The Rolling Stones: Hate To See You Go / Ride 'Em On Down

When a band with about half a century of music on its shoulders is still able to deliver an album that can compete with ease among the best new albums of the year, it becomes common sense that pop culture and popular music in particular haven't really progressed as much as we'd like to believe they have.

There are some values in this business that are standard and that are universal and The Rolling Stones, a legendary act with nothing left to prove or gain, is one of them. They haven't been called either "the best band in the world" or "the best band of all time" for no reason anyway.

Blue & Lonesome is the Stones' 25th studio album counting by US standards (23rd in the UK) and at this point in time it marks a full circle for the band, as it is a blues covers album, their first one of the kind since their debut that dropped a lot of jaws on the floor back in 1964. It features covers of blues standards, some written nearly a century ago, songs by the likes of Howlin' Wolf, Memphis Slim, Willie Dixon and other blues legends. It was recorded at Mark Knopfler's British Grove Studio in London during the course of three days, or to put it differently, almost on the spot and it rocks harder than any Stones album in a long while.

Instead of still chasing the pop/rock game like they've done with all those works of the latter part of their enormous career, the Stones quit the running around and the jumping up and down for a while and take a moment to breathe and pay a visit to their roots and the genre that gave them their jump start ages ago. Eric Clapton joins in the fun by contributing some of his guitar work on two tracks.

There have been two great looking videos so far for songs off Blue & Lonesome, one for their take on Little Walter's Hate To See You Go, and one with a more cinematic approach for their cover of Eddie Taylor's Ride 'Em On Down, directed by Francois Rousselet and starring Kristen Stewart, cruising in a Mustang GT through a dystopian version of the sunny Los Angeles.

Watch both videos below...

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