“Pleased to meet you. Won’t you guess my name?”
All of Rock and Roll exists in this song. The beat, the sheer MICK JAGGER of the vocals. Now you all know that I think Freddie Mercury is peerless…peerless…peerless. But Mick Jagger TEARS IT UP in this song.
You’d think a Christian wouldn’t love a song called “Sympathy for the Devil” but if you listen to the lyrics the Stones do a fairly darned remarkable job of telling you exactly who and what the devil is. The devil is silkily sexy and dashing and attractive…and at the root of all the dark that has happened throughout history. “Made damn sure that Pilate washed his hands and sealed his fate.”
The Stones put forth a more orthodox view of Satan in this song than you’d get from Rob Bell or Joel Osteen.
So, you know, there’s my apologetic on this song.
What does weird me out as a History geek is the fact that there are people who have to look up what each of the events mentioned in the song is. Like “What’s up with St. Petersburg”? I think we’ve failed if people get their primary world history lessons from the Rolling Stones and Billy Joel. Of course we didn’t start the fire…we don’t even light the match when it comes to inspiring curiousity in our shared past.
If I were going to tell you to listen to only one version of Sympathy I’d say “the live recording from Flashpoint” because that is where Mick sells it the best and you don’t have all the beeps and boops of the studio track. And it starts with a better guitar riff that comes in just before the drums with this “something AWESOME is about to happen.”
And just because I won’t slight Freddie I have to say that if you’re really juiced after listening to Sympathy you can always transfer all that energy to this…