There is something so noticeably English about this pairing… Bloody Hell.
In the same vein of how the Rolling Stones have remained grounded in rock’s bluesy roots, just evolving their sound as time and what is popular progresses, Samuel Smith brewery also provides that same traditionalist-yet-mainstream haven for beer connoisseurs. This is why I have decided to pair 1978’s Some Girls with Samuel Smith’s oatmeal stout.
Of all the 60’s rock bands to go big, the Rolling Stones were rarities to have continuously paid homage to the blues.
So many bands at that time were trying to push away from African American music altogether and form a new music domination, forcing blues and jazz to sort of fade into the background. Not the Stones, and thank your loving cups for that one.
Similarly, Samuel Smith brewery revamped the oatmeal stout in the 1980’s that previously had not seen a limelight since before the second world war. Brewed in original well water tapped back in 1758 and fermented in stone Yorkshire squares, their oatmeal stout is impeccably pure.
Let’s spin this bitch, shall we?
You can immediately hear disco’s influence on the funktastic “Miss You” album opener, and as I am trying to gulf myself into the world of Some Girls, intensely bold and silky flavors begin billowing from my stout glass…
“Yeah mama and papa told me I was crazy to stay/ I was gay in New York, I was a faggot in L.A./ So I saved my money and I took the plane/ Wherever I go, they just treat me the same.”
Backed by Ronnie Wood’s pedal steel guitar and a punk atmosphere, the lyrics in “When the Whip Comes Down” are in the perspective of a gay man from LA to NYC who becomes a garbage collector. Or a prostitute. Could go either way really.
How soon is too soon to grab another bottle?!
I don’t believe I’ve ever heard the original Temptations’ “Just My Imagination (Running Away With Me)”…
Alas, the title track for Some Girls – two-chord groove and Sugar Blue on harmonica; classic.
“BLACK GIRLS JUST WANT TO GET FUCKED ALL NIGHT, I JUST DON’T HAVE THAT MUCH JAM.”
The original cut was around 23 minutes and Atlantic Records attempted to pull the track due to its raunchy lyricism, but Jagger insisted it was a parody of racist attitudes and said “if you can’t take a joke, it’s too fucking bad.”
(Not the only controversial aspect of this record, the album cover has an entire history of its own worthy of your time researching. Ecstatic I found one of the original covers for my vinyl collection!)
“Lies” forced me to revisit the memories of some exes of mine… good time to grab that other bottle now.
SIDE TWO – DRINK TWO
“Far Away Eyes” – when Rolling Stones go country, damn do they deliver. Even if you can’t help but laugh at Jagger’s best impression of a Southern accent, it is a phenomenal tune. Another showcasing of Ronnie Wood on pedal steel guitar, whilst Richards plays both acoustic and electric and some piano gets sprinkled in as well.
“So if you’re down on your luck and you can’t harmonize/ Find a girl with far away eyes/ And if you’re downright disgusted and life ain’t worth a dime. Get a girl with far away eyes”
Ya know, Mick, if you were afraid of your date running off with the nearest truck driver she could find, you probably weren’t setting your standards very high back then.
Don’t know what it is about beer, but the second one is always the greatest. Samuel Smith’s oatmeal stout is so smooth with a bittersweet finish. ERMAGAWD, YUM.
After the punk-arched track “Respectable” we get a song written and sung by Keith Richards in response to his recent heroin possession arrest. Gotta love that rock ‘n roller life, y’all. Fun fact: he supposedly recorded “Before They Make Me Run” in five days without sleeping.
By the time “Beast of Burden” comes on, I am dancing around the room. Many of the lyrics were improvised by Jagger to fit with the guitars that flow off one another. One high, one low. However, I always liked my misheard lyrics as a child about pizza better:
“I’ll never leave your pizza burning!”
“Pretty, pretty, pretty, pretty crust..”
Closing song time, here we go, folks.
“Shattered” is a personal anthem for my college whore days, although it is truly meant as a reflection of 1970’s NYC life. As the record takes its last few spins beneath the needle, I begin swishing around the last ounce of liquid smiling at me from the bottom of the glass…
“Flatter, flatter, flatter, flatter, flatter, flatter, flatter
Pile it up, pile it up, pile high on the platter”
Side note: Highly recommend you check out Jack Hamilton’s well-researched book Just Around Midnight.