Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Play With Fire

Out of Our Heads (USA version)
Side 2, Track 4
"Play With Fire" (Nanker Phelge) – 2:14

From TimeIsOnOurSide.com:

It was a classic example of the Stones' ability to absorb different types of sound even when the whole band was not playing on the track. Brian, Bill and Charlie didn't play on Play with Fire. They'd all dropped off to sleep. One could have got them up again but one didn't. So it was Phil Spector on tuned-down guitar and Jack Nitzsche on harpsichord in addition to Richards and Jagger. It was at the end of a session with some old guy sweeping up.
– Andrew Oldham

Play with Fire (was made) with Phil Spector on tuned-down electric guitar, me on acoustic, Jack Nitzsche on harpsichord, and Mick on tambourine with echo chamber. It was about 7 o'clock in the morning. Everybody fell asleep.
– Keith Richards, 1971

Play with Fire sounds amazing - when I heard it last. I mean, it's a very in-your-face kind of sound and very clearly done. You can hear all the vocal stuff on it. And I'm playing the tambourine, the vocal line. You know, it's very pretty... Keith and me (wrote that). I mean, it just came out... (I)t was just kind of rich girls' families - society as you saw it. It's painted in this naive way in these songs... I don't know if it was daring. It just hadn't been done.
– Mick Jagger, 1995

Ah, the imagination of teenagers! Well, one always wants to have an affair with one's mother. I mean it's a turn-on.
– Mick Jagger, 1968, on the remark that the song suggests the protagonist is having an affair with the girl's mother

These guys wanted to be the Beatles so bad, to the point of making up wacky mythology behind the recording of B-sides. I guess there's worse aspirations, but I'm glad they went in a different direction.