Thursday, September 24, 2009
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.
LOVE IS STRONG
MAKE IT NOW
THRU AND THRU