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Topic: Quality of B2B unreleased songs ? Return to archive
02-22-02 01:04 AM
yellow1 I recently reread Sheryl Crow's statement about Keith's contribution to her album, i.e. "High or Low", being work in progress, i.e. not very good, and that made me a bit worried about the quality of what was left in the can during B2B !
I mean, if Sheryl gives up on having a ROLLING STONE song on her CD, that's kinda telling you something, no !
Any thoughts ?
02-22-02 10:30 AM
sandrew "Work in progress" doesn't necessarily mean "not very good." It just means it isn't finished, for whatever reason. Have you heard her new single? It's bad. Maybe her devolving idea of what is "good" is the problem. I'm half-kidding. Who knows? Maybe it just didn't fit thematically with the rest of the album.
02-22-02 12:26 PM
HandofFeet The flip is that maybe it was so good, Keith opted to keep it available for the next Stones album.
02-22-02 01:30 PM
Maxlugar I think Mick Jagger is the only person who can UNDERSTAND Keith in the studio. That SNL skit has more than a grain of truth to it. I've read other quotes from other musicians saying they could never figure out what Keith was trying to say or do.

Must be a real treat for Mick to have to decifer and translate Keith, put up with Ronnie's drunkeness, watch Charlie sit there and not make any creative suggestions with that expression on his face like he is being inconvienenced and basically enshrouded in a cloud of smoke the whole time.

Oh but it's Mick's fault in the studio, I forgot.

Time to get down on your collective knees and tongue kiss Mick's scrawny ass for all he has done. I'm sick of the Mick bashing. I'm equally sick of the Keith worshipping. They both have their faults. But they are both the greatest of all time at what they do.

How many direct quotes can you come up with from Mick bashing Keith in interviews? Even during the 70's when it was warranted? Now, how many quotes can you dig up from Keith bashing Mick? A fuck of a lot more. Oh, but Keith is the classy one. Ha ha ha!!!!!!!!!
02-22-02 02:01 PM
yellow1 Haven't heard Sheryl's latest, but the "Work In Progress" quote sounded similar in style to the "Musical Differences" we often hear about, i.e. diplomatic BS.
It still stirkes as a bit odd that our girl Sheryl didn't jump at the occasion of having a Keith track on one of her CDs even if it was WIP. It's not like Keith offers songs to other artists all the time. It's also a bit odd that Keith couldn't have "finished" the track with his experience of 40 years completing tracks! I'm sure even Sheryl can fix a track in no time !

Interesting what's said above about Mick being Keith's "focuser". There's certainly a lot to be said about Mick putting Keith's ideas in some kind of shape accessible to the fans ! One only needs to look at the mess/confusion that was "Talk Is Cheap" to understand that !

On a more worrying matter, is something wrong with Keith's song writing these days ? I mean he hasn't put anything out in 5 years now...and B2B was mostly a Mick album anyway. And that after his creative blitz of the Voodoo Lounge sessions !
02-22-02 02:33 PM
sandrew Max -- I refuse to kiss the ass of the guy responsible for the embarrasment that was "She's the Boss." Songs like "Secrets" and "Running Out of Luck" - important contributions to the Stones legacy they are not. Anyway, not to rehash that subject.

Yellow -- I wouldn't say Babylon was a Mick album. I'd say it was more like parallel solo albums. Evidently, Mick and Keith weren't really speaking to each other much during those sessions, which fragmented the record. Notice that Keith didn't play at all on "Saint of Me" and that Mick is nowhere to be found on the Keith tracks.

Correct me if I'm wrong - I'm sure someone will if I am - but wasn't that a first? I know there are songs that Keith didn't play on - e.g., "Sway" and "Moonlight Mile" - but hasn't Mick always sung back-up on the Keith songs, a la "Happy," "Slipping Away" and "The Worst"? Actually, maybe he doesn't on "Sleep Tonight." Inform me, fellow Stones freaks.
02-22-02 02:51 PM
HandofFeet Actually, I think "Mickless Keith songs" is a trend that has been around since the solo work started, which is a shame in a way.

As for deciphering Keith- wow. I don't worship him, but I have never had a problem understanding him. Even when he goes off about something and essentially only expresses the idea with 2 or 3 incoherent words. I've long joked that the band should hire me because I can actually understand him!

I don't think Keith's songwriting is a worry spot, because I don't think that Keith believes it is. He's one of the few musicians I've heard admit that he doesn't believe in writer's block.
02-22-02 03:28 PM
Gazza I got the impression from interviews at the time BTB came out that they were working in three studios at a time on various songs and withthe album cut pretty quickly (6 weeks) and they were pushed for time - so its probably likely that while Mick was working on "Saint of me" for example,Keith may have been engaged on "How can I stop" perhaps. With the amount of producers they were using its like 3 or 4 mini albums in one. Whatever it was,it worked as far as i'm concerned.
02-22-02 04:02 PM
sandrew I agree that it worked - it's a great album, superior to Voodoo Lounge. But, if we're to believe the version of events in "Old Gods Almost Dead," Mick and Keith were at loggerheads during those session. As is his wont lately, Mick wanted to work with different producers, and did so, while Keith worked on his own with Don Was.

We all know that Keith had nothing but contempt for the Dust Brothers, because he said so publicly. Imagine what the situation was like privately. Remember Mick's comment at the time that HE was what was irritating Keith, not the DBs?
02-22-02 04:17 PM
yellow1 Didn't know they mentioned the B2B sessions in OGAD ! I'll check it out.
It's strange though, because they did spend time together in late 1996 and early 1997 to write songs for B2B. Lowdown was the first one they came up with I think.
02-22-02 07:09 PM
Gazza "if we're to believe the version of events in "Old Gods Almost Dead"

well.enough said..cos Davis wasnt there,he has an angle to write a book from and his book is a sloppily researched pile of shite.

I dont doubt they had their differences in opinion during the sessions..but thats nothing new. Thats been the case throughout much of their career. Their creative sparring is part of the chemistry. Two principle songwriters in any band are going to have disputes over songs and the musical, artistic and creative direction of the band at several stages in their career. Thats what usually splits most bands up. The fact that theyve been a working band for 40 years proves that they can see that any spats they may have are far outweighed by what unites them
02-22-02 07:37 PM
yellow1 just took a quick peek at OGAD and I must admit there's a lot of new information about the B2B sessions. I recognized stuff from interviews but I wonder where the rest came from...
Pretty entertaining really !

Also of interest the non-participation of matt Clifford to VL because he "tried to bridge the social gap according to insiders" whatever that means...

There were quite a few inaccuracies about other studio sessions though, I guess the writer isn't a big collector of outtakes like we are !
02-24-02 11:29 PM
yellow1 Just got a hold of Sheryl's "Soak Up The Sun" today and apart from the chorus that song sounds like a half-finished Rotterdam 75 jam ;-)

Maybe she'll put "High or Low" on a b-side. Talk about an insult though for our man Keith !
02-25-02 07:55 AM
Maxlugar B2B superior to VL?

I am visibly shaken to tears about this.

My world has been turned upside down.

I'm taking the rest of the day off to come to terms with this comment.

I'll see you guys tomorrow, I think.

I love you.

02-25-02 10:28 AM
yellow1 Yes, I'd say that B2B was superior to VL in the sense that it had more memorable songs that went along well in concert with the classics.
Very much like Emotional Rescue, VL would have been a much better album if they had included some of the unreleased stuff recorded around that time like Keith's "Make It Now" or Mick's "Honest Man" or "Ivy League".
02-25-02 10:55 AM
sandrew The first half of Voodoo Lounge - "Love is Strong" through "Out of Tears" - is flawless. Then it gets spotty: "I Go Wild" is an overproduced, sterile Mick rocker, "Suck on the Jugular" is affected funk, and "Brand New Car" is a little iffy, way too much of parody. And I would have much preferred "You Got It Made," "It's Funny," or others to "Thru and Thru." "Mean Disposition" is fine, but sort of a filler track.

I love "Sweethearts," "Blinded by Rainbows" is good, and "Baby, Break it Down" is decent. Basically, I think they could've stopped at 12 tracks - it would've been the best album since Exile. Babylon, while it has its flaws - "Juiced" being the most egregious - is sharper thematically, and they actually tried to push the boundaries a little more than they did on Voodoo Lounge. "How Can I Stop" - to this day, it continues to blow me away.
02-25-02 12:34 PM
Maxlugar Stop it! Stop it!


I want my Mommy!

Hug me.

Maxlugar - Faces and Names Lounge Customer since 1997.
02-25-02 02:33 PM
yellow1 Well your mommy probably ain't reading the msg board...

Seriously, I agree with your analysis Sandrew. VL is an ok album but the material is just unremarkable. It's a shame because that's easily the album they put the most effort into probably since Some Girls. Nearly a full year to write the songs, several months of recording in Ireland and then several months of mixing in L.A. I know Mick didn't like what Don Was did with the raw tapes in L.A., he thought he was trying too hard to make it sound like 1972, although the sound is not nearly as "sleazy" as Exile !

The first half has a couple of clunkers too, YGMRocking is little more than a jam a la "Hold Back" and "Sparks Will Fly" is an undistinguished boogy ! Moon Is Up is good though !

To me it's very much a Keith album, maybe because Mick was dried up after the very good WS, and like all Keith dominated efforts (except for Exile) or his two solo albums, there's not much "drama" to the music, it's a bit unfocused/aimless to be honest, jam like. Stuff like "Thru and Thru" doesn't really go anywhere does it ?
02-25-02 02:50 PM
Gazza I agree with Sandrew - I love the first half of Voodoo Lounge (up to around "I Go Wild" - love the blocked chords!)but I think that its about 3 songs too long which brings it down from being "excellent" to "very good" and theres about 2-3 particularly weak songs near the end (most notably "Mean disposition" and "Suck on the jugular" - the latter of which I think is an awful track,one of the worst songs the band ever released). "Rainbows" I like more for the political sentiment (considering where I'm from)than its merits as an actual song,but I'd leave it on anyway. Theres a few cracking B-sides plus the magnificent unreleased "Honest Man" which could have justified a 15 or 16 track album - one that would have been very roots orientated too. Its also an album close to my heart because (unlike any other albums theyve done) they recorded it in my part of the world. I only regret I didnt go down to Dublin to get some autographs or take some pics when they were doing so.

I think "BTB" is an overall more consistent album and is more ambitious musically. I like "Juiced" actually - not as much as I did when it first came out,but i still dig it. I dont think theres a weak song on the whole album - a couple that are merely "good" (Lowdown,Already Over Me) but they just suffer from comparison to the others...they certainly would have been amongst the better cuts of the bands mid 80's stuff. "Flip the switch" rocks like no other band can (and have you ever heard a nastier backing vocal on a Stones record or a yella s bloodcurdling as Mick's on the last verse? Marvellous), the solo at the end of "Anybody seen my baby" is achingly perfect (even though it IS by Waddy),"Saint of me" and "Out of control" are magnificent and when played in concert showed that the Stones current work can leave an audience gasping with awe as much as their older songs (something to consider when doubting whether they should cut new songs for the 2002 tour)and "Thief in the night" swings and swaggers beautifully and features the most soulful vocal Keith has ever done.

Its very fashionable to slag off the Stones more recent albums (especially if you hanker,rather pointlessly, back to the early 70's golden era TOO much and compare it to that body of work..its pointless,its a different era,and unfortunately for the Stones,their recording legacy is harder to live up to than just about anyone,which makes everything they do since 1972 unfavourably held up against some of the geratest albums ever made instead of just being judged on its own merits) After years of being happy and excited the Stones released a new album yet at the same time never expecting more than a few moments of brilliance per album, I loved this album from the first moment I heard it (admittedly a pre-release advance tape recorded slightly too fast!)and still do. Four and a half years on my opinion hasnt changed - namely the 2nd best Stones album since "Exile" (after "Some girls" obviously...)

02-25-02 03:22 PM
KeepRigid Some good points by both sandrew and gazza.

>>And I would have much preferred "You Got It Made," "It's Funny," or others to "Thru and Thru." "Mean Disposition" is fine, but sort of a filler track.<<

I wasn't too keen on Thru and Thru for the longest time, but I think it's a more ambitious song than either You Got It Made or It's Funny. Does it really matter, though? I mean, good luck trying to The Worst!

(And Mean Disposition WAS just a bonus track on the cd.)

02-25-02 03:22 PM
KeepRigid Some good points by both sandrew and gazza.

>>And I would have much preferred "You Got It Made," "It's Funny," or others to "Thru and Thru." "Mean Disposition" is fine, but sort of a filler track.<<

I wasn't too keen on Thru and Thru for the longest time, but I think it's a more ambitious song than either You Got It Made or It's Funny. Does it really matter, though? I mean, good luck trying to follow The Worst!

(And Mean Disposition WAS just a bonus track on the cd.)

02-25-02 03:23 PM
KeepRigid Damn, didn't hit 'Stop' quick enough!

The second post is the complete one!

02-25-02 03:28 PM
sandrew I did think "Thru and Thru" was put to very effective use in a finale episode of "The Sopranos." Remember that?

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