vrijdag 16 juni 2017

Rolling Stones "The Satanic Sessions" - 2CD

The Rolling Stones
Satanic Sessions, Vols. 1-2
Release Date: 1997
Label: Midnight Beat
Rating:

Satanic Sessions, an up-close and personal glimpse inside the recording of the Stones' 1967 masterpiece, was issued in two versions: a beautifully packaged, two-times-four-disc boxed set from Midnight Beat, limited to just 1,000 copies and featuring a well-designed if lacklusterly annotated booklet, and a CD-R knockoff, which preserves the music, if not the wrapping. Either, of course, is going to set listeners back between 250 and 300 dollars; both, however, represent one of the most complete examinations of a classic album's creation that listeners have yet been privy to. Their Satanic Majesties Request is one of the most contentious albums in the Stones' entire catalog. Famously, it was these sessions which finally persuaded manager Andrew Loog Oldham that he no longer had a place in the band's hierarchy; arguably, Brian Jones felt the same way. And the band's U.S. label, London, was so underwhelmed by the bulk of the album that when it came to choosing singles, bassist Bill Wyman's "In Another Land" weighed in ahead of almost anything Jagger or Richards wrote. Nine instrumental takes -- partial and complete -- of "In Another Land" catch the song's genesis, and that sets the flavor for the rest of Satanic Sessions. Across the eight discs, 19 songs are pursued through their development. Few are ever completed; rather, takes often break down after just a minute or so, and while one initially feels privileged to be sitting in on such private and rarely heard moments, the thrill swiftly dissipates somewhere around the umpteenth run-through of the intro to "2000 Man." Remember, these performances are instrumental only; the only vocal action comes from the control room, announcing the next take number. Neither should one be taken in by the apparent presence of some hitherto unknown titles. While "Majesties' Honky Tonk" could have slotted seamlessly into the finished album (take three is most recommended), "Gold Painted Nails" -- the only other titled track -- is simply a grandiosely named jam which doesn't go far, despite consuming most of one well-stuffed disc. At five minutes in length, take 17 is the most rewarding, but it isn't "She's a Rainbow" by a long chalk. Elsewhere, "Five Part Jam," "Blues 3," and "Jam" are exactly what their titles suggest -- jams and blues jams which could as easily be the band relaxing between takes as the genesis of some future classic. Ditto "Title 15," which arouses interest only because "Title 12" earlier in the cycle eventually resolved itself into "2000 Light Years From Home." There are also multiple run-throughs for "We Love You," together with the bones of "Child of the Moon" and "Jigsaw Puzzle," none of which of course actually date from the Satanic Majesties session. Absent, on the other hand, is the one Majesties outtake with which most fans are familiar, the freaky and festive "Cosmic Christmas." There again, with the only known version clocking in at 33 seconds, there could not have been too many run-throughs called for. Ultimately, then, Satanic Sessions is a very large and incredibly unwieldy proposition to set before even the most devout Stones enthusiast, a case of getting way too much of a good thing (in this case, the manufacturers gaining access to the session tapes), and in terms of listening pleasure, pretty damned boring. However, there is certainly at least one excellent alternate Majesties single-disc collection to be compiled from the full box, dominated by a stunning 14-minute "Sing This All Together" and bolstered further by early takes of "Flowers in Your Hair" (aka "She's a Rainbow"), "Fly My Kite" ("The Lantern"), and take one of the aforementioned "Title 12." But anybody lured into the Stones' sessions business by the similarly bulky Voodoo Lounge collections is not going to be so easily won over by The Satanic Sessions, nor as ready to sit through multiple listens to the package. Even diehards have to draw the line somewhere. Dave Thompson, All Music Guide

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