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Beggars Banquet
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Media Type: CD
Street Release Date: 08/27/2002

Opening with "Sympathy for the Devil," the Stones' infamous we-are-evil poem, this all-original 1968 album began a quality streak almost unmatched in rock & roll. Mick Jagger begins writing from the working-class hero's perspective--especially on the anthem "Street Fighting Man" and "Salt of the Earth"--and Keith Richards buttresses his partner with rock-solid slide licks recently graduated from the School of Old Blues Records. "Jig-Saw Puzzle," which inexplicably never became a hit, is the only known instance of Jagger's describing the Stones' individual personalities in verse. --Steve Knopper

Beggars Banquet is among the Stones two or three greatest albums, so it's also among the very best rock & roll albums ever made. Though known for its twin anthems of social decay, "Sympathy For The Devil" and "Street Fighting Man," it's actually the album's gritty yet beautiful acoustic country and country-blues numbers--"Dear Doctor," "Prodigal Son," "No Expectations," "Factory Girl"--that has helped Beggars stand up so effectively through the years--that and the fact that Keith Richard's lyrics here often come as close to sincerity as he's capable. When he sings "Let's drink to the hard working people," for once you almost believe him. --David Cantwell

Customer Reviews:

  • Great CD, but no longer in SACD
    As previously noted, this disc is no longer offered in Hybrid SACD format. This is a regular audio CD now. At this time (Sep, 2007) the only Stones CD still available in Hybrid SACD seems to be _Between the Buttons_.

    Still, this new mix does sound quite good - the DSD remastering did wonders. And the music? Oh yea, this is classic rock and roll that everyone should own. ...more info
  • The beginning of the Stones mighty reign
    The Stones grew leaps and bounds with this album. Their songwriting beginning to reflect social, political and historical substance and their sound returning to a mean, more bluesy one after imitating the Beatles for a few years. This album disssociated the band from the Beatles for good. It was a pivotal album and the beginning of the Stones rule over the rock world. I can hear clear Dylan influences on this record as well as the Stones embracement of the country rock movement that was big around 1968.

    1. Sympathy for the Devil - Timeless classic and greatest Stones opener. One of Micks most charasmatic performances. The songwriting jumps out at you just as much as Micks guise as lucifer.

    2. No Expectations - A well written country ballad with some great slide guitar work and an expressive vocal from Mick.

    3. Dear Doctor - Country flavoured singalong with the Stones. Humourous lyrics.

    4. Parachute Woman - Acoustic blues based song with great rhythm.

    5. Jigsaw Puzzle - Mick doing Dylan, one of my favourites here. A winning Jagger vocal and those surreal Dylanesque lyrics.

    6. Street Fighting Man - Remains a concert staple to this day.

    7. Prodigal Son - Reminiscent of Johnny Cash, again fantastic rhythm.

    8. Stray Cat Blues - Would become the blueprint for the term "Stonesy rocker" a hint of what was to come on at least the next 4 albums.

    9. Factory Girl - Another simplistic acoustic country number with some interesting instrumentation.

    10. Salt of the Earth - Fairly underrated album closer with both Keith and Mick vocals. Great lyrics with a social consciousness. The song builds up nicely with some backup singers present.

    The Stones excelled with perhaps their greatest effort on the next album, Let It Bleed.
    ...more info
  • Oh yeah!
    Beggars Banquet, is a classic. Starting with Sympathy the stones best song this cd is a good blend of Rock, Blues and Country. No Expectations and Prodigalson are great country, Dear Doctor is good. Parachute Girl is a good Blues rock song good guitar. Jigsaw Puzzle is still relevent since modern life is like a puzzle with a couple of pieces missing. Stray Cat Blues has great guitar and a great vocal. Factory Girl is one of the stones best songs great violin and vocal. Salt of the Earth is better than the live version from Atlantic City (1989) Beggers Banquet is really that good. Oh Yeah!...more info
  • SYMPATHY FOR THE DEVIL, STREET FIGHTING MAN AND A BANQUET OF COUNTRY BLUES ! (it's all on one of The Stones' greatest albums)
    There are a lot of reasons to love The Rolling Stones' Beggars Banquet (1968). Of course, there is all of this great music, but it's also special because it was Brian Jones' last full album with the band (he contributed to two songs on Let It Bleed [DSD] before he died on July 3, 1969). And the album kicked off a new era of artistic excellence for The Rolling Stones.

    Sympathy For The Devil opened the album and made it clear that this was indeed a step up and into a new direction. No song had ever sounded like this before! Jagger as Lucifer.

    So if you meet me have some courtesy
    Have some sympathy and some taste
    Use all your well-learned politesse
    Or I'll lay your soul to waste

    Street Fighting Man is a killer acoustic/electric guitar rocking anthem and call for political revolution in the streets. It's also one of the band's greatest songs.

    Everywhere I hear the sound
    Of marching charging feet, boy
    Cause summer's here and the time is right
    For fighting in the street, boy

    Beggars Banquet features a lot of country blues, so expect plenty of acoustic and slide guitars, bluesy harmonicas, lazy southern accents and outcast poetics. The lost and left behind apathy of No Expectations, the hilarious acoustic country twang of Dear Doctor and the blues drenched sexual bravado of the John Lee Hooker-esque Parachute Woman all channel the spirit of the early Delta country/blues.

    The 6:17 minute Jigsaw Puzzle is a Blonde On Blonde-era Dylanesque surreal blues painting, and Stray Cat Blues really rocks with crunching guitars and jailbait lust. The working-class sexy Factory Girl and detached blue-collar salute Salt Of The Earth (which features the Los Angeles Watts Street Gospel Choir) wrap up the album in the wonderfully roguish Beggars style.

    Beggars Banquet is essential to any Rolling Stones collection. A lot of Stones fans believe it is an equal part of the band's golden era that included Let It Bleed [DSD], Sticky Fingers and Exile On Main Street [Limited Edition]. I don't think it's quite there, but it's a great album, and the fact that Jumpin' Jack Flash was left off of the album to be released as a single makes it seem even more amazing. Great stuff!

    "Please allow me to introduce myself..."
    ...more info
  • Stones Stoned
    This is a classic, from back when the Stones could make music. Sympathy for the Devil should be on everybody's iPod or MP3...more info
  • Beggars Banquet. The Rolling Stones
    This has got to be one of the best offerings from the Stones. The fantastic 'Sympathy for the devil' is by far the best track ever written by Jagger/Richards. No expectations is another as are 'Stray Cat Blues' and 'Street Fighting Man'. I think that this album has the best guitar in it before the introduction of Mick Taylor. The solos on 'Sympathy'and Stray Cat Blues must be some of the best by Richards, even though I think that he matured further next to Mick Taylor later on. Another very good track is 'Parachute woman'. This Album together with 'Sticky Fingers' and 'Let it Bleed' represent the Stones at their best....more info
  • the one that started their incredible streak.
    say what you will about the stones current work (i happen to enjoy it), there cannot be much argument over the fact that the string of studio albums they released from 1968 on through 1972 is one of the most amazing outpourings of rock and roll greatness ever achieved. "beggars banquet" was the album which started that incredible run of creativity. it contains two of the greatest rock anthems of all-time in "sympathy for the devil" and "street fighting man," and a whole bunch of other great stuff, including three heavenly acoustic blues numbers: "no expectations," "dear doctor," and the rollicking "prodigal son." there's also a couple of hard-edged bluesy rockers, "parachute woman" and "stray cat blues," which show that the stones in this era could not be touched by any other white boys when it came to performing raw lowdown blues. elsewhere we get "factory girl," an endearing sort of urban folk song with mandolin and great percussion work. there's also the quirky "jigsaw puzzle," with its great bass pattern and a jagger vocal that bursts with personality. the album ends with "salt of the earth," a mid-tempo anthem for the faceless crowd. catchy chorus on this one. you can hum along. and the piano takes us on out. don't miss this great masterpiece....more info
    The Stones started to really shine with this album. It was the peak of their creative genius! "Beggar's Banquet","Let It Bleed","Sticky Fingers" and "Exile On Main Street" should be in everyone's top 100 albums of all time! Though this album is more acoustic than most efforts by the Stones,there are some classic jammers including Sympathy for the Devil, Street Fighting Man and the forgotten Stray Cat Blues!...more info
  • The Keef and country rock bible
    While country rock might be a nauseating term in the wrong hands, the Stones laid down an amazing mix of acoustic and country flavors atop a sturdy and weathered blues and rock foundation to create a splendid album.
    This recording is chock-full of FM radio classics but it is in some of the less popular areas that the band really shines. No Expectations features one of Brian Jones most meaningful and, sadly, last contributions to the band's history with his easy going and smooth slide work. Jigsaw Puzzle shows some of the Dylan influence that nearly every band had to feel during this period of rock history, and Parachute Woman is a chugging acoustic blues exercise. As for the staples, Street Fighting Man has some of the most disquieting acoustic work ever laid down and Sympathy for the Devil, well...what can you say? I like how Jagger sums up the true nature of his influence with his straight forward and hippie jolting line in Street Fighting Man about how little the band can do about the times except to continue playing rock and roll. Stray Cat Blues features a murky leaden guitar sound; a scary, chugging, and threatening reverberation of menace. Factory Girl, Salt of the Earth, and Prodigal Son are also excellent acoustic driven numbers and have more country soul than the entire multitude of flag-waving, cowboy-hat sporting clowns who call themselves country nowadays.
    Among some of the greatest Stones' songs included herein, this album also demonstrates how valuable and vital Keith Richards is as a guitarist. He may not play with lightning speed and his lead work is limited at best, but his unique and hypnotic rhythym style and his undeniable gift for melody and song crafting are second to none in my book. If I had to pick one guitarist to start a band with, this guy is at the top of the list. ...more info
  • a piece of excellence
    beggars banquet was the greatest stones album and contained gems like sympathy for the devil,street fighting man and stray cat blues.hugely recommended....more info
    When you are forced to listen to "Physician Dre and Vanilla M&M", there is only one way out. Listen to music back then that didn't suck and didn't contain 25 fillers out 30 songs. This music is great, and is short so you don't have to worry about tracks being wasted on an idiot sighing, playing with wrapping paper, or saying "look how I can fill up an album today" (Vanila favored M&M). Instead you get songs like the classic "Simpathy For The Devil" which has a pretty grovy beat complete with maracas, piano, and some wicked guitar licks. You also get "Street Fighting Man" , an anthem about the middle class, and "Salt Of The Earth" which contains a choir in the background and great piano playing. "Stray Cat Blues", my personal favorite, shows how bad (and I mean sensually bad,grrrr) this band was for the 60's. The other songs are mostly pretty relaxing bluegrass songs like "No Expectations" and "Parachute Women" that are also catchy but not as rocking. ...more info
  • Beggar's Banquet is a Feast!
    This is a "must have" release mainly because it includes, "Sympathy for the Devil" and "Street Fighting Man." It also marks the Stones' first serious venture into Southern R&B and blues written by them....more info
    Beggars Banquet
    Physical Graffiti
    Sticky Fingers
    Please Please Me
    London Calling

    ...more info
  • 2nd Best Stones' Album
    This is an amazing cd and one of the best ever made. Of course we are talking about the beginning of the Stones' golden period here. Beggars, its follow-up Let it Be, Sticky Fingers, and Exile on Main St. are all five-star albums and easily some of the best rock n' roll ever made. Beggars is second only to Exile, which in my opinion is the greatest rock album ever made, hands down. It's also my favorite cd. Beggars comes close though. Kickin' off with Sympathy for the Devil, which has a stinging guitar solo from Keith Richards and really isn't that sacriligious (as most people claim). It's actually a good example of Mick Jagger's intelligence, something which he hid quite well. It goes into one of the prettiest songs they ever cut, No Expectations. I love the slide guitar on it. Some other good songs off this cd are the seminal Street Fighting Man and Stray Cat Blues (which foreshadows the route into sleaze the Stones would take later). Prodigal Son is a great blues cover (one of the many they did) and Factory Girl is just amazing. "Appalachian" with an African drum beat. Then it ends with one of the greatest closing songs ever, Salt of the Earth (it ranks only behind You Can't Always Get What You Want in the Stones catalogue). Beggars is a sort of bridge between their earlier and later material. Excellent cd......more info
  • First Tangent
    This is the last full album with Brain Jones it is also the first with any kind of political statement. Sympathy For The Devil, Street Fighting Man and Salt Of The Earth are the songs that make the stones say something yet still play the blues. It took till Beggers Banquet for the stones to get an album cover banned in the US....more info
    I like the singles from the stones yet I never bought any stones music until I hear Beggers Banquet. I was 18 years old and blown away by the album. I became a big fan after that....more info
  • The Stones bounced back...
    Even though the Stones' foray into psychadelia was nowhere close to bad, it's sad to think that they wasted that time when they were obviously meant to create roots based raunchy Rock n' Roll, as is seen executed masterfully on Beggar's Banquet.

    From the get go they proved they could spit out classic rock with the beat heavy "Sympathy for the Devil," a song that has Jaggers posing as the devil, telling his story of the ages. Though it's not as controversial nowadays, back then it was a bold move. But it made for one of their best and most well known songs. And that's saying a lot considering the Stones' long successful career.

    However, "Sympathy for the Devil" just jumpstarts this wonderful album. The slow bluesy number "No Expectations" that follows it is just as impactful. The slide guitar coupled with Mick Jaggers tortured whine denotes a feeling of true sorrow. The lyrics are simple, but honest in their presentation. It's one of the many great overlooked Stones songs. But hey...when you have this many hits, it's hard not to overlook a few right?

    "Dear Doctor", "Prodigal Son", and "Factory Girl" are all country blues workouts, and the good news is they're all great. Through sloppy overdubbing and old timey styled slide guitar, they managed to catch the sound and feel of american roots music perfectly, even if it sound parodic at times.

    "Street Fighting Man" is a great acoustic romp that sticks to the same melody (like many Stones songs) from beginning to end, adding textures or solos along the way. Despite it's sound, it's done with all acoustic instruments, making it deceptively energetic as Jaggers screams out his cryptic message with loose abandon.

    "Stray Cat Blues" is a monumentally good blues workout and a true triumph on Beggar's Banquet and for the Stones in general. It's the Stones playing loud, raunchy blues at the top of their game. It also marked a step toward some truly sexually explicit lyrics that they would take further and further throughout their career. Here, however, it's still interesting and not completely over the top.

    "Parachute Woman" and "Jigsaw Puzzle" are the only two I really consider filler due to their lack of intensity. That's not to say they're not good, however. On the contrary. They're great. They just don't set off a specific emotion like their country blues and full out rock numbers do.

    "Salt of the Earth" is also a very good track, and a great song to end the album on. Keith Richards' vocals in this song are not particularly professional, but that's the whole point. He sounds like an untrained working man doing his best to sing in tune. The album ends as triumphantly as it started, as the Stones "drink to the hard working people."

    Well here's to you guys! Thanks for sticking to your guns and making one of the most memorable albums in rock history.

    Pick this album up....more info
  • Nicely arranged album...Masterpiece!
    This is a great classic Rolling Stones and classic rock album. There's not really much more to say that hasn't been said already about it in the fan's reviews so I guess I'll give each song a grade of it's own...

    Rating Rolling Stones - Beggars Banquet
    Sympathy For the Devil A+
    No Expectations A+
    Dear Doctor A
    Parachute Women A
    Jigsaw Puzzle A+
    Street Fighting Man A+
    Prodigal Son A
    Stray Cat Blues A+
    Factory Girl A-
    Salt of the Earth A+

    Jigsaw Puzzle is my favorite song on the album. I tend to like the more unknown songs that most people never heard of. If only this song got radio play. Anywho......more info
  • classic
    There is not even anything i can compare to the rolling stones, especially this cd. definatly one of my favorites. I would reccomend sympathy for the devil any day. just awesome. ...more info
  • confusion about sacd
    I think that some folks are confused about sacd releases. Some of them are in the 5.1 surround format, ex. Pink Floyd's dark side of the moon and the Carpenter's greatest hits. Others like Beggars banquet and also the Stones Through the past darkly, are not 5.1. They're sacd stereo and if you try to play it like a surround cd, it won't sound good. Anyway the Stones' music was not recorded with the same attention to detail as other recordings from that genre (Beatles, Pink Floyd, Motown) So trying to get more detail from sources that just did not have it is impossible....more info
  • A classic
    A strong acoustic Delta blues flavor colors much of the material, particularly "Salt of the Earth" and "No Expectations," which features some beautiful slide guitar work. Basic rock & roll was not forgotten, however: "Street Fighting Man," a reflection of the political turbulence of 1968, was one of their most innovative singles, and "Sympathy for the Devil," with its fire-dancing guitar licks, leering Jagger vocals, African rhythms, and explicitly satanic lyrics, was an image-defining epic. At the time, though, the approach was still fresh, and the lyrical bite of most of the material ensured Beggars Banquet's place as one of the top blues-based rock records of all time....more info
  • WOW, this remastering!!
    OK, so it doesn't say so, but this is the "DSD" remaster just like the Let It Bleed remaster is. I won't comment on the album; a million reviews and words-of-mouth have cemented its reputation already. But I had to post on here about the remastering: it is THE best remastering I have EVER heard on a classic rock album. If you want to be blown away by the difference that sound quality can make, just listen to "Sympathy for The Devil" twice back-to-back: first on Forty Licks, then on the DSD remastered version of Beggar's Banquet. I've probably heard "Symapathy for The Devil" over one hundred times in my days, and there are tons of small details that I absolutely never heard before I listened to this version. I'm just glad I didn't get suckered into buying an SACD player, because this Beggar's Banquet re-release shows me that the same kind of phenomenal sound quality is possible from conventional CDs. Jody H. Klein, the sound engineer, deserves a Nobel Prize for this....more info
  • Raise a Glass for the Stones
    Not much to say except, the best Stones album is here. This is the absoloute peak and every song is a gem. The birth of greasy rock & roll and acoustic rock. Play it loud and raise a glass to the Stones!...more info
  • The Stones enter a new era
    a.) QUESTION: How could you tell that Brian Jones, who was having trouble staying upright at this point, was also having difficulty adapting to the arrangements on Beggars' Banquet, the Stones' return to their blues-based roots? ANSWER: The wackily inappropriate Mellotron on "Stray Cat Blues." (Listen for it! You'll never be able to ignore it again!) QUESTION: What counterarguments could be made? ANSWER: The magnificently patient slide guitar on "No Expectations," where Jones manages to conquer a musician's natural instinct to rush the beat, and lets his sighing, resigned playing act as musical commentary on the lyrics.

    b.) "Salt Of The Earth" has GOT to be the world's most amazingly insincere, unrighteous anthem to the masses I have ever heard - completely cynical, phony, and full of scat - and therefore absolutely brilliant. Nothing more perfectly encapsulates the Stones' discomfort with the "revolutionary masses" than this totally bourgeois hymn to them. Listen to those lyrics: "As I look out into faceless crowds, swirling mass of greys and blacks now, it don't look real to me, in fact it looks so straaaange..." This is so great; would we really want a truly compassionate anthem from The Stones? Of course not. So we get a song that sounds like a populist ode at first, but on closer listening turns out to be something quite different. And it has these wonderful images of rich people drinking wine trying to come up with toasts to the common people. They're "raising a glass" to the hard-working people. They certainly don't seem to be hard-working folk themselves. And as the song progresses, they seem to run out of good things to say about the common people, and start talking about stay-at-home voters, and those faceless's to the bourgeoisie!

    c.) In fact, Beggar's Banquet as a whole holds together lyrically much better than many of their other albums. All the songs seem to alternate between demonism ("Sympathy For The Devil," "Stray Cat Blues") and world-weariness ("Jig-Saw Puzzle," "No Expectations") and some seem to embrace both ("Street Fighting Man"). It seems to me that they're obviously becoming tired of that demon life that's got them in its sway....more info
  • Bakk To Blewz
    After a year or so of psychedelic hooha, the Dirty London Five returned to their blues roots with this record. Brian, disenchanted with the boys a bit, plays a bit less here, especially since he was all over Their Satanic Majesties Request. Obviously, his days with them are numbered. The album is a big turning point in their career. The early blues days of 12x5 and Now! are gone. They ahve their own sound now, rather than much of the same as The Yardbirds and such, playing the black man's blues without much of their own originality. They play the blues THEIR way here. And they do a damn fine job. Of all their records, I'd say this is their crowing achievement.
    Good Stuff:
    Sympathy For The Devil: Samba rhythm, crazy Keef Rick guitar, and Satanic Mick. Whoa! This is one dark song. The lyrics are great. By the way: the devil is mankind in the story.
    Street Fighting Man: ROCK AND ROLL! Actually, the bass is the only electric instrument, everything else is just heaily distorted acoustic stuff! But Charlie pounds away and Brian evens throws in some sitar amongst the acoustic napal,. How cool is that?
    Stray Cat Blues: Little girls and hard guitars. Okay!
    Factory Girl: A folk number that somehow channels English working class as well as drunken Americans. And it has some fiddle and groovy percussion. Classic unsober Mick also.
    The Salt Of The Earth: An ode to the "hard workin' people," those lower class men and women who live the simp;e life. Chalrie drums loud, Mick sings his heart out and everything just soudns great. Soul choir comes in the add extra flavor and it all ends with an upward speed change that would be repeated in "You Can't Alway Get What You Want." Possibly their best song....more info
  • Music with creases as sharp as a knife
    OK, let me go ahead and get this out of the way. I have problems with the two big tracks that, in the old LP days, used to end sides one and two. Musically stunning as it undeniably is, "Jigsaw Puzzle" nonetheless has a pretty underwhelming lyric. The disparate images Jagger tosses up initially reminded me of Lennon's vignettes from "A Day in the Life," and maybe he did have the Beatles song partly in mind, but of course the real model is/are Dylan epics like "Tombstone Blues" and especially "Stuck Inside of Mobile," right down to the bridgeless structure and the big, willfully repetitive chorus heaved starboard like an anchor at the end of each verse. In any case, the result is too studied, too consciously "poetic." Jagger is a terrific lyricist, and there's a heap of effortlessly great language on this album, but in this song he's aping Dylan, and I just can't overlook this, no matter how supple a groove the band lays down.

    In the case of "Salt of the Earth," while I like the strange, rather beautiful lyric, the music doesn't really come off. Just a year later, the band tried it again with "You Can't Always Get What You Want," another album-ending, pseudo-gospel number that has a nearly identical arrangement but which is far more successful. In hindsight, "Salt of the Earth" seems like an obvious dry run for the later, superior song.

    And those are my only gripes about this magnificent record. The Stones return from their psychedelic holiday (read: 1967) to find that the cauldron of blues they'd left on the fire has swelled into a seething brew that they can feast on for winters to come. This is revolutionary music. From the diabolical "Stray Cat Blues" to the lambent "No Expectations" to wonderful oddities like "Parachute Woman" and "Dear Doctor," the band sounds like it can break big in New Orleans and overspill in Caroline....more info
  • Unbelievably good upgrade in sound
    I don't know why it took me so long to upgrade from my original-issue "Beggar's" CD. Especially considering this is my all-time favorite Stones album. If you're a Stones neophyte trying to decide where to start (assuming you want an actual album as opposed to a multi-era 'best of' compilation), I highly recommend this one. It can be looked at as the beginning of the Stones true classic period, or as the culmination of everything did up to this point (or both).

    So I missed out on the SACD hybrid, which is fine because I don't own an SACD player and likely never will. The normal CD layer on this (which does come in a jewel case, which I highly prefer over those cardboard ones used for the SACD) is the exact same as the SACD. And it is awesome, one of the best remastered releases I've heard. Hearing this really does make the original CD sound like a second-generation cassette dub. The acoustic guitars have a presence and crispness that just wasn't there previously. The bass and drums are fuller and deeper. It's a cliche to say (of an old recording) that it "sounds as if it were recorded yesterday" - but I'd honestly say it applies here.

    As for the music, it's all great; not a so-so track in sight. As I see it, it can almost be mathmatically proven that this is THE perfect Stones album. How one would go about doing that is beyond my grasp (though I am not doubting the possibility). ...more info