Tell Me :  Talk
Talk about your favorite band. 

Previous page Next page First page IORR home

For information about how to use this forum please check out forum help and policies.

Goto Page: 1234567Next
Current Page: 1 of 7
Track Talk: Sympathy For The Devil
Posted by: René ()
Date: March 16, 2015 09:40

Comments, input and alterations are very welcome!
_______________________________________________________________________________

Sympathy For The Devil
(Mick Jagger / Keith Richards)

Olympic Sound Studios, London, UK, June 4 - 10, 1968 and
Sunset Sound Studios, Los Angeles, California, US, July 5 - 25, 1968

Mick Jagger - lead vocals
Keith Richards - electric guitar, acoustic guitar, bass, backing vocals
Charlie Watts - drums, backing vocals
Bill Wyman - maracas, backing vocals
Brian Jones - backing vocals
Nicky Hopkins - piano
Rocky Dijon - congas
Jimmy Miller - percussion
Michael Cooper, Anita Pallenberg & Marianne Faithfull - backing vocals

Please allow me to introduce myself, I'm a man of wealth and taste
I've been around for a long, long year, stolen many man's soul and faith
I was ‘round when Jesus Christ had His moment of doubt and pain
Made damn sure that Pilate washed his hands and sealed His fate
Pleased to meet you, hope you guess my name
But what's puzzling you is the nature of my game

Stuck around St. Petersburg when I saw it was a time for a change
Killed the Tzar and his ministers, Anastasia screamed in vain
I rode a tank, held a general's rank, when the blitzkrieg raged and the bodies stank
Pleased to meet you, hope you guess my name, oh yeah
What's puzzling you is the nature of my game, oh yeah

I watched with glee while your kings and queens
Fought for ten decades for the Gods they made
I shouted out: Who killed the Kennedys, when after all it was you and me
Let me please introduce myself, I'm a man of wealth and taste
And I laid traps for troubadours who get killed before they reach Bombay
Pleased to meet you, hope you guess my name, oh yeah
But what's puzzling you is the nature of my game, oh yeah, get down, baby

Pleased to meet you, hope you guess my name, oh yeah
But what's confusing you is just the nature of my game, yeah
Just as every cop is a criminal and all the sinners, Saints
As heads is tails, just call me Lucifer, 'cause I'm in need of some restraint
So if you meet me, have some courtesy, have some sympathy and some taste
Use all your well learned politesse, or I'll lay your soul to waste, yeah
Pleased to meet you, hope you guess my name, yeah
But what's puzzling you is the nature of my game, mean it, get down

Tell me baby, what’s my name?
Tell me honey, can you guess my name?
Tell me baby, what’s my name…

Produced by Jimmy Miller

First released on: The Rolling Stones - “Beggars Banquet” LP
(Decca SKL 4955) UK, December 6, 1968

Re: Track Talk: Sympathy For The Devil
Date: March 16, 2015 09:45

The classic over all classics. Together with JJF, HTW and BS this track made the Stones go from "big" to "huge".

Is there really an acoustic guitar in there, btw?

The groove, the sounds and the lyrics are nothing but brilliant. Probably the most contageous rhythm they've ever produced.

And, yes, the studio version is the ultimate version - even though there were lovely live renditions to come.

Re: Track Talk: Sympathy For The Devil
Posted by: Silver Dagger ()
Date: March 16, 2015 09:53

Simply one of the most important and best loved songs that the Stones ever wrote. Apart from their flirtation with psychedelia this was their first real move away from pop into the brave new world of rock that was now taking the world by storm. At least the first that the public would hear.
Cream, Hendrix, The Doors, Velvet Underground, the San Francisco bands – all had already laid down strong markers in abandoning pop or psychedelic pop to take new directions in heavier rock.

Yes, there were some experimental rockish wig outs on Satanic Majesties and Jumping Jack Flash gave us all a pointer but now was time for the real deal – the great era of the guitar solo was upon us and the Stones didn’t want to get left behind.

And boy, did the Stones deliver! Major big time. As guitar solos go they don’t get much better than that sublime, seering, beacon of sound that shoots like a laser beam from Keith’s guitar to our speakers at 2.52 for 40 seconds and that simply floors everything in its path. You ever listened to that original studio version in a disco or at full blast? It’s life-affirming, transcendental stuff – everything that rock music should do to transport you to a higher spiritual plain of ultra happiness. It’s a stop everything moment that creates ear to ear grins and thousand mile stares. Simply amazing. If anyone ever asks you what rock music is all about, just play them that and they’ll know.

Then there’s that simply irresistible rhythm. A samba. I can’t think of anyone in the pop/rock idiom who merged a Latin dance rhythm with pop or rock on an album before this. Not The Beatles, nor The Who, Dylan, Cream, The Yardbirds or any other of the era’s leading lights Santana were also still a year away from establishing themselves on a global scale.

Thanks to the One Plus One film we have the good luck to see this song being built up – laboriously bit by bit. It makes me sad to think that the Stones don’t write or create this way anymore. I guess they simply don’t have the patience. In those days they all had a great collective energy in wanting to produce art of staggering quality.

Just listen to the ingenious way that the chorus of Mick, Keith, Marianne, Anita, Brian, Charlie, Jimmy Miller and whoever else was lucky enough to be there push the song on with their infectious woo woo chanting. That’s a really black sound, with its roots not only in gospel but also in voodoo and call and response going right back to Congo Square in New Orleans in the mid-1800s – the birth of modern popular music.

And Charlie and Bill with Rocky Dijon on congas create a rhythm to die for. It grabs you by the nuts and doesn’t let go until the very last note fades away. Even today at concerts the woo wooing can carry on for a few minutes as the body slowly returns to its normal rhythm.

And how about those lyrics then? Inspired by Marianne’s great literary knowledge and foresight to give Mick the weird and wonderful book The Master And Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov as well as a book of Baudelaire poetry. Mick brilliantly took that inspiration about Satan’s arrival in society to pen a lyric that immediately hit home with the disaffected students of Europe and American army draftees. Very stirring, and unsettling, it brilliantly enhanced the Stones’ flirtation with the dark side and even led some of the establishment to believe that the band were now in league with the devil.

It remains, with Paint It Black, Gimme Shelter and Midnight Rambler the songs that best represent the image of the Stones as disciples of darkness – polarising them against the neo-Christian Festival of Light and the establishment in general. But it also rubberstamped their bad boy credentials and help extend their career right through to today.

Sympathy For The Devil is as epic a rock song as you are ever likely to find.

Re: Track Talk: Sympathy For The Devil
Posted by: Come On ()
Date: March 16, 2015 09:54

A very good starter on a very good album...Sandie Shaw show us how to do it...:

video: [www.youtube.com]


..she wouldn't say
I said something wrong
Now I long..

Re: Track Talk: Sympathy For The Devil
Posted by: RollingFreak ()
Date: March 16, 2015 09:59

I can't even explain it, but listening to that studio version, there is magic there. In a different way than most other songs they did. They were never quite able to duplicate it. Yes, the live versions could be amazing, but they were different. There was a quality to the studio version, which is most likely the first one many of us heard, and it was attractive to us. One of the very few songs they have where I shake my head and think "it just all clicked. I don't know how, I don't know why, but no one else could have done this."

IMO other bands could have written something like Satisfaction. Other bands could have even written something like Jumpin' Jack Flash, despite the fact that those songs are seminal Stones songs and have that inherent Stones quality. But there's something about Sympathy that is just so those 5 guys. I don't think anyone else could have done it and listen to that studio version. It is completely unique and pretty much unlike a lot of stuff in their catalogue. Its a true gem of a song and is one of the songs that define who this band is and why they are so amazing. Its one of those songs, that most bands have, that only THAT BAND could have pulled off. Simply genius. I don't know how to praise it less.

Re: Track Talk: Sympathy For The Devil
Posted by: artofstone ()
Date: March 16, 2015 10:00

sorry, but in this case i couldn't resist to throw in (again) one of my paintings out of [exhibition on main st]
you all know the scene...

regards, artofstone


Re: Track Talk: Sympathy For The Devil
Posted by: bitusa2012 ()
Date: March 16, 2015 10:07

Majestic. Sublime. Chaotic. Poetic. Terrifying. Subtle. Noisy. Irrational.

Irrational in that it is The Stones. They had not produced anything remotely as GREAT as this in their past. Not probably again.... though one can argue about Shelter. But Sympathy is just plain outright stupendous BRILLIANCE from start to finish.

It does not get any better than this, ever, by this band or any other.

Re: Track Talk: Sympathy For The Devil
Posted by: drewmaster ()
Date: March 16, 2015 10:18

Needless to say, one of the best-known songs in the Stones canon. But personally, I have always felt ambivalent about the studio version; while I certainly enjoy it, it also leaves me feeling a little underwhelmed. Why? It sounds THIN; the sonic dynamics, in my opinion, hadn’t really been worked out yet in 1968. In particular, the track could benefit from some crunchy guitar chords, and most importantly, Charlie’s backbeat is missing!

But over the years, the Stones have honed and refined Sympathy, bringing the bluesier, guitar-driven, rock and roll elements of the song to the fore, revealing this track's true greatness and thereby bringing this fan some satisfaction. Woo-hoo!!

Drew



Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 2015-04-02 04:11 by drewmaster.

Re: Track Talk: Sympathy For The Devil
Posted by: with sssoul ()
Date: March 16, 2015 10:34

As iconic as they come, on every level.

Quote
Silver Dagger
As guitar solos go they don’t get much better than that sublime, searing, beacon of sound
that shoots like a laser beam from Keith’s guitar to our speakers at 2.52 for 40 seconds and that simply floors everything in its path.

Some critic wrote a few years ago that everyone in the (technologized) world can hum at least part of that solo -
a bit of an exaggeration but not by much I think.

I'm one of those who don't believe the people listed are really the woo woo singers -
That scene in One + One seems plainly manufactured. If nothing else, Charles Watts is just standing there
blatantly resentful of being made to do that. But the scene does illustrate how the backing vocals were done -
"the gentlemen's way", everyone standing around the mic, singing each woo by hand (as it were).
That's an important thing to illustrate for generations raised on digital devices, sampling and loops.

Re: Track Talk: Sympathy For The Devil
Posted by: marcovandereijk ()
Date: March 16, 2015 10:37

I don't know where to begin this track talk. Words can never describe what is going on
when this song is played.
I love this occasion, where all original musicians involved in a live setting.
It proves all persons wrong who say that A Quick One While he's Away was the highlight
of the evening:





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

Re: Track Talk: Sympathy For The Devil
Posted by: with sssoul ()
Date: March 16, 2015 11:21

There was a good discussion on the forums for that on-line Stones course about that very puzzling line
about troubadours, which we've discussed a few times here as well: [www.iorr.org] , [www.iorr.org] , [www.iorr.org]

I've never seen any sense at all in theories that the line is about hippies getting killed by drug dealers
or about the Beatles quarreling in the studio. Why would Mick include either of those items in this epic lyric??

The real historical troubadours got persecuted along with the Cathars in the 14th century or whenever it was -
there's an amazing site about all that here: [www.cathar.info] but no sign of them heading anywhere near Bombay.

Then someone dug up a report of a 1966 military aircraft accident that was huge news in Europe at the time,
in which four US nuclear bombs got dropped on Spain. eye popping smiley One of the aircraft involved was called - dig this - Troubadour 14:

"B-52G 58-0256 collided with the refueling boom of Troubadour 14 (KC-135A 61-0273).
The boom penetrated the bomber’s fuselage, broke structural members and the left wing broke off.
The B-52 exploded. The tanker, on fire, went into a steep dive. At 1,600 feet (488 meters), it also exploded.
The four crew men aboard the fully-loaded tanker were killed. Three of the seven men on the B-52 ejected,
and the co-pilot, who was not in an ejection seat, literally fell out of the disintegrating bomber.
The navigator’s parachute did not open and he was killed. Three others were unable to escape and were also killed.
As the B-52 broke apart, the four nuclear bombs it carried in the bomb bay fell free."
[www.thisdayinaviation.com] , [en.wikipedia.org]

Anyone willing to imagine a 1966 Jagger not-quite-listening to the news when that was reported
and forming an indelibly resonant mental image of troubadours and Bombay that stuck with him
even after he got the real story straight? and that image, plus words with a mouth-feel too good to waste,
came to mind when he needed a romantic, resonant, historical, wicked line?

Someone should ask him :E



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2015-03-16 21:48 by with sssoul.

Re: Track Talk: Sympathy For The Devil
Date: March 16, 2015 11:22

Quote
marcovandereijk
I don't know where to begin this track talk. Words can never describe what is going on
when this song is played.
I love this occasion, where all original musicians involved in a live setting.
It proves all persons wrong who say that A Quick One While he's Away was the highlight
of the evening:



+1

Re: Track Talk: Sympathy For The Devil
Posted by: marcovandereijk ()
Date: March 16, 2015 11:58

Quote
with sssoul

"B-52G 58-0256 collided with the refueling boom of Troubadour 14 (KC-135A 61-0273).
The boom penetrated the bomber’s fuselage, broke structural members and the left wing broke off.
The B-52 exploded. The tanker, on fire, went into a steep dive. At 1,600 feet (488 meters), it also exploded.
The four crew men aboard the fully-loaded tanker were killed. Three of the seven men on the B-52 ejected,
and the co-pilot, who was not in an ejection seat, literally fell out of the disintegrating bomber.
The navigator’s parachute did not open and he was killed. Three others were unable to escape and were also killed.
As the B-52 broke apart, the four nuclear bombs it carried in the bomb bay fell free."

[www.thisdayinaviation.com]

eye popping smiley indeed.

That was puzzling me more than the nature of his game.
I like it!

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

Re: Track Talk: Sympathy For The Devil
Posted by: Silver Dagger ()
Date: March 16, 2015 12:06

Quote
with sssoul
There was a good discussion on the forums for that on-line Stones course about that very puzzling line
about troubadours, which we've discussed a few times here as well: [www.iorr.org] , [www.iorr.org] , [www.iorr.org]


Then someone pointed out a 1966 military aircraft accident that was huge news in Europe at the time,
in which four nuclear bombs got dropped on Spain. eye popping smiley One of the aircraft involved was called - dig this - Troubadour 14:

"B-52G 58-0256 collided with the refueling boom of Troubadour 14 (KC-135A 61-0273).
The boom penetrated the bomber’s fuselage, broke structural members and the left wing broke off.
The B-52 exploded. The tanker, on fire, went into a steep dive. At 1,600 feet (488 meters), it also exploded.
The four crew men aboard the fully-loaded tanker were killed. Three of the seven men on the B-52 ejected,
and the co-pilot, who was not in an ejection seat, literally fell out of the disintegrating bomber.
The navigator’s parachute did not open and he was killed. Three others were unable to escape and were also killed.
As the B-52 broke apart, the four nuclear bombs it carried in the bomb bay fell free."

[www.thisdayinaviation.com]

Anyone willing to imagine a 1966 Jagger not-quite-listening to the news when that was reported
and forming an indelibly resonant mental image of troubadours and Bombay that stuck with him
even after he got the real story straight? and that image, plus words with a mouth-feel too good to waste,
came to mind when he needed a romantic, resonant, historical, wicked line?

Someone should ask him :E

Reading stuff like this is why I love this site. I really don't think Jagger would have had the recall in those hazy days of 68 when he wrote the song to transpose and join those two pieces of history but who knows? He was certainly inspired by Dylan at the time - Family, Memo from Turner - who was mixing characters from throughout history in songs like Desolation Row. Love the idea though.

And I can't remember this incident at all. Four nuclear bombs got dropped on Spain? Surely they would have exploded and that would have cause an international incident. It sounds not too far removed from the plot of Thunderball - the current James Bond film at the time.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2015-03-16 12:07 by Silver Dagger.

Re: Track Talk: Sympathy For The Devil
Posted by: Silver Dagger ()
Date: March 16, 2015 12:29

Lo and behold - the BBC made the Bond connection too.

[www.bbc.co.uk]

The 007 connection

In December 1965, a month before the accident, James Bond film Thunderball was released.

"The film's plot had strong similarities to what subsequently happened in real life", says author Barbara Moran.

"Bond's mission was to find atomic bombs that had been lost at sea. All the news stories at the time were making the connection.

"Much of the movie was shot underwater with Sean Connery battling baddies in weird submersibles trying to get the bombs...

"In the movie, they had all this really awesome underwater technology that got the bomb. But in real life, it was much harder to first locate, and then recover the bomb from the sea bed."

Re: Track Talk: Sympathy For The Devil
Posted by: with sssoul ()
Date: March 16, 2015 12:42

Silver D and Marco, I highly recommend rooting around in the links on the wikipedia page about this incident: [en.wikipedia.org]
Detonating devices in two of the bombs did explode on impact. The bombs themselves didn't go off - obviously and fortunately! -
but the area was contaminated and the US was paying Spain reparations until something like 2010.
One of the other bombs fell in the water leading to a number of fascinating subplots;
and besides that weird Bond "pre-connection" look who else made a film about it: [en.wikipedia.org] tongue sticking out smiley

I see no reason why Jagger (or anyone else) would have any trouble remembering this event from 1966 to 1968,
especially given the vividly romantic imagery conjured up by the sound of the words.

My Polish friends remember it vividly to this day - just say Palomares and they know what you mean.
It was a huge deal at the time, at least in Europe. One can imagine the US media not having so much to say,
but of course the Soviet bloc propaganda had a field day with it. Which is neither here nor there -
but it was a highly publicized, memorable event with miles of repercussions.

Someone really should ask Mick. :E



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2015-03-16 12:55 by with sssoul.

Re: Track Talk: Sympathy For The Devil
Posted by: Silver Dagger ()
Date: March 16, 2015 13:14

This from the NME's 20 Things You Didn't Know About Sympathy For The Devil

At the original recording at London’s Olympic Studios, the chant of “woo-woo” started in the control room, kicked off by producer Jimmy Miller and a group including Anita Pallenburg, Marianne Faithful and a coterie of “elite film crowd” who’d turn up at the studio to sing along to whatever the Stones were recording that day. Producer Jimmy Miller put a mike in the control room to record them, but their takes were scrapped and re-recorded by Jagger, Richards and Miller in LA.

Read more at [www.nme.com]

Re: Track Talk: Sympathy For The Devil
Posted by: with sssoul ()
Date: March 16, 2015 13:23

Quote
Silver Dagger
This from the NME's 20 Things You Didn't Know About Sympathy For The Devil

At the original recording at London’s Olympic Studios, the chant of “woo-woo” started in the control room,
kicked off by producer Jimmy Miller and a group including Anita Pallenburg, Marianne Faithful
and a coterie of “elite film crowd” who’d turn up at the studio to sing along to whatever the Stones were recording that day.

Hm. Where does NME get that from, if not the staged scene in the movie?
Re-recording in LA sounds fair enough, but what are their sources?
Plus which they misspelled Pallenberg and Faithfull! Shame on them tongue sticking out smiley

Re: Track Talk: Sympathy For The Devil
Posted by: 68to72 ()
Date: March 16, 2015 13:46

THE greatest song ever written......Simple as that.....Lyrically anyway.

The live versions from both Ya yas and Love you live are something else....
Absolutely sublime. IMHO

What a drag it is gettin' old

Re: Track Talk: Sympathy For The Devil
Date: March 16, 2015 14:52

It is my favorite song ever written by anyone. #2 is Funeral for a Friend/Love Lies Bleeding by Elton.

Here are the official releases I have on the top of my head I am sure I am missing some though. Please let me know.

1. Studio version 68
2. Ya Ya's version 69
3 the 75' LA bootleg via google music
4. Love You Live 77
5. Flashpoint 90 (released 91)- where was this recorded? I thought I read Jacksonville?
6. Shine A Light 07
7. Urban Jungle bootleg via google (90)
8. Hyde Park Live.

Have it on several videos including Four Flicks

I notice they never sing the third verse. Why is this cut live? It seems it was only brought back out in 94-95.

There is a San Diego version where they do a longer instrumental break before the 4th verse (1994). I don't know if this is intentional or not but it is good.

One of my favorite Stones songs to play on the piano with others.

In high school we did it and I stood onthe chair while playing. Then I kicked the chair.
On cruise ship for my 42nd birthday last year I played it with the dueling pianos.

It is the mix of piano and congas which does it for me. I don't like the drugged out love you live version as much but it sets a certain mood

Re: Track Talk: Sympathy For The Devil
Posted by: 2120Joe ()
Date: March 16, 2015 15:57

Just an awesome song, its magic I won't capture with these words. I remember the first time I heard it 35 years ago, I was 12. It brought music and the Stones into my life. A true gift. My favorite version is from Love You Live though the Circus version is also memorizing with the visual of Mick's performance.

Re: Track Talk: Sympathy For The Devil
Posted by: treaclefingers ()
Date: March 16, 2015 16:06

Is this the best song in their canon?

Probably, although you could probably make an argument for Gimme Shelter as well.

And while this is mostly still a highlight in concert, nothing touches the studio version.

The One Plus One video is an amazing and rare look at the evolution of this song.

Re: Track Talk: Sympathy For The Devil
Posted by: marcovandereijk ()
Date: March 16, 2015 16:25

Posted before on this board for sure, but it deserves a place in this track talk:





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

Re: Track Talk: Sympathy For The Devil
Posted by: duke richardson ()
Date: March 16, 2015 16:36

guitar players- ...what do you think? the attack, the tone , the playing.. Keith's best?

I think so..but I aint a guitar player

Re: Track Talk: Sympathy For The Devil
Posted by: RobertJohnson ()
Date: March 16, 2015 16:38

One of the really great Stones tunes. The studio version needs some flesh on the bones, i.e. some electric or at least acoustic rhythm drive, which was I guess the original concept, since Brian plays acoustic in the One Plus One movie picture. The live versions from 69 until 75 (I never heard the version which was played 81 very rarely) are what I would like to call the apotheosis (!) of Rock'n Roll. If some alien asks me: What is it Rock'n Roll consists in?, I would answer: Hear one of the LA 75 takes of SFTD.

From 89 onwards there are no version I like. It is very disappointing that they decided to sample the rhythm track. The song loses its touch of fear and danger and is reduced to a mere show act.

Re: Track Talk: Sympathy For The Devil
Date: March 16, 2015 16:44

Quote
marcovandereijk
Posted before on this board for sure, but it deserves a place in this track talk:



Hearing how it clicks round the 15:06-mark is just downright ear candy thumbs up



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 2015-03-16 16:56 by DandelionPowderman.

Re: Track Talk: Sympathy For The Devil
Posted by: guitarbastard ()
Date: March 16, 2015 16:46

keith' best effort as a leadguitar-player. the solo and the lyrics are the highlights in this classic. otherwise i never liked it too much. it's a bit weird to say maybe: but it doesnt sound stonesy enough for me (probably because thers' no rhythm guitar). and i dont like the production. out of all the huge stones songs like JJF, BS, HTW, GS, SMU, SFM i like this one the least. but of course thats just personal taste. objectively it's a massive song, an absolute classic of course. one of THE iconic rock -songs of all times!

Re: Track Talk: Sympathy For The Devil
Posted by: treaclefingers ()
Date: March 16, 2015 16:46

Quote
duke richardson
guitar players- ...what do you think? the attack, the tone , the playing.. Keith's best?

I think so..but I aint a guitar player

well that guitar solo is blistering...just sublime.

Re: Track Talk: Sympathy For The Devil
Date: March 16, 2015 16:51

Quote
duke richardson
guitar players- ...what do you think? the attack, the tone , the playing.. Keith's best?

I think so..but I aint a guitar player

Probably the most infectous, coolest and dangerous-sounding guitar playing from any Stone ever.

However, people have different perceptions of what the word "best" actually means.

Re: Track Talk: Sympathy For The Devil
Posted by: Silver Dagger ()
Date: March 16, 2015 16:55

Great footage of the song on the David Frost show in 1968.




Goto Page: 1234567Next
Current Page: 1 of 7


Sorry, only registered users may post in this forum.

Online Users

Guests: 369
Record Number of Users: 184 on May 17, 2018 22:46
Record Number of Guests: 3948 on December 7, 2015 15:07

Previous page Next page First page IORR home