The Rolling Stones Singles Release "Angry" & "Sweet Sounds of Heaven"

Reviewed by Chris Cassone

With their 26th American LP, " Hackney Diamonds," set for release on October 20, the Stones reverted to their very successful playbook from the last six decades. Drop a single and build excitement with appearances and videos.  

Three weeks ago, they released " Angry," a rocker in the old school style of hard, punchy Keith guitar chords with lots of space. Think " Start Me Up" meets " Exile on Main Street." We Stones fans have been waiting for a single like this, well, for a while. I remember clearly when " Honky Tonk Women" hit the airwaves and Jonathan Schwartz of NY's WNEW-FM played it five times in a row.

Mick's terse lyrics are framed by solid drum work by the latest Stone, Steve Jordan. Jordan was anointed by the late Charlie Watts, "should anything happen to me." No stranger to the band, having played on and off with them since 1986, Jordan was a founding member of the famed 24 th Street Band of Will Lee, Clifford Carter, and Hiram Bullock. You know them better in their later iteration of Paul Schaffer's World's Most Dangerous Band. Keith played bass on the track with Mick and Ron Wood on all the other guitars.

Of note is the promotional video, simply done starring Sydney Sweeney ("White Lotus," "Euphoria," "Reality,")   as the girl in the convertible Mercedes. As she sits on top of the back seat driving through LA, the Stones serenade her from billboards that come alive. Cute, and gets the job done, especially clad in black leather and stainless steel, the perfect foil to the Stones' machismo.

They then booked the Hackney Empire, the famous comedy club in London with Jimmy Fallon as the host (who insisted on promoting his Mick Jagger imitation to the point of overstaying his welcome. Even Mick walked him back to his seat.) The three stalwarts were introduced and did a funny, relaxed, interesting and revealing interview to push the new disk. And yes, they are selling vinyl for $32 on Amazon.  

What was revealing was the lineup. Charlie Watts on two of the twelve songs with Bill Wyman on one track, making all of the main five back together again. Also making cameos were Sir Paul McCartney on bass and Sir Elton John on piano.  

Last Friday, September 29,   they released their second single, " Sweet Sounds of Heaven," a gospely blues piece if ever they had one. It stands next to the other Stones' gospel tracks, "Shine A Light" and "You Can't Always get What You Want." When they started out, they were five white boys from London paying homage to the blues, rather than digging in and living the blues (like Clapton, Peter Green, John Mayall and even Alvin Lee.) It's amazing what six decades can due to your perception. Since their beginnings, they have played with all the top black bluesmen and recorded with most. They seemed to have finally turned the page and become bluesmen in their own right after all this time.  

This track is testament to it all. It has a deep, solid bottom with Darryl Jones on bass and Steve Jordan on drums. Add to that the glory-halleluiah vocals by Jagger and Lady Gaga, and all they needed was Stevie Wonder on Rhodes, piano and synth to balance it out. Stevie is more subdued than Gaga who sings her little lady ass off. Forget about the new Merry Clayton, she has set the bar for all future female singers with the band. (Hey, they may be in their eighties but don't rule them out of the game yet.)

Stay tuned as I have pre-ordered "Hackney Diamonds" to be delivered in three weeks. I am awaiting it like "Exile on Main Street," the finest rock and roll album of all time.


Posted By DH Magazine on October 11, 2023 08:28 pm | Permalink