Saturday, January 7, 2012

Muscle Shoals (2)

"Wild Horses" is a classic Stones song of course, but so is "Brown Sugar". Even more so, "Brown Sugar" is literally a rock and roll overdose, with Ian Stewart playing a mean bar room rock and roll style piano. Sax player Bobby Keys also contributed enormously to the success of the song. His driving sax is inspirational, but Keith Richards created the foundation for the song with his open-G riff.

In his book The True Adventures Of The Rolling Stones author Stanley Booth mentions the frustrations felt by Ian Stewart during the recording of "Brown Sugar". Keith knew nothing about chords and Stu had to wait for Bill Wyman to interpret the right keys for him. Ian Stewart and a rock and roll overdose...hard to imagine, don't you think? Various versions of the song exist, e.g. this one with Eric Clapton on guitar, but the basic track was cut at Muscle Shoals Sound Studios, on December 4, 1969.

Adapted from the following source: Martin Elliott, The Rolling Stones. Complete Recording Sessions 1962-2002, Cherry Red Books, 2002.

1 comment:

  1. December 2-4, 1969: Muscle Shoals Sound Studios, Florence, Alabama, USA.
    The Rolling Stones: Wild Horses (basic track) (Jagger-Richards) (5:46)
    The Rolling Stones: Brown Sugar (basic track) (Jagger-Richards) (3:48)
    Mick Jagger: "Brown Sugar"
    I wrote Brown Sugar in Australia in the middle of a field. They were really odd circumstances. I was doing this movie, Ned Kelly, and my hand had got really damaged in this action sequence. So stupid. I was trying to rehabilitate my hand and I had this new kind of electric guitar, and I was playing in the middle of the outback and wrote this tune. God knows what I'm on about on that song. It's such a mishmash. All the nasty subjects in one go. I never would write that song now. I would probably censor myself. I'd think, oh God, I can't. I've got to stop. I can't just write raw like that.

    691202A 2nd - 4th December: Florence, Alabama, Muscle Shoals Sound Studios. Producer: Jimmy Miller. Sound engineer: Jimmy Johnson. Incl.
    - Loving Cup (Jagger-Richards) - unrecorded; Mick Jagger (voc, p) only
    - You Gotta Move (McDowell-Davis) - about nineteen takes were recorded, most of them were erased
    - Wild Horses (Jagger-Richards) - Jim Dickinson on tack piano on this basic track for all other versions; given as demo to Gram Parsons
    - Brown Sugar (Jagger-Richards) - Ian Stewart on piano on this basic track for all other versions; Mick Jagger starts his vocals with “yoh-awhrr”, and after the final chords Keith Richards says “oh baby”
    - Say It’s Not You (Frazier) - unrecorded; Keith Richards on piano only
    - Your Angel Steps Out Of Heaven (Ripley) - unrecorded; Keith Richards on piano only.

    Note: The recordings and the stay in Alabama were filmed by the Maysles brothers for the upcoming Gimme Shelter-movie (premiered July 1971 at Rialto Theatre, London).

    Line-up: Mick Jagger (voc)/Keith Richards (gtr, bvoc)/Mick Taylor (gtr)/Bill Wyman (bass)/Charlie Watts (dr).