Rolling Merrily On
This is the Stones forty-second hit single since their career began in 1963, and contrary to an often vocal belief, they have released some great stuff since their peak in the sixties and early seventies. 'Start Me Up' from the early Eighties, 'Love Is Strong' a decade later and 'Don't Stop' a further ten years on were all classic songs in their own right.
'Rain Falls Down' isn't one of their best, but it certainly ain't their worst.
Taken from the 'Bigger Bang' album, it sees the Stones experimenting with a more funk-based sound, but still playing all the instruments rather than using the likes of the drum machine. It's got a reasonably catchy chorus, a pleasant enough beat and some interesting guitar hooks, which all mixed together makes a perfectly fine and inoffensive pop record. The funk element makes me think of Prince only not quite in the same league on this occasion.
The tracks I listed in the previous paragraph as being great later Stones songs, all stick to the very familiar classic rock sound that they have created, and that is instantly recognizable as them.
Obviously it's great when bands play around with their sound as wouldn't music be dull if they didn't? However, call me old fashioned but the Stones are at their best when they play pure undiluted rock n' roll.
Although this track is unlikely to go down in history as one of their all time classics, and already it doesn't seem to be setting the charts on fire, the plus point for there being any new material from this band is that it means they tour the world. Having seen them at Wembley Arena on the last trek I can confirm they certainly still cut it live. If you can get your hands on a ticket for the UK shows next summer, do it! You won't be disappointed. OK so it would be nice if it was a little cheaper but supply and demand and all that...those who think the Stones should have packed up years ago are just wrong.