This is for real as far as the hype goes, because this has got to be the most revealing look at the Rolling Stones at work in the studio that has ever surfaced. It's a 4 CD release that comes in a 12" box in a box package with a deluxe color outer sleeve. The cover picture is of a woman who looks to be in some trans-like state from the album cover of the old Capital Records LP "Fire Goddess". There is also a booklet that features many pictures from the August 25, 1994 Rolling Stone issue on the band. The booklet has an essay on Voodoo Lounge by David Fricke from Rolling Stone July 14-28, 1994 issue. There are also track by track details of the band line up, and a listing of basic differences in the recordings from the original releases.
CD 1: The Jagger Cover CD with a Red Picture disc
Vigotone (VIGO 145): The Alternate Voodoo Lounge
- Mick/Keith Dialogue (:39):
A woman (Josephine Wood perhaps?) asks:
"How many songs are you gonna do?"
"Boxed sets worth. Boxed sets"!
- Love Is Strong (5:44): Extended version without background vocals and a distinct guitar mix. Jagger says the "Drop on" line found in the remix versions.
- You Got Me Rocking (4:06): Alternate mix with extra guitar overdubs and backing vocals that are "up" in the mix.
- Sparks Will Fly (3:15): Similar to the album. Has the clicking sound at the beginning.
- The Worst (3:08): Different mix and vocal take with an extra instrumental bridge. Missing the great Jagger backing harmony.
- New Faces (2:48): Alternate mix with count in.
- Moon Is Up (4:18): Similar to the album, but missing castanets.
- Out Of Tears (5:25): There is some talking in the background at the beginning if this one. An alternate mix without backing vocals
- I Go Wild (4:40): At a slightly slower tempo with an extended alternate mix without background vocals. Only one rhythm guitar is playing.
- Brand New Car (5:04): Extended alternate mix with background vocal by Keith.
- Sweet Hearts Together (5:49): Missing accordion overdub but including a fiddle, and alternate vocals.
- Suck On The Jugular (5:47): Alternate extended mix with different guitar overdubs and an added keyboard. There is background chatter before the group chorus.
- Blinded By Rainbows (4:35): Similar to the album.
- Baby Break It Down (5:59): Similar to the album.
- Thru And Thru (8:33): Extended alternate mix with spooky synth. effects running through the entire track. Missing most background vocals, and with some added guitar overdubs. Soul baby soul.
- Mean Disposition (3:14): Shortened alternate mix.
- Ron and Keith Dialogue (:57): Keith and Ronnie play with the vocal reverb.
The first disc is a track for track answer to "Voodoo Lounge" in correct running order of the most "mature" tracks of the package.
My guess is that these are master reels or most likely first generation stereo mix downs from the sessions that originated at Ron Wood's house in Kildare, Ireland in July and September, 1993. Awesome.
On this disc Keith is in the studio and the tape is running as he plays fingerstyle acoustic guitar. Plenty of dialogue and what's on Richards mind about the music.
CD 2: Richards Inlay Cover CD with a Bronze Picture Disc (VIGO 148): Keith Plays His Favorites
- Salty Dog (2:52): A traditional folk song expertly played fingerstyle on an acoustic guitar. Keith fills different sections with slide chords from New Faces. Woody walks in and they talk about the weather for a minute.
- Guitar Overdub (2:46): Jagger/Richards review a playback of New Faces where Keith is checking out the placement of the acoustic chord slides.
- Salty Dog (reprise) (:14): Keith starts playing this and Jagger says "we'll get to that one in a minute". Keith mentions Rambling Jack Elliott.
- Cocaine Blues #1 (2:00): "Cocaine all around my brain". We're not talking about Eric Clapton here. This is fingerstyle Delta Blues played in the softer Mississippi John Hurt style (i.e.: Candy Man). Keith credits the song to Blind Gary Davis. Keith goes on to say that this was the first song he properly learned on the guitar. Beautiful acoustic tone, the sweet sound of a Martin straight into a recorder. There's no piezo-electric Ovation sound on this one.
- Cocaine Blues #2 (3:22):
- I Get A Kick Out Of You (2:30): Another song thematic of cocaine.
- Goodbye To Love (3:46): A slow acoustic piece in the Everly Brothers genre. Keith later credits the song to The Marcels as the B-side to their "Blue Moon" release.
- Love's Tough Sh** Baby (2:00): This one is off the top as you might have guessed.
- Keith's Boogie (4:09): This is authentic acoustic Delta Blues fingerstyle guitar. Perfect "double thumbing" technique in Open G, very reminiscent of Robert Johnson. At the end of the song Richards comments on Johnson. Absolutely no sign of "Arthur" on this one!
- Goodbye To Love (2:27): "Goodbye to love...goodbye to romance"
- I Get A Kick Out Of You (3:43):
- Cocaine Blues #3 (5:33):
- Crying Waiting Hoping (2:34): Keith does Buddy Holly and compliments his song writing skills.
- Love Is Strange (1:41):"Too many people seem to take it for a game..."
- Make No Mistake (2:58): Slow strummed version.
- Girl Of The North Country (4:06): Dylan acoustic. "If you're traveling the North Country far..."
- John Wesley Harding (4:14): Another acoustic Dylan track for the archives!
- Blues Jam Riffs (4:22): Robert Johnson's "Hellhound On My Trail" note-for-note at the opening. The song transitions into fingerstyle 12-bar blues.
- Brand New Heartache (2:29):
- Scotty Moore Riffs (:49): Keith says "Scotty". A repetitive riff.
- Reverse Boogie/Riffs (2:48): Keith describes the riff as a reverse boogie.
- Please Please Me (2:10): Acoustic Beatles. Keith comments: "Horrible Beatles bridge I'm not going to do it".
- Sparks Will Fly/Riffs and Dialogue (14:33): Jagger credits Richards for this song in the "Life in The Voodoo Lounge" Westwood One radio special that aired in September '94. A slow strummed working of the song in a Nashville tuning. Woody walks in and asks for his guitar back, and they get into some tangent, Josephine joins in.
Keith still remembers the Delta Blues. The influence is clear on the classic BB, LIB, SF, & EOMS, but this is more evidence of the continuing impact of this music on Richards. He plays it like a master.
The general theme of disc 3 is described as "backing tracks for unreleased & non LP songs". Jagger is off mic. on the tracks that have vocals. This is a technique he has used at both Pathe Marconi and RCA 1978 to get a feel for the song without really committing his voice to tape. The track & time listings on the CD, the box, and the booklet don't match the music and are corrected in this post.
CD3: Watts Inlay Cover CD with a Green Picture Disc (VIGO 149): Alright Charlie!
1. Alright Charlie! (4:59): Fast tempo instrumental. Slightly similar to Cellophane Trousers.
2. It's Alright/I Got A Hold On You (8:36): There are two separate songs on the same CD track. The first one ends at 3:59, the second starts at 4:05 and ends at 8:36. The first song is a faster tempo funk, with both songs having faint vocals.
3. Untitled #1 (6:12): A slower song with harmonica and keyboard backing track. The vocal is inaudible.
4. You Got It Made (4:26): This would have made a good track for the "Goldeneye" movie soundtrack that the Stones turned down. Had one in the can for it.
5. Untitled #2 (5:52): Instrumental.
6. Jump On Top Of Me (4:57): The vocal is way in the "back" at the beginning. Mostly an instrumental.
7. I'm Gonna Drive (5:22): Instrumental version.
8. Untitled #3 (5:45): Slow keyboard/drum groove. Jagger is in the background singing and calling out some of the changes as they go.
9. Untitled #4 (3:48): A slow reggae tune.
10. Make It Now (7:26): A funk groove with a drum beat similar to Suck On The Jugular. A keyboard/bass dominated track.
11. It's Funny (5:17): There is a song of this title at the beginning of the CS Blues movie with Jagger on vocal/piano, but there is no relationship here. This is a slow keyboard track.
12. Untitled #5 (5:19) Slow guitar/piano track.
13. Alright Charlie! (Listed as Untitled #5) (3:05): Same as Alright Charlie! on track 1.
14. Keith Dialogue (:30): Keith has a laugh about a scrape overdub.
Note: That Ivy League is listed as track 4, but based on the Voodoo Stew release (CD #3 track 13) it doesn't appear to be contained within the musical content of this disc
The titles are highly questionable on these. Jump On Top Of Me and I'm Gonna Drive are the best of the bunch, so the band has been kind enough to provide finished versions of the best material from this particular session.
Several of these tracks are playbacks that are having added live vocal and/or instrumental pieces overdubbed on to the baseline tracks. Others are completely different live takes.
CD4: Wood Inlay Cover CD with a Blue Picture Disc (VIGO 150): Rehearsals, Alternate Mixes & Early Versions
- The Storm (3:15): A different mix with the acoustic slide guitar "up" in the right channel. There are different harp pieces although some are the same as the single release.
- You Got Me Rocking (4:08): The fundamental track is the same as the album release, but with an alternate mix. The vocal is different.
- Sparks Will Fly (3:17): Keith on vocal! Instrumental track very similar to VL. There is a lead line in the left channel that gets edited out of the released song.
- The Worst (2:23): Similar to VL, but again missing Jagger background vocal as in CD1. Keith's on backup vocal overdub.
- Out Of Tears (4:20): Early working version with a drum machine, keyboard and Jagger vocal.
- Brand New Car #1 (5:21): An early working of the entire track live. Jagger calls a few chord changes.
- Sweethearts Together (3:01): Early run through with Jagger on vocal and acoustic guitar . He asks Woody "is this a Martin?".
- Sweethearts Together (5:53): Similar to VL, but missing accordion. Has the fiddle track.
- Blinded By Rainbows (6:47): With a completely different guitar oriented instrumental track. The vocal has a dramatic edge to it. A great version minus all the album production. Stripped!
- Baby Break It Down (4:11): Different mix. The keyboard background track that comes in at 1:39 on VL is replaced by pedal steel. No background vocals.
- Thru And Thru (11:39): The first 1:45 of the track is spent getting a scrape sound right. An overdub being laid on a playback. Stops abruptly at 6:30 to discuss what's going on and starts up again.
- Thru And Thru (3:58): There is an electric guitar overdub present. A Jagger backing vocal is very clear in the right channel in the first part of the song.
- The Storm (9:52): It's got Charlie's "can't you have this in mono" line. A very early take of the song with a working vocal to establish the baseline tracks.
- The Storm (3:17): The acoustic slide track is very audible in the right channel. The vocal has a reverb effect that's not present on the single.
Steel Wheels was a come-back record for the band, but Voodoo Lounge was a statement that is was more than just a flash, even though five years elapsed. The diversity of the music on VL is great, so the opportunity to hear the evolution of these tracks in superb stereo quality is a very rewarding experience (for me at least). It never ceases to amaze me how this band can transform and evolve songs into the finished product as we know it. It can be as simple as adding or deleting a particular backing track or just changing the mix...truly an art form.
The second box set of 4CD's worth of studio sessions from "Voodoo Lounge"! Photos on the box are of people who have ceased to exist. Morbid. There is a booklet printed on glossy color paper with B&W photos on the inside. It has track and personnel listings, and nude photos from what appears to be the Roaring Twenties.
CD1: (VIGO-152)Subtitled: "Keith Richards Voodoo Lounge"
All tracks are Keith on lead vocal!
- Love Is Strong (5:39): The instrumental mix is different and the vocals are improvised in places. "What's that in German Doug?". The strong left-right channel guitar mix.
- You Got Me Rocking (10:57): The tempo/time is all over the place, with this being much slower version than on the album. Jagger on backing vocals.
- Sparks Will Fly (3:13): The instrumental track is similar to the album version with a different mix. There is a doubling effect on the vocal in places.
- The Worst (2:24): Drums left channel/Piano right/Fiddle right/Pedal steel & guitar middle. I compared this take to CD 1 track 5 (3:07) and CD 4 track 4 (2:24) of "Voodoo Brew", and I have to conclude that CD1 is the same mix and CD4 is a different mix (mono) with all three being different from each other.
- (Baby) Make It Now (4:26): A groove track. The instrumental version of this track was on CD 3, track 10, of "Voodoo Brew". This vocal seems to confirm the title. Keith is also on the back-up vocal track.
- If (Moon Is Up)(5:00): Keith comments: "This is a new song I've written called 'If'". Similar lyrical theme to the album. Instrumental mix is Garbage can drums in the middle/Chorus effect guitar left/Acoustic guitar right.
- It's Funny (4:34): A slow dreamy song with an occasional simple guitar line. There is a lot of bass guitar in the mix. This title was an instrumental track on CD 3 track 11 of "Voodoo Brew". Keith calls for the bridge at 1:38.
- Sweethearts Together (5:51): This features Keith on a ghost vocal that is barely audible, so this is mainly an instrumental that highlights the fiddle playing and is minus the burning accordion solo.
- Anything For You (8:11): This slow instrumental is similar in some ways to Almost Hear You Sigh. Keith starts a ghost vocal at 2:00.
- Baby Break It Down (5:57): Different instrumental mix. Keith's vocal is doubled again on this track on the chorus.
- You Got It Made (5:00): This track was the instrumental titled "Get It Made" on CD3 track 4 of "Voodoo Brew". It's the same riff with added vocal by Keith. This is a strong track.
- Thru And Thru (8:21): There are no sound effects on this take. Keith is on lead vocal, and backing track vocal singing that starts out at an octave or so higher. The guitar is so clear that the man could be sitting playing next to you! This take includes the second acoustic guitar parts.
- Track With No Name (Untitled)(3:46): Ronnie opens with: "Two bars of drums first anyway". This was an instrumental on CD 3 track 5 of "Voodoo Brew", listed as Untitled #2. Someone, possibly Don Was is calling out where verses, bridges, and chord changes should be placed. There is no vocal on this one.
CD2: (VIGO-153): Subtitled:"Stack O' Tracks"
This CD consists of instrumentals or faint ghost vocals. There is an error in the inlay track listing which is corrected here. The booklet has the correct song list.
- Love Is Strong (5:41): The song begins with a count in. Acoustic guitar left channel/Electric guitar right/Keyboard in the middle. Jagger calls out the bridge at 1:29. Jagger's ghost vocals cut in at 4:15.
- 5 String Riffin' (1:08): This is a classic open G strum with a few major chord changes and the infamous added two finger suspended chord.
- You Got Me Rocking (4:06): Instrumental with slide guitar on the left channel and rhythm guitar right. It is basically the finished instrumental track.
- Sparks Will Fly (3:14): Instrumental with a Jagger ghost vocal. Again this sounds like the finished instrumental track.
- New Faces (2:50): Jagger count-in as on the album. There is a flute track instead of Chuck Leavell's harpsichord/harmonium. This gives the song a Ruby Tuesday sort of feel. Very pretty.
- Moon Is Up (4:59): This has the same synth. guitar sounding intro as on CD1 track 7 of "Voodoo Brew". Jagger on ghost vocal.
- Out Of Tears (5:23): Instrumental version minus keyboard delay effect with a very faint ghost vocal. There are some very nice added guitar lines on this, only some of which were used on the album. They were replaced by keyboard "strings".
- I Go Wild (5:29): Instrumental version of the album track.
- Brand New Car (5:03): A bass guitar and drum oriented backing track with only the added scrapes. Jagger's vocal is very faint.
- Sweethearts Together (5:52): Instrumental that is very similar to the album version of the song.
- Suck On The Jugular (5:47): There is a very funky added guitar wah-wah on this instrumental version. There are also bongos present in the mix. Jagger's vocal is very faint.
- Blinded By Rainbows (4:35): Instrumental with a Jagger ghost vocal. Acoustic guitars in both channels really add to the piece.
- Baby Break It Down (5:48): This has a keyboard track that is up in the mix, which is not as evident on the album version. Also the pedal steel is up in the mix.
- Thru & Thru (8:23): Instrumental with Keith on faint ghost vocal. Two acoustic guitars are as evident in the mix as the electric guitar. Interesting track with quite a different feel.
- Mean Disposition (4:05): Acoustic guitar left/Distorted electric guitar right/Drum & keyboard middle. Clocks in at nearly the same time as the album version.
CD3: (VIGO-154)Subtitled: "Zulu Fun Mixes"
Ideas, jams, and several thought-out and never before heard vocal tracks. These songs are listed as pre-production numbers from Barbados, and it's substantiated by an engineer's announcement at the beginning of the CD. All the song titles are also confirmed by announcements before the tracks. These titles also verify some of the questionable instrumental titles from Disc 3 of "Voodoo Brew". It should be noted that the common titles are the ones that made to the more serious production work in Ireland.
- Monsoon Ragoon (4:36): "com.5 ID: 43". An interesting techno-dance tune. No words, but Jagger is chanting. Promising in it's raw form, but it would probably be overproduced on a Stones album.
- Sweethearts Together (3:15): "com.6, 51". An early working take with Keith on vocal. A simple drum beat dominated track with some bass and guitar lines. Could this have been a Keith song all along?
- Tease Me (4:17): "DAT: 11, ID: 20". A slow song with Richards on vocal. Reminiscent of Honeymoon/Hotel material.
- Possesses Me (7:34): "DAT: 11, ID: 23". A Keith vocal that starts off-time, but it takes off. Some of the guitar lines are similar to It Means A Lot from "Talk Is Cheap".
That's what possesses me baby
Oooh that's what it is possesses me
Don't know, exactly, exactly what it is
But it's got me in it's grip
Yeah, just got me in it's grip
- Bump And Ride (5:47): "D14, #2". A funk style groove with an improvised Jagger vocal.
- Middle of the Sea (3:41): "DAT: 19, ID: 31". Starts off with percussion and a snappy beat with a funky guitar riff that is reminiscent of Everything Is Turning To Gold. Jagger on a somewhat developed lyric.
In the middle of the ocean
In the middle of the sea
I saw a huge monster
Coming after me
- Zulu #1 (4:04): "D22, 19". Sort of a South Pacific feel with pedal steel adding to the effect. Jagger is just sounding out a vocal, there are no lyrics to the song.
- Zulu #2 (4:03): Jagger: "I play, I play a bit of percussion with you?" Watts: "Yeah!". Jagger proceeds to add a very capable bongo beat to this groove track. The pedal steel is a bit more country sounding on this take. Keith takes on a vocal at 3:13.
- Samba (3:34): "DAT 22, ID: 29". A keyboard track with a samba beat. Jagger with a partial lyric.
- Alright Charlie (4:01): Keith announces this one as "Alright Charlie DAT 23-21". This is a keyboard riff version of the track 1 on CD 3 of "Voodoo Brew". There are some vocal lines on this take as well.
- Another CR (9:44): "DAT 24, ID: 22". This starts off with a rambling pedal steel and evolves into quite a jam. Charlie starts a drum solo at 1:26 that goes until 4:26. Stones version of Moby Dick! Ends up as decent guitar jam with Jagger getting in the middle of it at 8:54. Ends abruptly.
- Yellow Jacket (1:56): "DAT 25, ID:13". There really isn't much to this one. Simple guitar/bass/drum riff.
- Ivy League (3:12): "D27, ID: 3". This title also appears on "Voodoo Brew" CD3 track 5, but this one has some Jagger lyrics. This one has potential.
- Honest Man #1 (4:26): "DAT 30, #8 & 9". Great classic Stones guitar riff and harp with a developed Jagger vocal. A strong track.
I'm an honest man
I'm an honest lover
Go tell my friends
Don't blow my cover
- Honest Man #2 (4:22): Take II
- Zip Mouth Angel (3:28): "DAT 30, #25" A slow folk style song. It has a very unusual guitar sound, and I would guess that it's an open tuned Dobro. This would make an interesting release.
CD4: (VIGO-155): "Honest Ron Wood & Keith Richard(s)"
These are the rawest and possibly the most revealing and interesting tracks of the set. The tapes are rolling and people are talking, warming-up, and rehearsing.
- It Takes A Lot to Laugh (1:21): Jagger warming-up on keyboard and vocal. One verse of Bob Dylan's It Takes A Lot To Laugh, It Takes A Train To Cry from the 1965 classic "Highway 61 Revisited", which also includes Like A Rolling Stone.
- Trouble Man #1 (3:30): This is indeed the Marvin Gaye song, and not Travelin' Man as listed on the packaging. Jagger on keyboard-vocal. Gaye's version of the song is found on the 1972 "Trouble Man" movie soundtrack on Motown Records. Also on his "Greatest Hits" on Motown. The riff bares some similarity to Hide Your Love...variation on a theme of course.
- Trouble Man #2 (4:10): Turn your volume down at :24 seconds into the song because Keith plugs-in and is way loud!
- We Shall Overcome (When I Wage a Crown) (4:55): Keith is on vocal and piano. He is sorting it out as he goes. Ice clinking alert at 1:31 and after the song at 4:57. This song later officially released on the 1996 record "Wingless Angels" with Richards and friends.
- Nearness of You #1 (2:58): The familiar lost Richards studio standard! First surfaced on the "(In Tune With) Jam" 2LP (Longview Farm, August '81) from the early 80's. Keith still likes to play the song. Don Was comes in at the end and asks Keith about the song and he informs "us" it's "Hoagy Carmichael in 1941". Keith also comments upon sipping a glass of wine: "Habits I don't mind, it's addictions that piss me off".
- Nearness of You #2 (12:30): Keith is working out the piano chords on this take. Woody joins-in at 6:03 with a Nashville tuned guitar. The guy does a credible job of picking up the chording in the Nashville tuning.
- Nearness of You #3 (7:37): Keith decides to get serious and has the mic. switched. It makes a big difference in the sound quality of the vocal, and there's a nice continuous take through 3:23. Ron adds a backing harmony and guitar as well. There is a rougher second take on this track also.
- Out of Tears-Conversation/Out of Tears begins again at 3:23 (8:41): There is lots of conversation going on, and the "drive on by" version of the song is playing in the background. It gets louder as it goes and eventually dominates the track.
- Studio Conversation (2:18): This is what's left of the conversation after Out Of Tears stops playing.
- You Got It Made (17:13): This is a playback with Keith and Ronnie attempting to add backing harmonies. They're trying to get the reverb set, and it's very entertaining to listen to these guys work with each other. Ron replaces the "while" lyric with "time" and Keith comments "time is money, while is forever". Words of wisdom... They tease, kid, and bully. Keith is definitely the big brother in the relationship. Many starts and stops on the track.
Another incredibly revealing look at present day Stones working in the studio. A rare glimpse of the creative process of the band, and the evolution of songs that become the slick finished product as we know it. Even the dialogue tells us much about the personalities and the relationships. The sound is superb stereo. My guess; first generation mix downs a.k.a. Master Tapes!
"Voodoo Residue" is the third installment of "Voodoo Lounge" studio outtakes from the label that brought us the unforgettable "Voodoo Brew" and "Voodoo Stew". Not a box set worth of songs this time, but a double CD-R with a nicely packaged sleeve and booklet. It's been two years since the release of "Voodoo Stew" and one might ask what could possibly be left from the "Voodoo Lounge" sessions? The answer is tracks that are the most primal beginnings of what would become "Voodoo Lounge" that have surfaced to date. This could be a very interesting manifestation to some, but for most these tracks are in their infancy. They are on par with the likes of "hotel room" tapes that have come out over the years. Simple chord progressions and rambling and/or mumbling for lyrics. For the "hard core" these are rare glimpses into the early creative processes between the Glimmer Twins. The "Voodoo Residue" recordings are nowhere near the Barbados DAT's found on disc #3 of "Voodoo Stew" with respect to maturity and production. Jagger/Richards work very differently from one another as these and many other recordings reveal, but together they make music that they are not capable of producing on their own. The sound quality of "Voodoo Residue" is what we have come to expect from this "trilogy" of releases . . . crystal clear DAT's from the mixing board.
"Voodoo Residue" Vigotone (VIGO 156 - 157)
The packaging includes outside color pictures of porcelain dolls and gothic motif in the standard red, orange, and yellow hues that are the familiar trade mark of the artwork related to this series. The inside of the booklet is black and white with photos taken from the "Kruger Stones" book.
CDR 1: "Jammin' With Richard"
1. Randy Whore #1 (7:57): Keith and his guitar in Open G. Charlie comes in with the drums at :41 to a to give the track some kick. The riff is very similar to the opening of Take It So Hard except that it continues to repeat. Jagger joins in at 2:48 by making various sounds. The track pauses at 5:02 and Jagger comments on the song:
"It's good . . . yeah it sounds as if, that (you) have to sing the whole thing, you know, maybe, you know like the whole lick of where you're playing. You know, like you do like, half of it, you know. Yeah, is that it? You leave some gap. Yeah, yeah, yeah well enough, around for the middle."
Just fragments of the song are played from 5:35 onward. At one point in this section it starts sounding like Honky Tonk Women.
2. Thru and Thru (4:45): There is talking at the beginning of this song and it the same as that which opened the "Voodoo Brew" box set:
A woman (Josephine Wood) asks:
"How many songs are you gonna do?"
"Oh, Boxed sets worth. Boxed sets"!
With additional dialogue... Clearly this tape was in possession of Vigotone at the time of the original release. They claim in the liner notes that these are newly discovered, but this is not the case, because this dialogue was spliced into the opening of the very first release.
Electric guitar and vocal on a remarkably finished version of the song, which Richards clearly had ready prior to rehearsals. It's only the slower tempo section of what would become the opening to the track. Charlie's crashing drum beat was still to be discovered as the essential closing staccato to the song.
Jo Wood begins talking again at the close of the song. The fact that Jo is present at this session leads me to believe that this take is not from Blue Wave Studios, Barbados as the liner notes have labeled these tracks, but a session either at Ron Woods home in Kildare, Ireland or Windmill Lane Studios, Dublin, Ireland.
3. He Loves You So (5:55): Keith on vocal for this slower number. Nice chord sequence reminiscent of the Nashville acoustic guitar work he does on Sparks Will Fly (and Wild Horses), but this time on a six string electric. A soft strum probably played with the swipe of his fingers near the bridge of the guitar. Jagger and Richards discuss the chord changes and a keyboard is added (probably Jagger). Jagger eventually comes in to start sounding out what may eventually become a vocal. He does this often as songs develop. Keith will try much harder to place vocals in the early stages where Jagger will hum out the bars and make noise to get a feel for the music. A revealing look at Jagger, Richards & Watts at work with each playing keyboards, guitar, and drums respectively. The song ends on a sour note and then a short jam begins.
4. My Love Is My Love (9:20): This starts with the same chord sequence as Under My Thumb (and therefore second cousin to Gimme Shelter & Sympathy for the Devil)! As it goes on the music becomes less familiar sounding. Jagger comes in at around 4:30 to make some sounds. The outro is an interesting jam with Jagger adding keyboard at around 8:00.
5. Disposition Boogie (1:33): A faster blues baring some similarity to the song Mean Disposition. Watts shows that he is capable of getting the feel of the song with just a couple of notes and provides the momentum to being the track farther than it otherwise would have gone. This one is just a fragment of an idea.
6. Goodbye to Love (2:29): The Marcels (b-side to "Blue Moon") song that Keith sings with acoustic guitar on disc 2 of "Voodoo Brew". This time with electric guitar and the drumming of Charlie Watts. Jagger joins in, but doesn't seem to know the song. A sad love song as only Richards can do. Keith comments that it's a lovely song.
7. Alteration Boogie (4:46): This starts with Richards and a simple bluesy riff. He sings about cloths, wardrobe, and fashion statements and hence the questionable title of the song. A vocal that I would have expected from Jagger, "rag trade girls" and all. He laughs at his own improvised lyrics. Watts starts hammering the skins and the song picks-up at 1:48.
8. Get Your Hands Off #2 (3:42): The opening riff reminds me of old Credence Clearwater song Bootleg from "Bayou Country". The "human metronome" livens up the song with a solid rhythm after the opening string bending. Jagger is making sounds at various points. This one is really just a jam.
9. Make It Now (9:16): This is a groove track vocal on "Voodoo Stew". The instrumental version of this one is also on CD 3, track 11, of "Voodoo Brew". This particular take was probably recorded at a later date then the rest of the tracks on this disc. It is much more produced and includes a developed bass line. The song starts as an extended jam with Richards on vocal, and then the basic riff begins at 1:07 and fades out. This leads me to believe that this is a playback of the instrumental from "Brew" with added live percussion breaks and a vocal take.
10. Slips Away (16:01): This is no relation to Keith's Slipping Away from "Steel Wheels". A beautiful slow lullaby of a song with jazz like chords and phrasing. Keith sings a faint vocal in the background. He pauses at 4:44 to say "no way Buddy (Holly?), I'd like to take this opportunity to say hello to my mum" ... and a number of other people before starting the song again at 5:18. Another pause at 10:21, Richards is upset about something and he transitions into the Delta Blues riff he played on disc 2 of "Voodoo Brew" titled Keith's Boogie. Then back again to Slips Away.
CDR 2: "Definite Possibilities"
1. Get Your Hands Off #1 (6:38): The bluesy riff is similar to Brand New Car, but with different vocal and instrumental bridge. Richards leads off the singing. A microphone is plugged-in at 2:08 and Jagger joins in at 2:24 with an improvised vocal.
2. Glimmer Twins Boogie (1:37): A 12 bar electric guitar blues chug. There are two guitars present with one playing rhythm and the second playing lead lines. I believe Jagger is playing the rhythm guitar! No sign of Ron Wood's vocal presence on any of this stuff.
3. Why You Runnin'? (4:55): It is very possible that this song is the basis for Gunface in its most embryonic form! The verses are played with a syncopated guitar riff, much like the center section Fingerprint File. The un-Stones-like instrumental bridge is the recognizable clincher. Three of the four chords played are used to form the bridge on Gunface. The syncopated guitar is replaced by a drum beat and bass line on "Bridges To Babylon". The guitar plays the fills between the rhythm rather than laying it down. Coincidence? Maybe . . .
4. You Got Away With Murder (4:42): Keith announces "An idea" - A slow fingerpicked (with unison notes) song on electric guitar.
You got away with murder
You got a way with words
You've got a way of knowing
Keith: "I'm going to have to recollect the idea again...it's coming".
Jagger is singing and sounding along.
Keith: "Definite possibility...very pretty". Absolutely, please finish this one.
Keith speeds up the riff for the verse section, Jagger adds keyboard, they slow it down for the chorus. Then the verses turn into a chant. The creative juices flow.
5. Look Out Baby (10:24): Jagger as one-man-band. He is vocalizing with an interesting distorted keyboard riff:
Well look out baby, 'cause here we go
Well look out baby, what's wrong with you
A drum machine kicks-in with percussion at 5:08, Jagger continues vocalizing with added variation on the keyboard riff.
6. Randy Whore #2 (3:58): A more developed version of the song first heard on disc #1 of this set. The song has greater space with voids left for vocal work that could be added at a later take. Richards has an endless supply of catchy riffs, and at times it sounds as if several different songs could be developed from the chords played in these demo tracks.
7. Untitled #1 (6:55): An meandering jazzy little riff with Watts grooving away. There is also some keyboard playing along with an accordion like effect. Jagger vocalizes and hums along at various point along the way in search of a vocal line. This sounds a bit like Zulu from disk #3 of "Voodoo Stew".
8. I'm Fallin' (6:36): Richards starts a riff and Watts locks-in on it, encouraging "The Human Riff" to take it farther than he probably otherwise would have gone. Jagger feels out the song for a vocal.
9. Keith's Blues (3:33): This starts-off as an electric guitar version of the song that is listed on disc 2 of "Voodoo Brew" as Scotty Moore Riffs, but it transitions into a straight blues rather than a "reverse boogie". Keith can conjure up the Delta Blues at will.
10. It's Funny (2:39): This song compared to track 11, disc 3 of "Voodoo Brew" and track 7, disc 1 of "Voodoo Stew" (Keith's vocal version) which have the same title, reveals that this is indeed the earliest version of this track. Listen for the lead guitar line played at the :26 & :53 points!
Funny how it seems
That it's just a dream
And yet there's no one there
Now I hear your voice
And still I know
That there's no one there
The soul in Rock 'n Roll ... for sure.
11. Anything For You (5:49): Keith on vocal and keyboard with an almost harpsichord like tone. Jagger is present. A very pretty melody. This could be the next soundtrack for the Titanic sequel . . . Let's not forget the Britannic (a sister ship which also sank). Jagger asks if the tape is on to make sure the moment is captured for later reference.
12. Untitled #2 (1:52): A melodic ballad-like track with much potential. Similar to, but not the same as Out Of Tears. Jagger is on keyboard and Richards noodles in fills on the guitar. The Glimmer Twins have the uncanny ability to pull up the ballads which are arguably the strongest songs of these early sessions.
13. Thru and Thru #2 (3:17): A different take than track 2, disc 1 of this set. Again, only the slow section of the song played on electric guitar and sung by Richards. The most developed lyric of this set of songs. Waiting on a call from you . . .
Charlie Watts is very much a part of the drive and inspiration on many of these primal takes. He's a member of the front-end scouting team that does the song writing research and development. Ron Wood is missing in action. A rare and intimate look at the genesis of an album that could only be created by the wisdom and genius of The Rolling Stones. They seem to be having fun with the creative process and also seem to enjoy each others company. Caveat Emptor: These tracks are raw and material of this nature may not be of interest to those just beginning to explore the area of unreleased Stones recordings.
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