Jul 23, 2011

Not too long ago

"Screw you, Mick, I'm turning the tambourine up!"
I was listening to the excellent original Traffic version of Feelin' Alright and I was struck by the sublime yet powerful, pure, organic early build up of that song.  It reminded me of the majestic build up to the Stones' classic, Gimme Shelter.  And then I remembered both tracks were produced by Jimmy Miller.  Of course.

Flame away if you feel the need, but Jimmy Miller (and, sadly, Brian Jones' death) were the best things to ever happen to the Rolling Stones' career.  Miller produced a run of Stones albums that may never be touched again in Rock.  And only the Beatles produced a similar type of run.

(And do not come darkening my doorway with a bunch of poop about how great the Stones early records were.  The Stones were strictly a Singles Group until Jimmy Miller arrived.  And yeah, I think Aftermath is crap.  And I am right, too.  Just because you write a misogynistic, mean song and call it, say, Stupid Girl does not, in and of itself, make that song good.)

If Jimmy Miller had not arrived, I would not be surprised if the Stones had disbanded or splintered in to a bunch of little crappy nostalgia bands.  (Except for Charlie, he would have led a large jazz combo, most likely.)

Miller's secrets were adding percussion instruments, an uncanny talent with Rock Dynamics, and a flair for the dramatic.  One of the best producers ever.

(An excellent example of Miller's talent can be seen with The Spencer Davis Group's hit Gimme Some Lovin'.  There is a version available before Miller got his mitts on it.  Right away, with just some percussion instruments, handclaps, party noises, what have you, Miller turned the already good track in to a monster Rock Classic.)

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