The Rolling Stones - Doom And Gloom

You have to admit that you're not sure what to expect. Seven years after their last record, The Stones are back with a new tune. Recorded in Paris and produced by Don Was, it is the lead single from Grrrr!, a compilation which will be released later this year. The post on Facebook says the song will be played for the first time on air on Chris Evans at 8.15 on Thursday morning. It will be available on i-tunes immediately afterwards.

Can they still cut it? That's what you're asking yourself as you come downstairs, put on some toast, make a strong coffee. You're checking out your phone, trying to tune in to Radio 2. You haven't listened to morning radio since those fabulous Gallagher boys were releasing their first tunes back in the nineties and you're pretty sure you need to download an app. What happened to simply turning on the radio? You kick yourself for being so unashamedly last-century. But none of that matters because, in a few seconds, the app is downloaded and you're listening to Mr Evans' dulcet tones, just as you did all those years ago.

But who cares about that. All you're thinking about right now is the band who used to be called Little Boy Blue And The Blue Boys, many decades ago. The veterans of the Crawdaddy, the ones who played that legendary show at Hyde Park in 1969, who worked their magic at Villa Nellcote in 1971. Is it possible that these sixties survivors have made a record that sounds contemporary, relevant and powerful?

Sometimes you know from a song's first moments that it's going to be good. Some strong, slightly distorted, chords come straight at you out of the speaker. Then Jagger starts to tell a story of a dream he had and how "all around is doom and gloom". It's a bit like the news every night on the television, you think to yourself, the downbeat mood you feel on the street. Paint It Black for the twenty first century. But with a sneer, a swagger and a twinkle in the eye that says, in no uncertain terms - forget depression, lets dance.

And that's what you're doing now. Grooving round the kitchen, first thing in the morning, with a coffee in your hand and a slice of pure, unadulterated bluesy rock and roll in your head, your soul and your beating heart. One that beats just that little bit faster than it did a a minute ago.

Who'd have thought it, after all these decades. Put it this way. Imagine you're in 1976. Someone tells you that, in 2012, The Stones will produce a tune that is powerful, raw, with lyrics that have contemporary resonance. And, at the same time, Johnny Rotten will be advertising butter. Would you have believed them? Me neither.

If Street Fighting Man and Gimme Shelter summed up the world of 1968/69, Doom and Gloom does the same for 2012. It all sounds totally of now. It shows that Mick and the boys have their fingers very much on the pulse. In short, it's a bolt out of the blue and a breath of fresh air at the same time. And all you want, right now, is to hear those chords blast out of your stereo. Let's play it again.



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