Inspired by my recent re-exploration of The Beatles, I've been dipping back into the rest of my 1960s music collection.
In due course, I listened again to the singles collection compilations made by The Rolling Stones, and found myself being knocked out all over again by those songs. 'The Last Time' was the first of their self-penned big hits, and that circular guitar figure that runs through the song is a hook that I just can't resist.
I found this antique footage of the band performing the song on You Tube – isn't nice to be reminded that the band were once a bunch of fresh-faced kids and were so pretty much at their heyday. (You can argue about what comprises the greatest Stones, but don't think there's much dispute that they were at their consistent best in the 1960s and early 1970s.)
This is music that swirled around me when I was too young to really take it in yet was aware of it on some level. I didn't identify the songs until I seriously began to explore music in the 1970s, and by then a rather different musical atmosphere was current – first glam rock, then punk rock. Ironically, much of that music was recycling the catchy guitar-based song craft of the 1960s and to some extent its sound as well. A sound that had been abandoned by its originators – all the great 1960s bands and artists had been seduced by greatly changed technology of recording and nothing cut by the Rolling Stones, The Who, The Kinks, Bob Dylan or the artists that splintered out of The Beatles, The Byrds, Buffalo Springfield etc. etc. sounded the same again.
I often wonder why this was. Many punk bands recreated that sound (or a close relation) with ease and were all the better for it.