Sir Mick Jagger turned 70 on Friday (or if you’re author David N. Meyer, Dick Taggart turned 65 on Wednesday) so to celebrate, here are my top five favourite Rolling Stones songs. At #1 is the dark horse Ventilator Blues, a song which is up there for me with another of Exile On Main Street’s (1972) songs, Sweet Virginia (#2), as well as songs like Gimme’ Shelter (#3), Miss You (#4) and Sympathy For The Devil (#5).
Ventilator Blues is a down and dirty blues number which is notable for a couple of reasons, one being that it’s the only Stones song to feature a Mick Taylor co-writer’s credit (alongside Jagger and Richards) and secondly in that the band have only performed it live in concert just the once (in Vancouver, 1972). According to Charlie Watts, they all love the song, but could never get the feel right beyond the time they got it right for the album. It’s a song worthy of detailed analysis, but hopefully “bad-ass” will suffice. Here it is, Ventilator Blues: