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ALBUM TALK: Bridges To Babylon
Date: October 16, 2015 15:25

BRIDGES TO BABYLON:



Pre-production:

November-early December 1996: Dangerous Music Studios, New York City; and Keith Richards'
home studio, Connecticut, USA
December 1996: Westside Studios, London, England
mid-January-January 24, 1997: studio, New York City, USA
Early-to-mid February 1997: Westside Studios, London, England

Recorded & mixed:

Late February-early March 1997: PCP Labs (The Dust Brothers' studio), Silver Lake, California, USA
March 13-late March 1997: Ocean Way Recording Studios, Los Angeles, USA
April-early July 1997: Ocean Way Recording Studios, Los Angeles, USA

Executive producers: Don Was & The Glimmer Twins
Specific producers: The Glimmer Twins, Don Was, The Dust Brothers,
Pierre de Beauport, Rob Fraboni & Danny Saber
Chief engineers: Dan Bosworth, Rob Fraboni & others
Mixers: Tom Lord-Alge, Rob Fraboni & others
Released: September 1997
Original label: Virgin Records

Contributing musicians:

Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Charlie Watts, Ron Wood, Waddy Wachtel, Jim Keltner, Bernard Fowler, Blondie Chaplin, Darryl Jones, Don Was, Jamie Muhoberac, Pierre de Beauport, Joe Sublett, Darrell Leonard, Benmont Tench, Kenny Aronoff, Billy Preston, Danny Saber, Jeff Sarli, Doug Wimbish, Clinton Clifford, Wayne Shorter, Me'Shell Ndegéocello.

Flip the Switch
Anybody Seen My Baby?
Low Down
Already Over Me
Gunface
You Don't Have to Mean It
Out of Control
Saint of Me
Might As Well Get Juiced
Always Suffering
Too Tight
Thief in the Night
How Can I Stop

What are your thoughts on this album?

Re: ALBUM TALK: Bridges To Babylon
Posted by: matxil ()
Date: October 16, 2015 15:44

Overall I fairly like the album, although the production is a bit too slick and there is too much filler. But I think it's better than Voodoo Lounge and ABB.

Flip the Switch ==> OKAY, but the sound could have been fuller
Anybody Seen My Baby? ==> OKAY
Low Down ==> OKAY, but forgettable (FILLER)
Already Over Me ==> OKAY
Gunface ==> FILLER
You Don't Have to Mean It ==> OKAY
Out of Control ==> GOOD
Saint of Me ==> GOOD
Might As Well Get Juiced ==> TOO MUCH GIMMICKS
Always Suffering ==> OKAY
Too Tight ==> PURE FILLER
Thief in the Night ==> VERY GOOD, BEST SONG ON THE ALBUM
How Can I Stop ==> GOOD

Re: ALBUM TALK: Bridges To Babylon
Date: October 16, 2015 15:49

I think this is an uneven album, albeit with some great stuff on it. How Can I Stop is excellent, and the singles are good as well. They are a little too slick to my tastes, though. It's funny that they released a single without Keith (Saint Of Me).

There are many guitarists on this album, but the album isn't particularly guitar-heavy. That tells me that a lot of doctoring was done, or else there would be no need for Jeff Sarlie or extended use of Waddy on a Stones record, imo. The other explanation could be the rivalry between Mick and Keith, and that Jeff and Waddy played on the demos/pre-production. Then again, Waddy played on Saint Of Me, so...

I have listened more to this album after I got it on vinyl. My favourites are:

Anybody Seen My Baby
Out of Control (the live versions were much better, though)
Saint Of Me
Thief In The Night
How Can I Stop

Flip The Switch and You Don't Have To Mean it are good as well, but sound a little rough to me, especially the former.

A good album. Should have been shorter and more consistent/coherent, imo.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2015-10-16 15:50 by DandelionPowderman.

Re: ALBUM TALK: Bridges To Babylon
Posted by: Tops ()
Date: October 16, 2015 15:58

Overall a pretty good album. Probobly their best since Undercover.

Flip the Switch ==> GREAT
Anybody Seen My Baby? ==> VERY GOOD (BUT DIDN'T WORK LIVE)
Low Down ==> GOOD
Already Over Me ==> OK
Gunface ==> FILLER
You Don't Have to Mean It ==> VERY GOOD
Out of Control ==> GOOD
Saint of Me ==> OK BUT A BIT CONTRIVED
Might As Well Get Juiced ==> OK
Always Suffering ==> NO
Too Tight ==> FILLER
Thief in the Night ==> VERY GOOD
How Can I Stop ==> VERY GOOD

Re: ALBUM TALK: Bridges To Babylon
Posted by: Come On ()
Date: October 16, 2015 15:58

This is a real Great Album and followed with a Great Tour!

Songs Worth Remembering:

Anybody seen my baby
Always suffering
Thief in the night

2 1 2 0

Re: ALBUM TALK: Bridges To Babylon
Date: October 16, 2015 15:59

3 songs worth remembering on a really great album?

Re: ALBUM TALK: Bridges To Babylon
Posted by: Come On ()
Date: October 16, 2015 16:01

Quote
DandelionPowderman
3 songs worth remembering on a really great album?

He He

2 1 2 0

Re: ALBUM TALK: Bridges To Babylon
Date: October 16, 2015 16:01

Quote
Come On
Quote
DandelionPowderman
3 songs worth remembering on a really great album?

He He

Spit it out, don't be modest! I know there are more winking smiley



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2015-10-16 16:02 by DandelionPowderman.

Re: ALBUM TALK: Bridges To Babylon
Posted by: Come On ()
Date: October 16, 2015 16:03

Quote
DandelionPowderman
Quote
Come On
Quote
DandelionPowderman
3 songs worth remembering on a really great album?

He He

Spit it out, don't be modest! I know there are more winking smiley

I ment Worth remembering for all future like Beethovens 5th symphony and such....smiling bouncing smiley

Re: ALBUM TALK: Bridges To Babylon
Date: October 16, 2015 16:12

Quote
Come On
Quote
DandelionPowderman
Quote
Come On
Quote
DandelionPowderman
3 songs worth remembering on a really great album?

He He

Spit it out, don't be modest! I know there are more winking smiley

I ment Worth remembering for all future like Beethovens 5th symphony and such....smiling bouncing smiley

Always Suffering and Beethovens 5th symphony.

Let's think about that sentence for å minute...

Re: ALBUM TALK: Bridges To Babylon
Posted by: eduardoacdc ()
Date: October 16, 2015 16:13

Best album since voodoo lounge

Re: ALBUM TALK: Bridges To Babylon
Posted by: Come On ()
Date: October 16, 2015 16:15

Quote
eduardoacdc
Best album since voodoo lounge

You're skipping 'Stripped' then...

2 1 2 0

Re: ALBUM TALK: Bridges To Babylon
Posted by: Come On ()
Date: October 16, 2015 16:16

Quote
DandelionPowderman
Quote
Come On
Quote
DandelionPowderman
Quote
Come On
Quote
DandelionPowderman
3 songs worth remembering on a really great album?

He He

Spit it out, don't be modest! I know there are more winking smiley

I ment Worth remembering for all future like Beethovens 5th symphony and such....smiling bouncing smiley

Always Suffering and Beethovens 5th symphony.

Let's think about that sentence for å minute...

Always Suffering with Beethovens 5th symphony...the 6th is my fave...

2 1 2 0

Re: ALBUM TALK: Bridges To Babylon
Date: October 16, 2015 16:16

Stripped is the best album since Some Girls, imo. But let's save that one for the live album talks (or the compilations, let's see).



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2015-10-16 16:16 by DandelionPowderman.

Re: ALBUM TALK: Bridges To Babylon
Posted by: keefriff99 ()
Date: October 16, 2015 16:19

The album would have been improved with some judicious editing...I think removing the 1-2 of Always Suffering/Too Tight would have made for a much tighter album.

I enjoyed listening to the Stones take some chances with some modern production techniques. I even enjoy the universally-hated Might as Well Get Juiced.

Re: ALBUM TALK: Bridges To Babylon
Posted by: masseywinos ()
Date: October 16, 2015 16:35

Love Saint Of Me and Out Of Control and Thief In The Night. The rest not so much.

Re: ALBUM TALK: Bridges To Babylon
Posted by: duke richardson ()
Date: October 16, 2015 16:51

they performed several songs from Bridges..

Saint Of Me is great live, as is Out Of Control..

they were doing Flip The Switch too, and Anybody Seen My Baby..

I really like Flip The Switch. that wiry Keith guitar intro is essential Keith imo..






Re: ALBUM TALK: Bridges To Babylon
Posted by: Maindefender ()
Date: October 16, 2015 16:52

I've always liked this album and play it quite often, great sound.

Flip the Switch ==> GREAT
Anybody Seen My Baby? ==> LIKE THE BEAT BETTER THAN THE LYRICS(EXCEPT THE CHORUS)
Low Down ==> DAMN GOOD
Already Over Me ==> BETTER THAN OUT OF TEARS
Gunface ==> WOULD LOVE TO HEAR KEITH'S VERSION!!
You Don't Have to Mean It ==> VERY GOOD
Out of Control ==> GREAT (BUT THE EXTENDED VERSION IS BETTER)
Saint of Me ==> TYPICAL JAGGER SONG. DON'T MIND THE REMIXED VERSIONS
Might As Well Get Juiced ==> OR IS THIS SHOULD HAVE BEEN KEITH'S VERSION?
Always Suffering ==> NICE HARMONIES
Too Tight ==> GREAT FILLER
Thief in the Night ==> VERY GOOD
How Can I Stop ==> MASTERPIECE

Re: ALBUM TALK: Bridges To Babylon
Posted by: GasLightStreet ()
Date: October 16, 2015 17:28

An album that revealed that there was some spirit left in the old codgers that, at times, wasn't enough, and other times, was off the charts. A much appreciated relief from the dullness of VOODOO LOUNGE.

Flip The Switch ***** Nice. Very nice.
Anybody Seen My Baby? **** The new "modern" Miss You/Emotional Rescue
Low Down *** A bit down the middle but it works
Already Over Me - Horrible
Gunface 1/2 Should've been a B-side
You Don't Have To Mean It *****
Out Of Control ****1/2
Saint Of Me ***1/2
Might As Well Get Juiced - Nothing is good with this, it's awful
Always Suffering - Really? Another sappy bad ballad? Atrocious
Too Tight *** Excellent filler
Thief In The Night *****
How Can I Stop ***** This track is so off the charts it's beyond exceptional

Re: ALBUM TALK: Bridges To Babylon
Posted by: Big Al ()
Date: October 16, 2015 17:31

Probably the first album since Satanic Majesty's that found the Stones consciously following trends, rather than being innovative in their own right. Although, in the case of Bridges To Babylon, the trend-following is more production-related. Song-wise, it's uneven, yet contains some genuine highlights. Saint Of Me and Out Of Control are well-crafted, thought-out compositions of almost epic proportions, whilst Keith's How Can so Stop has moments of utter emotivness. The warmth that resonates from the performance, both musically and vocally is truly something.

Re: ALBUM TALK: Bridges To Babylon
Posted by: alimente ()
Date: October 16, 2015 17:41

Easily their best album since Steel Wheels, which in turn is easily their best since Tattoo You.

Can't understand the dislike for "Too Tight" - a dirty little uptempo rocker with a melodic quality that's simply missing on, let's say, Rough Justice, Oh No Not You Again, You Got Me Rocking, Where The Boys Go and the like. Pure Stones!

Re: ALBUM TALK: Bridges To Babylon
Posted by: Turner68 ()
Date: October 16, 2015 17:44

Quote
DandelionPowderman
3 songs worth remembering on a really great album?

grinning smiley

Re: ALBUM TALK: Bridges To Babylon
Posted by: Turner68 ()
Date: October 16, 2015 17:45

Quote
alimente
Easily their best album since Steel Wheels, which in turn is easily their best since Tattoo You.

Can't understand the dislike for "Too Tight" - a dirty little uptempo rocker with a melodic quality that's simply missing on, let's say, Rough Justice, Oh No Not You Again, You Got Me Rocking, Where The Boys Go and the like. Pure Stones!

I don't know if I would go that far, but I would say it's easily their best since Voodoo Lounge.

Re: ALBUM TALK: Bridges To Babylon
Posted by: alimente ()
Date: October 16, 2015 17:48

Quote
Turner68
Quote
alimente
Easily their best album since Steel Wheels, which in turn is easily their best since Tattoo You.

Can't understand the dislike for "Too Tight" - a dirty little uptempo rocker with a melodic quality that's simply missing on, let's say, Rough Justice, Oh No Not You Again, You Got Me Rocking, Where The Boys Go and the like. Pure Stones!

I don't know if I would go that far, but I would say it's easily their best since Voodoo Lounge.

Don't make the mistake of your lifetime by overlooking the albums between Voodoo Lounge and Bridges!

Re: ALBUM TALK: Bridges To Babylon
Posted by: GasLightStreet ()
Date: October 16, 2015 17:51

Quote
alimente
Easily their best album since Steel Wheels, which in turn is easily their best since Tattoo You.

Can't understand the dislike for "Too Tight" - a dirty little uptempo rocker with a melodic quality that's simply missing on, let's say, Rough Justice, Oh No Not You Again, You Got Me Rocking, Where The Boys Go and the like. Pure Stones!

I like Too Tight. I think it's great. However, I do understand how critics said it was pedestrian. There's nothing inventive about it, it's just Stones-by-numbers. In a way it's nice to have that for once.

It thumps though. It's a little kicker. Good - or even great - filler. Someone said Already Over Me is better than Out Of Tears - that is beyond absurd. Already Over Me is one of the sappiest cornholed songs to ever come out of Mick's mouth. Then he does it again with Always Suffering. That song has left me suffering.

Might As Well Get Juiced is just pathetic. "Yeah, we're the Stones doing modern stuff, man". Whatever. YEARS too late. And, again, there's nothing inventive about it.

Re: ALBUM TALK: Bridges To Babylon
Posted by: Big Al ()
Date: October 16, 2015 17:51

Too Tight is a great rocker, in my opinion. The guitars are positively snarling, and I enjoy Jagger's snotty vocal-delivery.

Re: ALBUM TALK: Bridges To Babylon
Posted by: GasLightStreet ()
Date: October 16, 2015 18:06

Quote
Turner68
Quote
alimente
Easily their best album since Steel Wheels, which in turn is easily their best since Tattoo You.

Can't understand the dislike for "Too Tight" - a dirty little uptempo rocker with a melodic quality that's simply missing on, let's say, Rough Justice, Oh No Not You Again, You Got Me Rocking, Where The Boys Go and the like. Pure Stones!

I don't know if I would go that far, but I would say it's easily their best since Voodoo Lounge.

Heh. BRIDGES might be their best since TATTOO YOU... and that's without Bill Wyman, which for me has been helpful in how my regard for UNDERCOVER has been, part of which is the last inventive LP by The Rolling Stones. Not to be confused as the last great LP or "the greatest since" enter whatever here kind of load.

Re: ALBUM TALK: Bridges To Babylon
Posted by: HMS ()
Date: October 16, 2015 18:30

Flip the Switch --- great
Anybody Seen My Baby? --- good
Low Down --- very good
Already Over Me --- horrile & boring
Gunface --- great
You Don't Have to Mean It --- very good
Out of Control --- horrible
Saint of Me --- even more horrible
Might As Well Get Juiced --- very good
Always Suffering --- horrible & boring
Too Tight --- very good
Thief in the Night --- horrible & boring
How Can I Stop --- starts nice but soon becomes very boring

This album feels like both Mick and Keith entered the studio with two already-in-the-can-solo-albums, then picked some songs out of them and let Charlie & Ronnie do some overdubs to make it a "Stones"-album. Maybe one or two songs are real cooperations. Jaggers solo-songs are immediately recognizable, imo - and mostly "awful bad". Keith´s songs are not much better, mostly boring.

Like always Jagger ruins "Always Suffering" & "Already Over Me" by his trademark ballad-overacting. But both songs are sub-par anyway.

Real outstanding highlights are: Flip The Switch, Gunface and... and... nothing more.

Enjoyable are You Dont Have To Mean It, Lowdown, Might As Well Get Juiced, Gunface, Anybody seen My Baby and Too Tight.

Flip The Switch sounds like the Stones with some modern sound make-up and is really great. Too Tight is almost the only song on the album that sounds like the "real Stones". That´s not enough!

Out Of Control & Saint Of Me make me feel ashamed for the Stones, I bet they´re all Jagger. Terrible.
The single-b-side Anyway You Look At It is forgettable.

Like all post-DW-albums also Bridges To Babylon is too long, if I exclude what I consider filler/sub-par/ridiculous/bad, not much remains, only 37 minutes of decent music. But enough for a Stones-album, in the old days their albums weren´t much longer.

So this is how Bridges should have been if I had it my way:

Flip The Switch
Anybody Seen My Baby
Lowdown
Gunface
Might As Well Get Juiced
You Don´t Have To Mean It
Too Tight
How Can I Stop***

***because the album should end with a Keith-ballad, although the song bores me after two minutes and it has a weird ending as it turns into a jazz tune with Wayne Shorter´s horrible soprano-noodling


There are some great-very good songs to find, but it is a rather weak album, imo. Too many bad apples in that bag.

Re: ALBUM TALK: Bridges To Babylon
Posted by: GasLightStreet ()
Date: October 16, 2015 18:43

Quote
HMS
Out Of Control & Saint Of Me make me feel ashamed for the Stones.

And yet... you think DIRTY WORK is outstanding.

Do you even know what music is? After what you've had to say about some of the songs on this album it's clear that you don't. They loved having Wayne Shorter play on the outstanding excellent How Can I Stop yet you think it's a "weird ending" with "horrible sporano-noodling". Perhaps you should stick to really bad music and go listen to Winning Ugly for 10 hours straight.

You keep the rest of the worst songs (Gunface, MAWGJ) and remove the outstanding Out Of Control and Keith's excellent Thief In The Night?

You are simply mind boggling sometimes.

Re: ALBUM TALK: Bridges To Babylon
Posted by: Rocky Dijon ()
Date: October 16, 2015 18:48

A number of the tracks [Flip the Switch, Low Down, You Don't Have To Mean It, Always Suffering, Too Tight, Thief in the Night, How Can I Stop?] bring The X-Pensive Winos sound and arrangements to bear on The Stones. Yhe late Jeff Sarli (like Joey Spaminato fron NRBQ) was an upright bass player that Keith brought into the sessions since he was building tracks like "Flip the Switch" in the same way as "Rip This Joint" where he used Bill Plummer to add upright bass. Clinton Clifford is allegedly Bernie Worrell who played on the sessions, but is not credited. If this is so, I'm not sure why the pseudonym was employed. Lili Haydn played violin on the B-side, "Anyway You Look At It." Keith and Rob Fraboni started working on the tracks in 1996 in Ocho Rios. The X-Pensive Winos played on the demos with Wingless Angels joining them for the demo of "You Don't Have To Mean It" which was allegedly cut in a Jamaica bordello.

Mick started working with producer Dallas Austin in Atlanta, Georgia on demos utilizing Reeves Gabrels on guitar. Later Mick solo sessions occurred with Babyface and Eric Clapton (the demo of "Already Over Me") and The Dust Brothers.

I have heard that Mick and Keith were both working on solo albums and that the deciding moment was when Keith invited Mick and Jerry and the kids to his new home in Martha's Vineyard for Labor Day weekend in 1996. Keith played Mick what he was working on and Mick was shocked to find Keith open to the idea of a Stones album with half-Mick and half-Keith songs with the other respecting one another's ideas and control on "their" songs. Mick was adamant about working with multiple producers including multiple mixes or versions of potential singles cut with different producers and was surprised to find Keith agreeable. A band meeting was held in November with a commitment to record and tour in 1997.

Now, if that sequence of events is true, everyone found a very different Keith when they hit the studio in L. A. as both Babyface and The Dust Brothers found Keith very difficult. Allegedly, Mick agreed that The Stones could not get into Babyface's groove for "Already Over Me" which necessitated a more traditional arrangement when it was re-cut with Don Was. Rob Fraboni felt Don Was unfairly denied him producer credit on all three of Keith's lead vocal tracks. Keith was allegedly upset that Mick let The Dust Brothers remix "Juiced" just prior to the album's release. Don Was allegedly was very vocal in his disapproval of The Dust Brothers' sampling of Biz Markie on "Anybody Seen My Baby." Danny Saber fought and lost a battle to substitute his remixes for The Dust Brothers' on the album. Still others claim Mick and Keith got along very well throughout the sessions and were supportive of one another's work and agreed on most decisions.

Allegedly Waddy played on so much of the sessions because Ronnie was in rehab in order to make the tour. Ronnie allegedly did a sponge-job on most of Waddy's parts in the last couple weeks of mixing. The Charlie Watts-Jim Keltner Project began with their drum clinic that formed the backing track to "Flip the Switch." Others claim Keith does play on "Saint of Me" and that the failure to credit him was a bone of contention. Finally, "GunFace" or "Gun in Your Face" as it was first known was the subject of much debate with Mick, Ronnie, and Danny Saber all claiming that's their lead guitar throughout the track.

Virgin executives were up in the air over choice of singles and even album title (something Michael Cohl was also heavily involved with deciding) during the final month or so of sessions. Most seem to agree it was the last time Mick and Keith were fully confident in the studio. An interesting remark I've heard more than one place. Still another longtime Stones insider hates the album describing it as a split-personality that would have been better left as two separate solo albums. For me, it remains the last Stones album I truly love.

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