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The Best of The Rolling Stones '71 - '93

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Start Me Up - Brown Sugar - Harlem Shuffle - It's Only Rock-n-Roll
Mixed Emotions - Angie - Tumbling Dice - Fool To Cry
Rock And a Hard Place - Miss You - Hot Stuff - Emotional Rescue
Respectable - Beast of Burden - Waiting on a Friend
Wild Horses - Bitch - Undercover The Night


Start Me Up

Recorded Musicland Studios, Munich, Germany

M Jagger vocals. K Richards, R Wood guitar and vocals. B Wyman bass. C Watts drums.

KEITH: Like all the tracks on Tattoo You, we already had this one in the can from previous sessions, in this case Black and Blue. That riff is one of my trademark things, I just keep finding different ways of playing it. It's strange how some things escape, but when we originally started this we were convinced it had to be a reggae track. I'd been living in Jamaica, and we were very tight with The Wailers. We did a couple of passes in a rockier style, but after 15 years of playing rock and roll it was much more interesting to us to get into the mechanics of how you did reggae, another form that was so close but that turned the rythms around.

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Brown Sugar

Recorded Muscle Shoals Sound Studio, Alabama.

K Richards guitar and acoustic guitar. M Taylor guitar. B Wyman bass. C Watts drums. Ian Stewart piano. M Jagger vocal and percussion. B Keys sax.

MICK: I wrote this in the middle of a desert in Australia on a portable electric guitar while I was making the Ned Kelly movie in the summer of '69. I'd smashed up my hand and I was off the set for a couple of weeks. It never was called Brown Pussy by the way. The lyric was all to do with the dual combination of drugs and girls. This song was a very instant thing, a definite high point. We played it at Altamont (Dec 69) even before it was out on record.
KEITH: We use acoustic guitars a lot to shadow the electric, always have done. It gives another atmosphere to this track, makes it less dry. It's cheap, too.

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Harlem Shuffle

Recorded Pathe Marconi Studios, Paris, France.

M Jagger vocals. K Richards, R Wood guitars and vocals. B Wyman bass. C Watts drums. Bobby Womack vocals. Chuck Leavell keyboards.

KEITH: I was listening to a lot of oldies at the time of the Dirty Work album, and I was in the studio with Charlie and Ronnie one day trying to figure out the chords to Bob and Earl's 1964 hit when Mick came in, and tore straight into it. There was this incipient power struggle going on between us at the time, but when The Stones are on the job, all of that goes out of the window. Considering what volatile personalities Mick and I are, this band has got along very well for the past 30 years.

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It's Only Rock-n-Roll (but I like it)

Recorded Musicland Studios, Munich, Germany and Ronnie Wood's house, Richmond.

K Richards guitar, acoustic guitar and vocals. M Jagger vocals. M Taylor, R Wood guitar. B Wyman bass. C Watts drums. I Stewart piano.

MICK: The idea of the song has to do with cur persona at the time. I was getting a bit tired of people having a gow, all that 'oh, it's not as good as their last one'-bussiness. The single-sleeve had a picture of me with a pen digging into me as if it were a sword. It was a light-harded, anti-journalistic sort of thing. We originally recorded it in Ronnie Wood's demo-studio.
KEITH: Mick originally cut this in Ronnie's house in Richmond with David Bowie. We re-cut it later, but we kept the rythm-track from the original.

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Mixed Emotions

Recorded Air Studios, Montserrat.

M Jagger vocals and guitar. K Richards guitar and vocals. R Wood guitar. B Wyman bass. C Watts drums. C Leavell piano, organ. Luis Jardin percussion. Bernard Fowler, Sara Dash, Lisa Fisher backing vocals. Kick Horns brass.

KEITH: I wrote this very early on in the session with Mick in Barbados. People always accuse me of intending some sort of pun here, you know Mick's demotion, but it isn't true.
MICK: A good song this, but it's very hard to do onstage. You go from the really hard verse to the very melodic chorus, wich I like, but you always feel like you're not going to pull it off, like it's speeding up.

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Angie

Recorded Dynamic Sound Studios, Kingston, Jamaica.

M Jagger vocals. K Richard vocals and guitar. M Taylor guitars. C Watts drums. B Wyman bass. Nicky Hopkins piano. Nicky Harisson string arrangement.

KEITH: The basic melody and the title were mine. I don't think you can write really interesting rock-n-roll songs if you can't get into ballads and slower stuff. Quite often when you write a ballad it ends up as something else. Once we've got a song we tussle around with it, roll in the dirt with it. I'd recently had my daughter born, who's name was Angela, and the name was starting to ring around the house. But I'm into writing about my baby's. Angie just fitted. I mean, you couldn't sing 'Maureen'...
MICK: It's quite a straight schmailtzy poptune, with the piano and string arrangement so prominent, wich is probably why it was so popular in Latin countries at the time. It was definitely a change of pace for us, almost like a reaction to the harder sounds of Exile.

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Tumbling Dice

Recorded on The Rolling Stones Mobile

K Richards guitar and vocals. M Jagger vocals and guitar. M Taylor slide guitar and bass. N Hopkins piano. C Watts drums. Clydie King, Vanetta, plus friend backing vocals

KEITH: This was done in the basement of my house, this grand Edwardian Villa called Villa Nellcote in Villefranche in Cap Fernat, where we did all of Exile. I remember writing the riff upstairs in the very elegant front room, and we took it downstairs the same evening and we cut it. A lot of time when ideas comes that quick, we don't put down lyrics, we do what what we call 'vowel movement'. You just bellow over the top of it, to get the right sounds for the track.
MICK: Tumbling Dice was written to fit Keith's riff. It's about gambling and love, an old blues trick. I had a lot of friends at that time who used to fly to Las Vegas for the weekend.

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Fool To Cry

Recorded Musicland Studios, Munich, Germany.

M Jagger vocal. K Richards vocals and guitar. B Wyman bass. C Watts drums. B Preston keyboards and piano.

MICK: This dates from the period when I had a young child, my daughter Jade, around a lot, calling me 'daddy' and all that. It's another of our heartmelting ballads, a bit long a waffly at the end maybe, but I like it.

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Rock And A Hard Place

Recorded Air Studios, Monserrat.

M Jagger vocals and guitar. K Richards, R Wood guitar. B Wyman bass. C Watts drums. Chuck Leavell, Matt Clifford keyboards. B Fowler, Sara Dash and Lisa Fisher backing vocals. Kick Horns brass.

KEITH: This was like going back to the way we worked in the early days, before Exile, when we were living around the corner of each other in London. Mick and I hadn't got together in 4 years since Dirty Work, but as soon as we met up in Barbados for a fortnight, with a couple of guitars and a piano, everything was fine.
MICK: All the songs on Steel Wheels were recorded in a whirl, in one five week session. We had all these crazy deadlines to meet with the tour and everything. The atmosphere though was much more relaxed than it had been.

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Miss You

Recorded Pathe Marconi Studios, Paris, France.

M Jagger vocals. C Watts drums. B Wyman bass. R Wood, K Richards guitar and vocals. Ian McLagan electric piano. Mel Collins sax. Sugar Blue harp.

MICK: We didn't think of this as a disco track at all. I originally got this up in a club in Toronto, around the time Keith got busted, with Billy Preston playing drums. Billy was more into the club scene, more dance oriented, and he started the four on the floor beat; nut blues harmonica isn't exactly disco, is it ? This has a bit of a comedy lyric; there are lots of girls in it, and there's me doing that funny falsetto at the end.

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Hot Stuff

Recorded Musicland Studios, Munich, Germany.

M Jagger vocals. K Richards guitar. B Wyman bass. C Watts drums. Harvey Mandel guitar.

KEITH: This was one of my groove riffs. Nearly all of our tracks are recorded like this, with everybody there playing together in the room. After five and a halve years, Mick Taylor had suddenly disappeared and we were auditoning new guitarists, Harvey Mandel of Canned Heat played on this track. For quite a lot of the album we were using Wayne Perkins, he was our first choice, and then, suddenly at the end Ronnie turned up, because The Faces had split. And we all looked at each other and said: 'Let's face it boys, the is an English band. It would have been too big a breech to have started going international.

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Emotional Rescue

Recorded Pathe Marconi Studios, Paris, France.

M Jagger vocals. K Richards, R Wood guitar. B Wyman bass. C Watts drums. B Keys sax. Ian Stewart electric piano.

MICK: This was done mostly by me, Bill and Charlie with loads of overdubs. I'm not the only person to have sung in falsetto -Prince did three albums singing like that around this time. I learned the trick from Don Covay. I got it from the record Mercy, Mercy where he sings falsetto as a harmony. By the end, I've gone off into another more reggae-inspired voice, but at the end of a track lasting 5 minutes and 43 secondes, you have to try everything.
KEITH: This was all Mick. He wanted to go that way, with the clubby, disco-stuff. I didn't particularly, but it was a good song. This was shortly after I'd cleaned up my act, and nobody was taking a lot of notice of what I said at this point, because I didn't say much. I was trying to re-establish myself as co-leader of the band.

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Respectable

Recorded Pathe Marconi Studios, Paris, France.

M Jagger vocals and guitar. K Richards, R Wood guitar. B Wyman bass. C Watts drums.

MICK: It's important to be somewhat influenced by what's going on around you and on the Some Girls album, I think we definetely became more aggressive because of the punk-thing. On this track, I was banging out three courts incredebely loud on the electric guitar, wich isn't always a wonderful idea but was great fun here. This is a punk needs Chuck Berry-number. The lyric carries no fantasticely deep message, but I think it might have had something to do with Bianca.
KEITH: Mick had this one already to go. This was one of the first times we allowed him to join in on guitar. He's a really good rythm-player, man; but then, he's had a good teacher.

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Beast Of Burden

Recorded Pathe Marconi Studios, Paris, France.

M Jagger vocals. K Richards, R Wood guitar, acoustic guitar and vocals. B Wyman bass. C Watts drums.

KEITH: This was another one where Mick just filled in the verses. With the Stones, you take along a song, play it and see if there are any takers. Sometimes they ignore it, sometimes they grab it and record it. After all the faster numbers on Some Girls, everybody settled down and enjoyed the slow-one.
MICK: Lyrically this wasn't particulary heart-felt in a personal way. It's a soul begging song, an attitude-song. It was one of those where you get one melodic lick, break it down and work it up, their are two parts here wich are basically the same.

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Waiting On A Friend

Recorded Dynamic Sound Studios, Kingston, Jamaica.

M Jagger vocals. K Richards guitar and vocals. !! Mick Taylor Guitar !! Billy Preston piano. C Watts drums.

MICK: This one (from Tattoo You) dates from the Goats Head Soup sessions. We all liked it at the time but we didn't have any lyrics, so there we were. As well as the vocal, we stuck on that amazing sax solo at the end by Sonny Rollins. The lyric I added is very gentle and loving, about friendships in the band. At least I think what it was about. The influence of the video comes in here because when we scripted it we had me and Keith sitting round waiting for each other. But I can't actually remember now if that was the original idea of the song.
KEITH: The thing with Tattoo You wasn't that we'd stopped writing new stuff, it was a question of time. We'd agreed we were going to go out on the road and we wanted to tour behind a record. There was no time to make whole new album and make the start of the tour.

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Wild Horses

Recorded Muscle Shoals Sound Studio, Alabama.

K Richards guitar and vocals. M Taylor guitar. B Wyman bass. Jimmy Dickinson piano. M Jagger vocals. C Watts drums.

KEITH: If there is one classic way of Mick and I working together this is it. I had the riff and the chorus line, Mick got stuck into the verses. Just like Satisfaction. Wild Horses was about the usual thing of not wanting to be on the road, being a million miles from where you wanna be. We recorded it in the same session as Brown Sugar, in the middle of the infamous Altamont tour.
MICK: I remember we sat around originally doing this with Gram Parsons, and I think his version came out slightly before ours. Everyone always says it was written about Marianne but I don't think it was; that was all well over by then. But I was definitely very inside this piece emotionally. Ti is very personal, evocative, and sad. It all sounds rather doomy now, but it was quite a heavy time.

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Bitch

Recorded Olympic Studios, London and on The Rolling Stones Mobile.

M Taylor guitar. C Watts drums. K Richards guitar and vocals. M Jagger vocals. B Wyman bass. Bobby Keys sax. Jim Price trumpet. Jimmy Miller percussion.

MICK: This is one of our groove tunes. We recorded the backing track at Olympic but the overdubs, with the brass and everything, were done live one night in my house in the country, a sort of mock baronial hall I used to have called Stargroves, where The Who and Led Zeppelin also recorded later on. The Stones' Mobile studio was one of the first. We used to park it outside our houses and do tunes. We eventually gave it to Bill, and he's just sold it to be broken up.

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Undercover The Night

Recorded Pathe Marconi Studios, Paris, France and Compass Point, Nassow, Bahamas.

C Watts drums. M Jagger vocals. K Richards, R Wood guitar and vocals. B Wyman bass. Sly Dunbar percussion.

MICK: I'm not saying I nicked it, but this song was heavily influenced by William Burroughs' Cities Of The Red Night, a free-wheeling novel about political and sexual repression. It combines a number of different references to what was going down in Argentina and Chile. I think it's really good but it wasn't particularly successful at the time because songs that deal overtly with politics never are that successful, for some reason.
KEITH: Mick had this one all mapped out, I just played on it. There were a lot more overlays on this track, because there was a lot more separation in the way we were recording at that time. Mick and I had started to come to loggerheads.

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1997 - 2000
Webmaster: Hans Geuens
Last updated: 22 okt 2000