"The Satanic Sessions Revealed" - Vol. 1: CD4
Disc four of Volume One of the Box Set is a bit of a departure from the featured familiar song that is the subject of each of the first three CD's in the set. On With The Show is the most familiar with the remaining tracks either being previously unreleased or dramatically reworked.
"Satanic Sessions: Volume One"
Box Set Midnight Beat Records
Volume One - Disc 4 (8597)
1. On With The Show: Take 11 (3:55) - A creaky and quirky Mellotron dominates the melody of the track and mix. This is a full take of the song. Electric guitar and piano in the right channel with Mellotron and percussive sounds in the left channel.
2. On With The Show: Takes 12 & 14 (1:23) - Take 12 lasts 12 seconds and then suddenly "fourteen" is called out. There is no take 13 and maybe this is because they are superstitious about take 13's or they just lost count. Take 14 is also relatively short with someone calling out at the end "Keith, will you turn the Mellotron down on the headphones".
3. In Another Land Chorus: Takes 1 & 2 (3:11) - This melodically sounds like Bill Wyman's unique In Another Land, but it is a clean sounding backing track. It has piano and acoustic guitar instead of the Harpsichord and tremolo effects.
Keith: "That's very...I'll tell you what's very funny about that break is Bill"
This is actually a much more listenable interpretation of the song than the one that ended up released and pathetically over produced. This is clearly an example of a track that may have been played and altered to the point where it lost some of the raw appeal apparent in this early take.
Keith: "No, it doesn't; Charlie's wrong" "Hah, I Know"
4. In Another Land Chorus: Takes 3&4 (4:35) - This is a more rhythmical take with Charlie filling more the voids that are present in this run-through.
Keith: "What happened? Why did you stop?"
There is a lot of bass in the right channel on the take 4 restart. Maybe an adjustment in the mix between takes.
Keith: "Where are you all stopping? On the D?"
Charlie: "I don't know where that is"
"This'll be take 5"
5. In Another Land Chorus: Takes 5 - 14 (5:04) - The first take in CD track 5 is short and keyboard dominant, the second is very drum oriented with a prominent right channel mix. The takes that follow are short fragments that combine the keyboard and drum emphasis of the first two takes.
Charlie: "Well you won't play it"
6. Majesty Honky Tonk: Takes 1& 2 (5:44) - Dreary organ playing in the left channel gives one the feeling of...silent picture horror movie music. Right channel in the breaks has a Beatlesque pop melody. What a combo! Well, boring and very unStones like. There is a complete take then a short false start. Conversation ensues amongst the band and includes the rare occasion of hearing Jagger's voice in these studio sessions.
Charlie (whisper): "What's that voice?"
"You got these signals back?"
7. Majesty Honky Tonk: Take 3 (5:55) - The organ and piano riff with peppier tempo added to the piano breaks. And now...The dirge drone transformed into an uptempo dance version! Merry-go-round music! Strictly theme park 1967 style. The instrumental free for all is actually very much like "Between The Buttons" instrumentation.
"I'm calling in the mechanic man"
Charlie: "No, everything's gone dead on the phone"
"Calling in anything"
Charlie: "It's, it's called dead man"
"Nothing on the cans"
8. Majesty Honky Tonk: Takes 4 -9 (4:18) - Organ in the left channel and piano and bass in the right. Take four breaks at 1:37. Take five only last until 2:02. Take six develops a bit more until it stops at 3:01 just shy of one minute. Seven goes to 3:22. Take eight lasts less than 8 seconds and nine lasts 9 seconds. Things just don't seem to be coming together on this sequence of takes.
9. Majesty Honky Tonk: Take 10 (2:28) - Take nine makes it past a bridge section and into what seems to be a second set of potential verses. The song does come apart shy of an entire take though. Charlie: "Can't we go on from there?"
10. Majesty Honky Tonk: Takes 11 - 12 (2:22) - Take eleven is yet another restart this time it is stopped for an issue over the mix at 54:. Engineer: "Right, you're turned up so much that it's distorting I'm afraid. Keith: I'm sorry, it's just that...". Take 12 is off and running with quite a bit of heavy bass in the right channel. A whistle ends the take.
Charlie: "Nick (Hopkins)? Yeah. Can you finish the, the end of those off? You didn't that time you were doing it before. Do you know what I mean?"
11. Majesty Honky Tonk: Takes 15 - 17 (2:08) - Take 15 starts at :29 into the track and lasts until 1:03 where there is an abrupt stop. Keith: "Come a little bit faster on that would you?". 1,..2,3,4" and take sixteen lasts only seconds. "Seventeen" another few seconds and it's over and so is this song for the CD. "Eighteen..."
12. Jam One: Takes 1-7 (3:41) - A guitar rocker from the Satanic Sessions! There is very energetic bass playing going on in the right channel...makes me wonder if it's Wyman. The band seems interested in moving into more takes after the first stops at 1:12. Charlie: "Let's do another one". "Two" (laughs), Charlie: "Shut-up f*@king John". Take two last 3 seconds. "Three". Take three carries on until 2:18 and take four to 2:40. Charlie misses a drum beat and take five is over before it has a chance. Take six is off and running and Charlie misses again. Charlie at 3:09 "What do you mean Glyn (Johns)? "Well you sort of.... rather than.... Charlie: Oh, I see". The drums make it for take seven, but nothing else does and the track quickly stops. Bongo's are now clearly evident in the right channel.
13. Jam One: Takes 8 & 9 (4:05) - Take eight starts off well with the now familiar and heavily distorted Stonesy guitar riff from Richards. This is the most developed take of this song so far when it comes to an anticipated end at 4:05. There is no take nine on this CD track.
14. Jam One: Takes 10 - 15 (2:35) - Take ten goes until :15. The guitar in the left channel is lower in the mix. "Eleven". The guitar in take eleven starts at :21 and gets into a phased wah-wah effect and stops after a short period of time. I don't think Richards knew where to go with particular sound. He continues to work with the effect to the point where it is holding-up progress on the song.
"Ahhh... Charlie: You can call it anything. Title 15, Take 1"
15. Title 15: Takes 1-3 (1:12) - Takes one and two are very short. This is the same song as "Jam One". Keith is back with the heavy distortion and no effects this time around. Take three only makes it to the first instrumental bridge.
16. Title 15: Take 4 (3:58) - This is the most developed take of this series of attempts at the song. It's not clear how this would have developed lyrically, but it would be interesting to hear how a vocal track would have developed on this one.
17. Title 15: Take 5 (1:14) - "1, 2, 3, 4". The engineer whistles an end to the track at 1:12 for a reason that is not clear to me. This ends the take and the final track on CD #4.
This segment concludes Volume One of "The Satanic Sessions" box set series. Without a doubt the most revealing look at the Rolling Stones at work in the studio during the historic and tumultuous times of 1967. One thing has come to mind as I have studied the work of these session tapes: "Their Satanic Majesties Request" could well be the greatest protest album the Rolling Stones created during the Sixties! A protest against Pop Music, Rock Music, Andrew Oldham, Sir Edward Lewis, and Rock Music structure as most people had come to hear it. Almost as great a protest as Free Jazz was to the pure structure of music that had become confining to some Jazz musicians. Ironically, it would be a closer tie to their blues roots and the open tunings that Hawaiian "slack key" guitarists employed since the turn of the century that would send the band into their most significant period musically.
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