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Book Reviews

Continuumís 33 1/3 Series

By Published: April 29, 2005

Janovitz's analysis of the gender and sexual duplicity of the Rolling Stones principals is more down to earth and better researched in the realpolitik than Davis' for Led Zeppelin IV and its principals. However, it still may be so much a masturbatory process to some readers, but I don't think so. The relationships between the songwriters of each band have long been considered. Jagger/Richards and Page/Plant certainly indicated cognizance of image making, and in the early 1970s a little lasciviousness went a long way and filled the image bank of both bands with loads of pixie dust.

Janovitz is about my age and encountered this album as I had, through a family member. He was shaken by the gospel influence, the blues already taken for granted. He appreciated all of the same songs the most — "Loving Cup, "Rocks Off, "Shine a Light, "Torn and Frayed. He did everything but declare "Tumblin' Dice one of the greatest pop songs penned. Perhaps I am biased. Hell, of course I am. Janowitz details the whole picture at Nellcote, while the album was being recorded, under self-generated difficult conditions. It is the romance of the "Elegantly Wasted genius, the Oscar Wildes of Rock music that pull us in, pull any thinking person in.

Janowitz introduces his essay with:

The greatest rock & roll record of all time, okay? Don't sent me any letters, and hold your calls. I can almost see you holding up and waving your Beatles records, your Pet Sounds, dusty old LPs in faded jackets, worth contenders all, I am sure. Brilliant pop records, masterpieces even. But not the greatest, most soulful rock & roll record ever made.

Amen, Reverend Janowitz, amen. And now let us hear the origins of Sticky Fingers.

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