ABKCO RECORDS will release the Rolling Stones Beggars Banquet (50th Anniversary Edition)on all formats this November 16th. Recorded between March and July of 1968 at Olympic Sound Studios in London, mixed at Sunset Sound in Los Angeles, Beggars Banquet was the first Stones album produced by Jimmy Miller, and marks the start of what is considered their most prolific album era. Beggars Banquet has a special place in the history of the band, as it is the final album completed with the original lineup of Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Brian Jones, Bill Wyman and Charlie Watts.
In the August 10, 1968 issue of Rolling Stone, magazine founder and editor Jann Wenner previewed the album for his readers noting, “The Rolling Stones have returned, and they are bringing back rock and roll with them. They have finished their next album — titled Beggars’ Banquet — and it is the best record they have yet done. In all aspects it is a great album; great Rolling Stones’ material and performance; a great rock and roll album, without pretense, an achievement of significance in both lyrics and music.” Wenner also put Mick on the cover of that issue, with a boastful headline, “The Stones Make the Great Comeback of Their Career.”
Long after its original release, legendary rock journalist and author Ben Fong-Torres heralded Beggars Banquet as“an album flush with masterful and growling instant classics” that “responds more to the chaos of ’68 and to themselves than to any fellow artists . . . the mood is one of dissolution and resignation, in the guise of a voice of ambivalent authority.”
As Fong-Torres refers to, “Street Fighting Man,” the most politically charged Stones song of all time, was partially inspired by Mick Jagger’s first-hand experience at an anti-war rally at the U.S. embassy in London where he saw activist Tariq Ali speak. Simultaneously, student protests in Paris were taking place, leading to a massive uprising that May in which almost a quarter of the nation participated in strikes and demonstrations. Jagger told Rolling Stone in 1997, “It was a very strange time in France. But not only in France but also in America, because of the Vietnam War and these endless disruptions . . . I thought it was a very good thing at the time. There was all this violence going on. I mean, they almost toppled the government in France . . .”