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Track Talk: Torn And Frayed
Posted by: NICOS ()
Date: November 9, 2015 10:45

Comments, input and alterations are very welcome!
_______________________________________________________________________________

Torn And Frayed

Written by: Mick Jagger & Keith Richards

Recorded: December 1971-March 1972 Sunset Sound Studios, Los Angeles, USA

Lead vocal: Mick Jagger
Acoustic guitar: Keith Richards
Electric guitar: Keith Richards
Bass: Mick Taylor
Drums: Charlie Watts
Pedal steel guitar: Al Perkins
Harmony vocal: Keith Richards
Background vocals: Mick Jagger & Keith Richards
Piano: Nicky Hopkins
Organ: Jim Price

Torn And Frayed

Hey, let him follow you down

Way underground, wind and he's bound
Bound to follow you down
Just a dead beat right off the street
Bound to follow you down

Well the ballrooms and smelly bordellos
And dressing rooms filled with parasites
Onstage the band has got problems
They're a bag of nerves on first nights

He ain't tied down to no hometown
Yeah, and you thought he was reckless
You think he's bad, he thinks you're mad
Yeah, and the guitar player gets restless

Well his coat is torn and frayed
It's seen much better days
Just as long as the guitar plays
Let it steal your heart away
Steal your heart away

Well his coat is torn and frayed
It's seen much better days
Just as long as the guitar plays
Let it steal your heart away

Joe's got a cough, sounds kind of rough
Yeah, and the codeine to fix it
Doctor prescribes, drugstore supplies
Who's going to help him to kick it?

And his coat is torn and frayed
It's seen much better days
Just as long as the guitar plays
Let it steal your heart away
Steal your heart away

And his coat is torn and frayed
It's seen much better days
Just as long as the guitar plays
Just as long as the guitar plays
Just as long as the guitar plays
Just as long as the guitar plays


Produced by: Jimmy Miller
Chief engineers: Andy Johns & Joe Zagarino

First released on: The Rolling Stones double LP - Exile On Main Street
U.S. Release date: May 22, 1972
U.K. Release date: May 26, 1972

Label: Rolling Stones Records COC 69100



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 2015-11-16 11:51 by NICOS.

Re: Track Talk: Torn And Frayed (new)
Posted by: Turner68 ()
Date: November 9, 2015 10:50

One of the anchor tracks on the album. A flawless track and performance from everyone.

Re: Track Talk: Torn And Frayed (new)
Posted by: with sssoul ()
Date: November 9, 2015 10:59

It's perfect.
It was so interesting to learn from a fairly recent Mick interview
(or was it in Life? ) that Keith wrote this, words and all.

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

Re: Track Talk: Torn And Frayed (new)
Date: November 9, 2015 10:59

A great, great track. Some people here will probably say it's not «pure» or «real» country, but so what? It's so beautifully done, from the lovely vocals to the wonderful guitars – and that sound!

One of the best country tracks from the Stones, imo.

Re: Track Talk: Torn And Frayed (new)
Posted by: Come On ()
Date: November 9, 2015 11:05

I thought it was kind of Scary...A trail of Death..still don't like it to much...



2 1 2 0

Re: Track Talk: Torn And Frayed (new)
Posted by: Turner68 ()
Date: November 9, 2015 11:08

yes, it's scary. that's part of the appeal, to me at least. much more subtle than songs like gimme shelter but in some ways nearly as haunting. the lyrics are great.

hard to believe something as subtle and beautiful as this was followed by something as lame and non-scary while trying to be so as "dancing with mr. d" shortly after.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2015-11-09 11:09 by Turner68.

Re: Track Talk: Torn And Frayed (new)
Posted by: HMS ()
Date: November 9, 2015 12:09

This song - among others on Exile - always kind of bores me. I dont skip the song when listening to Exile, but rather go through it instead of enjoying it. One of the weaker spots on Exile. Listening to Torn & Frayed gives me the same feeling of boredom as listening to the GHS-album. They have done so much better songs before and after Torn & Frayed, it´s average at best. Average mixed with boredom.

Re: Track Talk: Torn And Frayed (new)
Posted by: His Majesty ()
Date: November 9, 2015 12:13

Ace track, ace performances, beautiful vibe and sound. thumbs up

Re: Track Talk: Torn And Frayed (new)
Posted by: Silver Dagger ()
Date: November 9, 2015 12:17

One of the loveliest songs on Exile and absolute proof that the band could master country/country-rock music.

Fantastic lyrics too - most probably written by Mick. They really tie in well with the album's general feeling of alienation, isolation, and beat up outsiders making the best of a tough old world.

The song's genesis is mysterious - there aren't any demos of it and I don't recall reading either Mick or Keith's recollections of writing or recording it.

How many times did they play it live? I can only think of Vancouver 72?

I believe it was probably written after they arrived in LA in late 71.

Actually, come to think of it, does anybody know when the Stones decided that Exile would be a double album? How many songs did they leave Nellcote with and how many more did they write in LA. I'd love to know more about this period in their career.

Re: Track Talk: Torn And Frayed (new)
Posted by: matxil ()
Date: November 9, 2015 12:23

Perfection.

Re: Track Talk: Torn And Frayed (new)
Posted by: with sssoul ()
Date: November 9, 2015 12:32

Quote
Silver Dagger
Fantastic lyrics too - most probably written by Mick.

Mostly written by Keith - I was trying to find the thread that discussed this
but this was the best I could locate: [www.iorr.org]
Mick said it in some interview, and/or it was mentioned in Life. Someone here will remember.

Re: Track Talk: Torn And Frayed (new)
Posted by: marcovandereijk ()
Date: November 9, 2015 12:48

Guardian says: "Exile on Main St is so emphatically stamped with Keith Richards's
rock'n'roll signature that it could just as easily have been called "Torn and Frayed"
after one of the two gloriously ragged songs that he wrote the lyrics for."

But it does not say what source they had for this statement.

(Edit for a correct reference, the Guardian article with the title "The Stones and the true story
of Exile on Main St" was written by Sean O'Hagan and published on sunday 25th april 2010)

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



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2015-11-09 13:12 by marcovandereijk.

Re: Track Talk: Torn And Frayed (new)
Posted by: Silver Dagger ()
Date: November 9, 2015 12:51

Quote
with sssoul
Quote
Silver Dagger
Fantastic lyrics too - most probably written by Mick.

Mostly written by Keith - I was trying to find the thread that discussed this
but this was the best I could locate: [www.iorr.org]
Mick said it in some interview, and/or it was mentioned in Life. Someone here will remember.

Well, well - dip me in a bowl of turnip greens - now there's a turn up. Nice one Keith.

Re: Track Talk: Torn And Frayed (new)
Posted by: Marhsall ()
Date: November 9, 2015 13:24

'Torn & Frayed' for me, has always been the gem in the crown of 'Exile'.


In 'A Season in Hell with The Rolling Stones', I remember reading that someone was playing along on the keyboards in the kitchen upstairs, while they were recording the track, not thinking what he was playing was going to used on the album, but was surprised when it did end up on the album. (Jim Price??)




It's a classic Stones track filled will a lot of mystery.

Has it ever been verified that G.Parsons is on this track, or just another G.P./Stones rumor?

"Well my heavy throbbers itchin' just to lay a solid rhythm down"

Re: Track Talk: Torn And Frayed (new)
Posted by: eduardoacdc ()
Date: November 9, 2015 13:25

Fantastic one. Didn't work that well lve on Licks tour, but they could give it a second chance in Latinoamerica.

Re: Track Talk: Torn And Frayed (new)
Posted by: drewmaster ()
Date: November 9, 2015 13:26

A nice, mournful little song. Like much of the album, Torn and Frayed is just a bit too woozy and lethargic for my taste, but it has an appealingly melancholy vibe nonetheless. The lyrics are vividly evocative (though it’s amusing to hear the term “bag of nerves” amongst the pastiche of Americana that is Exile; no American ever uses that quintessentially British phrase).

Drew

Re: Track Talk: Torn And Frayed (new)
Posted by: Bashlets ()
Date: November 9, 2015 13:50

its probably their most autobiographical song. Tensions on the road, celebrities back stage, nerves, and oh yes substance abuse issues. GREAT GREAT TRACK. A classic.

Re: Track Talk: Torn And Frayed (new)
Posted by: bitusa2012 ()
Date: November 9, 2015 14:30

For the life of me, people don't like this?

It's a Stunner. Lyrically a compelling Dylanesque sound to me. Musically, beautiful, simple, yet, complex, SO wonderfully put together. Great production, superb, SUPERB. CENTERPIECE of Exile, along with Shine a Light. One of their very, VERY best.

"Dressing rooms filled with parasites"... WHAT a line!

Rod

Re: Track Talk: Torn And Frayed (new)
Posted by: 35love ()
Date: November 9, 2015 17:09

The intelligence in the songwriting to step back while in the midst, and observe.
The guitars. Keith's back up vocals. Exile being my fav, but the song does tug at desolate in me, so I don't get into this one nearly as close as say, the 2-3 tracts before and after it.

Re: Track Talk: Torn And Frayed (new)
Posted by: Stoneburst ()
Date: November 9, 2015 17:25

Torn & Frayed was an instant favourite the first time I ever listened to EOMS, and I still love it. I neither know nor care whether the melody is original or copped from some obscure country record - perhaps it is, but it doesn't matter. It's a great performance, and Al Perkins' pedal steel really kills it. As I think I mentioned the other day, it makes a perfectly viable substitute for Dead Flowers as their country showcase, and it's a shame that they didn't keep it in the 1972 setlist after the opening night in Vancouver.

Re: Track Talk: Torn And Frayed (new)
Posted by: marcovandereijk ()
Date: November 9, 2015 17:50

Quote
with sssoul

Mostly written by Keith - I was trying to find the thread that discussed this
but this was the best I could locate: [www.iorr.org]
Mick said it in some interview, and/or it was mentioned in Life. Someone here will remember.

In Life Keith writes: "We wrote Torn and Frayed," which is not played often and has some
topical interest".
It does not say who the "we" is, but it follows a paragraph where he is talking about
him and Mick bringing a lot of stuff to Nellcote.

I don't know if the subject is brought up in the movie "Stones in Exile"?

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

Re: Track Talk: Torn And Frayed (new)
Posted by: LeonidP ()
Date: November 9, 2015 18:28

Quote
Stoneburst
Torn & Frayed was an instant favourite the first time I ever listened to EOMS...

Not for me. This is one of those tracks, like Ventilator Blues or Just Wanna See His Face, that I did not like all that much to start. It wasn't until much later, at least a year or so, that I realized how amazing all these tracks were. Once that happened, Exile became an instant favorite of mine and has remained so, ever since ... I'd say about 1981.

It's just a beautifully executed song, from start to finish ... the guitars, drums, mick's vocals, the rhythm. Wow! It's one of the songs that makes Exile so special, similar to Moonlight Mile for Sticky.

Re: Track Talk: Torn And Frayed (new)
Date: November 9, 2015 18:50

Always great when I'm in a sentimental mood.thumbs up

Re: Track Talk: Torn And Frayed (new)
Posted by: Naturalust ()
Date: November 9, 2015 19:19

Killer track! This is just the kind of Stones music that defines the best stuff they ever did, imo. The vocal harmonies, the amazing fills and licks by Al Perkins the lyrics, the use of acoustic guitars, the country rock vibe. Superb stuff.

One of my all time favorite Stones songs, just makes you feel good!

Re: Track Talk: Torn And Frayed (new)
Posted by: Stoneburst ()
Date: November 9, 2015 19:24

Quote
LeonidP
Quote
Stoneburst
Torn & Frayed was an instant favourite the first time I ever listened to EOMS...

Not for me. This is one of those tracks, like Ventilator Blues or Just Wanna See His Face, that I did not like all that much to start. It wasn't until much later, at least a year or so, that I realized how amazing all these tracks were. Once that happened, Exile became an instant favorite of mine and has remained so, ever since ... I'd say about 1981.

It's just a beautifully executed song, from start to finish ... the guitars, drums, mick's vocals, the rhythm. Wow! It's one of the songs that makes Exile so special, similar to Moonlight Mile for Sticky.

That's funny - I had it the other way round really in that I gravitated to the country stuff and to Stop Breaking Down/Shine A Light/Soul Survivor right away. If anything, it was the first side that grew slowly on me. At first I thought Rocks Off was a bit clumsy and misjudged, Rip This Joint was overwrought, and Shake Your Hips and Casino Boogie were a bit fillerish. How wrong I was.

Re: Track Talk: Torn And Frayed (new)
Posted by: Turner68 ()
Date: November 9, 2015 19:34

Quote
Stoneburst
Quote
LeonidP
Quote
Stoneburst
Torn & Frayed was an instant favourite the first time I ever listened to EOMS...

Not for me. This is one of those tracks, like Ventilator Blues or Just Wanna See His Face, that I did not like all that much to start. It wasn't until much later, at least a year or so, that I realized how amazing all these tracks were. Once that happened, Exile became an instant favorite of mine and has remained so, ever since ... I'd say about 1981.

It's just a beautifully executed song, from start to finish ... the guitars, drums, mick's vocals, the rhythm. Wow! It's one of the songs that makes Exile so special, similar to Moonlight Mile for Sticky.

That's funny - I had it the other way round really in that I gravitated to the country stuff and to Stop Breaking Down/Shine A Light/Soul Survivor right away. If anything, it was the first side that grew slowly on me. At first I thought Rocks Off was a bit clumsy and misjudged, Rip This Joint was overwrought, and Shake Your Hips and Casino Boogie were a bit fillerish. How wrong I was.

this is what's fun about IORR, comparing notes like these!

first track of side one blew me away, then the second, etc.
it took me probably 6 months before i realized "torn and frayed" really anchored the album in a lot of ways, thematically unifying it.

Re: Track Talk: Torn And Frayed (new)
Posted by: Hairball ()
Date: November 9, 2015 19:40

Absolute 100% perfection.

That wobbly pedal steel is the absolute highest quality.
Piano, drums, vocals, backup vocals, lyrics, acoustic/electric guitars, and everything else - ditto - perfection.

I use to imagine Lynyrd Skynyrd covering this back in the '70's, and while it would have been great imo - it would have never equaled the Stones version.
Some of Skynyrd's tunes actually may have directly lifted a huge amount of inspiration from this among several other Stones tunes (Dead Flowers, etc.).
A cover of this would have fit nicely on any of their albums.

Time to revisit Exile now... thumbs up

________________
Keep on rolling.......

Re: Track Talk: Torn And Frayed (new)
Posted by: whitem8 ()
Date: November 9, 2015 19:43

One of their most beautiful songs. Like much of Exile, it is a journey. A slow paddle through the bayou with a lovely forlorn jaundiced rock star. Shades of green around the cheeks. A skeletal gypsy with a guitar, syringe, and Berber jewelry jangling round his neck. Joe's got that cough, and is always looking for a new doctor to heal his ills. Lovely acoustics punctuated by Charlie's sublime drumming. Just forceful enough to keep the song moving forward and punctuated with expert snare shots to intro in the lovely pedal steel. A perfect snap shot of the life of a rock n roll star on the road. . . so many temptations, so much loss, and so much alienation from humanity. All encapsulated in a perfect alt country ballad of epic proportions. It is no wonder they could never replicate it effectively on stage. It is a mood piece and a biting diary entry that just can't be replicated. It was from the moment. A snapshot. Faded by time and memory and passion. Loose gravel on a road to perdition.

Re: Track Talk: Torn And Frayed (new)
Posted by: Stoneburst ()
Date: November 9, 2015 19:48

Quote
Turner68
it took me probably 6 months before i realized "torn and frayed" really anchored the album in a lot of ways, thematically unifying it.

I would say Torn and Frayed together with Sweet Virginia, but yes, agree. You listen to the album all the way through for the first time, it'll probably be a while before you get just how important those two songs are to the overall experience and the way the album flows. That was my experience at least - I liked them both a great deal from the start, but not in the same way I do now, because I always cherry pick albums that I've just discovered.

Re: Track Talk: Torn And Frayed (new)
Posted by: Naturalust ()
Date: November 9, 2015 19:59

Quote
whitem8
One of their most beautiful songs. Like much of Exile, it is a journey. A slow paddle through the bayou with a lovely forlorn jaundiced rock star. Shades of green around the cheeks. A skeletal gypsy with a guitar, syringe, and Berber jewelry jangling round his neck. Joe's got that cough, and is always looking for a new doctor to heal his ills. Lovely acoustics punctuated by Charlie's sublime drumming. Just forceful enough to keep the song moving forward and punctuated with expert snare shots to intro in the lovely pedal steel. A perfect snap shot of the life of a rock n roll star on the road. . . so many temptations, so much loss, and so much alienation from humanity. All encapsulated in a perfect alt country ballad of epic proportions. It is no wonder they could never replicate it effectively on stage. It is a mood piece and a biting diary entry that just can't be replicated. It was from the moment. A snapshot. Faded by time and memory and passion. Loose gravel on a road to perdition.

Damn whitem8, there you go getting all poetic on us again....Love it!

I agree about it being difficult to replicate but I sure wish they would try a bit more! It's one the great things about the Stones, their ability to make studio masterpieces like this one and make it sound like it's just a bunch of guys on stage ripping it live.

Acoustic guitars, a bit of country twang and harmonies, and enough rock to drive it home has always worked well for the Stones!

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