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Track Talk: Undercover Of The Night
Posted by: NICOS ()
Date: January 4, 2016 11:17

Comments, input and alterations are very welcome!
_______________________________________________________________________________

Undercover Of The Night

Written by: Mick Jagger & Keith Richards

Recorded date: Late June - 1st August
Recording location: New York City, The Hit Factory.

Line-up:
Vocals: Mick Jagger
Electric guitars: Keith Richards & Ron Wood
Bass: Bill Wyman
Drums: Charlie Watts
Keyboards: Chuck Leavell
Simmons (electronic) drums: Sly Dunbar

Undercover Of The Night

Hear the screams in Center 42
Loud enough to bust your brains out
The opposition's tongue is cut in two
Keep off the street 'cause you're in danger

One hundred thousand disparus
Lost in the jails in South America

Curl up, baby, curl up tight
Cuddle up, baby, keep all I say
Undercover, keep all I say
Undercover of the night

The sex police are out there on the streets
Make sure the passed laws are not broken
The race militia has got itchy fingers
All the way from New York back to Africa

Curl up, baby, keep all I say
Cuddle up, baby, keep all I say
Cuddle up, baby, keep all I say
Undercover, undercover
Undercover, keep all I say
Undercover of the night

Ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh, ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh
Ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh, ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh

All the young men, they've been rounded up
And sent to camps back in the jungle
And people whisper, people double-talk
Once proud fathers act so humble

All the young girls they have got the blues
They're heading on back to Center 42

Keep it undercover, keep all I say
Keep it undercover, keep all I say
Undercover, keep all I say
Undercover

Keep all I say undercover of the night

Ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh, ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh
Ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh, ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh
Ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh, ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh

Down in the bars, the girls are painted blue
Done up in lace, done up in rubber
The Johns are jerky little G.I. Joes
On R&R from Cuba and Russia

The smell of sex, the smell of suicide
All these dreams, things I can't keep inside

Undercover, keep all I say
Undercover of the night

Undercover of the night
Undercover of the night

Ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh, ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh
Ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh, ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh
Ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh, ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh
Ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh, ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh

Undercover, undercover
Undercover of the night

Producers: The Glimmer Twins & Chris Kimsey
Sound engineer: Chris Kimsey.

First released: 1st November: THE ROLLING STONES 7“ single
Label: Rolling Stones Records RSR 113
First released: 1st November: THE ROLLING STONES 12“ single Extended Cheeky Mix
Label: Rolling Stones Records 12 RSR 113



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2016-01-18 10:53 by NICOS.

Re: Track Talk: Undercover Of The Night (New)
Date: January 4, 2016 11:35

I've had so much fun with this track. I loved it from the minute I first heard it.

The drum machines were a bit odd to me at first, but after repeated listens they did make sense, as well as enhancing the track. They still have the same effect: Odd, but necessary.

Undercover (Of The Night) must have some of Mick's best singing ever? His singing on Tattoo You and Undercover featured him at his peak, imo.

A wonderful start on a wonderful album thumbs up

Re: Track Talk: Undercover Of The Night (New)
Posted by: gibsonman ()
Date: January 4, 2016 12:04

And great bass. The sound of the bass is nice together with the drums. I have always liked the guitarsolo as well. A great track....

Re: Track Talk: Undercover Of The Night (New)
Posted by: drewmaster ()
Date: January 4, 2016 12:13

One of the funkiest, most electrifying songs I have ever heard. Like much of the Stones’ greatest work, it is at once violent and cathartic, beautiful and savage, brutal and redemptive. It is also deliriously exciting, showcasing the band at their very finest, rocking with a primal energy that propels my soul into the stratosphere.

All the band members are at the top of their game here. Charlie, the beating heart of that percussive maelstrom, is magnificent as always. Those searing, crunching guitar licks from Keith and Ronnie are sonic perfection. Bill has never sounded better, rock-solid and dangerously fluid at the same time. And Mick is at his Dionysian finest, howling and wailing those mind-bending lyrics that take the listener on a dazzling voyage through a murky and frightening underworld.

Needless to add, the production of this track is extraordinary, with beautiful usage of phasing and echo throughout. To me, one of the greatest, most indelible tracks in the Stones catalog

Drew



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2017-03-11 03:36 by drewmaster.

Re: Track Talk: Undercover Of The Night (New)
Date: January 4, 2016 12:18

Reportedly, Mick is doing a fair share of guitar playing on this one as well. I'm still trying to find out which ones, though.

Re: Track Talk: Undercover Of The Night (New)
Posted by: Silver Dagger ()
Date: January 4, 2016 12:22

A track that took many fans by surprise. There had been nothing to suggest this major updating of their sound. No leaks in the press of what they were up to in the studio and I think it caught a lot of people off guard, in a good way.

I loved it from the minute I heard it - the dramatic rush of guitars and drums shooting out like sonic lasers and Mick's desperate vocal which created a vision of a modern urban nightmare.

Here we were in the 80s where many critics were writing the band off as past their sell by date and all of a sudden they're sounding really modern and using technology and the mixing desk as an extra instrument. That part on the 12 inch mix where the guitars fade out and back in like fallout sirens in a nuclear attack was a masterstroke that still sends shivers down the spine. Really powerful stuff.

Their detractors questioned whether the Stones were still relevant but this epic single answered that question and was every bit as powerful and thought-provoking as anything U2, The Police or other musical titans of the time could muster.

And that video or perhaps mini-movie. Keith must have loved making that and being depicted as a gun-toting baddie. Yep, love this song a lot as it gave the band a new lease of life.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2016-01-04 12:27 by Silver Dagger.

Re: Track Talk: Undercover Of The Night (New)
Posted by: Mathijs ()
Date: January 4, 2016 13:06

Just to note -it is Robbie Shakespeare on bass, not Bill Wyman, and the open G electric rhythm guitar is Mick Jagger. As far as I can hear Richards does not appear on this track.

Mathijs

Re: Track Talk: Undercover Of The Night (New)
Date: January 4, 2016 13:10

Quote
Mathijs
Just to note -it is Robbie Shakespeare on bass, not Bill Wyman, and the open G electric rhythm guitar is Mick Jagger. As far as I can hear Richards does not appear on this track.

Mathijs

It might not be that simple:

«Mick had this one all mapped out, I just played on it. There were a lot more overlays on this track, because there was a lot more separation in the way we were recording at that time. Mick and I had started to come to loggerheads».

- Keith Richards, 1993

« We were trying to, like, wedge guitars into places where they're not necessary, like Emotional Rescue and Undercover. Around that time we were doing a lot of material that was not necessarily made for guitars. Mick wanted to get into that dance thing and, you know, Okay, here we go».

- Keith Richards, 1994

[timeisonourside.com]



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2016-01-04 13:15 by DandelionPowderman.

Re: Track Talk: Undercover Of The Night (New)
Posted by: Stoneage ()
Date: January 4, 2016 14:04

Of course this song was impossible to play live. Even though they tried....

Re: Track Talk: Undercover Of The Night (New)
Posted by: NoPanic ()
Date: January 4, 2016 14:07

...never really grew on me.It's alright - but the rest of the album is fabulous!!

Re: Track Talk: Undercover Of The Night (New)
Date: January 4, 2016 14:08

Quote
Stoneage
Of course this song was impossible to play live. Even though they tried....

And succeeded, imo. This is an excellent live version.

[www.youtube.com]




Re: Track Talk: Undercover Of The Night (New)
Posted by: marcovandereijk ()
Date: January 4, 2016 14:29

Quote
drewmaster
One of the funkiest, most electrifying songs I have ever heard. Like much of the Stones’ greatest work, it is at once violent and cathartic, beautiful and savage, brutal and redemptive. It is also deliriously exciting, showcasing the band at their very finest, rocking with a primal energy that propels my soul into the stratosphere.

All the band members are at the top of their game here. Charlie, surrounded by that percussive maelstrom, is magnificent as always. Those searing, crunching guitar licks from Keith and Ronnie are sonic perfection. Bill has never sounded better, rock-solid and dangerously fluid at the same time. And Mick is at his Dionysian finest, howling and wailing those mind-bending lyrics that take the listener on a voyage through a murky and frightening underworld.

Needless to add, the production of this track is extraordinary, with beautiful usage of phasing and echo throughout. To me, one of the greatest, most indelible tracks in the Stones catalog.

Drew

You took the words right of my mouth (if only I would have had your grasp of the English
language).thumbs up

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

Re: Track Talk: Undercover Of The Night (New)
Posted by: HMS ()
Date: January 4, 2016 14:38

Quote
drewmaster
One of the funkiest, most electrifying songs I have ever heard. Like much of the Stones’ greatest work, it is at once violent and cathartic, beautiful and savage, brutal and redemptive. It is also deliriously exciting, showcasing the band at their very finest, rocking with a primal energy that propels my soul into the stratosphere.

All the band members are at the top of their game here. Charlie, surrounded by that percussive maelstrom, is magnificent as always. Those searing, crunching guitar licks from Keith and Ronnie are sonic perfection. Bill has never sounded better, rock-solid and dangerously fluid at the same time. And Mick is at his Dionysian finest, howling and wailing those mind-bending lyrics that take the listener on a voyage through a murky and frightening underworld.

Needless to add, the production of this track is extraordinary, with beautiful usage of phasing and echo throughout. To me, one of the greatest, most indelible tracks in the Stones catalog.

Drew

Amen.thumbs up

Re: Track Talk: Undercover Of The Night (New)
Posted by: Mathijs ()
Date: January 4, 2016 14:54

Quote
DandelionPowderman
Quote
Mathijs
Just to note -it is Robbie Shakespeare on bass, not Bill Wyman, and the open G electric rhythm guitar is Mick Jagger. As far as I can hear Richards does not appear on this track.

Mathijs

It might not be that simple:

«Mick had this one all mapped out, I just played on it. There were a lot more overlays on this track, because there was a lot more separation in the way we were recording at that time. Mick and I had started to come to loggerheads».

- Keith Richards, 1993

« We were trying to, like, wedge guitars into places where they're not necessary, like Emotional Rescue and Undercover. Around that time we were doing a lot of material that was not necessarily made for guitars. Mick wanted to get into that dance thing and, you know, Okay, here we go».

- Keith Richards, 1994

[timeisonourside.com]

I know these quotes. Thing is, there's a dozen or so outtakes and it's only Jagger playing the ryhthm guitar, and all very similar to the final version.The acoustic guitar, especially the one from the outtakes, could be Richards, but Jim Barber also stated Jagger had asked him to do acoustic overdubs.

It's not 100%, but I place my money on Jagger for main rhythm guitar.

Mathijs

Re: Track Talk: Undercover Of The Night (New)
Date: January 4, 2016 15:03

Quote
Mathijs
Quote
DandelionPowderman
Quote
Mathijs
Just to note -it is Robbie Shakespeare on bass, not Bill Wyman, and the open G electric rhythm guitar is Mick Jagger. As far as I can hear Richards does not appear on this track.

Mathijs

It might not be that simple:

«Mick had this one all mapped out, I just played on it. There were a lot more overlays on this track, because there was a lot more separation in the way we were recording at that time. Mick and I had started to come to loggerheads».

- Keith Richards, 1993

« We were trying to, like, wedge guitars into places where they're not necessary, like Emotional Rescue and Undercover. Around that time we were doing a lot of material that was not necessarily made for guitars. Mick wanted to get into that dance thing and, you know, Okay, here we go».

- Keith Richards, 1994

[timeisonourside.com]

I know these quotes. Thing is, there's a dozen or so outtakes and it's only Jagger playing the ryhthm guitar, and all very similar to the final version.The acoustic guitar, especially the one from the outtakes, could be Richards, but Jim Barber also stated Jagger had asked him to do acoustic overdubs.

It's not 100%, but I place my money on Jagger for main rhythm guitar.

Mathijs

Could be, of course. Then again, they could have spliced this track with licks from both Mick and Keith. Some places the riffing (simple open G I-IV-stuff) is more shaky than in other places. Like where Mick is singing «undercover of the niiiiiiight» with a very artificial voice toward the ending.

Re: Track Talk: Undercover Of The Night (New)
Posted by: matxil ()
Date: January 4, 2016 15:16

The last time they did something really new and it still worked. (Unless you count One Hit.) For a band like the Stones, I think they did really great, coming up with a song so different from what they used to do, and still sounding like the Stones somehow.

Re: Track Talk: Undercover Of The Night (New)
Posted by: Redhotcarpet ()
Date: January 4, 2016 15:24

Quote
matxil
The last time they did something really new and it still worked. (Unless you count One Hit.) For a band like the Stones, I think they did really great, coming up with a song so different from what they used to do, and still sounding like the Stones somehow.

That is spot on. The last or one of the last times they really explored new grounds and made it theirs. Only the Stones can sound like this but the Stones never sound like that.

Re: Track Talk: Undercover Of The Night (New)
Posted by: Come On ()
Date: January 4, 2016 15:29

This could have been a perfect 'Bond-Theme' song for Octopussy but they choosed Rita Coolidge with All time High instead...

2 1 2 0

Re: Track Talk: Undercover Of The Night (New)
Posted by: treaclefingers ()
Date: January 4, 2016 16:14

This track is absolutely staggering coming from a band entering it's 3rd decade. This song alone makes up 2 of the album's 4 out of 5 stars. Just brilliant.

Like so many other fab toons though, never really worked well live.

Re: Track Talk: Undercover Of The Night (New)
Posted by: LeonidP ()
Date: January 4, 2016 16:33

Quote
gibsonman
And great bass. The sound of the bass is nice together with the drums. I have always liked the guitarsolo as well. A great track....

100%, especially the guitar solo! Classic track!

Re: Track Talk: Undercover Of The Night (New)
Posted by: georgelicks ()
Date: January 4, 2016 17:57

Easily on their Top 3 of songs released on the 80's, amazing song from start to finish, sadly it was overlooked a little bit by some monsters hits at the time from Jacko, The Police, Lionel Richie, among others... but still the song was a Top 10 hit on every Billboard format: #2 on Rock, #5 on Pop, #9 on Dance and Sales... the competition was too hard on late '83.

Re: Track Talk: Undercover Of The Night (New)
Posted by: 35love ()
Date: January 4, 2016 18:18

I only like the song live. It sounds decidedly different to me live. Real, uncomputerized, raw, funk, jam, great for me while I'm cruising (exercise) outside.
Do not like recorded track.
Give it to me live!

Re: Track Talk: Undercover Of The Night (New)
Posted by: Stoneage ()
Date: January 4, 2016 18:34

Quote
35love
I only like the song live. It sounds decidedly different to me live. Real, uncomputerized, raw, funk, jam, great for me while I'm cruising (exercise) outside.
Do not like recorded track.
Give it to me live!

If you're a fan of pre-recorded percussion, drum-loops and click-tracks this is the one for you. Basically, they play over a pre-recorded track.

Re: Track Talk: Undercover Of The Night (New)
Posted by: with sssoul ()
Date: January 4, 2016 19:46

I believe it's not "cuddle up, baby, keep all I say" -
I believe it's "curl up, baby, keep out of sight"

Re: Track Talk: Undercover Of The Night (New)
Date: January 4, 2016 19:56

It's "cuddle" and "sight", I believe.

Re: Track Talk: Undercover Of The Night (New)
Posted by: HMS ()
Date: January 4, 2016 21:30

This is what the lyric sheet of the original LP says:

cuddle up baby cuddle up tight
cuddle up baby keep it all out of sight
undercover undercover undercover of the night

...

cuddle up baby keep it all out of sight
cuddle up now honey sleep with all out of sight

Re: Track Talk: Undercover Of The Night (New)
Posted by: Naturalust ()
Date: January 4, 2016 21:55

Kind of a weird mix of funk and rock and roll that actually worked out pretty good. I'm certainly not as enamored as some of you seem to be with this tune, I prefer my Stones with more of an organic sound. I suppose it was partly the times it was recorded and the fact that the Stones hadn't really done anything that stood out so boldly in quite a while.

That live version seems to have some sampled drum fills thrown in, not particularly a thing I approve of for live Rolling Stones music but Mick does a good job on both the guitar and vocals.

I do remember somewhat liking that kind of cheesy but interesting video they made for the tune with all the South American gangsters, Mick with his Latina damsel and tough guy Keith with his shooter. Not too bad of a representation of the violence countries like Columbia were experiencing at the time and countries like Mexico would in just a few short years. I wonder if Keith realized just how much his demand for blow contributed to that violence. lol,

Re: Track Talk: Undercover Of The Night (New)
Posted by: 35love ()
Date: January 4, 2016 22:06

Quote
Stoneage
Quote
35love
I only like the song live. It sounds decidedly different to me live. Real, uncomputerized, raw, funk, jam, great for me while I'm cruising (exercise) outside.
Do not like recorded track.
Give it to me live!

If you're a fan of pre-recorded percussion, drum-loops and click-tracks this is the one for you. Basically, they play over a pre-recorded track.

*It sounds different to me live. Just my opinion. As a basic tenent, any new written material released after 1981 is not my Rolling Stones thing, with a few exceptions (I call gems) on released studio albums. The sound is different. I am not a writer nor musician.

Edit for spelling.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2016-01-04 22:08 by 35love.

Re: Track Talk: Undercover Of The Night (New)
Posted by: Rockman ()
Date: January 4, 2016 22:17

Raw stuff...Played it till I dropped when first released....
Two videos were made for it both directed by Julian Temple ...
The teenager couple on the couch watchin'the Stones on da TV till
the parents burst in and the way more brutal South American masterpiece .....PLAY LOUD



ROCKMAN

Re: Track Talk: Undercover Of The Night (New)
Posted by: Title5Take1 ()
Date: January 4, 2016 22:18

Mick said in the JUMP BACK liner notes that the song was influenced by the book below (obviously the title too: ...OF THE...NIGHT.)

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