This Rolling Stones Album Is Rough Around the Edges in the Best Way

Revel in these bluesy live recordings.

The Rolling Stones on a rooftop, 17th June 1964. Left to right: Brian Jones (1942 - 1969), Keith Richards, Bill Wyman, Mick Jagger and Charlie Watts.Archive Photos/Getty

Facts matter: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter. Support our nonprofit reporting. Subscribe to our print magazine.

Album Review

The Rolling Stones
On Air
Polydor

The Rolling Stones came full circle in 2016, returning to their blues roots with the newly recorded covers collection Blue & Lonesome, in the process producing the band’s best album in decades. Supplying the perfect prequel, the thrilling two-disc On Air revisits their early days, compiling 32 scruffy live performances from the BBC archives circa ’63-‘65. Apart from a few originals that show Mick and Keith honing their songwriting chops, including “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction,” this rowdy set captures a crew of eager young’uns saluting the African-American artists who first inspired them, delivering lively takes on songs by Chuck Berry (“Roll Over Beethoven”), Bo Diddley (“Mona”), Muddy Waters (“I Can’t Be Satisfied”) and Barbara Lynn (“Oh! Baby (We Got a Good Thing Goin’)”), among many others. While none of these versions outstrip the originals, the lads’ heartfelt enthusiasm is irresistible.

THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

payment methods

THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate