Norman Bust

All the News That Fits Into a Size Seven and a Quarter Hat


The Beatles vs. the Rolling Stones

A bit of friendly competition? In a short three year period these two bands released these six amazing albums (and I’m not even including Between the Buttons, Magical Mystery Tour, Yellow Submarine or Abbey Road ). You can see similarities in cover concepts and/or titles. So let’s have a friendly battle of the bands. Cast your votes. I’ve already cast mine…

1967 Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Heats Club Band and Their Satanic Majesties Request.

Ok so this time the Stones tried to respond directly to a Beatles Album. They even used the same photographer, Michael Cooper, for their cover image (but their’s was in 3D). It didn’t work out all that well for them though. Critics weren’t so kind and even Marianne Faithful said that the Stones just couldn’t pull off psychedelic as good as the Beatles. I however, love this Stones album and would even argue that it’s much more psychedelic than Sgt. Pepper’s. It’s just a fun and colourful record. Even Beck says it’s one of his favorites. And we all know that Beck has great taste. However…

This match goes to the Beatles.


1968 The Beatles (known forever after as the White Album) and Beggars Banquet.

The double White Album was jam-packed with thirty semi-solo songs that allowed each member of the band to explore their own songs totally within their own vision. Ringo quit for a few weeks and then came back (so Paul played drums on a few tracks). Rarely were all four members in the studio at the same time. But it’s still such a wonderful variety of styles. 90 minutes that should be listened to through headphones-at least once in your life.  The Stones on the other hand went back to their roots. Bluesey acoustic songs along with arguably the best epic they ever produced in Sympathy for the Devil. Street Fighting Man though, is probably their most politically charged song. The song that best reflects 1968 in all it’s tempestuous glory (ok there is the Beatle’s Revolution single too). And it was Brian Jones’ last album with the Stones. Both bands were so prolific, so…

This match is a draw.


1969/70 Let it Be and Let it Bleed.

Coincidence? The Stones were first (at least in terms of a release date), and their album is considered their overall best to many. It packs a punch from the opening guitar licks of Gimmie Shelter to the final track that opens with a boys choir singing You Can’t Always Get What you Want. The Beatles, on the other hand, were in disarray and fighting amongst themselves. The Get Back Sessions were shelved and eventually they returned to the studio for one last hurrah and created their swan song, Abbey Road. The tapes for the Get Back sessions were eventually given to Phil Spector to mix and later released as Let it Be. Recorded before Abbey Road but released afterwards. Let it Be has some great songs, but since it wasn’t their pure vision…

This match goes to the Rolling Stones

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MANHATTMAN is hosted by Norman Maslov, whose Agence Internationale, represents a small group of wonderful photographers. This blog showcases images from these artists along with scribes about music, films, food, gin martinis and hats. Pontifications from a native San Franciscan and his extended family and friends. So it goes.

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