IT WAS FIFTY YEARS AGO TODAY- DECEMBER 6, 1968–THE ROLLING STONES RELEASE “BEGGAR’S BANQUET”

The originally planned "toilet" cover used on subsequent CD reissues

It was fifty years ago today- December 6, 1968- The Rolling Stones released their album Beggars Banquet. Coming off the 1967 detour into the psychedelic -the subpar- -Their Satanic Majesties Request- Beggar’s Banquet was a return to form and a return to what The Rolling Stones do best. This album was notable for being the final album by The Rolling Stones during the lifetime of their founder Brian Jones who would die on July 3, 1969. {Jones appears on two songs on The Stones next album Let It Bleed released after his passing.}

Image result for brian jones images

The two most well known songs here are the openers to both sides- the opener on side one- Sympathy For The Devil- a Stones staple in concert for the past fifty years and side two’s brilliant Street Fighting Man. Oddly neither song was a hit- Street Fighting Man peaked at #48 in the US and at #62 in the UK. Remember this was 1968 and 1968 was a year of revolution. A lot of radio stations just kept clear of the single.

The ten songs that make up the album- are all strong ones

Side 1

  • Sympathy For The Devil
  • No Expectations
  • Dear Doctor
  • Parachute Woman
  • Dear Doctor

Side 2

  • Street Fighting Man
  • Prodigal Son
  • Stray Cat Blues
  • Factory Girl
  • Salt Of The Truth

On the charts Beggars Banquet peaked at #5 in the US and #3 in the UK. Maybe it was the lack of a hit single that stopped the album from reaching #1? Nevertheless it was without question one of the best albums of 1968–and the first album in a series of four released by The Rolling Stones from 1968- to 1972 that are noted as The Rolling Stones classic period— Beggars Banquet/ Let It Bleed/ Sticky Fingers and Exile On Main St. –every rock home should own- all four!

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8 responses to “IT WAS FIFTY YEARS AGO TODAY- DECEMBER 6, 1968–THE ROLLING STONES RELEASE “BEGGAR’S BANQUET”

    • I guess like The Beatles they released a lot of singles that were hits but not on albums- both those two songs I thought for sure had to be hits. Maybe it was the Street Fighting Man- controversial for that crazy year and Sympathy For The Devil- mentioning devil in the title?

    • Good point. I suppose you have to be careful with statements about the devil or Jesus, for that matter. Folks easily get passionate about these topics, especially in the U.S. Before artists know it, they might find themselves banned from radio play in the land of the free!

    • another thought- this was 1968- as far as Sympathy goes– the line about ‘who killed the Kennedy’s-” probably a bit sensitive for radio programmers at the moment- with Bobby being gunned down just six months earlier.

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