The Black Box

The "Black Box" title dates back to the working title and concept of "Metamorphosis" and Bill Wyman's original picks for the record which were:

Bright Lights Big City/Cops and Robbers/I'd Much Rather Be With The Boys/Little Red Rooster (Live)/Down The Road Apiece (Live)/Don't Lie To Me/If You Let Me/Godzi/Panama Powder Room/Gold Painted Nails/Fannie Mae/Down In The Bottom

This information is from the book: "The Rolling Stones an illustrated record by Roy Carr", 1976 (two of the titles have been corrected). Down The Road Apiece is listed as a live track, but it's most likely from the BBC "Top of The Pops" broadcast on March 4, 1965. Godzi & Panama Powder Room are not confirmed to exist, but may be from the 1966 time frame and could be instrumentals from various "Between The Buttons" sessions. Gold Painted Nails is an instrumental from the Satanic Majesties sessions.

The Black Box title was picked-up by some enterprising types who used it on 70's vinyl releases that consisted of three LP's in none other than a black box. The label was Rolling Stones Vinyl Product (RSVP), and the contents included reissues of "Gravestones", "Rape of The Vaults", and "Beautiful Delilah" (also reissued on the Dragonfly record label). The first two titles were originally rubber stamped RSVP releases and third was a copy of an early Trade Mark of Quality release. Arguably a stronger release than the Abkco issue. No Oldham orchestra tracks on these discs!

"The Black Box"

Box Set LP Edition from 1978

LP 1: 1835 A/B & RS-A/B These are the matrix numbers for TMoQ's "Beautiful Delilah"
S1 - Memphis Tennessee/Roll Over Beethoven/Down In The Bottom/You Can Make It If You Try/Route 66/Confessin' The Blues/Down The Road Apiece/High Heeled Sneakers/Beautiful Delilah
S2 - Carol/I Just Wanna Make Love To You/The Spider And The Fly/Cry To Me/Fanny Mae/Walking The Dog/Jumpin' Jack Flash (Promo Video Version)

LP 2: RSVP 002 A/B This is the matrix number for "Rape Of The Vaults"
S1 - Ain't That Loving You Baby/Mona/Don't Lie To Me/If You Need Me/Oh Baby We Got A Good Thing Going/It's All Over Now/Little Red Rooster/The Last Time
S2 - It Should Be You/Play With Fire/Everybody Needs Somebody To Love/You Better Move On/Bye Bye Johnny/Beautiful Delilah/Hey Crawdaddy

LP 3: RSVP-003-A/B This is the matrix number for "Gravestones"
S1 - All Down The Line/Medley/CS Blues/Brown Sugar(with Clapton)/Slave (aka Black & Blue Jam)/Too Many Cooks
S2 - Exile On Main St. Blues/Silver Train/Parachute Woman/You Can't Always Get What You Want/Cherry Oh Baby/Ruby Tuesday/Sure The One You Need

The title surfaced again recently on a three CD issue in a black box. General information as follows:

"The Black Box"

Yellow Dog Records

This version is the millennium edition with bonus CD

Comes with a simple booklet that only lists song titles and recording dates. Inlay photos on the CD's are great early shots of the band. The first CD of the set takes a look at the early years of the band with a retrospective of alternate takes and unreleased titles in excellent sound quality.

CD-1 (VTCD YD 046)

- Heart Of Stone: The released version of the song in mono.

- Not Fade Away: An alternate take with a different harp track

- And Mr. Spector and Mr. Pitney Came Too: More or less the instrumental version of Andrews Blues. A.k.a. 1964 Blues Jam on some releases.

- Andrews Blues: Vocal by........Gene Pitney. He says thank you at 2:01 when Jagger mentions his name during his vocal piece of the song. Supposedly, rare acetates of this song were made for members of the band with "Between The Buttons" like cartoons on the labels drawn by Charlie Watts!

- Don't Lie To Me: The early 1964 studio ("Metamorphosis") version of the Chuck Berry song. Also covered live by the band on the BBC in 1964, and in Ft. Worth, Texas, June 24, 1972.

- Hi Heel Sneakers: The following five tracks (excluding Look What You've Done) originally surfaced on the early seventies release "Bright Lights Big City" (RS 541) on Trade Mark of Quality. There is an interesting story of how this first recording of rare acetates was made in the book "Bootleg: The Secret History Of The Other Recording Industry" aka "The Great White Wonders" in the UK by Clinton Heylin, on page 87. These songs were recorded at Chess Studios, Chicago, June, 1964.

- Stewed and Keefed: This is the same "cleaned-up" (no acetate pops) version that first appeared on "Mad Shadows" on Scorpio (SC-91022) and "Bright Lights Big City" Anniversary Edition (TSP-CD-BLBC)

- Look What You've Done: Jagger introduces the title of the song, but other than that it's similar to the released album take. A Muddy Waters song, recorded June, 1964 at Chicago Chess Studios.

- Tell Me Baby, How Many Times: A "Big" Bill Broonzy number.

- Down In The Bottom: Exhumed for the 1995 European Tour. Written By Willie Dixon and also performed by early Stones inspiration Howlin' Wolf.

- We're Wastin' Time: From the non-US versions of "Metamorphosis" with a slightly longer intro and outro. This and the following four tracks were cut with a studio session band and/or the Oldham Orchestra. Recording session date: July-Sept., 1964. Sort of a country feel to this, which didn't surface on record until High and Dry on "Aftermath" in 1966.

- Hear It: An instrumental track with Keith possibly on acoustic guitar and an Oldham orchestrated back-up arrangement. Recording date: July-Sept., 1964.

- Sleepy City: A Jagger vocal demo from "Metamorphosis". Recording date: July-Sept., 1964.

- Try A Little Harder: Another "Metamorphosis" track with count in. Recording date: July-Sept., 1964.

- Somethings Just Stick In Your Mind: Again from non-US versions of "Metamorphosis". A vocal demo recorded with session musicians.

- As Time Goes By: Alternate vocal/electric guitar take of As Tears Go By in best quality sound.

- Blue Turns To Gray: An Oldham orchestrated horn induced alternate that would have fit the standard set by the other early tracks found on "Metamorphosis", but not part of that compilation. Recording date: Nov., 1963.

- Satisfaction: An instrumental version of the song that has been in circulation for some time, but this is the best quality.

- Looking Tired: Another of the original "Bright Lights Big City" tracks this time the recording source is RCA Studios, LA, Sept., 1965. The guitar riff is lifted from Robert Johnson's 32-20 Blues, which he lifted from a piano blues by Delta Bluesman Skip James called 20-20 Blues! The earliest Johnson influenced Stones song I have come across.

- Paint It Black: An instrumental version of the song that has been in circulation for some time, but this is the best quality. Recorded in March, 1966.

- Lady Jane: The vocal is way in the back on this, but audible.

- Get Yourself Together: The vocal version of this title in best quality. Out of place for a 1966 track. It might have worked on "Between The Buttons".

- Have You Seen Your Mother Baby, Standing In The Shadow?: Only the backing vocals are present.

- Have You Seen Your Mother Baby, Standing In The Shadow?: An alternate take.

- Let's Spend The Night Together: Noticeable "wow" on the tape source in a couple of places. Only the backing vocals are present. Recorded in January, 1967.

The second CD of the set covers the unreleased work of the late sixties.

CD-2 (VTCD YD 047)

The following eight songs through My Obsession are instrumentals in excellent quality that first surfaced on a CD titled "Karaoke" (VTCD YD 033) on the same label, and also included lyric sheets written in English and Japanese. These are interesting tracks despite being instrumentals, because there is a great deal of production to be heard on these Pop efforts by a Rock 'n Roll band.

- Get Yourself Together: This song a.k.a. Can't Believe and I Can See It. Vocal version on CD-1.

- Let's Spend The Night Together: Instrumental version.

- All Sold Out: Instrumental version. Keith's put a couple of pick slides on this that I hadn't noticed before.

- Yesterday's Papers: Instrumental version

- Ruby Tuesday: Instrumental with count in.

- Complicated: Instrumental version

- Please, Go Home: Instrumental version

- My Obsession: Instrumental version

- Cosmic Christmas: There is also a rare unauthorized 7" of this song on green vinyl that has stereo/mono versions of just this track. Play it backwards and see what happens!

- Family: A droll song from " Metamorphosis".

- Downtown Suzie: This is an alternate version without the annoying skip that has shown up on a number of recordings.

- Hamburger To Go: Best quality version with just a single subdued "pop" at 2:30. Also mistakenly referred to as "Stuck Out All Alone", and labeled as "Give Me a Hamburger" on the original vinyl release titled "Trident Mixes" on K&S records (MCG/KS-072-A/B/C/D). The actual title of this song first surfaced in "The First Twenty Years", 1981 by David Dalton on page 190 (sessionography by Tom Beach & James Karnback). Recorded at Olympic studios, Spring, 1968. A Beggars Banquet session.

- I'm A Country Boy: Another of the original "Trident Mixes" instrumental tracks. Recorded at Elektra, Hollywood, Nov.-Dec., 1971, during the mixing and dubbing of the "Exile" sessions.

- Memo From Turner #1: Sounds like session man Jimmy Page is putting the violin bow to the Paisley Tele? "Metamorphosis" version of the song.

- Memo From Turner #2: A great "intermediate" version. Somewhere between the "Metamorphosis" version, and the Ry Cooder "Performance" movie take. This is probably the Olympic, 1968 take. A groove track!

- Sister Morphine: Album version taken from an acetate mix down. Some surface noise.

- Still A Fool: Mistakenly referred to as Two Trains on many occasions. This is the studio version of the Muddy Waters classic. Distorted vocal maybe through a harp mic. Check out the Muddy Waters original on the MCA/Chess release "the best of Muddy Waters", order no. CHD-31268. Two of the songs are recorded from vinyl, but these tracks represent the early roots of The Rolling Stones. Played live for the first time on the '95 European Tour.

- You Got The Silver: The Jagger vocal version for the 176th time. First surfaced on the "Accidents Will Happen" 2LP in the early eighties.

- Highway Child: Recorded at Keith's house at Redlands, July, 1968. A jam with Keith experimenting with chord changes. At one point it starts sounding like the old .38 Special song Hold On Loosely! Best sounding version.

The third CD of the set covers the unreleased work of the "Beggars Banquet" through "Exile On Main Street" period.

CD-3 (VTCD YD 048)

- Sympathy For the Devil: Compressed sound with "who..who's" way down in the mix. There are also a few bars edited from Keith's solo. Recorded at Olympic studios in June, 1968.

- Country Honk: Missing the fiddle track and the familiar car horn. A transitional song that reveals the influences of the time. Gram Parsons' turning Keith on to the soul of country music, and open tunings that were prevalent in the Country (Delta) Blues. Even the Rock version of the song reflects the impact of working with Ry Cooder during the "Let It Bleed" sessions, and Keith's enduring preference for Open G tuning that followed. His earlier efforts with open tunings were in open D & E on songs such as Child Of The Moon, Street Fighting Man (studio), and Prodigal Son.

- Gimme Shelter: A different mix and vocal. Lot's of bass in the opening bars of the song. Minus the Merry Clayton vocal. Recorded at Olympic Studios in May-June, 1969.

- Loving Cup: This could be the pre-Hyde Park studio version of the song. First surfaced on "Time Trip 1969-1973 Vol. 1" on Scorpio. Possibly from a May-June session at Olympic in 1969.

- Jiving Sister Fanny: Muffled sound with a different vocal take. Taylor burns it up.

- Honky Tonk Women: A studio version of the song containing the Paris verse that was only heard on early 70's live versions of the song. Also missing horn arrangements. Recorded at Olympic Studios in May-June, 1969.

- All Down The Line (Acoustic): One of the great examples of how the band can evolve songs. Slow acoustic guitar version. First surfaced in the late 70's, but this has excellent clarity and corrected speed. Recorded at Elektra studios in LA, Oct., 1969.

- All Down The Line (Electric): This is not the 7" single version of the song that usually shows-up on these recordings. Different mix, and harp solo at 3:05. An Olympic Oct.-Nov., 1970 recording.

- I Don't Know The Reason Why: Not hard to guess why this hasn't been released. A shorter version of the song.

- I'm Going Down: Last of the "Metamorphosis" songs. It's the familiar guitar restart album version. Hard to say whether this is a production error or a retake by Keith.

- You Gotta Move: An alternate take of the Mississippi Fred McDowell classic. There is a lot of vocal reverb at the beginning, and the slide guitar goes into a "wah" effect at the end. A Muscle Shoals, Dec., 1969 recording. Part of the work at this studio is documented in the "Gimme Shelter" movie. Fred's original version of "You Got To Move" is found on "Fred McDowell Vol. 2" on Arhoolie Records. Order no. F 1027.

- Brown Sugar: The earliest known version. Some of the fundamental tracks are inherited by later takes. Muscle Shoals, Dec., 1969.

- Brown Sugar: Starts-stops-restarts-stops-restarts. Sloppy production by the manufacturer of a take that is very similar to the album.

- Bitch: This is the album version of the song that starts off with some subtle cymbal tapping just before the start, and completely wipes out at 2:18 when the tape fouls-up.

- Good Time Women: The well known first version of Tumbling Dice. An Olympic, Oct., 1970 recording.

- Sway: The 7" single version. A different mix and take.

- C.S. Blues: The infamous let's make the last song we owe Decca a real good one! Recorded at Olympic in May, 1970. The origins and inspiration are explained by Marshall Chess in the opening 10 minutes of the movie with the same title. Interestingly, the song was rehearsed at the Woodstock rehearsals in preparation of the 1978 US Tour. Was Jagger reminded of this song by a copy of an unauthorized recording purchased while in New York? He commented on unauthorized recordings at some length in an interview from the early 70's.

CD-4 (YD 2000)

Only on Millennium numbered limited edition reissue

- Confessin' The Blues: True Stereo Version. That Mick Jagger blows a real mean harp man.

- I've Been Loving You Too Long: The true studio version without the fake audience screaming added by Glynn Johns on the "Got Live If You Want It!" album. The particular version first appeared on the German LP "For Collector's Only" in the mid Seventies.

- Poison Ivy: This is an alternate version to that heard on "More Hot Rocks (big hits & fazed cookies)". It has a percussive scrape added during the chorus. It is also found on several import re-issue LP's put out by Decca in the Seventies.

- Fortune Teller: The true studio version without the fake audience screaming added by Glynn Johns on the "Got Live If You Want It!" album.

- Time is on My Side: Organ introduction version.

- Con Le Mie Lacrime: As Tears Go By sung by Jagger in Italian with added harpsichord! Officially released in the Sixties on a 7" single with Picture Sleeve.

- Da Doo Ron Ron: Officially released but not easy to find. It a demo with Jagger and The Andrew Loog Oldham Orchestra.

- We Love You: The heavy melotron laden instrumental version.

- Dandelion (1:58): Early Keith Richards vocal work out. A.k.a. Sometimes Happy, Sometimes Blue.

- 19th Nervous Breakdown: True Stereo Version with alternate vocal.

- Yesterday's Papers: Early demo version with Jagger "producing" the vocal and arrangement.

- Gimme Shelter: Keith Richards vocal version with piano accented introduction.

- Sister Morphine: "Ready" intro version. There is an arpeggio versus strummed guitar accompaniment in the opening bars of the song. Ry Cooder shows up at 1:56 with the alternate slide arrangement.

- Brown Sugar: "Hot Rocks" XZAL 11018 Shelley version, specifically with matrix number date of 11-18-71. This is closer to the demo version heard in the hotel room scene in the movie "Gimme Shelter".

- Wild Horses: "Hot Rocks" XZAL 11018 Shelley version, specifically with matrix number date of 11-18-71. There is noticeable vocal reverb added on this take.

- Sister Morphine: Original Vocal Version by co-writer Marianne Faithfull! Complete with the Cooder slide and organ. One of the most compelling vocals she has ever recorded. Maybe only second to Why D'ya Do It!

- Japan flexidisc phone call (Jagger 8:50): King Record Company interview. This was originally included in early rare versions of "Beggars Banquet" issued in Japan. The recording also surfaced on the late Seventies unauthorized LP "100% Odd Lots or the Best of the Rest".

There's something on this box set for everyone. First ever releases of some songs and best quality version of the older ones. Jagger isn't too keen on the concept of retrospective box sets these days, so this is probably as good as it gets.

"Black Box"

(OMS 025/26/27/28)

Original Master Series

CD 1: Heart Of Stone 2:50/Not Fade Away 1:51/And Mr. Spector And Mr. Pitney Came Too 3:20/Andrews Blues 3:06/Don't Lie To Me 2:07/Hi Heel Sneakers 3:01/Stewed And Keefed 4:14/Look What You've Done 2:22/Tell Me Baby, How Many More Times 1:59/Down In The Bottom 2:45/We're Wastin' Time 2:55/Hear It 3:12/Sleepy City 3:07/Try A Little Harder 2:29/Something Just Stick In Your Mind 2:33/As Time Goes By 2:17/Blue Turns To Grey 2:43/Satisfactiion 3:46/Looking Tired 2:1/Paint It Black 2:24/Lady Jane 3:12/Get Yourself Together 3:12/Have You Seen Your Mother Baby, Standing In The Shadow #1 2:33/Have You Seen Your Mother Baby, Standing In The Shadow? # 2/Let's Spend The Night Together 3:54

CD 2: Get Yourself Together 3:39/Let's Spend The Night Together 3:51/All Sold Out 2:50/Yesterday's Papers 3:12/Ruby Tuesday 3:29/Complicated 3:27/Please, Go Home 3:22/My Obsession 4:10/Cosmic Christmas 0:35/Family 3:50/Downtown Lucy 3:40/Hamburger To Go 3:27/I'm A Country Boy 4:32/Memo From Turner #1 2:51/Memo From Turner #2 4:01/Sister Morphine 5:28/Still A Fool 10:01/You Got The Silver 2:52/Highway Child 5:02

CD 3: Sympathy For The Devil 5:58/Country Honk 3:03/Gimme Shelter 4:24/Lovin' Cup 6:33/Jiving Sister Fanny 3:16/Honky Tonk Woman 3:08/All Down The Line (Acoustic) 4:24/All Down The Line (Electric) 3:49/I Don't Know The Reason Why 5:59 (a.k.a. Hillside Blues)/I'm Going Down 3:06/You Gotta Move 2:37/Brown Sugar #1 3:45/Brown Sugar #2 4:31/Bitch 2:24/Good Time Woman 3:18/Sway 3:35/Schoolboy Blues 3:30

CD 4: Confessing The Blues 2:45/I've Been Loving You Too Long 2:51/Poison Ivy 2:32/Fortune Teller 2:15/Time Is On My Side 2:52/Con Le Mie Lacrime 2:44/Da Doo Ron Ron 2:21/We Love You (Instrumental) 3:02/Dandelion 2:00/19th Nervous Breakdown 3:53/Yesterday's Papers 2:06/Gimme Shelter 4:19/Sister Morphine 5:35/Brown Sugar 3:4/Wild Horses 5:43/Sister Morphine 5:29(Marianne Faithfull)/Rare Telephone Call From Japan 8:50

Comment: Hey, they used my song descriptions of the large box set edition for the inlay notes! At lease they gave credit... More than I can say for others getting money for books that include my research with no credit given. Gold CD's.

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