The Rolling Stones: Rocks Off

Bob Dylan says that The Rolling Stones are the greatest rock band in history. I agree with you, Robert Allen Zimmerman. The Stones affected everything and everyone, touching every rock 'n' roll and blues musician in the planet.

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But beyond their universality, beyond Mick's showmanship, Keef's genius and Charlie's perfect simplicity, for me the Stones are a fundamental part of my life. And while there are many other musicians that are embedded deep into my brain, heart and soul—Bowie, the Beatles, Elvis, Cash, Dylan, Queen, Springsteen and a neverending list of rock classics—the Stones embody the essence of many low and high periods of my life. Needless to say, they have powered an insane amount of my articles here.

I can't really choose any of their albums as my favorite. Sometimes I'd be playing Let It Bleed until my ears do the same. Others it'd be Sticky Fingers. Or Goat Heads Soup. Or some of their live gems (lately I'd been listening to Get Yer Ya-Ya's Out a lot, until I learned every note of Keef's mind-blowing solo in Sympathy For The Devil).

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But there's one album that I find myself playing over and over again. When I'm sad. When I'm happy. When I'm love. When I'm alone.

That's Exile On Main St.

There may be some of you younger ones who probably will not know Exile—or much of the Stones beyond their most universal songs, for that matter. Well, be happy, because you have a neverending world to discover ahead of you.

Start listening to this at full volume: Rocks Off, the incredible piece that opens this double album exploding with the energy of the entire US nuclear arsenal. Then go on and download the rest. It's simply one of the best albums of rock and blues music ever created by humans (and if you want to know its story, watch Stones In Exile, a documentary directed by Stephen Kijak and produced by confessed Stones' fanatic Martin Scorsese).

Oh, incidentally, both Exile and I were released in 1972 (my birthday is coming really soon now).

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It's a perfect song to start a weekend and burn the city down. The night is yours, my lovely nutters. Go get it. [Amazon, iTunes, Spotify]

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SOUNDTRACK is a sample of what the Gizmodo crew is listening to today. Got an awesome song you want to share with us? Send it our way!

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DISCUSSION

I love the Stones and have seen them live 3 times. However, I must take exception to this statement

"The Stones affected everything and everyone, touching every rock 'n' roll and blues musician in the planet."

While I do think they influenced lots of musicians in their time they also were influenced by many others including a long list of blues artist who came long before Mick Jagger couldn't get no satisfaction. Without those blues artist the Stones probalby would have wound up just an ordinary cover band.