Top 50 Songs

1

SYMPATHY FOR THE DEVIL

Mick Jagger as Lucifer laying a swathe of misery and mayhem across the planet, backed by Brazilian samba beat and a Keith Richards guitar burst that is one of the best in rock ‘n’ roll. ALBUM: Beggars Banquet

2

BROWN SUGAR

Driving guitar riff, sex-laden lyrics (it’s the way he sings them), hot saxophone with full band sound, triumphant sing-along chorus > “ooh yeah, ooh yeah, ooh yeah, woo!” ALBUM: Sticky Fingers

3

JUMPIN’ JACK FLASH

Keith Richards riff, hot bass/drums rhythm in song of defiance which became rock and roll standard for 70s pub bands. ALBUM: Through The Past Darkly

4

YOU CAN'T ALWAYS GET WHAY YOU WANT

Giant of a ballad with great lyrics. Acoustic guitar and harp start, drum-driven song builds tempo and layers > London Bach Choir on chorus. ALBUM: Let It Bleed

5

SWEET VIRGINIA

Country rocker dripped in bourbon and Southern swagger > acoustic guitar start builds pace with sauntering sax and boozy sing-along chorus. ALBUM: Exile On Main Street

6

HONKY TONK WOMEN

Bar-room blues led by another great Keith Richards riff developing into full-on sexual rocker > “She blew my nose and then she blew my mind”. ALBUM: Through The Past Darkly

7

STRAY CAT BLUES

Mick Jagger revelling in groupie conquest, even if she is only 15 years old > isn’t that against the law? ALBUM: Beggars Banquet

8

PAINT IT BLACK

Dark, depressive days triggered by a broken heart > Can’t even stand to look at the girls walking by anymore. ALBUM: High Tide And Green Grass

9

MIDNIGHT RAMBLER

About a rapist. Bass-led sound develops pace > along with the rapist’s menace. ALBUM: Let It Bleed

10

STARFUCKER

Mick Jagger missing the delectable delights of a hot groupie > vowing to make her scream all night next time they catch up. Joyful rocker with great guitar from Keith Richards, the rock riff master. ALBUM: Goats Head Soup

11

LITTLE RED ROOSTER

Blues number with slices of slide guitar from Rolling Stones founder and master musician Brian Jones. ALBUM: High Tide And Green Grass

12

LET IT BLEED

Great track from a band in full strap > lurching acoustic guitar, roll-along rhythm, bar-room piano and slices of electric guitar as Jagger oozes sex and drugs. ALBUM: Let It Bleed

13

BITCH

Bold as brass rocker thumps along with fusion of instruments. ALBUM: Sticky Fingers

14

IT'S ONLY ROCK 'N' ROLL (BUT I LIKE IT)

Anthemic rocker as Keith Richards lets rip, buzzing through a swathe of swagger with drummer Charlie Watts the beat master. ALBUM: It’s Only Rock’n’Roll

15

CAN'T YOU HEAR ME KNOCKING

Rock-hard riff leads Stones on merry dance before turning into jazz-like improvisation > great Bobby Keys saxophone and Mick Taylor let loose on lead guitar. ALBUM: Sticky Fingers

16

GIMME SHELTER

Song of foreboding > yep, there’s a bad moon rising. Mick Jagger’s words of doom and gloom, almost prophetically predicting the end of 1960’s flower power revolution hope. His vocals, joined by female singer Merry Clayton, struggling to be heard over dense layers of music. ALBUM: Let It Bleed

17

NO EXPECTATIONS

Beautiful, mournful acoustic ballad languishing in loneliness. ALBUM: Beggars Banquet

18

RUBY TUESDAY

Melodic ballad of a free-spirited woman who can’t be tamed > Bill Wyman on double bass and Brian Jones playing piano and recorder. ALBUM: Through The Past Darkly

19

GET OFF OF MY CLOUD

Leave-me-the-hell-alone Sixties song about a bloke sick of everyone and everything getting in his face. ALBUM: High Tide And Green Grass

20

SHE'S A RAINBOW

Piano-led psychedelica love trip about a girl who “comes in colours everywhere”. Now, who wouldn’t want a girl like that! ALBUM: Their Satanic Majesties’ Request

21

MOTHER'S LITTLE HELPER

Right-back-at-ya Rolling Stones dig at those Establishment types whingeing about the drug-taking youth of the Sixties > tells of a bored housewife taking a “little yellow pill” to dull the pain of her mundane life. ALBUM: Aftermath

22

UNDERCOVER OF THE NIGHT

Murder and mayhem in the jungles of South America, plus hookers hooking up with “jerky little GI Joes” and “the smell” of sex > sticky fingers perhaps > and suicide. Rifle shots of guitar, insidious bass/drums rhythm. ALBUM: Undercover

23

LOVE IN VAIN

The Rolling Stones are masters of the blues ballad > this one of their best. Originally recorded by American blues maestro Robert Johnson. ALBUM: Let It Bleed

24

SISTER MORPHINE

Days of drug haze said to be mostly written > lyrically at least > by Mick Jagger’s then girlfriend Marianne Faithfull after she overdosed on morphine and ended up in hospital in Sydney, Australia. ALBUM: Sticky Fingers

25

WILD HORSES

Wonderfully wounded, longing acoustic ballad. ALBUM: Sticky Fingers

26

ANGIE

Delicate acoustic guitars in ballad about a love that has come to an end. ALBUM: Goats Head Soup

27

STREET FIGHTING MAN

Late-60s protest song banned by some radio stations in the US in fear it would invoke riots in such volatile youth movement times. ALBUM: Beggars Banquet

28

WE LOVE YOU

Starts with the sound of a prison door closing … on the Stones, who put out the song as Mick Jagger and Keith Richards were sent to jail on drug charges. The Establishment wanted this threat to society dealt with. ALBUM: Through The Past Darkly

29

LOVING CUP

Great piano-led soul song with thump drums and swinging horns. ALBUM: Exile On Main Street

30

2000 LIGHT YEARS FROM HOME

That’s a long way from Kansas, Dorothy! > Psychedelic space trip about a stranded astronaut floating further and further away. ALBUM: On Their Satanic Majesties’ Request

31

EMOTIONAL RESCUE

Mick Jagger in fine falsetto on this off-beat funk ballad > showcases the Rolling Stones’ great musical diversity. ALBUM: Emotional Rescue

32

MEMO FROM TURNER

Sexual depravity runs amok > and God know’s what else is going on here. There’s a “faggy little leather boy with a smaller piece of stick” and a daughter who “licks policemen’s buttons cleans” > her mum must be very proud. Not officially a Rolling Stones song > from soundtrack of Mick Jagger film Performance.

33

MONKEY MAN

Guitar licks rip between Charlie Watts drums as Jagger > a flea-bit monkey who’s friends are all junkies > licks his wounds. ALBUM: Let it Bleed

34

(I CAN'T GET NO) SATISFACTION

Struck a chord with the dissatisfied youth of the 1960s and > along with The Who’s My Generation > became the anthem of a generation. Led by Keith Richards’ distinctive fuzztone guitar riff. ALBUM: High Tide And Green Grass

35

HEART OF STONE

Maudlin beat as the girls walking down the street are menacingly warned to best keep on going > cause “I ain’t got no love, I ain’t the kind to meet”. ALBUM: Out of Our Heads

36

ROCKS OFF

Riffing rocker from a band firing on all cylinders. Solid sax from long-time Stones regular Bobby Keys. ALBUM: Exile On Main Street

37

START ME UP

Big guitar chords as the band cranks it up. The Rolling Stones mightn’t be spring chickens > or Little Red Rooters > anymore, nearing their 40s > but “start me up, start me up ..... I’ll never stop, never stop”. ALBUM: Tattoo You

38

DEAD FLOWERS

Country romp has mocking Mick taking comfort from being mistreated in love by retreating to the basement > “with a needle and a spoon. And another girl to take my pain away”. ALBUM: Sticky Fingers

39

SOME GIRLS

Blues/rock > loping Charlie Watts drums, wailing harmonica and wailing words against women in an international orgy of fucking and fucken rotten relationships. ALBUM: Some Girls

40

PRODIGAL SON

Mick Jagger impersonates a Baptists minister on fun country/gospel tune > Halleluiah brother, I is saved. ALBUM: Beggars Banquet

41

19th NERVOUS BREAKDOWN

A ride through mental mayhem > puts down rock chicks hanging around the periphery of London's Swinging Sixties. ALBUM: High Tide And Green Grass

42

TIME WAITS FOR NO ONE

Soaring guitar solo from Mick Taylor. “Time can tear down a building/or destroy a woman’s face,” Jagger declares > well, time hasn’t been too kind to his face either. ALBUM: It’s Only Rock’n’Roll

43

IT'S ALL OVER NOW

A rhythm and blues jogtrot with vengeful vocal of breaking off with a lover “who done me wrong”. ALBUM: High Tide And Green Grass

44

MISS YOU

Huge disco hit that filled the dancefloors > Mick Jagger takes a walk through New York’s Central Park > unable to get over yet another love lost. ALBUM: Some Girls

45

ALL DOWN THE LINE

Punchy rhythm guitar leads rocker building in momentum > nice slices of lead guitar from Mick Taylor > brass backing. ALBUM: Exile On Main Street

46

TUMBLING DICE

Laid-back feel that draws you in > telling a gambler’s tale of love. ALBUM: Exile On Main Street

47

LADY JANE

Marvelous medieval feel as the joker in this royal pack has trouble making up his mind between Lady Jane, Lady Anne and “my sweet Marie” > decisions, decisions! ALBUM: Aftermath

48

RIP THIS JOINT

Rocking roadhouse rant > pumping along at pace. ALBUM: Exile On Main Street

49

FAR AWAY EYES

Hot diggity-dog country ballad piss-take about a duped dopey dufus. Ronnie Wood on steel guitar. ALBUM: Some Girls

50

THE WORST

Keith Richards vocal > lover’s lament of not being good enough. Ronnie Wood pedal steel guitar and fiddle from session player Frankie Gavin add to down-and-out mood. ALBUM: Voodoo Lounge

51

COCKSUCKER BLUES

SPECIAL MENTION: Brilliantly vile blues > offered as a single by the disgruntled Rolling Stones to record company Decca in the late 1960s as their contract came to an end > the band well aware that with its shocking lyrics it could not be released > and it still hasn’t, officially.

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