Sound — 9
This is a 50 track compilation that encompasses The Rolling Stones' career and marks their 50th anniversary. There are 2 new tracks on the album, "Doom And Gloom" and "One More Shot". This is a serious compilation collection, not just grabbing the biggest highlights from their career, but it digs a little deeper and finds some of the hidden gems. There doesn't appear to be any new mixing, re-mastering etc., but instead you get the original recordings available in a new compilation. This is absolutely THE compilation album to get for a pretty comprehensive collection of songs by The Rolling Stones. There is also an extended version available with 80 tracks, which is on 4 CDs and also includes a 7 vinyl, a bonus CD, a hardcover book, a poster and postcards that is running for $145 on Amazon. Luckily, the 50 track version is much more reasonable at only $22.99 at Amazon.
The Rolling Stones played their first show in 1962, making 2012 the 50th anniversary. They came out in a time when The Beatles were the clean cut good guy band from the UK, so they naturally filled the role of the "bad boys" of the industry at the time. While The Beatles eventually expanded into experimentation and some more diverse material, The Rolling Stones came out the gate with a really raw unbridled sound and just let it carry them where it may. Mick Jagger has proved to be one of the most popular and prolific frontman of Rock N' Roll, and Keith Richards has symbolized the Rock N' Roll lifestyle and excess since they first blew up and began arena tours. Keith Richard's unique guitar style has been often imitated, with its unique blend of rhythm and lead, but has never really been duplicated. There have been endless jokes about Keith Richard's rough lifestyle, drug use and unlikely survival of it all. Somehow they've come through all of this still being a relevant band in 2012 and an influence to countless bands that followed in their wake. Fairly recently, the pop hit "Moves Like Jagger" was released by Maroon 5 showing that even among the general musical audience of popular music Mick Jagger's stage presence is legend. GRRR! gives a great collection of the songs that helped build the legacy of The Rolling Stones in a great package at a great price.
Lyrics — 8
Mick Jagger has always been a competent vocalist but what has made him stand out is his overpowering charisma that permeates his voice, and his over the top stage presence that has helped to make him a legend. The songs on GRRR! are all original recordings from previous releases with the exception of the last two tracks, "Doom And Gloom" and "One More Shot", and while Mick Jagger's voice doesn't sound like it did in his prime it isn't far removed.
Some of the lyrics from "Gloom An Doom" follows: "I had a dream last night/ That I was piloting a plane/ And all the passengers were drunk and insane/ I crash landed in a Louisiana swamp/ Shot up a horde of zombies/ But I come out on top/ What's it all about?/ It just reflects my mood/ Sitting in the dirt/ Feeling kind of hurt/ All I hear is doom and gloom/ And all is darkness in my room/ Through the light your face I see/ Baby take a chance/ Baby won't you dance with me/ Lost all that treasure in an overseas war/ It just goes to show you don't get what you paid for/ Battle to the rich and you worry about the poor/ Put my feet up on the couch/ And lock all the doors/ Hear a funky noise/ That's the tightening of the screws". This is really reminiscent of some of their earlier rawer sounding tracks from the 70's. I'm really enjoying this track.
Some of the lyrics from "One More Shot": "Ooh baby, I got a message for you/ You got me doing something/ I thought I'd never will do/ Give me one more, one more shot/ And it's all I got/ Give you one more shot/ And take me back/
I'm all yours jack/ Yeah you got me freakin'/ Yeah I'm over heating, just when things are sweet/ You can't meet on the street/ Give me one more, one more shot/ Yeah and it's all I got/ And doing up on me, (one more shot)/ I'll make your play/ Yeah make my day/ Put me in correction for my own protection/ In your jurisdiction spare the crucifixion/ Give me one more shot/ Baby it's all I got/ Baby don't freeze up on me/ One more shot". This song really seems like it started life as almost a country blues song and they just added some tempo and dirt and filled it out into a Stones song.
Overall Impression — 8
It would be really hard to pick out a favorite song from this album, especially as most of these are songs I've been hearing since I was a kid, and that have really helped define my appreciation for music. The new tracks are both enjoyable "Gloom And Doom" written by Mick Jagger and "One More Shot" was written by Keith Richards, or at least according to my sources from the infallible internet. I really like the almost time machine quality you get listening to these albums like listening to chunks of The Rolling Stones' career. I don't really have any complaints on this album. It is what it is not new music besides the two new tracks but instead a compilation/ retrospective/ greatest hits that spans the entire 50 year career of The Rolling Stones. The standard 50 track version of the album that I am reviewing today is absolutely worth the money. The 80 track version with all the extras I'm sure would be worthwhile for some of the hardcore Stones fans, but personally it is a little steep for me.