Thursday, June 9, 2016

UPDATE-Track #8 Stray Cat Blues VS. Dead Flowers



"I BET YOUR MOTHER DON'T KNOW YOU CAN SPIT LIKE THAT."

I thought "Prodigal Son" might upset "I Got The Blues." It seemed like there was some momentum. But like with all things in life, interest in this game seems to be waning as time moves on. Still, I will continue until the end.

Track #8 feels like a round for "Stray Cat Blues." And if the "Ya Ya's" version of "Stray Cat" was going up against "Dead Flowers," I would go with "Stray Cat Blues." Thank you once again, Mick Taylor. But I am a sucker for Mick & Keith's faux country music and quite simply, "Dead Flowers" is a lot more fun. It also doesn't make me as uncomfortable lyrically as "Stray Cat Blues" does, which is an odd thing to say after I just gave my vote to the version who makes the young groupie 13 years old versus 15.  I prefer "Dead Flowers" here.

Side One
BROWN SUGAR
NO EXPECTATIONS
WILD HORSES
CAN'T YOU HEAR ME KNOCKING?
JIGSAW PUZZLE

Side Two
STREET FIGHTING MAN
I GOT THE BLUES


(Older post below)

If you asked me, "What's your favorite Stones song? Don't think about it," I might just say, "Street Fighting Man." From that opening chord, which I have yet to hear duplicated, not even by the man who played it, to the opening smacks of Charlie's snare, this song never fails to work me up. There is very little in the Stones catalogue that sounds like it. This is a perfect record.

And then there is "Bitch!" This is also pure joy. Completely electric, with a deep pocket. The horns! The "Hey Hey Heys!" Damn, the Stones used to be great.

Both amazing album side openers. "Bitch," a b-side. 

I'll you decide, but I'm giving the thumbs up to "Street Fighting Man."



There is a Facebook group for XTC fans and recently, there was a discussion about which of two records was better. After some crazy debating, one member decided to pit the albums against each other, song for song. It was brilliant. Fans voted daily. Track One, which is better? Day Two, Track Two, and so on.

Seems to me, this should have been happening here all these years. I mean, what a great group of readers to play with, no? How did I not think of this at least once in eight years?

Well, better late than never.

Here's what I think will work for us.

As opposed to posting each song daily, I will update the original post after a sufficient amount of comments/votes have been made on the first song. So, if you can, refrain from jumping the gun and voting for any of the tracks other than what is posted.

The first contestants:

BEGGARS BANQUET VS. STICKY FINGERS

Which is a better album?

Track One:

Sympathy For The Devil or Brown Sugar?



(I will leave my vote in the comments section to get things started.)

Hope everyone has fun.









133 comments:

Sal Nunziato said...

Man, I love the opening of Sympathy For The Devil. What a thrill. And when those "ooh oohs" come in? Damn. But three minutes in, I've had enough. Always thought this song could have been better than what it was. It's just too long. I'm voting for "Brown Sugar" as the better of the two.

Anonymous said...

This is a great idea and a great format. First of all I prefer Beggars Banquet to Sticky Fingers by a nose. It was the beginning of an almost unparalleled run for the Stones and when it was released its impact was seismic. Still, while Sympathy For The Devil is iconic, Brown Sugar is one of the greatest rock and roll records ever produced.

From the Lawn

Dr Wu said...

'Brown Sugar'. Play it loud! 'I said yeah, yeah, yeah, woo!'

jmsafree said...

All my adult life I favored Brown Sugar. Recently, Sympathy seems to me to be a better track. One that I am more prone to listen to intently. It gets my vote. joe

vanwoert said...

"Brown Sugar". easy one for me.

Anonymous said...

Both tracks are five-star, A+ classics. If I could only choose one it would be Brown Sugar. I always prefer things stripped down the most and you can not beat the heavy rock & roll swagger going down on that track.

Troy said...

I vote for Brown Sugar. I'm with Sal that Sympathy is just too long.

Kirke said...

Brown Sugar gets my vote this round. But I always like SFTD more in the live shows.

Squints said...

Brown Sugar. Although if Sympathy For The Devil were represented by the nasty guitar-driven take on "Get Your Ya-Yas Out," I'd have to think about it an awful lot harder.

Squints said...

And not for nothin', this IS fun. Thanks, Sal.

Ken D said...

I'm in the Sugar bowl as well. Maybe its the horn riffs.

Anonymous said...

Brown Sugar here

FD13NYC said...

Brown Sugar

Bill said...

Curious as to which two XTC albums were being pitted against each other, and which one won?

Sal Nunziato said...

Bill,

Oranges and Lemons VS. Nonsuch. I think OAL won, but I stopped keeping tracking because I think Nonsuch is better, possible my fave XTC album, and I was getting annoyed at all the negativity.

Gene Oberto said...

Brown Sugar and Sticky Fingers represents the band at the peak of their decadence.They were the #1 band in the world and could do no wrong as a band or as individuals.

Taken in context, Beggar's Banquet was one step for the fans but a leap for the Rolling Stones. Remember, the album before BB was His Majesties Satanic Request, a spotty (at best) attempt at psychedelia. When SFTD came out is was as topical as it was unexpected.

This song started a burst of creativity that the Rolling Stones have never recaptured. BB not only captured the turbulent times of the late 60s but it also introduced the band's country twang.

On SFTD, Jagger's vocals and the Afro rhythm behind him fully engage the listener (especially at high volume). The song tells us that the current horror of the Viet Nam war is nothing new. The "man of wealth and taste" has been busy for a very long, long time.

JAYESSEMM said...

Fun!

And the best fun from this post is blowing the digital dust off two great albums I haven't listened to in a while!

Thanks Sal.

Mr. Baez said...

My nod goes to the Devil. No disrespect for Sugar, great rock and roll to be sure, but SFTD just has that mystery and menace thing, similar to Stones songs like Under My Thumb or Gimme Shelter, that I just dig. Plus Beggars Banquet just knocked me out when it first came out. Man, I love that record.

Dayn McBee said...

Both great songs, but Brown Sugar is my vote.

mauijim said...

Sal great idea, always ready to play.
This is like choosing between your children for me. BS may be greatest opening song for an album and the 72/73 tour opened with it and that tour is the bands' high water mark.
But SFTD has such a great storyline that once again confirmed the bands' nasty boy status opposed to the Beatles' nice boys standing.It also has my favorite guitar solo thanks to Page.

buzzbabyjesus said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
buzzbabyjesus said...

While "Beggar's Banquet" ultimately is the better album, "Brown Sugar" kicks the shit out of "Sympathy For The Devil", which drags on and on. If I was making a Stones compilation for a road trip, "Sympathy" wouldn't be on it while "Brown Sugar", in spite of it's racist misogyny, would.


ps-"Nonsuch" is far superior to "OAL". I could never frogive "OAL" for being a bloated step backward from "Skylarking". XTC really benefitted with Todd as an editor.

Noam Sane said...

Brown Sugar.

"Who killed the Kennedys - after all it was you and me." What the hell does that even mean? They can take Sympathy, put it in a box with You Can't Always Get What You Want, and bury 'em deep.

cmealha said...

Sympathy for the Devil
It's got a great beat and you can dance to it.

buzzbabyjesus said...

Jimmy Page did not play the solo in SFTD. Probably a rumor he encouraged, like the one on the Kinks "You Really Got Me".

Dave L said...

'Sympathy' was a song of the time and remains great in 2016 from the instantly recognisable opening to the mysterious lyrics. But, I also weary slightly of the backing vocals today. However, I never tire of any part of 'Sugar' which always gets a party going. 'Sugar' gets my vote here as the Stones perfect their pop craft.

Dave L, Berlin, Germany.

big bad wolf said...

I'm going with sympathy; I love keith's guitar and the percussion. Brown Sugar is great, however. very close to a tie.

Bombshelter Slim said...

Gimme Shelter is the better opening track, English Settlement is the better album.

Sal Nunziato said...

Come on Bombshelter Slim! You're a regular! Play by the rules.

:)

buzzbabyjesus said...

English Settlement is better than "Oranges And Lemons".

Anonymous said...

Hello all...no, please remain seated,

Brown sugar by a whisker. The song has more hooks than a catholic school cloak room. The chords, the drum fills, the little whiff of acoustic guitar underneath, the sax, the frickin' cowbell that comes in after the solo, the classic Keith-kinda-sorta harmonizing. And then the yeah-yeah-yeah-woo section. Is there a single thing you would change in the arrangement if you could? I know it's been said that "I Only Have Eyes for You" is the greatest arrangement in rock 'n roll history, but Brown Sugar perhaps gives it a run fir its money.

Sympathy proved that Keith was the best bass player in the band, by a long shot. I hear what you're saying, BBJ, about the SFD solo, but i still have my doubts. Some conspiracy theories live on.

Fun stuff.

Regards,
RichD

Shriner said...

Sympathy. Both are great songs, but I give this the nod.

philo said...

Sympathy . I love the chaotic guitar solos, they fit perfectly with a song about chaos.

Signtopia said...

Brown Sugar gets my vote.
Sympathy For The Devil is a good tune but Jonathon Round's version takes it where it needed to go.

Michael Giltz said...

Sympathy For The Devil. No argument needed.

Eric said...

sugar with the clapton slide riding shotgun....

Steven Portela said...

Brown Sugar, and it ain't even close.

Jared said...

Brown sugar

steves said...

I'm with you, Sal.

I prefer Sympathy's witty lyrics and arrangement, but as which song I'd rather listen to, I have to go with "Brown Sugar."

Michael Giltz said...

Ooops, I guess I should have read the comments first before saying no argument was necessary. I assumed it would be Sympathy in a walk. I'm as suggestible as the next guy when it comes to downplaying "big" epic songs and celebrating the three minute miracle that is popular music I don't equate complex and long with important in any knee-jerk way. And of course Brown Sugar is a great rock song, right in line with eight or ten other great rock songs they have. But "Sympathy For The Devil" is so cool and feels so genuinely dangerous in its spooky way, from the bongo (?) intro to the squealing guitar lines towards the end. After painfully imitating the Beatles with Their Satanic Majesties Request, the Stones came to their senses and delivered the goods with Beggars Banquet, typified by this opening number, with its actual, far more convincing nod to the devil. Satanic was a cartoon; this was an invocation. If the Beatles shone a light in the darkness of the Sixties, the Stones knocked over the lamp, smashed the bulb, laughed and offered you a bong hit. Bleak? Funny? Catchy as hell? Yes and over way too soon, whatever others may say. :)

dogbreath said...

My two pennyworth: Sympathy is a cool opener but I've loved Brown Sugar since the first time I heard it. The guitar riff, the lascivious lyrics, that sax solo from the great Bobby Keys, infectious stuff.

Sal Nunziato said...

I really like "Sway," but it is my second least favorite on "Sticky Fingers." I'll admit that I have a few lousy memories of playing it in a band and that may have soured things a bit. I think Charlie really shines on this track, creating one of the sloppiest grooves on record. Mick Taylor, too, dazzles to take us out. But, it just doesn't send me as a whole. The melody and chorus are both weak. Whereas, "No Expectations" is the type of Stones song that I could listen to all day. Few rock bands could do acoustic blues as convincingly as Mick & Keith. For me, "No Expectations" takes this easy. No contest.

hpunch said...

Brown Sugar
If only Godard filmed the recording of this one.

Dave said...

"Brown Sugar." My answer would not have been the same when these songs were released. I'm wiser now.

Dave F.

Dr Wu said...

Love 'Sway', but if 'No Expectations' is good enough for the Man in Black to cover, it's good enough for me.

Anonymous said...

Hello all...no, please remain seated,

Track #2

Two great guitar tunes, but No Expectations in a walk. Open-tuned acoustic guitar strumming, gorgeous slide, sincere vocals from Mick(!),Nicky Hopkins' piano, and the overall laid-back vibe are to die for. And as Dr. Wu says above, if Johnny Cash liked the song, well....

Regards,
RichD

Gene Oberto said...

Maybe it's just how that the BB album was so different and SF was texpected to be great but no contest: No Expectations.

Ken D said...

Yes to "No."

buzzbabyjesus said...

"No Expectations" is, hands down, one of their best songs ever. I've sung it on stage 100 times and recorded it twice myself.

buzzbabyjesus said...

The slide guitar was Brian Jones last great contribution.

Shriner said...

I have to go with "Sway" -- I've always loved that one.

Mr. Baez said...

No contest. "No Expectations" is the better song.

big bad wolf said...

Sway. No expectations is wonderful, but I favor Sway because Mick's tone sounds different from pretty much every other vocal he did. He almost sounds involved, not in the performance, which he often is, but in the emotions behind the lyrics; he sounds like he woke up too behind and he is a bit frightened.

Troy said...

Track #2

I vote for Sway. No Expectations is fine, but I never really go to that one.

Robin said...

No Expectations.

Dave L said...

No expectations.

Jeff in Denton TX said...

Track 1 - Brown Sugar. It's my favorite overplayed Stones track. Even if Pagey didn't play the solo on SFTD, apparently Keef played the bass line instead of Bill Wyman.

Track 2 - No Expectations. Johnny Cash's cover of it is pretty great, too.

Jared said...

No expectations

Michael Giltz said...

Interestingly, I listened to "Sway" and it felt a lot longer than "No Expectations," even though it's a few seconds shorter. Some nasty outro guitar work, but I'll take the slide on "No Ex" any day. Whereas I fought for "Sympathy," it's the second song on Beggars Banquet that immediately made me sit up and realize that album was going to be terrific. "Sway" is jaded, which the Stones could do in their sleep. "No Expectations" feels world weary, sure, but mature, adult, wise. I wonder why they don't just do an entire acoustic blues album at this stage, rather than chasing the big noise. Maybe Eric Clapton bores many at this stage (or his entire career) but his "tasteful" albums of recent years suit him well. "No Expectations," easy. The choices have been simple for me so far: BB is two for two.

Sal Nunziato said...

Dear Doctor VS. Wild Horses---

GO!

Dr Wu said...

'Wild Horses'! Mick, Keith, and Gram Parsons sitting around together in a room and brilliance is the result. Absolutely perfect.

Dr Wu said...

I read in a fairly recent interview with Marianne Faithful that Mick still calls her on her birthday every year. Kind of amazing after nearly 50 years apart.

cmealha said...

Wild Horses or course

buzzbabyjesus said...

Compairing these two is a little unfair. "Wild Horses" is clearly superior art, but the humor of "Dear Doctor" and the fact that it's their first and in many ways most successful attempt at country music counts for something.

I've also sung "Dear Doctor" on stage at least 100 times. If you do that you realize the modulation during the second half of the song facilitates the falsetto reading of the note.

I was never interested in learning or singing "Wild Horses".

"Dear Doctor" is tons of fun, "Wild Horses" is a heavy downer.

I have to call this one a draw. Sorry.

Troy said...

Wild Horses. IMO, one of their best.

Dr Wu said...

'Dear Doctor' is the one I find myself singing along to loudly at home. When no ones there, of course; would certainly be criminal to inflect my limited vocal 'talents' upon anyone.

Anonymous said...

Hello all...no, please remain seated,

Track #3

It's always great when popularity and quality converge. And Wild Horses is one of those instances. It is to the Stones what Ripple is to the Dead. The song people like even if they don't like the band.

Regards,
RichD

big bad wolf said...

Wild Horses

Anonymous said...

I tried to vote twice unsuccessfully for No Expectations. This though is the same while being different. This time it's the Sticky Fingers number, Wild Horses, that is the far better song. Dear Doctor is a good song, and a good fit for its album, but Wild Horses is almost Sticky Fingers No Expectations. In this case it is both the singer and the song.

From My Lawn

Michael Giltz said...

In the spirit of this showdown, I haven't jumped ahead or re-listened to the albums in their entirety. I'm trying to isolate the songs as much as possible and just listen to the two back to back. In that context, "Dear Doctor" sounds pretty...lame, a jokey spin on country music and as far in spirit from the effortless grace of "No Expectations" as can be imagined. Maybe it sounds better submerged in th album but I've never been much of a fan; it's the most discordant note (I think the only one)on BB. Wikipedia claims it has NEVER been performed live by the band. I'm not surprised. "Wild Horses" of course is a gem, so good it doesn't even feel like an "I'm sick of the road" rock star lament. "Wild Horses" by ten lengths.

Dave L said...

Wild Horses.

buzzbabyjesus said...

Okay I've got over my irrational loyalty to "Dear Doctor". I cast my vote for "Wild Horses".

Duh.

Jared said...

Wild Horses

Dr Wu said...

'Jigsaw Puzzle' is one of my favorites on the album since I first heard it in the early eighties. The late, great Nicky Hopkins! No contest here.

Anonymous said...

Hello all...no, please remain seated,

Track #5

I prefer Jigsaw Puzzle. Jagger does Dylan, I know. (hey...an idea for a Stones mix. The songs where they're - ahem - paying homage to others. Some say they're stealing, but we're all friends here, right?)

Pretty great pounding by Nicky Hopkins, Mick works himself up into a good lather, etc. This one's pretty clear cut, to my tastes.

Regards,
RichD

buzzbabyjesus said...

"Jigsaw Puzzle" is one of my favorites. No contest. "You Got To Move" is notheing but filler to me.

rick said...

Jigsaw Puzzle by a furlong. You Gotta Move always seemed like a throwaway, a la Her Majesty.

kevin m said...

Jigsaw gets my vote.

Tumblingdice70 said...

Jigsaw Puzzle has always been one of my favorite under the radar Stones tracks, that gets my vote

Anonymous said...

Jigsaw Puzzle. it's well done, and it's funny.

Troy said...

Definitely in the Jigsaw Puzzle camp on this one. Never cared for You Gotta Move very much.

Shriner said...

Both are "meh" to me. I dislike You Gotta Move more, so I vote for Jigsaw...

Chris Collins said...

"Jigsaw". I love that song more than it probably deserves. "You Gotta Move" is great, though.

Anonymous said...

"Jigsaw Puzzle". "You Got to Move" is the only track on Sticky Fingers I'm less than "over the moon" over.

Captain Al

Anonymous said...

Will You Got to Move be chosen by anyone? Not when the 2 1/2 minute song almost sounds longer than the six minute one. Jigsaw Puzzle is a smart song played by a tight band. You Got to Move is the stipped down version of Sway.

From My Lawn

cmealha said...

I love "You Gotta Move". It's got such a nasty feel to it. My choice, absolutely

Mr. Baez said...

I'm a Jigsaw fan. It gets my vote.

Anonymous said...

You Gotta Move, especially since theStones sent royalties to Fred McDowell - he thanked them but said he didn't write the song (I believe he kept the $ as well, hee hee)..

Michael Giltz said...

I suppose it's no surprise songs on an album support one another and once you accept the vibe of an LP, that makes you listen to them in a particular way. Still I'm intrigued how different these tracks sound isolated from the LP I've almost always listened to them on.

"JIgsaw Puzzle: -- another great jam from the Stones, with the bass really sticking out for me when listening this time.

"You Gotta Move Me" -- more of a dirge than a song heard this way. Nasty guitar helps a lot.Seems to have about half an idea for a song.

So I vote for "Jigsaw Puzzle," though why the hell would you want to finish a jigsaw puzzle BEFORE it rains some more? Surely a jigsaw puzzle is ideal for WHEN it rains!! What's up with that, Mick?

Dayn McBee said...

Don't care for either but Jigsaw gets the nod. Already looking forward to the next round, it should be a great competition!

Alexi said...

Never liked You Gotta Move- when it used to be the end of side 1, I'd just skip it and flip to "Bitch" to keep things going. Jigsaw: nice laid back acoustic feel, curious lyrics, and a fine Jagger vocal; as if the "sympathy" demonic singer found a sense of humor. Jigsaw wins.

Bombshelter Slim said...

Dear Doctor & Wild Horses in a tie... I like them both in their album context, isn't what this poll is about?
Jigsaw Puzzle is one of the best Stones side closing tracks, no contest over You Got To Move (which I think was better on Ya-Ya's anyway)

buzzbabyjesus said...

"You Got To Move" is better on their recent live recreation of "Sticky Fingers", too.

Dr Wu said...

'Well, then what can a poor boy do except to sing for a rock 'n' roll band' is arguably the greatest lyric in rock music EVER! The fact that, with the exception of the bass guitar, the song is acoustic is amazing. 'Street Fighting Man' is a stone cold classic! Yet personally I'll choose 'Bitch' most times. The horns. The guitars. The energy. The groove. What can I say? '... Love, it's a bitch'

kevin m said...

Street Fightin!

Tumblingdice70 said...

This is a Sophie's Choice tough call. Bitch is one of the nastiest, dirtiest grooves of all time. It sounds like a band where no one has had a shower in a week, and no one can leave until all the inspiration is squeezed out. But Street Fighting Man is just an explosion, I can't even imagine what it must have sounded like back then. Pure genius. I go Street Fighting Man with a heavy heart

big bad wolf said...

Street Fighting Man

Noam Sane said...

When I was in high school my big brother bought me "Made in the Shade" for my birthday. It just occurred to me just how great a collection that is - it's where I heard Bitch for the first time. For fun I just looked up the track listing, whoa. What a lineup! I do remember it spent a lot of time on my cheesy stereo. Thanks bro.

Street Fighting Man just encapsulates the band and that time. Bitch is a party song, a great one, but SFM for me.

buzzbabyjesus said...

"Street Fighting Man"

As great as "Bitch" is as a side opener, it's still no contest.

"Street Fighting Man" is right up there with "Hony Tonk Women" as one of their most perfect moments. "Brown Sugar" is another.

If I were sequencing "Beggar's Banquet", "Sympathy" would have opened side two, with "Street Fighting Man" the album opener.

Some side one.
The winner's of this conrest will make an excellent Weekend Mix companion to "Further Exiled".


Shriner said...

Toughest choice so far. "Street Fighting Man" wins on it's lyrical content.

Mr. Baez said...

It's a bitch, but I have to go with "Street Fighting Man". It's just so damn good.

Ken D. said...

95% of bands would kill to have one song in their entire catalog as good as "Bitch." For the Stones, it's a runner-up...

Bombshelter Slim said...

Street Fighting Man, of course... Bitch never did turn my crank too much

vanwoert said...

"Bitch" is my favorite Stones song.

Michael Giltz said...

"Bitch" vs "Street Fighting Man" -- both songs are great of course. Great ways to kick off side two of their respective albums. Keep all my criticism in context of two excellent songs. Now keep in mind that i assumed I would pick "Street Fighting Man." It's safe to say everyone else reading this probably knows the Stones better than me. (I'm Beatles, all the way, times ten.) Naturally, I know and appreciate both these albums, with BB ranking higher for me. (Though Sticky has one of the great album covers of all.) If I have any resistance to the Stones, it's my resistance to these middle and upper class lads trying to sound tough. I don't mind then they mythologize that ( a la Sympathy which I find genuinely creepy in a good way) but when Mick and the gang just pose as bad ass dudes, I get my dander up. "Street Fighting Man" is a good example of that, combined with the fact that they play off "Dancing In The Streets" in a (modestly) clever fashion. It's one of the times they are reacting to something else, playing off other songs or commenting on the era too bluntly as opposed to just diving into the blues/americana that fueled them the most. It's just to OBVIOUS lyrically. The guitar is awesome; again, I am drawn in and thrilled by the bass and the fadeout is great. It's cool, even while trying to be cool. In contrast, "Bitch" just is cool, without trying. It's not reacting to anything other than lust or desire. Those horns are literally impossible for me to resist when they kick in. It's one of my favorite musical moments from the band, I now realize. What could be more obvious than "Love is a bitch"? I guess it would be posing as revolutionaries. I'll take the reality of "Bitch" over the faux commentary of "Street Fighting Man" any day.

Dr Wu said...

'When we were doing 'Bitch', Keith was very late. Jagger and Mick Taylor had been playing the song without him and it didn't sound very good. I walked out of the kitchen and he was sitting on the floor with no shoes, eating a bowl of cereal. Suddenly he said, Oi, Andy! Give me that guitar. I handed him his clear Dan Armstrong Plexiglass guitar, he put it on, kicked the song up in tempo, and just put the vibe right on it. Instantly, it went from being this laconic mess into a real groove. And I thought, Wow. THAT'S what he does.'- Andy Johns, 2007

Anonymous said...

Hello all...no, please remain seated,

Track #6

Street Fighting Man is one of the great (I mean really GREAT) rock songs from the 60's. Whole careers have been made from much lesser material. And as great as the studio version is, the Ya-Ya's version is....I don't know how to describe it...hey, what's the Dothraki phrase for "Stallion Who Mounts the World"? that's how big and badass Street Fighting Man is.

Regards,
RichD

rick elson said...

Street Fighting Man gets the nod. Its lyrics are not terribly profound, but they are an acknowledgment of what was happening in the world, in the streets at the time. Structurally, if 'What can a poor boy do...' is the chorus, then the verses are a mere two lines each and the song has no bridge at all. But that very sentiment of 'what can a poor boy do?' seems to express some confusion or ambivalence, reminiscent of Revolution's 'don't you know that you can count me out (in)'.

I disagree that Mick is mugging as a badass dude; I think he's simply the observer, on the sidelines wondering how he fits in to what's going on, if he fits in at all.

Musically, both songs are terrific. The horns in Bitch are wonderful. But that big guitar opening to SFM is wonderful as well. Side Two definitely has some interesting head to head match ups still to come...

Dayn McBee said...

Both are absolutely great songs but today, Bitch is my preference. Tomorrow, I'll probably choose SFM!

Jared said...

Street Fighting Man

Troy said...

I like em both, but have to give the nod to Street Fighting Man.

Anonymous said...

For me this is the most difficult decision so far. Bitch is an electric song. Man have already mentioned the horns that drive it from the start. Unfortunately it's matched against a better song that should have been the opening track. Street Fighting Man by an inch.

From My Lawn

dogbreath said...

Am I too late to say that "Street Fighting Man" did it for me way back then & still kicks arse for me today?

Robin said...

Wow me late also...and this is hard. Street Fighting Man is such a great, propulsive single and a better song on the whole, but I'm going with the one of my heart, Bitch.

Alexi said...

Bitch is such a Stones song: great guitar riff, great beat, great vocal, and typically nasty sexual lyrics...plus the then -new use of horns. Street Fighting Man also has classic Stones elements, the riff, the energy, but also has two less usual features. One, the big percussive droning guitar sound is all on acoustics. Two, the somewhat topical lyric. That they pull off the latter without seeming silly- that the song actually seems to capture something bigger than their usual concerns- puts it an inch ahead of Bitch for me.

kevin m said...

I'm going w/ Stray Cat.

Kirke said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
buzzbabyjesus said...

I'm so glad to vote for Dead Flowers.

It's possibly their best attempt at country music. Not as campy as "Dear Doctor", but not as phony as "Far Away Eyes". As good as "Country Honk" is, it's a trifle compared to "Honky Tonk Women".

I used to love "Stray Cat Blues". It's so fucking nasty.
But now that my daughter is 16 1/2, I feel entirely different. It almost ruins the album for me.

It's no hanging matter, but..............

big bad wolf said...

wait! don't we have another mixup? shouldn't this be sister morphine v. Stray cat?

Stray cat blues is fabulous. charlie's drumming thrills, keith's bursts startle and electrify; the groove on the outro suggests the music and the debauch go on to another night and another town.

i think it's good art. good art disturbs, as often as it soothes, makes us think as well as wonder, and often, as here, accomplishes all at once. thought that then, think it now even though my daughter too is mid-teens. song won't hurt her, if it makes her think even help her.

buzzbabyjesus said...
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buzzbabyjesus said...

It's okay Sal, I haven't looked ahead and it's been decades since I sat through either one.

"Sister Morphine" Vs "Stray Cat Blues"

This is the toughest one in that I have problems with both. "Stray Cat Blues", because I have an underage daughter, and "Sister Morphine" because it's such a bleak downer.

Interesting they both occupy the same slot in the sequence. Tough subject before some fun country music in the home stretch.

I vote for "Stray Cat", with the already stated recservations, beause it was once a favorite and it kicks ass. If I ever catch my daughter with a 23 year old junky, somebody is going to get hurt.

Dr Wu said...

Maybe because 'Sister Morphine' was recorded during the 'Let It Bleed' sessions with Ry Cooder on slide guitar? Lol! Love 'Stray Cat Blues', but the imagery of 'Sister Morphine' is haunting and she gets my vote.

Shriner said...

I will probably be on the wrong side of this, but the solo in Sister Morphine puts that one over the edge for me.

Tumblingdice70 said...

Keep going Sal, you're in the home stretch, this has been a great topic. If either of these songs came out today, they would scare the bejesus out of 95% of the population. I love both these songs, but I have to go Stray Cat Blues, album version, I love the fade out on the album.

Mr. Baez said...

"Stray cat Blues" gets my vote.
"...I'm no mad-brained bear"; always loved that phrase.

rick said...

Okay, it's Sister Morphine v Stray Cat Blues, right? Well, coming from the LyricsMatter school of thought, I have to agree that Stray Cat (now that I'm not merely a dad but also a granddad) is just too creepy. And Sister Morphine is haunting in all the right ways. 'What am I doing in this place?/Why does the doctor have no face?/Oh, I can't crawl across the floor...' Awesome imagery, and once again the music fits the lyrics perfectly. Mick's voice is so wonderfully malleable, especially when he drops an octave to sing, 'Well it just goes to show...' Sister Morphine is a brilliant song and a cautionary tale; it wins in a walkover.

Bombshelter Slim said...

I gotta go with Sister Morphine over Stray Cat, just because!! Mr. Cooder nails the vibe with a pretty menacing slice o' slide...

Anonymous said...

I would say the sister over the cat, though both are quite enjoyable for different reasons and Cat does get creepier as one gets older.

buzzbabyjesus said...

I'm changing my vote to "Sister Morphine". It's a bleak, ugly downer, but that's what the subject called for.

Sister Morhpine y'all.

buzzbabyjesus said...

I Hope they never play "Stray Cat Blues" on stage again. It would be especially creepy now.

dogbreath said...

Both fairly dubious & unsavoury subject matters, cautionary tales perhaps, but for me it's "Stray Cat Blues" which would just inch it. Also love the versions on "Get Your Ya Ya's Out" & some of their other live stuff, sleaze personified.

Michael Giltz said...

This is a tough, tough call. So no surprise I keep going back and forth -- one time plopping down for the underage sex/statutory rape ode "Stray Cat Blues" and another time the after school special "Sister Morphine." Lyrically a tie, and musically...a tie with the fadeout on "Stray Cat Blues" going toe to toe w Ry Cooder's nasty work on "Morphine." Really a toss-up but I'll go with "Stray Cat Blues." At the moment.

Robin said...

Sister Morphine.