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Lately, I've been listening to the Rolling Stone's "Big Four" albums, and I've noticed they all combine rock and country in one piece of vinyl. I've also noticed that some of their country songs are great and that others suck-there doesn't seem to be a median. I'm interested to see how others view the Stone's country stuff.
I generally like most of their country stuff in their "Big Four" albums. Of course, songs like "Wild Horses" are fantastic upon first listen, but other songs took me some time to get into (like "Dear Doctor"). when listening to one of the "Big Four" it's just interesting for me to listen to The Stones combine all these "American" genres (blues, country, even gospel) into one album. Some might come off as strange ("You Gotta Move"), but I wouldn't call any of them outright bad, they all contribute to the smorgasbord of Americana found in their catalog.
The Stones are masters of American styles
It's later than the Big Four, but I've always liked "Far Away Eyes," which is clearly parody, but also kinda secretly good.
IMO, as a lover of old "roots" music (country, blues, gospel, rock'n roll), the Stones are one of the very best performers (among the rock bands of course)of those styles.
They played fantastic country and bluesy rock without aping the original. That is not easy at all.
They came to country quite late (circa 1968) thanks to Gram Parsons who became a close friend of Keith Richards.
Before that their main source of influence was Chicago and delta blues. But those two styles (country and blues) were very close to each other anyway.
I wouldn't call "Dear Doctor" country to me it's a blues, but what the hell after all ? Elvis, Chuck and all the rockers of the 50s had already blent country and blues.
Beggars Banquet is my favorite because I don't see any weak song in this album, and because it's the most rootsy, much more so than Exile IMO.
The Rolling Stones doing country is the only Stones music I like. In fact, I find that Englishmen doing country is about the only country I really care for as well except for a few alt-country acts.
I think most of the country stuff on Exile and Sticky Fingers is good, but on the other two they've got some embarrassing ones like Dear Doctor.
Dear Dr is one of my favorite RS songs, what I like on Beggars is the raw acoustic sound
I like the country on Beggars Banquet, Let it Bleed and Sticky Fingers (except for "You Gotta Move" and a few others), but I find their country on Exile to be less appealing.