points of James Blunt.

Gene Oberto said...

Heeee's baaack......

For me, it's not if Mick does a pop album or Keith does a polka collection, it's that we expect the work to be of a certain standard.

When any of our band heroes say that they have a solo work forthcoming, there will be (and should be) a certain amount of quality expected. We expect that if Mick Jagger (for example) says he has something to say that he can't express within the Rolling Stones, then there should be no room for slipshod writing or lazy playing, especially considering the kind of players and production that an artist of that stature would attract.

These artists are stuck on the 10 song L.P. - I'd rather get one great song every five years rather than 10 shortfalls.

It could be as simple as some artists are not solo performers. Maybe someone like, Jagger, needs the stimulation and competition that being in a band brings for them to do their best.

Whatever it is, I don't think it's an aversion to someone trying something different, as much as it is disappointment in the effort.

ASH On The Beat said...

I have no aversion to Pop Sal, quite the opposite. But this isn't good pop, it isn't even pap.

It;s a time when Jagger became the Stella Street Mick.

Oldkdawg... Better than Superheavy, damning with faint praise to the extreme.

Solo In Soho is a great album.

ASH On The Beat said...

I do hope Mick releases a couple more albums though. I need two more cd's to complete the art nouveau Bird Nest for the garden.

Sal Nunziato said...

Actually Gene, if it came across as me saying people had an aversion to something different, I'm sorry. I think too many people have an aversion to "pop music." Think people loved or hated the first time they heard Mick and the boys take a stab at disco on "Miss You?"

Maybe this Jagger track was a bad example, though I won't backtrack. I still like it. I still find the chorus incredibly musical, and I'm a sucker for a good drum build and a carefully placed string crescendo.

But it will always be more than a peeve when something is immediately dismissed because it's not something else. (See "Wrecking Ball," and the "I heard the single, it was ok. I'll stick with Born To Run"- type comments.)

I thing "Goddess In The Doorway," underneath the gloss, is very musical.

Sal Nunziato said...

At ASH...well, it's good pop to my ears.

Though, seeing these comments, as well as the ones spewed at me back at the shop, this track really put people off.

Jaggerfan1 said...

Well, after Steel Wheels, their Voodoo Lounge album of '94 was pretty good, so was their Bridges to Babylon album of '97 and their '02 Forty Licks album. Jagger does not do so well on his own. His solo stuff stinks!!!!!

But he's cute in that picture, lol

Jaggerfan1 said...

His solo stuff stinks. Personally, The Stones '94 Voodoo Lounge album, '97 Bridges to Babylon album and '02 forty Licks albums are the best. Jagger stinks as a solo artist.

But he is sure is cute in that picture. :D

Leon said...

I'm one of those nutty Stones fans who just likes it all-- and I mean, just about ALL. Certainly solo Jagger is very fine with me. I buy it all, and every release has something of interest to me. What can I say? I'm hooked.

Diggin this new single too.

buzzbabyjesus said...

The first music I loved was the Beatles who set the bar impossibly high. As a result I'm pretty hard to please. I've never heard "12 X 5". If it's before "Beggar's Banquet", and not on "Hot Rocks", then I don't know it. If it's after "Sticky Fingers", it's suspect.
This thing by Jagger is indistinguishable from Super Heavy to my ears. Same mannered vocals on top of uninspired songwriting.
I'm with Duke about there being two kinds of music. There is so much good stuff out there why waste time with dreck like this?

Gene Oberto said...

BTW, re. Yankees, World Series and baseball...

There's a difference?

Scott said...

Hey Sal,
Couldn't resist giving you some backup here. I bought this when it came out and was pleasantly surprised by how much I liked it.
I think the key is that I've never been a big Stones fan. True believing Stones fans would probably hate it. But it's not supposed to be a Stones record. It's a pop record by Jagger. If you can accept that, then you'll like it.

elizabeth said...

Geez, it seemed like a song I wouldn't turn off if it came on the radio even if I wouldn't go out of my way to hear it. Not venom worthy.

Musical taste is so tied up with other parts of our lives - what were we doing when we first heard, what point we were at in our lives, what emotions does it evoke - it seems impossible to discuss it dispassionately. I love "Some Girls" so much it startles me to read someone doesn't like it or thinks "Bridges to Babylon" is better (and what a summer of music that was, Van Morrison's Wavelength, Springsteen's Darkness, Warren Zevon, Rockpile).

A variation on venom / pop hatred is the person who makes it clear that just about anything commercially successful after about 74 is at best tolerable. So Motown is cool, Springsteen, well, some of his stuff is ok... A clear attitude comes across that the only "real" music is done by musicians not given their due the larger world. As if liking popular music makes them disloyal to lesser known artists.

The Keith zip's been playing as I write, very nice, thanks.