Saturday, September 27, 2008

I Just Want to See His Face

Exile on Main St.
Side Three, Track Four
"I Just Want to See His Face" – 2:52

[Download link]

Jagger on the song in 1992:

"I Just Want to See His Face" was a jam with Charlie and Mick Taylor. I don't know who's playing keyboards, maybe I am. I don't even know what album it was on. That was on Exile? I think it was just a trio originally, though other people might have been added eventually. It was a complete jam. I just made the song up there and then over the riff that Charlie and Mick were playing. That's how I remember it, anyway. I'd forgotten about that one.
I'm just playing the Doubting Thomas. I don't think it's a particularly rare idea.

An obvious studio jam, repeating the V-IV-I chords changes endlessly. A straight up gospel number. "You don't want to walk and talk about Jesus, you just wanna see His face." Some wacky percussion buried in the mix, and a couple (at least!) of overdubbed basses. No guitars. A strange little number. Right up Tom Waits's alley:
...that song had a big impact on me, particularly learning how to sing in that high falsetto, the way Jagger does. When he sings like a girl, I go crazy. I said, 'I've got to learn how to do that.'
That's two Waits references in a row. Hmm... I got an idea for a new blog!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Ventilator Blues

Exile on Main St.
Side Three, Track Three
"Ventilator Blues" (Jagger, Richards, Mick Taylor) – 3:24

[Download link]

Hey, Mick Taylor gets a writing credit! Bet he was happy about that, eh?


"Ventilator Blues" marks the first and only time guitarist Mick Taylor would be given credit alongside regular Stones scribes Mick Jagger and Keith Richards. While his exact amount of input is unknown, Taylor's contribution of the song's opening slide riff is considered the main reason he was given the credit, as it drives the song.

"Lumbering" is I guess the word you'd use to describe the song. The jerky rhythm always sounded like one of Tom Waits's existential blues recordings from Bone Machine.

There really isn't anything notable about the song apart from Jagger, who is in full Mick Jagger mode, double-tracked for even more Jaggery goodness.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Turd on the Run

Exile on Main St.
Side Three, Track Two
"Turd on the Run" – 2:37

[Download link]

Grabbed hold of your coat tail but it come off in my hand
I reached for your lapel but it weren't sewn on so grand
Begged, promised anything if only you would stay
Well I lost a lot of love over you

Well, the song sounds like shit. Can we agree on that? This is the type of production/mixing clusterfuck that would keep Mick bitching years later.

Fell down to my knees and I hung on to your pants
But you just kept on running while they ripped off in my hands
Diamond ring, vaseline, you give me disease
Well I lost a lot of love over you

A double-time blues boogie, the kind of thing ZZ Top could milk for an entire album. We expect more from The Stones, though. Some nice harp work from Mick doesn't make up for the unfinished feel of the composition.

I boogied in the ballroom, I boogied in the dark
Tie your hands, tie your feet, throw you to the shark
Make you sweat, make you scream, make you wish you'd never been
I lost a lot of love over you

That verse always reminded me of the version of "Reelin' and Rockin'" that Chuck Berry performed on American Hot Wax:

We boogied in the kitchen
We boogied in the hall
I boogied on my finger
and wiped it on the wall

That's the verse they always censor. Here is that performance, with that risqué part removed.

The Equals - Softly Softly (nonstones)

The Equals
"Softly Softly"
2:12 (can't find any songwriting credits)

I'm back, baby. I've spent the last month or so avoiding the Stones, recharging my batteries. Now, to ease back into the groove, I'm going with the greatest Stones ripoff ever recorded, The Equals "Softly Softly".


The Equals were a pop/reggae/rock group that formed in North London, England in 1965. They are remembered mostly for the fact that Eddy Grant, then sporting dyed blonde hair, was in the group. Also in the original line-up were the twin brothers Derv and Lincoln Gordon, as well as John Hall and Pat Lloyd with supporting drummer Paul Pegler.
I gather that The Equals were famous—to the extent that they were—primarily in the UK, which may explain why I'd never heard of them until I downloaded this track off Napster in 1999. Since then, I've become more familiar with their singles, which are all great, and deserve to be better known in North America (I am particularly fond of "I Get So Excited"). At some point I may do a retrospective post on the band, but for now I just wanted to get back into regular posting habits by singling out this great "Satisfaction" ripoff.

More info on The Equals can be had here, here, and their MySpace page.