The Rolling Stones’ Beggars Banquet is one of the seminal albums in rock history. Arguably it not only marks the advent of the ‘mature’ sound of the Rolling Stones but lays out a new blueprint for an approach to blues-based rock music that would endure for several decades. From its title to the dark themes that pervade some of its songs, Beggars Banquet reflected and helped define a moment marked by violence, decay, and upheaval. It marked a move away from the artistic sonic flourishes of psychedelic rock towards an embrace of foundational streams of American music – blues, country – that had always underpinned the music of the Stones but assumed new primacy in their music after 1968. This move coincided with, and anticipated, the ‘roots’ moves that many leading popular music artists made as the 1960s turned toward a new decade; but unlike many of their peers whose music grew more ‘soft’ and subdued as they embraced traditional styles, the music and attitude of the Stones only grew harder and more menacing, and their status as representatives of the dark underside of the 60s rock counterculture assumed new solidity. For the Rolling Stones, the 1960s ended and the 1970s began with the release of this album in 1968.
"The book’s strength is the astonishingly broad palette of disciplines it covers. Some chapters focus on the individual players (including the sidemen and producers) or concentrate on the analysis of a single song (including rare b-sides) while others deal with larger topics such as sexuality, ethics, psychedelia, disability, production techniques, or the staging of live performances. For such a panopticon, a good structure is needed and the editor really did his best to create a convincing ‘set list’. It all holds together by concentrating on Beggars Banquet, the LP with which the band reinvented themselves and found their style for the decades to come. 50 years later, this is the book such a musical milestone deserves!"
Dr Ralf von Appen, Justus-Liebig-Universität Gießen, Germany
Table of Contents
Introduction: Russell Reising (University of Toledo): "Just Trying to Do this Jigsaw Puzzle"
Part I: What Can Poor Boys Do, Except to Sing (and Play and Produce) in a Rock ‘’n" Roll Band?
John Covach (University of Rochester": "Jimmy Miller, The Rolling Stones, and Beggars Banquet."
Steven Baur (Dalhousie University, Canada): "And the Drummer, He’s So Shattered":
The Percussive Core of Beggars Banquet."
Akitsugu Kawamoto (Ferris University, Japan): "And the Bass Player, He Looks
Nervous": Progressive Elements in the Bass Lines of Beggars Banquet"
Jim LeBlanc (Cornell University): "Too Much is Never Enough: The Decline of Brian
Stephen D. Christman (University of Toledo): "’Five Strings, Three Notes, Two Fingers,
One Asshole’: Keith Richards’s Use of Open-G Tuning"
James McGrath (Leeds Beckett University): "Doctor, I’m Damaged": Medical and
Cultural Mythologies of Nicky Hopkins and the Rolling Stones"
Part II: "What’s Puzzling You is the Nature of My Game": Some Ideas
Ruth Tallman (Hillsborough Community College): "Condemned to be Free: The
Frightening Uncertainty of a World Without Morality"
Norma Coates (Western University, Canada): "How Can A Smart Chick Like Me Listen
to the Stones and Not Throw Up? An Exploration of Beggars Banquet and Female Sexuality
Brian Goodman, "Woo Woooo: Beggars Banquet’s New Aesthetic"
Part III: Some Songs
Kimberly Mack (University of Toledo): "’Please Allow Me to Introduce Myself’:
Autobiographical Blues Self-Fashioning in ‘Sympathy for the Devil’"
Peter Mills (Leeds Metropolitan University): "Ghost At The Banquet : the Enigma of
'Child Of The Moon'"
Jacopo Conti (University of Turin): "The "Old" and "New" Rolling Stones: Aural
Staging and Chord Changes in "Street Fighting Man"
Part IV: The Rolling Stones, Live if you Want it.
Steve Waksman (Smith College): "On the Road to Altamont: The Rolling Stones on
Kimi Karki (University of Turku, Finland): "’I've Been Around for a Long, Long Year’:
The Spectacular Evil in the Rolling Stones’ Live Performance Career’
Popular musicology embraces the field of musicological study that engages with popular forms of music, especially music associated with commerce, entertainment and leisure activities. The Ashgate Popular and Folk Music Series aims to present the best research in this field. Authors are concerned with criticism and analysis of the music itself, as well as locating musical practices, values and meanings in cultural context. The focus of the series is on popular music of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, with a remit to encompass the entirety of the world’s popular music.
Critical and analytical tools employed in the study of popular music are being continually developed and refined in the twenty-first century. Perspectives on the transcultural and intercultural uses of popular music have enriched understanding of social context, reception and subject position. Popular genres as distinct as reggae, township, bhangra, and flamenco are features of a shrinking, transnational world. The series recognizes and addresses the emergence of mixed genres and new global fusions, and utilizes a wide range of theoretical models drawn from anthropology, sociology, psychoanalysis, media studies, semiotics, postcolonial studies, feminism, gender studies and queer studies.