Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Entry 4057 Rock and Roll Like It Was (And Is)

I just finished listening to "Exile on Main Street", the total number of times which must be in the high hundreds--which doesn't sound like a lot but really is, unless it's the total number of times you've told someone who's very special to you that you love them. You can't do that nearly often enough.

This is--in my humble opinion--the finest rock and roll album ever made...and yes, believe me, I know that takes in a lot of ground (but there are some close seconds). It's got blues, soul, gospel, a bit of country--the mix of which is what started rock and roll in the first place. Not completely polished at times (or at least, that's how Jagger and Richards wanted it to sound), the urgency of the music and sheer GET OUT is one of the things that really makes this recording stand out.

The other thing can be summed up with six words: Venetta Fields, Clydie King and Sherlie Matthews. The superb blending of their voices' rich soulful and gospel tones really helps push this album to the top. The three can also be found on other recordings, such as Steely Dan's "Can't Buy A Thrill" and Graham Nash's "Songs For Beginners".

They started a singing group called The Blackberries in 1973 and recorded an unreleased album. Since then they have mostly appeared separately on many and varied recordings. For example: on a recent VH-1 retrospective on Pink Floyd, Ms. Fields talked about being a part of the first "Dark Side of the Moon" tour in 1973 and her contributions to the 1975 record "Wish You Were Here".

These three women--collectively and individually--have done much to shape the music we know and love.