Re: Fully Finished Studio Outtakes on Hot Stuff!!!!!!
Date: March 5, 2021 17:28
I admit, I felt some emotion listening to some of these songs last night. I don’t consider myself a completist when it comes to bootlegs, but I had a few back in the day. Most everything in this collection was new to me, so it was a bit like having a brand new Rolling Stones album dropped into my lap from out of nowhere.
It’s fascinating to hear these songs, each of them in their own unique states of development at the time. I appreciate the range of styles and that there were so many surprises. I am so looking forward to making a collection of my favorite tracks, burning them to a disc, and giving them some more spins.
These are my initial impressions from my first serious listen to the whole collection. My opinions might eventually change a little on some tracks. I basically break it down as “no” for a song I would skip, “yes” for a song I would listen to, and “yes, love it” for keepers that I would put on a playlist/CD/mixtape.
Nobody’s Perfect - No. It sounds like a early solo song from Mick that was cut from an album. I like Mick’s solo stuff, but this song doesn’t do it for me. To its credit, It does seem to be a fully complete recording with no placeholder vocals.
Trouble’s A Coming - No. Decent half-finished song, sounds like it had some potential, but doesn’t quite get there.
Dreams To Remember - Yes, love it. Gospel rock, Mick sounding unselfconscious, and everyone sounding so good on guitars and drums.
Don’t Lie To Me - Yes, love it - Classic blues rock boogie. It’s not going to win any awards for originality, but with an upbeat blues like this, how can you go wrong? What a clean sound. It blows my mind that we can get new bootlegs that sound this good.
Fiji Jim - Undecided. The copy I had on cassette back in the day was of poor quality, so I never was a big fan of this song. This version is a lot cleaner and while I can appreciate this Dylanesque tune more, I’m still not crazy about it. To me, it never gets much better than “just okay.” I think it could have been a little better had it been finished. As it is, it sounds like they felt they were on to something and having fun playing it.
Eliza Upchink - Yes, love it Old fashioned country fried vibe, the kind of thing the Stones do so well. This doesn’t break any new ground and it’s unfinished, but it’s still a lot of fun and a pleasure to listen to.
Deep Love - Yes, love it. Wow, this is almost a finished song. I hadn’t heard this one before. So different than the Stones usual stuff. I really like them trying a different kind of rock sound. I sure wonder how this would have sounded with another few rounds of songwriting polish.
She’s Doing Her Thing - Yes, love it. Is this really an original? It sounds so early sixties, like it was a 1964 Stones single that got lost somewhere. If this simple throwback track had popped up on a new studio album, it would have been so fun.
Putty In Your Hands (cover) - Yes, love it. A fun cover of a midtempo groovy soul song. The whole band sounds really into it.
Dog Shit - Yes. Undecided if I really love it, though. I wouldn’t put it among the top tracks in this collection. It sounds only about half finished, and it’s a bit of a mess to be honest, as if there were different musical ideas competing with each other. It is interesting to listen to, and it definitely has that Stones spark flowing through it.
20 Nil - No. Some interesting guitar work, and it’s illuminating to hear the Stones in the studio searching for a musical idea that doesn’t seem to come. I wonder if this is how they were sounding just before recording “Blue And Lonesome”
Tell Her How It Is - Undecided. This song has never done anything for me, and this version doesn’t really light my fire. It’s unfinished, rough in spots, and not the best track on here, but it’s so fascinating to hear the Rolling Stones songwriting process.
(You Better) Stop That - No. It sounds a lot like “She Was Hot” While I love “She Was Hot”, the similarity is distracting.
Scarlet - Yes, love it. - This was already a keeper with the official release. It’s definitely catchy and I think a nice addition to the Rolling Stones’ catalog.
Walk With Me Wendy - Yes, love it. Another unfinished song that doesn’t even have a bridge, but the Stones sounded like they were onto something. Classic Mick vocalization really sounds great.
Never Make You Cry - No. I think they’ve done this type of ballad better elsewhere. Again, it’s interesting to hear them at work, searching for the song as they play. I like the interplay of the guitar and the keyboards. Nice sound mixing.
Part Of The Night - No. An unfinished ballad. Very nice guitars, drums and pleasant keys. Worth a listen. The music would be listenable without Mick’s placeholder vocals, which unfortunately just don’t work.
Low Down - No. Keith’s on vocal, but in my opinion this version doesn’t sound better than the final recording.
It’s A Lie - Yes, undecided if I really love it, though. I’m not sure why Mick never finished the lyrics on this one. It’s nothing extraordinary, but it’s friendly. I can hear how this would have been a pleasant mid-tempo bonus track.
I Can’t See No One Else - Yes, love it. I think this one would have been a pretty strong track had it been completed and included on an album. It’s got a good hook that comes in right away. A real shame this one wasn’t finished.
Not The Way To Go - Yes, love it. Again, is this a cover, or does it sound like some other song There’s something so familiar about it. I still love it. The Stones coming close to Zydeco.
Giving It Up - No. This is a typical Stones ballad. It might have had a little potential. Every so often you can hear the music come close to something good, but in this unfinished state it doesn’t get all the way there. Still worth a listen for the guitars and the amazing sound quality.
Hands Off - Yes, love it. The songwriting doesn’t quite come 100% together for some reason, but I find these types of propulsive, high-energy “Hold On To Your Hat” style rockers irresistible. I enjoyed Mick’s vocals very much.
Built That Way - Yes, love it. Sounds like a classic soul song, with a couple of cool hooks. There’s another song by someone else that reminds me of this one/ I can’t think of it right now, but maybe that’s why they didn’t keep it. The instrumentation sounds completely finished and well-produced. All this would take are finished vocals, and I thnk this would have been a strong track worthy of an album.
Keep It Cool - Yes, love it. Oh I love it so when the Stones get into some slow funk. A real shame this one wasn’t finished either. They sound like they’re enjoying themselves.
Can’t Find Love - Yes, love it. Nothing really new as far as songwriting goes, but the band sounds incredible. It’s just astounding that we can get bootlegs of this quality.
You Win Again (cover) - Yes, love it. Mick sounds drunk as hell, and it’s amazing. I kind of wish he wasn’t winging the lyrics, but the performance makes up for it.
Blood Red Wine - No. I had this song on a bootleg cassette back in the day, and was never really a fan of this track. I find it a bit dreary. It’s a curiosity and worth a listen for Stones bootleg completists, but I would skip it.
Fast Talking Slow Walking - Yes, love it. There’s something really appealing about this rough, unfinished song. A good hook, Enjoyable guitar and drums. Some more writing and this could have been a winner.
Cooking Up - Yes, but undecided if I love it. This is one of the weaker songs I think. There’s not much going on in the songwriting department. It’s a meat and potatoes rocker that the Stones can probably do in their sleep. But, does sound like the Stones were having fun recording it, so this is worth a listen.
Every Time I Break Her Heart - No. Sounds too much like “Far Away Eyes.”
Dream About - No. Sounds like another Mick solo song. I enjoy the music on the verses, and like that it has a different sound to it. But I don’t care for the music on the changes.
Flip The Switch - Yes, but undecided if I love it. I prefer the album version, but this was certainly different and I enjoyed it. Unusual production at the beginning. I'm more about the songs I haven't heard, so these alternate versions of album tracks aren't really my main focus.
Sanctuary - Yes, love it. Wow. One of the standout tracks for me. This feels like a SuperHeavy song. I absolutely love it, it sounds so different from the Stones’ usual sound. I love it when they push the boundaries and try something new. I’m already looking forward to listening to this one again.
Desperate Man - Yes, love it. This sounds almost finished. A really cool modern blues. Very good song with elements that seem fresh and elements that are traditional. What a find. A little more polish and it could have been a contender
Prairie Love - Yes, love it. Parts of the vocals are phrased in a way reminiscent of those of “Too Much Blood.” It’s only a small distraction, though. If that could have been eliminated, this song would have been a total winner, in my book. The music sounds so incredibly cool, with such a confident swagger.
Living In The Heart Of Love - No. Don’t get me wrong, I like it a lot. It’s a decent song with a good hook. But this version is a little different than the bootleg version I had back in the day. The older version had a few more lyrics, so this version of the song sounds off to me in a distracting way.
Still In Love With You - No. This type of song is just not my thing.
I Tried To Talk Her Into It - Yes, love it. Wow! Freakin’ LOVE this one! A really original country song. I was so impressed by the sneering attitude, and that the music doesn’t sound derivative. This is one of the top tracks for me.
Might As Well Get Juiced - Yes. I think I still prefer the album version, but this take is tight, and has a lot of really tasty expressive guitar work. I’m a little more focused on the songs I haven’t heard right now, but it’s always a pleasure to hear the Rolling Stones playing music with intensity.
Too Many Cooks - Yes, but it’s not new to me, so no sense of discovery here. This is a classic, of course. I assume this different take. It is certainly intense and rocks nice and hard. Mick is giving 100% for sure.
Curtis Meets Smokey - Yes, love it. This is a special track. It starts as only a little sketch of the barest beginning of a song, as if they wanted to go in and create a soul song in the style of the namesakes. The song grows into a wonderful little jam. It’s an absolutely fascinating glimpse of the Stones in the studio taking nothing but a small idea and building some magic
Covered In Bruises - Yes, love it. I never thought that I would ever again hear Mick and Keith duet again on a fast song. I got a little emotional listening to this one. Holy crap, this was magic.
Ivy League - Yes, love it. I like Stones doing their funky midtempo thing, slinking around in the night. Really enjoyed this one, a modern sound, enjoyable dynamic.
Too Tight - No. Keith’s solo song… *record scratch* ...with violin?! Definitely an interesting and unusual take on it. It’s a great song, but I don’t know if this version is for me.
Criss Cross - Yes, but it’s not a first time listen of course. This is an official release now. I used to have it on a bootleg cassette back in the day so it’s not new to me. It’s definitely one of the Stones’ formerly lost classics.
Strictly Memphis - Yes, love it. High energy boogie that feels like slipping on an old pair of shoes. What the heck are tracks like this doing on the cutting room floor? Do Mick and/or Keith think it wouldn’t cut the mustard as a bonus track at the very least?
It’s Only Rock And Roll - No. No offense to those who like this early version, but I’m in the mental space of absorbing the songs I haven’t heard before.
Studio Jam Session aka Extreme Western Grip - Yes. I’ve had a copy of this track for a while, and it pales in comparison to most of the rest of this collection. It’s a pleasant instrumental jam, but nothing really essential or inspired.
Studio Jam Session aka Well Well - Yes. Same as with Extreme Western Grip. This one has been around and isn’t really a standout track. Listenable, but not really memorable or unique in any notable way.