Sunday, May 25, 2008

It Was Forty Years Ago Today

It's alright now...

Although to some it might seem like it was yesterday, it has indeed been forty years since The Rolling Stones released this single and fired the shot heard round the world. The newest single, from England's former newest hit makers, "Jumpin' Jack Flash," ushered in a new era in their now endless career.

We can't say we weren't tipped off. The opening salvo from Mick telling us to "Watch it" gave us fair warning of what was coming. The song was from no existing album and would only show up on compilations over the years. The picture sleeve features one of their last photo shoots with the soon to be late Brian Jones.

Perhaps the most compelling aspect of this song was that it represented the final piece of the puzzle that was their sixties persona. Free of competing with The Beatles, either real or imagined, they offered up this charging electric folk rocker that few could have seen coming. The music would provide the yet to make his mark Rod Stewart an important element of his signature sound, while the lyrics seemed as though they came straight from a Dickens novel.

It peaked at #3 on the US charts and paved the way for their next non album single "Honky Tonk Women."

Here they are performing the song live in New York in 1969 before heading to California and their date with the Altamont Speedway.