Monday, February 23, 2015

Jumpin' Jack Flash

The great Dangerous Minds recently posted this live rendition of "Jumpin' Jack Flash" by the Rolling Stones, complete with the transcript of Mick Jagger's revised lyrics:

“Yah Awa bo anna craw fah huh cay
Anna ho alamo in a try ray
Buh ah ray ah now yeah and fad is a gay
Oh ray now, a jumpin jay flay sa gas gas gah.
Ah wa lay bah a toodleh beedeh hay.
Ah wa sko wid a strap rahda craws ma bah.
Bahda oh ray now en fad is a gay.
Buh oh ray now jumpin jah flah sa da ga ga geh”

Yeah, that looks pretty accurate.

I have a friend with absolutely outstanding musical taste—no surprise, really, given that our taste in music overlaps heavily (if not perfectly: he actively dislikes virtually all Bruce Springsteen's music, even as he thinks the guy himself seems pretty cool if more than a little overhyped). But the thing that really seems to baffle my pal is why I think the Stones suck so badly live. I don't really understand why he doesn't get it—I don't understand why anyone with working ears would ever claim they were even good live, much less great, when to my ears it's simply undeniable that they suck suck suckety suck live —but because I am by nature a people pleaser, I shall explain.

Simply compare and contrast that live version up there with this, the original recording:

That's why.

The live version wouldn't even get an honorable mention at a junior high talent show—more likely they'd get the hook. The original version, on the other hand, has never been bettered in the history of recorded pop music—not by Elvis, not by the Beatles, not by Dylan, not by Springsteen. The massive gap between the two is where the snark, the disappointment, the anger is created.

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