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Rolling Along: The New Yorker

This echoes something our first rock critic, Ellen Willis, wrote in a 1969 review of the Rolling Stones’ “Beggars Banquet” and The Beatles’ White Album:

It’s my theory that rock and roll happens between fans and stars, rather than between listeners and musicians—that you have to be a screaming teen-ager, at least in your heart, to know what’s going on.

Willis goes on to say that though she never identified emotionally with Elvis, she learned to appreciate the Stones: “I became a true Stones fan—i.e., an inward screamer—and I’ve been one ever since.” The review is instructive for those of us who have trouble remembering a time when the Stones’ songs weren’t being licensed by Microsoft, Anheuser-Busch, and E*Trade, a time when the band had been together less than a decade. Willis found “Beggars Banquet” to be “something of an anticlimax,” though she argues that the album’s best song, “Street Fighting Man,” is “infinitely more intelligent” than the Beatles’ “Revolution.” (Willis also wrote about the Stones in 1972, 1974, and 1975.)

via Back Issues: Back Issues: Rolling Along : The New Yorker.

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