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Album Review: The Rolling Stones – On Air (Deluxe)

2 min read
Photo: Rogers and Cowen

There’s a reason why The Rolling Stones continue to be cited as one of the most influential bands in history, this December sees the release of On Air (Deluxe); a record made up of BBC recordings from the 1960s. It sees the Stones in their formative years, playing the songs we now know to be capable of spanning decades.

 There are few strangers to the now iconic guitar led (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction – arguably one of the most iconic intros in history. To hear it remastered from 1965 is the closest thing we have to a time machine in 2017. As somebody who saw the Stones when they headlined Glastonbury a few years back, the youthful energy present throughout this reissue highlights just how Mick Jagger and co became such celebrated artists. Whilst it is always good to hear the hits, the moments that stand out most on this release are the little known ditties such as Roll Over Beethoven that firmly transport you right back to the slightly sepia tinged nuances of the 60s. The Rolling Stones these days are mostly known for huge rock guitar riffs, but it is old time swing music that takes centre stage on this record – a refreshingly different angle from which to take in such a band.

The Spider & The Fly works as a solid introduction to the blues-ier side to The Rolling Stones, a side not many millennials would know existed. The guitars are slicker than a comb full of wet look gel, Mick’s voice draping around them in his trademark seductive drawl. Down The Road Apiece is another unique highlight that presents the Stones as a dive bar skiffle band instead of stadium filling gods of rock.

Ain’t That Loving You Baby is a departure from the Stones sound that has stood the test of time, delving back into a long forgotten world of rhythm and blues. The differentiation in sound makes this record more than just the preserve of die-hard fans, ensuring The Rolling Stones can continue to tap into the minds and souls of people the world over

With re-releases such as On Air (Deluxe), it’s always incredible to fully delve into the history of such an iconic band. Between each line and lyric, you find yourself pondering if the boys ever felt they would make it as big as they have. At an eye-watering 32 tracks long, this album is not for the faint hearted but also not for a pure Stones connoisseur. There are accessible moments littered throughout this album; a nostalgia trip that doesn’t try too hard to capture the essence of youth – it just simply has it. By taking out the obvious hits, The Rolling Stones have served up a slice of their early history that few are able to document without coming over all conceited.