Mick Taylor turns 70 today and what a great time to look back on his fantastic work with The Rolling Stones. Mick Taylor is often the unsung hero of the Stones, anchoring their sound with fantastic guitar work through some of their best albums. From 1969’s Let It Bleed through 1974’s It’s Only Rock ‘n Roll, Mick Taylor brought a tone and sound that was unlike Brian Jones before him or Ron Wood after. Listen through these great tracks and see what we mean.
5: Time Waits For No One
It’s Only Rock ‘n Roll is seen as somewhat of a letdown compared to the albums that preceded them but you don’t hear that on Time Waits For No One. Instead you hear one of Mick Taylor’s greatest triumphs and his involvement in pushing the Stones into latin rhythms.
4: Moonlight Mile
One of the reasons Mick Taylor has given for leaving The Rolling Stones is that he never received the songwriting credit that he felt he deserved. Moonlight Mile may prove his case since this was written and recorded while Keith Richards was largely absent. In that absence, the two Micks made truly a beautiful piece of music.
Goats Head Soup as an album always seems to suffer from it’s overly muddy production. While that can be true of Winter as well, Mick Taylor takes this slow grinding track and lights it up with an amazing solo.
2: Can’t You Hear Me Knocking
Can’t You Hear Me Knocking is primarily known for one of the greatest riffs Keith Richards ever created, but it is the second half of the song that is the most interesting. The second half grew out of a jam with Mick Taylor and Bobby Keys. They perfectly traded the leads with guitar and sax to create an amazing sound. Tack it onto the end of that great Keith Richards riff and you have one awesome track.
Sway is another track that makes helps make Mick Taylor’s argument that he deserved way more songwriting credit than he received. This Sticky Fingers track was also recorded while Keith Richards was away from the studio. So it’s all Mick Taylor’s guitar from the heavy riff that starts it off, through the slide guitar solo, and straight on to a blazing solo that ends the song. While how much Mick Taylor contributed to the Stones songwriting can forever be debated, no one can deny the amazing musicianship and innovative guitar work that he brought to this iteration of the band.