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Track Talk: Back To Zero
Posted by: René ()
Date: December 8, 2008 09:30

Comments, input and alterations are very welcome!
________________________________________________________________________________

Back To Zero
(Mick Jagger / Keith Richards / Chuck Leavell)

RPM Studios, New York City, New York, US, July 16 - August 17 &
September 10 - October 15, 1985 and Right Track Studios, New York City,
New York, US, November 15 - December 5, 1985

Mick Jagger - vocals
Keith Richards - electric guitar
Charlie Watts - drums
Ron Wood - bass
Bobby Womack - electric guitar
Chuck Leavell - keyboards
Philippe Saisse - keyboards
Marku Ribas - percussion
Anton Gig - perscussion
Dan Collette - trumpet

Back to zero
So you wanna blow us all to pieces, go meet your maker, head hung down
And give him all your explanations, go ahead, throw down
Back to zero, yeah, back to nothing, straight to meltdown, back to zero
That's where we're heading

It's a monkey living on my back, I can feel my spine begin to crack
I'm looking to the future, I keep on glancing back, I prefer to rot, I don't want to pop

I think I'll head back to the jungle, alright
Don't want to see no big bad rumble, I’m too fright
Back to zero, that's where we're going, back to nothing, right now, right now
No heroes, no more heroes, straight to meltdown
That's where we’re going, back to zero, yeah, yeah

My whole life is hanging on a thread, I'm the fly inside the spider's web
I'm looking to the future, I keep on glancing back
I prefer to rot, I don't want to pop, yeah

I worry about my great grandchildren, living ten miles beneath the ground
I worry about their whole existence, the whole damn thing's in doubt
Back to zero, that's where we're going, back to nothing, that's where we're heading
Straight to meltdown, that's where we're going, back to zero, right now, right now

If we don’t watch out, we’re going, yeah, we’re going nowhere
Right now, right now, right now, that’s where, that’s where we’re heading
Back to zero, back to zero

Produced by The Glimmer Twins & Steve Lilywhite

First released on:
The Rolling Stones - “Dirty Work” LP
(CBS 86321) UK, March 24, 1986



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2013-05-28 12:53 by René.

Re: Track Talk: Back To Zero
Posted by: Doxa ()
Date: December 8, 2008 09:48

Almost as good as "Gomper".cool smiley

- Doxa

Re: Track Talk: Back To Zero
Posted by: marcovandereijk ()
Date: December 8, 2008 12:41

Chuck Leavell's one and only song writing credit. Anyone know the story?
Why did Chuck get a credit where others in the past were deprived of this honor?

I guess Mick and Keith were so embarrassed by the song, they decided they needed a scapegoat
to put the blame on?

Re: Track Talk: Back To Zero
Posted by: Greenblues ()
Date: December 8, 2008 12:48

Although this is clearly a throwaway effort, I liked it at the time. Just got hooked on Mick's falsetto "ooh-ooh-ahhs".

Re: Track Talk: Back To Zero
Posted by: Bimmelzerbott ()
Date: December 8, 2008 12:59

Crap

Re: Track Talk: Back To Zerosmoking smiley
Posted by: Zack ()
Date: December 8, 2008 13:18

I never realized the lyrics were so chillingly nihilistic. It's the King Lear of the Stones catalog!

Seriously though, crap indeed.

Re: Track Talk: Back To Zero
Posted by: Elmo Lewis ()
Date: December 8, 2008 13:23

Possibly their worst song.

In Chuck's book, he said he had been working on the riff when they came in. After further work, he told Mick if anything became of it, he wanted a writing credit - that simple. Maybe Bill shoulda done the same with JJF!

Re: Track Talk: Back To Zero
Date: December 8, 2008 15:43

Horrible song. Some of the best rhythm guitar Ron and Keith ever did, though...

Re: Track Talk: Back To Zero
Posted by: T&A ()
Date: December 8, 2008 17:21

it's as though the stones tried in earnest to see just how horrible they could be....

Re: Track Talk: Back To Zero
Posted by: cc ()
Date: December 8, 2008 17:36

I'm really glad this song exists. Terrible, but hilarious. In that way, more enjoyable than half, or more, of ABB.

Re: Track Talk: Back To Zero
Posted by: Greg ()
Date: December 8, 2008 18:01

It's a sleeper. In a thousand years from now it will be the greatest thing they've ever done.

----------------------------
"Music is the frozen tapioca in the ice chest of history."

"Shit!... No shit, awright!"

Re: Track Talk: Back To Zero
Posted by: Pecman ()
Date: December 8, 2008 19:40

Left over track from "SHE'S THE BOSS"..

Re: Track Talk: Back To Zero
Posted by: georgelicks ()
Date: December 8, 2008 19:47

Quote
DandelionPowderman
Horrible song. Some of the best rhythm guitar Ron and Keith ever did, though...

Keith and Bobby Womack actually.

A turd, almost as bad as the many turds on ABB.

Re: Track Talk: Back To Zero
Posted by: keeffriffhard ()
Date: December 8, 2008 20:06

I used to hate this song, but 22 years later it sounds pretty good....maybe because I'm getting an old boring fart myself?

Re: Track Talk: Back To Zero
Posted by: hot stuff ()
Date: December 8, 2008 20:11

Please don't ever compare Back to Zero with GOMPER!!
Gomper is Great back to Zero crap...
Shame they didn't let Chuck keep it!

Re: Track Talk: Back To Zero
Posted by: Rocky Dijon ()
Date: December 8, 2008 20:34

The "its a monkey living on my back" bridge is good. There is a good song in there somewhere. Its not as bad as its reputation suggests (its not "Let's Work" by a long shot). I prefer it to "Fight" which just recycled the "Too Tough" guitar break for no good reason.

Re: Track Talk: Back To Zero
Posted by: NeddieFlanders ()
Date: December 8, 2008 21:09

Together with Blinded By Love their worst song of the 80's.

N

Re: Track Talk: Back To Zero
Posted by: Spodlumt ()
Date: December 8, 2008 21:20

I remember buying the "Dirty Work" album and bringing it home and putting it on my turntable. I was positively aghast at how absolutely horrible thhat record was. "Winning Ugly?" "Hold Back?" Ew...
When I bought "Bridges to Babylon" on CD a decade later and put it in my player, I had that unmistakeable feeling of deja vu all over again. Another unlistenable effort from my favorite band. Oh, the shame...

Re: Track Talk: Back To Zero
Posted by: Dear Doctor ()
Date: December 8, 2008 21:30

i always liked this song

good lyrics

dirty work is underated

had it with you is a great song

Re: Track Talk: Back To Zero
Posted by: Whale ()
Date: December 8, 2008 21:43

I think that was april 20th 1986, it had this red cellophane thing around it. Featuring the mean lean hits Harlem Shuffle, One hit to the body and Winning Ugly.
All I can say is that I'm glad it didn't end up on Dirty Work. The guitars make it worthwhile. But just imagine that Dave Stewart would have done the guitars, or Joe Satriani. It would have been a disaster.

Re: Track Talk: Back To Zero
Posted by: LOGIE ()
Date: December 9, 2008 01:16

Great track!

Always loved it, and still do.

Re: Track Talk: Back To Zero
Posted by: Four Stone Walls ()
Date: December 9, 2008 01:49

Hear Hear! Funkadelic from bass to scatty guitars to trumpet.

I've never heard anyone's explanation as to why it's 'crap'.

It's tight and lose and beefy and lots of subtle guitar conversations, changes of pace, changes of key?

Really imaginitive effort. As is Winning Ugly.

Both better than most of the cliched stuff on Undecover. (=going through Stones motions 'just passing time').

DW album broke out of the mouldy (old) mould.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2008-12-09 01:50 by Four Stone Walls.

Re: Track Talk: Back To Zero
Date: December 9, 2008 01:58

Back a few years ago, there was a common consensus on this forum that Back to Zero was the Stones' worst ever song. It is truly awful.

Maybe Mick and Keith anticipated this by giving co-writing status to poor Chuck.

Re: Track Talk: Back To Zero
Posted by: skipstone ()
Date: December 9, 2008 02:48

Nothing is as bad as Gomper. Close is Streets Of Love and Rock And A Hard Place and Winning Ugly.

Back To Zero, although a bit of a duff song, does have some very interesting guitar work in it as well as an interesting melody. I like Mick's singing, just lyrically it's off. He seems to be projecting that ol' 'albatross around my neck' trip about the Stones throughout this song.

It's not in the Top 500 Stones songs though. Not as interesting as Dance or If I Was A Dancer but not the worst track on Dirty Work either.

Re: Track Talk: Back To Zero
Posted by: whitem8 ()
Date: December 9, 2008 05:55

One of the few songs I liked on the disc when I first got it....but man it has not aged well. The production is horrid, and so 80's with a steril uninspired sound, and far too trebbly. The lyrics aren't half bad, and the guitars are pretty good as well...just that terrible production.

Re: Track Talk: Back To Zero
Posted by: TeaAtThree ()
Date: December 9, 2008 06:24

Reading the lyrics makes it a lot more interesting. Hated the sound of the thing, though. It's one of those songs that reads better than it plays. Can't say that about a lot of songs.

Re: Track Talk: Back To Zero
Posted by: slew ()
Date: December 31, 2008 02:42

not a good song! The album is not that bad even though it has some weak tracks.

Re: Track Talk: Back To Zero
Posted by: Jimmer ()
Date: December 31, 2008 03:06

Although this has probably been rehashed many times nefore, I'll say it anyway... IF ABB had been shortened to the old 10-12 song Stones former album mark (pre-Voodoo Lounge), it could've been much better from an overall consistency and quality perspective. This track listing woud have been pretty good in my book (leaving out alot of the so called "turds" referred to above):

1. Rough Justice
2. Dangerous Beauty
3. Driving Too Fast
4. Back of My Hand
5. Rain Fall Down
6. It Won't Take Long
7. Biggest Mistake
8. Let Me Down Slow
9. Laugh, I Nearly Died
10. This Place Is Empty

You could probably add one or two more (Oh No Not You Again...) and still keep it of solid overall quality in my book.

Re: Back To Zero - A bad song on one of the Stones weakest albums. When a song is one of the worst ones on one of their worst albums, that tells you all you need to know about that song.

Re: Track Talk: Back To Zero
Date: December 31, 2008 03:47

Quote
Four Stone Walls
Hear Hear! Funkadelic from bass to scatty guitars to trumpet.

I've never heard anyone's explanation as to why it's 'crap'.

It's tight and lose and beefy and lots of subtle guitar conversations, changes of pace, changes of key?

Really imaginitive effort. As is Winning Ugly.

Both better than most of the cliched stuff on Undecover. (=going through Stones motions 'just passing time').

DW album broke out of the mouldy (old) mould.

Why is it bad? IMO it is specifically the Leavell input, contributions. Would one take out his tracks, the song would ring a lot better right away. the guitars that weave around are really pretty good;but it is the notes on the keyboard, that 6th that is so gay and soft and elevator that turns it into muck. The cheesy percussion does not help but I bet tHat was leavell's idea too. winking smiley) That kind of milquetoast funk will make anyone, even Jagger want to sing like that, in that nasal drawl "straaiit to meldouan". The bridge sounds like Jagger's writing all the way though. Like any song from his solo albums.

Re: Track Talk: Back To Zero
Posted by: drewmaster ()
Date: December 31, 2008 03:59

I've never understood why people slam this song. Unlike a lot of the stuff on the DW album, it has a catchy melody and is not totally overproduced. (Compare it to 'Sleep Tonight', for example!). Moreover, the lyrics are interesting, Jagger sings with conviction, the guitars sound good, and it has a nice funky rhythm.

Drew

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