My Stones pose was weariness, a pose I've feigned pretty well ever since. But it's a pose that's taken effort to maintain and reflects a furtive obsession. Making sense of rock has meant making sense of the Stones and when Beggars Banquet came out in 1968 I changed my usual habits—bought this white album, left the Beatles' white album on its parallel shop floor pile. The Beatles still made more comfortable music but Beggars Banquet was the most interesting record I'd ever heard.
Most rock records aren't difficult to understand. They draw on commonplaces of community and adolescence: easy listening, good dancing, simple emotions, and sharp images. From this point of view Beggars...
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