Thursday, September 24, 2009

Voodoo Brew

I have friends who think the Rolling Stones stopped being something to pay attention to after the needle hit the inner groove of Side 4 of "Exile On Main Street." I've tried time and time again to convince them otherwise. I did not do this by playing "You Got Me Rocking" or "Sparks Will Fly," two horrendous songs from a not completely horrendous album, 1994's "Voodoo Lounge."

Before I continue, I want to go on record by saying that the Stones' output from 1973-1981, records that include "Goats' Head Soup," "It's Only Rock 'n' Roll," "Black & Blue," "Some Girls," "Emotional Rescue, " and "Tattoo You" are just as essential as everything prior. Some are BETTER. Not all, but some.

Back to "Voodoo Lounge," that mostly unlistenable release from '94. Amidst Jagger's crap like the 2 aforementioned songs, were real gems, specifically the first single, "Love Is Strong," and the absolutely brilliant and HUGE Keith showcase, "Thru & Thru," a monumental heartbreaker, that unfortunately got little attention until it was used years later in a pivotal scene on "The Sopranos." (I don't remember the scene exactly, but I think it had something to do with the Mafia.)

Not long after "Voodoo Lounge" was released, a 4 CD bootleg boxed set appeared that consisted of outtakes, jams, alternates and the real jewel, a full disc of Keith's versions of most the final tracklist, plus a few that never made it to the final master. This set of music showed the band naked, without the bells, whistles, and added production that usually ruins a true rock and roll band with the blues at heart. Everything on Disc One, the Keith sung versions of "Voodoo Lounge" worked better than what was eventually released.

Here are three tracks.




Anonymous said...

I agree with you Sal, the Voodoo Lounge album is an album of heartbreaking songs.


Sal Nunziato said...

Actually Mendy, it was only "Thru & Thru" that I referred to as heartbreaking. I called the album, "mostly unlistenable." Maybe that's what you mean by heartbreaking.

Noam Sane said...

I'm largely in agreement with those who think latter-day Stones stuff is under-written and over-produced, but sure, there are gems here and there.
Voodoo Lounge also has "Out of Tears" on it, right? Real nice ballad that has found a permanent place in my shuffle.

Thanks for the toons, Sal.

steve simels said...

There's actually a couple of songs on "Bridges tp Babylon" that I'm fond of.

In any case, these are great..."Love is Strong" in particular is a revelation.

soundsource said...

maybe they should just get rid of jagger and let keith produce the records and sing lead, then maybe they would be relevant again.