Friday, December 6, 2013

beggar's banquet

The Rolling Stones returned to their bluesy roots and ushered in their golden age with the guttural gourmandism of this sumptuous seminal smörgåsbord of salty scandalous satire and sexy sympathetic swagger.  Feeling that they'd reached a dead end with the psychedelic experimentation of the self-produced 'Their Satanic Majesties Request'Mick Jagger and Keith Richards brought in producer Jimmy Miller to help them get back to basics.   Miller remembers how Brian Jones was more of a distraction in the studio:    "Brian was sort of in and out.  He'd show up occasionally when he was in the mood to play, and he could never really be relied on...When he would show up at a session - let's say he had just bought a star that day, he'd feel like playing it, so he'd look in his calendar to see if the Stones were in. Now he may have missed the previous four sessions. We'd be doing let's say, a blues thing. He'd walk in with a sitar, which was totally irrelevant to what we were doing, an want to play it. I used to try to accommodate him. I would isolate him, put him in a booth and not record him onto any tract that we really needed. And the others, particularly Mich and Keith, would often say to me, 'Just tell him to piss off and get the hell out of here'."

Richards reveals:    "There is a change between material on 'Satanic Majesties' and 'Beggars Banquet'. I'd grown sick to death of the whole Maharishi guru shit and the beads and bells. Who knows where these things come from, but I guess [the music] was a reaction to what we'd done in our time off and also that severe dose of reality. A spell in prison... will certainly give you room for thought... I was fucking pissed with being busted. So it was, 'Right we'll go and strip this thing down.' There's a lot of anger in the music from that period."

Some of the sessions at Olympic Studios in London were filmed for a documentary by director Jean-Luc Godard called 'One Plus One'.  'Beggar's Banquet' features Mick Jagger on lead and backing vocals;    Keith Richards on acoustic, electric and slide guitar, bass guitar on "Sympathy for the Devil" and "Street Fighting Man," backing vocals, lead vocals on opening of "Salt of the Earth";   Brian Jones on slide guitar on "No Expectations", harmonica on "Parachute Woman", "Dear Doctor" and "Prodigal Son", Mellotron on "Jig-Saw Puzzle" and "Stray Cat Blues" and sitar and tanbur on "Street Fighting Man", backing vocals on "Sympathy for the Devil", tambourine on "Dear Doctor";   Charlie Watts on drums, backing vocals and cowbell on "Sympathy for the Devil," clave on "No Expectations," tabla on "Factory Girl";   and Bill Wyman on bass guitar, upright bass on "Dear Doctor" and "Parachute Woman," backing vocals and maracas on "Sympathy for the Devil";     with Nicky Hopkins on piano on "Sympathy for the Devil," "Stray Cat Blues," "Salt of the Earth," "Jigsaw Puzzle," and "No Expectations", organ on "No Expectations";   Rocky Dijon on congas on "Sympathy for the Devil," "Stray Cat Blues," and "Factory Girl";   Ric Grech on fiddle on "Factory Girl";   Dave Mason on shehnai on "Street Fighting Man", mellotron (mandolin setting) on "Factory Girl";   Jimmy Miller on backing vocals on "Sympathy for the Devil";  and the Watts Street Gospel Choir performing backing vocals on "Salt of the Earth".   

'Beggar's Banquet' was finished in July of 1968; but it took months for it to be released as the band fought with their label over their cover depicting a seedy bathroom wall with graffiti.  Jagger explained:    "We really have tried to keep the album within the bounds of good taste. I mean we haven’t shown the whole lavatory. That would have been rude. We’ve only shown the top half! Two people at the record company have told us that the sleeve is terribly offensive. Apart from them we have been unable to find anyone else who it offends. I asked one person to pick out something that offended him and he quite seriously picked out Bob Dylan. Apparently Bob Dylan’s Dream on the wall offends him… We’ve gone as far as we can in terms of concessions over the release of this sleeve. I even suggested that they put it in a brown paper bag with Unfit For Children and the title of the album on the outside. But no, they wouldn’t have it. They stuck to their guns… It was simply an idea that had not been done before and we chose to put the writing on a lavatory wall because that’s where you see most writings on walls. There’s really nothing obscene there except in people’s own minds… We’ll get this album distributed somehow even if I have to go down the end of Greek Street and Carlisle Street at two o’clock on Saturday morning and sell them myself."

They didn't have to sell them on the street.  The label put the album out with a simple cover suggesting an invitation and the album flew off the shelves, going to number five in the US and number three in the UK.  The lyrics drew from the violence that was going on during 1968 while the music digs deep into country and blues with an acoustic sound that harkens back to the music of old bluesmen like Robert Johnson.  Jagger reflects on the sense of forbidden fruit:   "Music is one of the things that changes society. That old idea of not letting white children listen to black music is true, 'cause if you want white children to remain what they are, they mustn't."

'One Plus One'

"Sympathy for the Devil"  

Jagger:    “I think that was taken from an old idea of Baudelaire’s, I think, but I could be wrong. Sometimes when I look at my Baudelaire books, I can't see it in there. But it was an idea I got from French writing. And I just took a couple of lines and expanded on it. I wrote it as sort of like a Bob Dylan song...I knew it was a good song. You just have this feeling. It had its poetic beginning, and then it had historic references and then philosophical jottings and so on. It's all very well to write that in verse, but to make it into a pop song is something different. Especially in England - you're skewered on the altar of pop culture if you become pretentious."

Richards:  "Sympathy is quite an uplifting song. It's just a matter of looking the Devil in the face. He's there all the time. I've had very close contact with Lucifer - I've met him several times. Evil - people tend to bury it and hope it sorts itself out and doesn't rear its ugly head. Sympathy for the Devil is just as appropriate now, with 9/11. There it is again, big time. When that song was written, it was a time of turmoil. It was the first sort of international chaos since World War II. And confusion is not the ally of peace and love. You want to think the world is perfect. Everybody gets sucked into that. And as America has found out to its dismay, you can't hide. You might as well accept the fact that evil is there and deal with it any way you can. “Sympathy for the Devil” is a song that says, ‘Don't forget him. If you confront him, then he's out of a job’." 

Please allow me to introduce myself 

I'm a man of wealth and taste 
I've been around for a long, long year 
Stole many a mans soul and faith 
And 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 
I stuck around st. petersburg 
When I saw it was a time for a change 
Killed the czar and his ministers 
Anastasia screamed in vain 
I rode a tank 
Held a generals rank 
When the blitzkrieg raged 
And the bodies stank 
Pleased to meet you 
Hope you guess my name, oh yeah 
Ah, 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 reached bombay 
Pleased to meet you 
Hope you guessed 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 guessed my name, oh yeah 
But what's confusing you 
Is just the nature of my game 
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, um yeah 
Pleased to meet you 
Hope you guessed my name, um yeah 
But what's puzzling you 
Is the nature of my game, um mean it, get down 
Woo, who 
Oh yeah, get on down 
Oh yeah 
Oh yeah! 
Tell me baby, what's my name 
Tell me honey, can ya guess my name 
Tell me baby, what's my name 
I tell you one time, you're to blame 
Ooo, who 
Ooo, who 
Ooo, who 
Ooo, who, who 
Ooo, who, who 
Ooo, who, who 
Ooo, who, who 
Oh, yeah 
What's my name 
Tell me, baby, what's my name 
Tell me, sweetie, what's my name 
Ooo, who, who 
Ooo, who, who 
Ooo, who, who 
Ooo, who, who 
Ooo, who, who 
Ooo, who, who 
Ooo, who, who 
Oh, yeah

"Street Fighting Man"  

Jagger says it drew from the riots in Paris during the spring of 1968:     "Yeah, it was a direct inspiration, because by contrast, London was very quiet...It was a very strange time in France. But not only in France but also in America, because of the Vietnam War and these endless disruptions. ...I thought it was a very good thing at the time. There was all this violence going on. I mean, they almost toppled the government in France; DeGaulle went into this complete funk, as he had in the past, and he went and sort of locked himself in his house in the country. And so the government was almost inactive. And the French riot police were amazing."

"Factory Girl"    /  "Salt of the Earth"

'Beggar's Banquet'

full album:

All songs written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, except "Prodigal Son" by Robert Wilkins.

Side one
1. "Sympathy for the Devil" 6:18
2. "No Expectations" 3:56
3. "Dear Doctor" 3:28
4. "Parachute Woman" 2:20
5. "Jigsaw Puzzle" 6:06
Side two
6. "Street Fighting Man" 3:16
7. "Prodigal Son" 2:51
8. "Stray Cat Blues" 4:38
9. "Factory Girl" 2:09

10. "Salt of the Earth" 4:48

Beggars Banquet 
Sessions Collected

01 00:00 Blues 3 - (Satanic Jam)
02 03:31 Stray Cat Blues - (Alternate)
03 07:49 Family 1 - (First Version)
04 11:33 No Expectation - (Early Version)
05 15:51 Blood Red Wine - (Outtake)
06 21:04 Child Of The Moon - (Alternate Mix)
07 24:10 Did Everybody Pay Their Dues?
08 27:13 Parachute Woman - (Early Mix)
09 29:29 Jumping Jack Flash - (Yeah Yeah)
10 32:36 Highway Child - (Outtake)
11 37:57 Dear Doctor - (Alternate) - (Take 1)
12 41:19 Sympathy For The Devil - (Early Demo)
13 44:44 Jigsaw Puzzle - (Alternate)
14 50:48 Still A Fool - (Outtake, Short Version)
15 57:29 Salt Of The Earth - (Alternate Mix)
16 1:02:18 Memo From Turner 1
17 1:05:03 Jigsaw Puzzle - (Take 1)
18 1:11:55 Child Of The Moon - (Early Demo)
19 1:14:16 Prodigal Son - (Early Mix)
20 1:17:13 Memo From Turner 2
21 1:21:05 Still A Fool - (Outtake)
22 1:31:02 Family 2 - (Alternate)
23 1:35:10 Give Me A Hamburger To Go - (Outtake)
24 1:38:31 Factory Girl - (Different Fiddle Mix)
25 1:40:40 Dear Doctor - (Alternate) - (Take 2)
26 1:44:02 Family 3 - (Alternate)
27 1:48:01 Sympathy For The Devil - (Alternate)
28 1:54:24 Jumping Jack Flash - (Alternate)
29 1:58:04 Street Fighting Man - (Alternate Mix)
30 2:01:20 Stray Cat Blues - (Live) 13.3.1971 Leeds
31 2:05:25 Factory Girl - (Live) 6.7.1990 London
32 2:07:57 Sympathy For The Devil - (Live) 26.2.1990 Tokyo
33 2:15:29 Jumping Jack Flash - (Live) 7.7.1990 London
34 2:21:01 Prodigal Son - (Live) 27.11.1969 New York
35 2:23:47 No Expectation - (Live) 11.12.1968 London
36 2:27:48 Street Fighting Man - (Live) 9.9.1973 London
37 2:33:10 Salt Of The Earth - (Live) 18.12.1990 Atlantic City
38 2:38:18 Still A Fool - (Live) 27.5.1995 Amsterdam

No comments:

Post a Comment