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The Rolling Stones: Beggars Banquet (London PS 539)

Miller Francis jr., Great Speckled Bird, The, 17 February 1969

THE ROLLING Stones are at the artistic peak of their career: Beggars Banquet is perhaps their finest work to date. It is not merely, as some critics claim, a return to "the old Stones": instead it is a mostly successful attempt to recast the very real musical and lyrical advances of Their Satanic Majesties Request into more traditional rock and roll form (just as The Beatles gives us the best of two worlds... Sgt. Pepper/Magical Mystery Tour and 'She Loves You'). The reason Beggars Banquet is more successful than anything else the Stones have done is that they are finally beginning to see their alienation (always and for ever, it seems, the Stones' one subject) objectively, not so much as an essential element of their experience, but as one "role" among many, a role subject to artistic, and even political, direction.

Total word count of piece: 1920

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