Tomorrow night on American Idol, it’s Rolling Stones night! We don’t know yet if the exclamation point is deserved. The Rolling Stones are a rock band. One of the most iconic of all-time. Will their songs translate well to solo performers, all of whom were born in the years well after the Stones most significant music was made?
Hard to say. But they have to try. That’s way the Idol game is played. And while we’re taking games, let me take a stab at predicting what Rolling Stones song will be performed tomorrow. And which will definitely not.
Most likely Rolling Stones’ songs to be covered in Idol:
“As Tears Go By” – My best guess about what’s going on behind-the-scenes is that this is the song Didi Benami and Lacey Brown are fighting over. Maybe a few other singers, too.
“Angie” – Why do I feel “Angie” calling Michael Lynche‘s name? “Big Mike” seems like the guy who could genuinely pull off this wistful break-up ballad. If not “Big Mike,” this one needs to be done by a guy with a big voice, like Lee Dewyze. But I worry it could end up in the hands of Tim Urban. And I don’t see that going too well.
“Beast Of Burden” – I see a girl taking on this one. Bette Midler covered it. So it seems to be suited for a female voice. Maybe Paige Miles with take on this ‘Burden.’ She’s got some rocker-soul pipes that would sound pretty good on this mid-tempo classic. She went off-track last week with that quiet ballad, “Smile.” Paige needs to get back in her zone. This could be the ticket.
“Fool To Cry” – Not one the the best known Stones songs. But definitely one someone needs to sing tomorrow night. A good one for any of the guys who are dads. Or 16-year old Aaron Kelly, who likes to sing songs from a father’s perspective. That’s a joke, people. Aaron did exactly that last week. I don’t see him doing that again after the heat he took.
“You Can’t Always Get What You Want” – Michael Johns sang this song on Idol during Season 7. It’s since been covered memorably on Glee. Among these young finalists, that makes it one of the best know Stones songs. So I see someone tackling this tomorrow night. Probably a female. Maybe Paige Miles. Or Katie Stevens. The more I think about it, I’d say Katie’s the one for this.
“Wild Horses” – This song has the potential to be a big “moment” for someone. A good fit for Crystal Bowersox or Casey James. And even for Michael Lynche, if he changes it up and covers it with soul.
“Tumbling Dice” – You gotta feel bad for Aaron Kelly, the 16-year old fave of the ‘tweens. What Stones song is going to be right for him? That’s a hard one. If he’s smart, he should find one of their ballads. But if there’s an equal chance he’ll go this route: a “get-the-crowd-rockin'” track like “Tumbling Dice.” Although I’d rather hear the big voice of Siobhan Magnus tackle this one. It’d also be a solid choice for Paige Miles, whose well-suited for it.
“Gimme Shelter” – If Lee Dewyze wants to define his mission as a rocker, I say this is the song he needs to sing tomorrow night. Lots of potential here to make it his own.
“Ruby Tuesday” – A “no-brainer.” The only question is who will sing it? Someone like Didi Benami, who has the potential to transform it and have a transcendent moment? Or Aaron Kelly, who’ll sound nice on what feels like a karaoke moment?
“Play With Fire” – I haven’t figured out who will sing this. I just strongly think someone should! Maybe Lacey Brown or Casey James if their first choices fall through.
“Time Is On My Side” – It’s another solid nugget from the Stones catalog. I say it’s harder to sing than it seems. So whoever snags this one better bring their A-Game. The song’s going to need someone who can make it their own. Lee Dewyze or Siobhan Magnus.
“Waiting On A Friend” – I’m feelin’ someone will do this tomorrow night. I’m also feelin’ it will be the low-light of the night.
“Anybody Seen My Baby?” – One of the few Stones hits actually released during the lifetimes of the Idol finalists. This is the song whose chorus sounds similar to k.d. lang‘s “Constant Craving.” So much so, they gave her a songwriting credit. Smart move. The Stones would’ve lost that lawsuit! Because it came out in 1997, maybe it’s only Stones song one of the finalist knows and they decide to go with it.
Least likely Rolling Stones’ songs to be covered on Idol:
“(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” – Probably the best know Stones song. Iconic. And I say somewhat untouchable. Yes, Adam Lambert sang it last season. Adam had the Jagger-swagger to pull it off. No one from this season’s Top 12 has the over-the-top persona to make this one fly. Unless Siobhan Magnus takes a shot at it. Recasting this one as a 2010 chick anthem would be risky–but definitely memorable!
“Sympathy For The Devil” – Snowball, you’re in Hell…how you like your chances? It may be a staple on Classic Rock radio stations. But we won’t be hearing this one on America’s number one television show.
“Start Me Up” – I gotta put this song down here because I’m saying…don’t! Don’t do this song. Yes, it’s one of the best known Stones songs. But it’s a poor choice if you want to show off your vocal range. And, more importantly, there’s no way to perform it without descending into a parody that will probably earn you a first-class ticket home. The exception is this: an Andrew Garcia acoustic re-imagining of the song. Which is less far-fetched than it sounds.
“Jumpin’ Jack Flash” — See paragraph above.
“Under My Thumb” – The Stones are known as the bad boys of rock ‘n’ roll. Songs like this one with its borderline misogynistic boast are partly how they got that reputation. Sing this song and then try and get women to vote for you? I don’t see that happening.
“Miss You” – Classic Stones disco-influenced jam. But not a great showcase for vocal pyrotechnics. Plus, I can’t imagine any contestant uttering the phrase: “We’re gonna come around at twelve with some Puerto Rican girls that are just dying to meet chu!”
“Bitch” – Nope.
“Star Star” – This one’s a gimme. Anybody that knows its lyrical content knows there’s not a chance it’s going to be performed on Idol.
“Brown Sugar” – No way. But I have to ask, “What if?” What if something crazy and borderline inappropriate actually happened on Idol one night? Would that be so bad?
Well, that’s what I’m thinking today as I listen to all these Rolling Stones songs on LaLa. What do you think? Leave a comment.
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