It's Only Rock 'N' Roll (2009 Remaster)

It's Only Rock 'N' Roll (2009 Remaster)

Mick Jagger spent the ‘70s trying on new styles and trying to keep his band together. This would be guitarist Mick Taylor’s last album with the group, and his fluid playing enhances the band’s slash-and-burn aesthetic throughout most of it. There’s a ferocity to “If You Can’t Rock Me,” but Taylor can be best heard on the gorgeously melodic “Time Waits for No One.” The album is deliciously diverse, from the Motown swagger of “Ain’t Too Proud to Beg” and the classic Stones rip of “Dance Little Sister” to the hard rock reggae of “Luxury” and the striking ballads “Till the Next Goodbye” and “If You Really Want To Be My Friend.” The Stones intuitively understood what was demanded from a band in the ‘70s and found a way to deliver it without losing their signature sound. Jagger emerges as the prototypical rock ‘n’ roll singer, phrasing ingeniously and leading with a well-deserved smirk, especially on the Ron Wood–inspired title track. They have a laugh with the backroom goof of “Short and Curlies” and tighten up for the apocalyptic funk of “Fingerprint File.”

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