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Re: Track Talk: Stray Cat Blues
Posted by: OzHeavyThrobber ()
Date: November 11, 2014 12:48

"Listening to isolated tracks is pointless. Keith plays WITH the music here, and the result, as we all know, is magical."

I agree Dandy. It's pretty bad bass playing so clearly is not Bill and it does sound like a guitarist at it. The only thing that surprises me is that I'm sure the bass is out of tune. No matter it being horribly played or out of tune - it just fits right in and works and as you say is magical.

Even though Keith's execution is generally poor and in places timing out, I like his note choice a great deal.

Re: Track Talk: Stray Cat Blues
Posted by: liddas ()
Date: November 11, 2014 13:02

Quote
OzHeavyThrobber
Even though Keith's execution is generally poor and in places timing out, I like his note choice a great deal.

That's absolutely true.

How many times guitarists who occasionally pick up the bass are dismissed for not doing what a true bassist is supposed to do. Who cares, I say, as far as what is played works for the song!

C

Re: Track Talk: Stray Cat Blues
Date: November 11, 2014 13:08

Quote
OzHeavyThrobber
"Listening to isolated tracks is pointless. Keith plays WITH the music here, and the result, as we all know, is magical."

I agree Dandy. It's pretty bad bass playing so clearly is not Bill and it does sound like a guitarist at it. The only thing that surprises me is that I'm sure the bass is out of tune. No matter it being horribly played or out of tune - it just fits right in and works and as you say is magical.

Even though Keith's execution is generally poor and in places timing out, I like his note choice a great deal.

Yeah, and the whole song is very cleverly recorded (arrangement-wise), with the other instruments making room for the bass to shine in exact the right places (the ascending notes!), imo.

Keith made a good bass pattern, but probably didn't do many takes. You can hear some unintentional string-bending in there as well.

Re: Track Talk: Stray Cat Blues
Posted by: marcovandereijk ()
Date: November 11, 2014 13:44

Quote
NICOS
Do you think Mick regretted that he used an 13 year old in the song....although we never know how old she really was as she probably suggested to show here ID.......but on the other hand maybe Mick just didn't wanted to know her real age at all.

I wonder how many people do think of Mick singing about himself in this song, when he uses
the first person for the lyrics?

I interpreted it just as a narrative trick. Isn't it the same as with Midnight Rambler
just to name an example? Or Sympathy for the Devil?
Though Mick does have a reputation (think of John Phillip's daughter, who was just 14)
when it comes to younger girls, I thought he was telling a story, not being autobiographical.

Just as long as the guitar plays, let it steal your heart away

Re: Track Talk: Stray Cat Blues
Posted by: runaway ()
Date: November 11, 2014 16:46

Quote
runaway
Quote
with sssoul
Quote
runaway
... Mother's Little helper was recorded in 1965 in Hollywood, and I think Brian used the Indian sitar.

"(The strange guitar sound is) a 12-string with a slide on it. It's played slightly Oriental-ish. The track just needed something to make it twang."
- Keith in 2002, quoted here: [www.timeisonourside.com]

As for Stray Cat: This is the track that I bought Beggars for.
It was the most gloriously raunchy thing I had ever heard - still is, probably.
I mean just listen to that white-hot filthiness - I love the Rolling Stones

Mother's Little Helper " BJ Gtr, Sitar- Nico Zentgraf".
Beggars Banquet was probebly my first Stones album at the time and Stray Cat is a sexy track-amezing album.

KR played a 12-string with a slide on it, and BJ? Mother's Little Helper was high in the Billboard Top 100 at the time and is there no videoclip around?

Re: Track Talk: Stray Cat Blues
Date: November 11, 2014 16:53

Drums: Charlie Watts
Bass: Bill Wyman
Acoustic guitars: Keith Richards & Brian Jones
12-string slide electric guitar: Keith Richards
Vocals: Mick Jagger
Nitzsche-phone: Jack Nitzsche

(The strange guitar sound is) a 12-string with a slide on it. It's played slightly Oriental-ish. The track just needed something to make it twang. Otherwise, the song was quite vaudeville in a way. I wanted to add some nice bite to it. And it was just one of those things where someone walked in and, Look, it's an electric 12-string. It was some gashed-up job. No name on it. God knows where it came from. Or where it went. But I put it together with a bottleneck. Then we had a riff that tied the whole thing together. And I think we overdubbed onto that. Because I played an acoustic guitar as well.

- Keith Richards, 2002

Re: Track Talk: Stray Cat Blues
Posted by: runaway ()
Date: November 11, 2014 17:04

Quote
DandelionPowderman
Drums: Charlie Watts
Bass: Bill Wyman
Acoustic guitars: Keith Richards & Brian Jones
12-string slide electric guitar: Keith Richards
Vocals: Mick Jagger
Nitzsche-phone: Jack Nitzsche

(The strange guitar sound is) a 12-string with a slide on it. It's played slightly Oriental-ish. The track just needed something to make it twang. Otherwise, the song was quite vaudeville in a way. I wanted to add some nice bite to it. And it was just one of those things where someone walked in and, Look, it's an electric 12-string. It was some gashed-up job. No name on it. God knows where it came from. Or where it went. But I put it together with a bottleneck. Then we had a riff that tied the whole thing together. And I think we overdubbed onto that. Because I played an acoustic guitar as well.

- Keith Richards, 2002

Thanks DandelionPowderman but I'm still curious...

Stones drummer Charlie Watts said of this song in In the 2003 book According to the Rolling Stones: "We've often tried to perform 'Mother's Little Helper' and it's never been any good, never gelled for some reason - it's either me not playing it right or Keith not wanting to do it like that. It's never worked. It's just one of those songs. We used to try it live but it's a bloody hard record to play, although we did perform it live on Ed Sullivan."

Re: Track Talk: Stray Cat Blues
Posted by: with sssoul ()
Date: November 11, 2014 17:13

Quote
runaway
Thanks DandelionPowderman but I'm still curious...

Stones drummer Charlie Watts said of this song in In the 2003 book According to the Rolling Stones: "We've often tried to perform 'Mother's Little Helper' and it's never been any good, never gelled for some reason - it's either me not playing it right or Keith not wanting to do it like that. It's never worked. It's just one of those songs. We used to try it live but it's a bloody hard record to play, although we did perform it live on Ed Sullivan."

Charlie was thinking of HYSYMB, SitS.
In any case music videos are often not good indicators of who played what in the studio.
There is a Track Talk thread about Mother's Little Helper around here somewhere :E
Ahh here it is: [www.iorr.org] tongue sticking out smiley

And meanwhile I'd rather discuss how much Keith's Stray Cat snarl owes to The Lantern!



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2014-11-11 17:25 by with sssoul.

Re: Track Talk: Stray Cat Blues
Date: November 11, 2014 17:17

Here's the live version from Honolulu 1966. Sounds good to me, but Keith's slide playing is a little wonky.




Re: Track Talk: Stray Cat Blues
Posted by: runaway ()
Date: November 11, 2014 17:35

Quote
DandelionPowderman
Here's the live version from Honolulu 1966. Sounds good to me, but Keith's slide playing is a little wonky.



Thanks and sounds pretty good to me

Re: Track Talk: Stray Cat Blues
Posted by: Naturalust ()
Date: November 11, 2014 18:36

Quote
DandelionPowderman
Not even the Stones's own album liner notes have everything right smiling smiley

Yeah, just ask MT about songwriting credits. eye popping smiley Keith has probably replaced Bill's bass parts on more songs than has been listed, although I wouldn't doubt if parts from BOTH players were used in some of the final mixes. peace

Re: Track Talk: Stray Cat Blues
Date: November 11, 2014 22:29

Quote
Naturalust
Quote
DandelionPowderman
Not even the Stones's own album liner notes have everything right smiling smiley

Yeah, just ask MT about songwriting credits. eye popping smiley Keith has probably replaced Bill's bass parts on more songs than has been listed, although I wouldn't doubt if parts from BOTH players were used in some of the final mixes. peace

I'm not sure if Keith ever has replaced Bill's parts. In most of the cases he wasn't there when they recorded the songs. When he showed up later he often recorded a different instrument, like the organ on JJF or the synth on Shattered.

Taylor has mentioned 2 or 3 songs during his 5 years with the band. Maybe there are more - maybe not...



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2014-11-12 10:05 by DandelionPowderman.

Re: Track Talk: Stray Cat Blues
Posted by: with sssoul ()
Date: November 11, 2014 22:34

Don't I recall Bill talking - quite miffed - about Keith replacing his bass on something?
I don't remember which number, but the miffedness was distinct and memorable.

Re: Track Talk: Stray Cat Blues
Posted by: OzHeavyThrobber ()
Date: November 12, 2014 01:47

yeah sssoul it was "Happy". The bass line is pretty pedestrian that Keith put down so not sure why he wiped Bill's track (which no one ever got to hear damn it). Bill wasn't happy about it. I'm pretty sure it's in his (Bill's) second book.

Keith's bass on "Live with me" is pretty godamnned stellar though...


Back on topic - I also love the live 69/70 version of SCB. Takes the most menacing song ever and redresses it as cotton candy. Allowed Jagger to slip in and tweak the otherwise brutal melody into a beautiful one. Taylor's playing really added something wonderful also me finks.

Re: Track Talk: Stray Cat Blues
Posted by: drbryant ()
Date: November 12, 2014 07:04

The way the album moves so smoothly from SFM to Prodigal Son (a song written decades before) to Stray Cat Blues has always underscored for me, the timelessness of the Stones' music. Great, great track

Re: Track Talk: Stray Cat Blues
Posted by: LongBeachArena72 ()
Date: November 12, 2014 07:31

"Stray Cat Blues" is one of The Stones most thematically complex recordings.

The opening 3 minutes are a lascivious joy but nothing new. In fact, the band almost seem to be having a bit of a laugh at themselves and their reputation for debauchery. Ok, yeah, you don't want your daughter dating a Rolling Stone, Ok, got it.

But what happens in the extended outro is stunning in its nihilistic menace. The rhythm guitars lay down a Nazi jackbooted march of death and the echo on Nicky's piano is positively cryptlike. They took a tale of teenage lust and turned it into an anthem of corruption that in that last minute and a half gobbled up and spat back out all the evil in the 20th century.

This section of the song ranks right up there for me with the first 45 seconds of "Gimme Shelter" as The Stones at their absolute peak as studio recording artists.

The YA-YA'S version is cute and sly and wonderfully played ... but the BEGGARS BANQUET recording is a masterpiece.

Re: Track Talk: Stray Cat Blues
Posted by: Naturalust ()
Date: November 12, 2014 07:32

Quote
OzHeavyThrobber
yeah sssoul it was "Happy". The bass line is pretty pedestrian that Keith put down so not sure why he wiped Bill's track (which no one ever got to hear damn it). Bill wasn't happy about it. I'm pretty sure it's in his (Bill's) second book.

Keith's bass on "Live with me" is pretty godamnned stellar though...

Also thought I read somewhere where Bill was pissed because Keith said he played the bass part on a well known track, but Bill was sure it was him.

The way the album moves so smoothly from SFM to Prodigal Son (a song written decades before) to Stray Cat Blues has always underscored for me, the timelessness of the Stones' music

Something that has been lost in these days of single track downloads and custom playlists. I will have to listen to those three in a row since you point out the wonderfulness of the sequence. peace

Re: Track Talk: Stray Cat Blues
Date: November 12, 2014 10:07

Quote
OzHeavyThrobber
yeah sssoul it was "Happy". The bass line is pretty pedestrian that Keith put down so not sure why he wiped Bill's track (which no one ever got to hear damn it). Bill wasn't happy about it. I'm pretty sure it's in his (Bill's) second book.

Keith's bass on "Live with me" is pretty godamnned stellar though...


Back on topic - I also love the live 69/70 version of SCB. Takes the most menacing song ever and redresses it as cotton candy. Allowed Jagger to slip in and tweak the otherwise brutal melody into a beautiful one. Taylor's playing really added something wonderful also me finks.

I don't think Bill was present when they recorded Happy. According to Keith (and several authors) the only one who were there were Keith, Jimmy Miller and Bobby Keys. Mick came in later to do his back up vocals.

Re: Track Talk: Stray Cat Blues
Posted by: with sssoul ()
Date: November 12, 2014 10:14

Quote
DandelionPowderman
I don't think Bill was present when they recorded Happy. According to Keith (and several authors)
the only one who were there were Keith, Jimmy Miller and Bobby Keys. Mick came in later to do his back up vocals.

That's what I know about Happy as well. I suppose Bill might have come up with his own Happy bass after the fact and got rejected,
but a] that doesn't sound real likely and b] the miffedness I'm recollecting was related to another number.
I shall rack my brains as soon as I find where I left the rack ... :E

Re: Track Talk: Stray Cat Blues
Date: November 12, 2014 10:20

Quote
with sssoul
Quote
DandelionPowderman
I don't think Bill was present when they recorded Happy. According to Keith (and several authors)
the only one who were there were Keith, Jimmy Miller and Bobby Keys. Mick came in later to do his back up vocals.

That's what I know about Happy as well. I suppose Bill might have come up with his own Happy bass after the fact and got rejected,
but a] that doesn't sound real likely and b] the miffedness I'm recollecting was related to another number.
I shall rack my brains as soon as I find where I left the rack ... :E

It rings a bell when you say it, but I can't recall which number it was, either..

Keith's story on Happy:

- That happened in one grand bash in France for Exile. I had the riff. The rest of the Stones were late for one reason or another. It was only Bobby Keys there and Jimmy Miller, who was producing. I said, I've got this idea; let's put it down for when the guys arrive. I put down some guitar and vocal, Bobby was on baritone sax and Jimmy was on drums. We listened to it, and I said, I can put another guitar there and a bass. By the time the Stones arrived, we'd cut it. I love it when they drip off the end of the fingers. And I was pretty happy about it, which is why it ended up being called Happy.

- Keith Richards, 2002

Re: Track Talk: Stray Cat Blues
Posted by: paulywaul ()
Date: November 12, 2014 10:47

Quote
Silver Dagger
One of the most remarkable and controversial songs in the Stones canon.

It’s also one that owes nothing to any musical path that the band had taken before – not blues nor r’n’b or pop or the spangly psychedelia that was the current rage and had informed their previous album.

This was bold new ground, the dawning of the rock era and a very edgy sound that perfectly complemented its daring and challenging subject matter, but more about that later.

The song blazes open with Mick's sexually charged feline-like squeal sung in a lewd falsetto before descending to a debauched growl and a boast of “yeah I got some tail”. That’s some opening gambit and this dizzy up and down effect is echoed throughout the song with glissando slide guitars adding to the sense of unease and menace.

I’d classify Stray Cat Blues as one of the Stones’ devil songs – right up there with the darkness evoked in Sympathy, Midnight Rambler, Gimme Shelter and Sister Morphine. There’s an inherent evil creeping all over it. An invitation to an orgy with the main participants being underage girls.

That see-sawing effect reminds me a little bit of The Beatles’ Helter Skelter – a song which actually did go on to inspire unspeakable evil.

Where did the music come from? I’ve read somewhere that Jagger was inspired after hearing The Velvet Underground’s Heroin which has a similar intro. But as the song peaks it becomes almost shamanic and trance inducing. Was Brian was responsible for this with his interest in Moroccan pan music, I wonder?

I can also hear elements of the experimental London underground sound being created by Pink Floyd around this time, especially the last 90 seconds of the song which has Mick ad libbing some unintelligible words as it reaches its climax with tribal drumming and a deranged cacophony. It’s heady stuff and very powerful.

So onto the subject matter. Sex with a minor. You couldn’t get away with that now and you shouldn’t have been able to get away with it then. But musicians did – both in real life and on record.

Mick sneers: “I can see you’re 15 years old, I don’t want your ID.” It’s a shocking statement and one that must have sent shivers down the spines of parents everywhere.

Donovan went one further in the song Mellow Yellow – a top 10 hit – in which he proclaimed “I’m just mad about 14 and she’s just mad about me”. Crazy times. The cops would have been knocking on their doors if that would have been now.

In fact Mick went one worse on the 1969 US tour when he changed the lyric to “I can see that you’re just 13 years old”.

Stray Cat Blues is a true one off, a real rarity and a great example of the band's experimental side.

Love your analysis SD. You should be a journalist you know .......... winking smiley

[ I want to shout, but I can't hardly speak ]

Re: Track Talk: Stray Cat Blues
Posted by: drewmaster ()
Date: November 12, 2014 13:28

Quote
paulywaul

Love your analysis SD. You should be a journalist you know .......... winking smiley

Agree 100%!! And same goes for LongBeachArena72 ... the observation below is simply brilliant.

Quote
LongBeachArena72
But what happens in the extended outro is stunning in its nihilistic menace. The rhythm guitars lay down a Nazi jackbooted march of death and the echo on Nicky's piano is positively cryptlike. They took a tale of teenage lust and turned it into an anthem of corruption that in that last minute and a half gobbled up and spat back out all the evil in the 20th century.

Drew

Re: Track Talk: Stray Cat Blues
Posted by: Silver Dagger ()
Date: November 12, 2014 14:17

Quote
paulywaul
Quote
Silver Dagger
One of the most remarkable and controversial songs in the Stones canon.

It’s also one that owes nothing to any musical path that the band had taken before – not blues nor r’n’b or pop or the spangly psychedelia that was the current rage and had informed their previous album.

This was bold new ground, the dawning of the rock era and a very edgy sound that perfectly complemented its daring and challenging subject matter, but more about that later.

The song blazes open with Mick's sexually charged feline-like squeal sung in a lewd falsetto before descending to a debauched growl and a boast of “yeah I got some tail”. That’s some opening gambit and this dizzy up and down effect is echoed throughout the song with glissando slide guitars adding to the sense of unease and menace.

I’d classify Stray Cat Blues as one of the Stones’ devil songs – right up there with the darkness evoked in Sympathy, Midnight Rambler, Gimme Shelter and Sister Morphine. There’s an inherent evil creeping all over it. An invitation to an orgy with the main participants being underage girls.

That see-sawing effect reminds me a little bit of The Beatles’ Helter Skelter – a song which actually did go on to inspire unspeakable evil.

Where did the music come from? I’ve read somewhere that Jagger was inspired after hearing The Velvet Underground’s Heroin which has a similar intro. But as the song peaks it becomes almost shamanic and trance inducing. Was Brian was responsible for this with his interest in Moroccan pan music, I wonder?

I can also hear elements of the experimental London underground sound being created by Pink Floyd around this time, especially the last 90 seconds of the song which has Mick ad libbing some unintelligible words as it reaches its climax with tribal drumming and a deranged cacophony. It’s heady stuff and very powerful.

So onto the subject matter. Sex with a minor. You couldn’t get away with that now and you shouldn’t have been able to get away with it then. But musicians did – both in real life and on record.

Mick sneers: “I can see you’re 15 years old, I don’t want your ID.” It’s a shocking statement and one that must have sent shivers down the spines of parents everywhere.

Donovan went one further in the song Mellow Yellow – a top 10 hit – in which he proclaimed “I’m just mad about 14 and she’s just mad about me”. Crazy times. The cops would have been knocking on their doors if that would have been now.

In fact Mick went one worse on the 1969 US tour when he changed the lyric to “I can see that you’re just 13 years old”.

Stray Cat Blues is a true one off, a real rarity and a great example of the band's experimental side.

Love your analysis SD. You should be a journalist you know .......... winking smiley

Ha ha. Eeek - that reminds me......

Re: Track Talk: Stray Cat Blues
Posted by: andrewt ()
Date: November 12, 2014 15:15

Quote
drewmaster
Quote
paulywaul

Love your analysis SD. You should be a journalist you know .......... winking smiley

Agree 100%!! And same goes for LongBeachArena72 ... the observation below is simply brilliant.

Quote
LongBeachArena72
But what happens in the extended outro is stunning in its nihilistic menace. The rhythm guitars lay down a Nazi jackbooted march of death and the echo on Nicky's piano is positively cryptlike. They took a tale of teenage lust and turned it into an anthem of corruption that in that last minute and a half gobbled up and spat back out all the evil in the 20th century.

Drew

Greil Marcus eat your heart out. That is indeed a brilliant commentary, LongBeach.

Re: Track Talk: Stray Cat Blues
Posted by: LongBeachArena72 ()
Date: November 12, 2014 18:24

Thanks, andrewt & Drew!

But I must come clean: I think I may have nicked at least part of my post from some long-forgotten piece if contemporary criticism of BEGGARS BANQUET. I've scoured the net but cannot find it now but I'm almost sure that at least the part about the final march reminding me of a fascist march may not be entirely original.

Just in the spirit of full disclosure and all!

Best,

Mike

Re: Track Talk: Stray Cat Blues
Posted by: Title5Take1 ()
Date: November 12, 2014 19:38

In David Henderson's Jimi Hendrix biography, he quotes Devon Wilson, lover to both Hendrix and Jagger, as saying about Mick: "You know the song STRAY CAT BLUES? He told me he wrote it about a certain chick. He said he usually doesn't write like that but he had this one particular lady in mind. When he was in California the girl called him and said, `Thanks for writing that song about me.' He was shocked because he didn't think she could have recognized herself. But she did and it completely freaked him...He told me he likes fourteen-year-old girls who look like little boys."

Re: Track Talk: Stray Cat Blues
Posted by: with sssoul ()
Date: November 12, 2014 20:38

And for the record: I never heard the stunning ending of Stray Cat as a relative of a nazi march,
and I sure as hell don't want to start now. Yeah yeah I know - but Stones being interested in nazi stuff in their free time
sure doesn't mean I want to hear nazis marching around a track I love. Eichsa fu icky bah - take 'em away! :E

Re: Track Talk: Stray Cat Blues
Posted by: Doxa ()
Date: November 12, 2014 20:48

Too much information, Miss Wilson aka Dolly Dagger...grinning smiley

I've been listening lately to the YA-YA'S version (and also some 1970/71 versions). It is incredible how different they managed to make it. All the chaotic noise, the cacophony, almost anti-musicality is replaced with precise musicianship and focus. What first was some kind of sketchy template to make odd noise and scream, is now a distinct contemplative song played so sharp. Like some mentioned insightfully, the whole subject matter is dealed differently - Jagger sounds almost sad outsider making social commentary, a cold observation of the way world goes like. I have always prefered the studio one, but the live version is simply incredible, work of art, as well.

YA-YA'S version is a great showcase what two over-lapping things, having Mick Taylor onboard and the band having enough touring routine, brought on table. It is things like "Stray Cat Blues" in where I can hear what Charlie Watts means by saying "Mick Taylor gave us professionalism". Some of the old craziness, drugged people going out of their minds, trying whatever lunatic experiences in the leasures of having enough time to spend on studio, is gone and replaced by almost clinic sharpness. The studio version is really a studio experiment, mostly Keith's experiment - like "Street Fighting Man" - to find certain sounds, paint an atmophere by them. Him playig the bass - and awfully - fits exactly to the picture and is a spot on. But it isn't really a band effort; something a band would practise and play on stage. It is purely a studio effort, put together from pieces, a masterpiece and aim of its own to be listened from a record. So the way they approach the song in concert is really rethinking the whole thing. Just taking the basic structure, and reconstructing it from the beginning. There is almost nothing note-to-note to the original. BIll's bass, Charlie's drums, Keith's rhythm guitar, Taylor's additions, Mick's rework of the melody... Fantastic reformation. Almost like two totally different bands, or two different songs.

- Doxa



Edited 4 time(s). Last edit at 2014-11-12 21:04 by Doxa.

Re: Track Talk: Stray Cat Blues
Posted by: Silver Dagger ()
Date: November 12, 2014 21:43

YEAH I GOT SOME TAIL - What a killer line. Eat ya heart out Jim Morrison.

Re: Track Talk: Stray Cat Blues
Posted by: Doxa ()
Date: November 13, 2014 02:01

Some five more pages of discussion of "Stray Cat Blues" here:[www.iorr.org]

Some voices now missed there giving their opinion, among others...

And some two pages more from 2010:[www.iorr.org]

- Doxa



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2014-11-13 02:16 by Doxa.

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