Home Celebrity Are the Rolling Stones Now Just Too Smart, Sophisticated for Dumbed-Down Audiences?

Imagine that when the Rolling Stones first hit it big in 1964, two years into their career, they were considered avant garde. They were the messed up, smudged answer to the Beatles’ pop perfection. The Stones brought American blues and soul back to these shores, reinterpeted. They were considered a sexual threat. They took on politics, social issues, flouted basic tenets. They were naughy boys and people loved them for it.

Now the Stones have released a fun but challenging single, more interesting than anything on iTunes or radio now. And in 48 hours it has barely made a dent in sales. It’s still hovering between number 70 and 75. The Stones were never huge chart toppers. But they had number 1s starting with “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” through “Brown Sugar,” “Wild Horses,” and “Tumbling Dice.” They had two big singles in 1981– “Start Me Up” and “Waiting on a Friend.” That was 31 years ago.

There have been some minor hits from the post- “Tattoo You” albums like “Rock and a Hard Place” and their excellent cover of “Harlem Shuffle.” The new one, “Doom and Gloom,” comes after six stagnant years. The lyrics are pithy and the music rocks. There’s a great chorus. But it doesn’t fit on radio, as no rock station will play new music by old acts. And for the iTunes generation addicted to bubblegum pop, but the words “fracking,” “sump,” and “horde” may be too much for today’s dimwitted buyers.

Also, the sound of “Doom and Gloom” is not the amped-up reverb-soaked homogenized dreck that passes as pop linooleum. Don Was and the boys have scratched up all the polished wood for an authentic feel. The video is in our player  on the home page. The lyrics follow. Why didn’t they call this song “Baby Won’t You Dance With Me?”

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?
Guess 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 meLost all that treasure in an overseas war
It just goes to show you don’t get what you paid for
Bowing to the rich and worrying 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
Feeling kind of hurt
Sitting in the dirt
All I hear is doom and gloom
But when those drums go boom boom boom
Through the night, your face I see
Baby take a chance
Baby won’t you dance with me
Yeah!
Baby won’t you dance with me
Ah yeah

Fracking deep for oil but there’s nothing in the sump
There’s kids all picking at the garbage dump
I am running out of water so I better prime the pump
I am trying to stay sober but I end up drunk

We’ll be eating dirt
Living on the side of the road
There’s some food for thought
Kind of makes your head explode
Feeling kind of hurt
Yeah

But all I hear is doom and gloom
And all is darkness in my room
Through the night, your face I see
Baby, come on
Baby won’t you dance with me
Yeah!
Yeah!
Baby won’t you dance with me
I’m feeling kind of hurt
Baby won’t you dance with me
Ah yeah!
Come on
Dance with me
Sitting in the dirt
Baby won’t you dance with me

1 reply to this post
  1. Radio has quit playing real rock and roll. Most kids don’t know who the Stones are. The Stones music holds up, among the greatest in rock history. These kids don’t know what they are missing, but radio has caused this blackout of the Stones.

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