This episode of ROBERT’S RECORD CORNER will admit it: the Rolling Stones’ "Beggars Banquet is better than the Beatles “White Album.” I bring it up now because the Beatles’ so-called “White Album” turned 50 recently. We know this because everyone in the world was talking about it. The New Yorker even dared to claim it could be “the greatest record ever.” The album has many fine moments. But a better, more timely, more important work is the Rolling Stones’ Beggars Banquet, released two weeks later.
It’s folky/acoustic fury sprung from the angst of a year that saw assassinations (MLK, RFK), political unrest, the Tet Offensive, the rise of Nixon. (Compare all that with “Obla-di, Obla-da.”) Meanwhile, turn to the Stones. This was the year Keith Richards first used open tunings, and the Stones signed on producer Jimmy Miller who would lead the Fab Five to their string of best work: Beggars Banquet, Let It Bleed, Sticky Fingers and Exile on Main Street. While the Beatles were offering faux country, faux music hall, faux blues – all quite hummably, for sure – the Stones became the Stones, the “greatest rock’n’roll band in the world.” The video was shot on a horse farm in Temecula, California.
Beggars Banquet: 5 SANDWICHES
White Album: 3.8 SANDWICHES