Blue & Lonesome songs of the Industrial Revolution

Friday, 7 October, 2016

The Rolling Stones have announced that their 25th studio album, Blue and Lonesome, will go on sale on 2 December. Described as “five decades in the making and just three days to record,” it’s a collection of covers which takes the band back to their blues roots. Blue & Lonesome

Those roots are in the music that evolved from the rural blues following the Great Migration of Black Americans from the southern states to the industrial cities of the north. Bruce Iglauer, founder of Alligator Records, said, “Chicago blues is the music of the industrial city, and has an industrial sense about it.” That industrial sense was based around the electric guitar and the harmonica, with the harmonica played through a PA system or guitar amplifier. The Rolling Stones took that sound, added youth, long hair, rebellion, talent, marketing and sex and became millionaire rock stars.

The 12 songs on Blue and Lonesome span a 12-year stretch between Hate To See You Go, recorded by Little Walter in 1955, Hoo Doo Blues, recorded in 1958 by Lightnin’ Slim and All of Your Love, recorded by Magic Sam in 1967. Coincidentally, 1967 was the year when Seymour Papert wrote the LOGO programming language for children. The Second Industrial Revolution was ending in Chicago and the Third was beginning in California.

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