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Rolling Stones, 'Blue Lonesome': Album Review


The Rolling Stones were never really a thinking band. A shrewd one, for sure, and one of the very best. But they earned their title as one of rock’s all-time greatest by following their guts and playing what came naturally, not by overthinking the process.

That self-conscious analyzation made so many of their records from the mid-’70s onward sound so labored, as they hammered out detail after detail. It’s also resulted in some huge gaps between releases. It’s been 11 years since their last album, A Bigger Bang — the longest period ever between Rolling Stones records.

The latest, Blue & Lonesome, was recorded in just three days, with little planning or overthinking. Granted, it’s a covers album filled with the type of blues songs the band cut its teeth on more than 50 years ago, but that doesn’t take away from its spitfire appeal. The Stones haven’t made an album this virile in decades.

It certainly helps that the core quartet (along with some…

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