Last night at 12:25am I was driving home from my hockey game (game time: 10:40!) and, as usual, the Ipod was a-shufflin.’ So after Otis Redding’s “Scratch My Back” finished, on came The Rolling Stones “Heartbreaker,” which happens to be one of my favorites by the band. Lyrics aside, there’s something terribly ominous going on in those opening riffs and by the time those frantic horns come in at the two-minute mark, you realize that the music itself is riding sidecar with the lyrics, both destructive, emotive, desperate. A very underrated song.

So it got me thinking about a couple of things:

a) how sad it is that the Stones are desecrating their legacy by continuing to release albums. Sure, there are undoubtable high points on recent albums. Even “Dirty Work” (1986) had “One Hit to the Body,” but by-and-large, the Stones are now just a cartoon and with each release, the great vs. mediocre scale keeps slowly tipping to the mediocre side.

b) how it could be that the Stones have the gold medal standard for four consecutive unbelievable pieces of work. Beggars Banquet, Let It Bleed, Sticky Fingers and Exile on Main Street may be the best four consecutive albums ever released in the rock realm.

I’m having a hard time even coming up with a comparison. But here’s a couple that might deserve medals:

Slanted & Enchanted
Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain
Wowee Zowee
Brighten the Corners

The Kinks:
Village Green Preservation Society
Lola vs. the Powerman
Muswell Hillbillies

Any more you’d like to add?