Sunday, February 12, 2012

Stop Breaking Down

On 1972's "Exile On Main St." the Rolling Stones touched base with what inspired them in the first place. On 'Stop Breaking Down', another "Exile" track that dated back to the 1970 recording sessions, the band, with Ian Stewart in fine boogie woogie form, once more returned to their blues roots. The song, a Robert Johnson twelve-bar classic, got arranged by the band into a semi rhythm & blues mould.

Instrumentally the lead on this Johnson rendition is shared by Mick Taylor, who plays a rasping slide solo, and Stu, with his rhythmic timing on piano. Mick Jagger plays rhythm guitar and harmonica. At the overdub stage echoed compressed 'oohs' were used to good effect. According to author James Hector this was exactly the kind of song Brian Jones wanted the band to make during the "Beggars Banquet" sessions. They didn't, but two years later, Mick Taylor was on hand to turn in some measured slide guitar.

Adapted from the following sources:
Martin Elliott, The Rolling Stones. Complete Recording Sessions 1962-2002, Cherry Red Books, 2002.
James Hector, The Complete Guide To The Music Of The Rolling Stones, Omnibus Press, 1995.

Suggested further reading:
Bill Janovitz, Exile On Main St., Continuum, 2005.

1 comment:

  1. October 17-31, 1970: Olympic Sound Studios, London, England.
    The Rolling Stones: Sway (Jagger-Richards) (3:53)
    The Rolling Stones: Bitch (Jagger-Richards) (3:37)
    The Rolling Stones: Moonlight Mile (Jagger-Richards) (5:56)
    Mick Jagger: Recording with Mick Taylor
    We made tracks with just Mick Taylor, which are very good and everyone loves, where Keith wasn't there for whatever reasons. People don't know that Keith wasn't there making it. All the stuff like Moonlight Mile, Sway. These tracks are a bit obscure, but they are liked by people that like the Rolling Stones. It's me and Mick Taylor playing off each other - another feeling completely, because he's following my vocal lines and then extemporizing on them during the solos.

    The Rolling Stones: All Down The Line (early version) (Jagger-Richards) (3:51)
    The Rolling Stones: Travellin' Man (Jagger-Richards) (5:49)
    The Rolling Stones: Shake Your Hips (early version) (Moore) (4:18)
    The Rolling Stones: Potted Shrimp (Jagger-Richards) (4:06)
    The Rolling Stones: Stop Breaking Down (early version) (Johnson) (4:35)
    The Rolling Stones: Aladdin Story (Jagger-Richards) (4:16)
    The Rolling Stones: Sweet Virginia (early version) (Jagger-Richards) (4:19)
    The Rolling Stones: Sweet Black Angel (early version) (Jagger-Richards) (3:02)
    The Rolling Stones: Good Time Women (Jagger-Richards) (3:31)

    701017A 17th October - 31st October: Newbury, Stargroves (Mick Jagger’s house) with Mobile Record Unit and London, Olympic Sound Studios. Producer: Jimmy Miller. Sound engineer: Glyn Johns. Incl.
    - Aladdin Story (Jagger-Richards) - Bobby Keys on sax, Nicky Hopkins on organ; instrumental
    - All Down The Line (Jagger-Richards) - second, unverified electric version
    - Bitch (Jagger-Richards) - Bobby Keys on sax, Jim Price on trumpet, Jimmy Miller on percussion
    - Hide Your Love (Jagger-Richards) - unverified early version
    - Moonlight Mile (Jagger-Richards) - Jim Price on piano, strings arranged by Paul Buckmaster
    - Potted Shrimp (Jagger-Richards) - Nicky Hopkins on piano; instrumental
    - Red House (Hendrix) - unverified
    - Shake Your Hips (Moore) - Ian Stewart on piano, Bobby Keys on sax; early version
    - Silver Train (Jagger-Richards) - early version with slightly longer finish
    - Stop Breaking Down (Johnson) - Ian Stewart on piano; early (rough) take
    - Sway (Jagger-Richards) - Nicky Hopkins on piano, strings arranged by Paul Buckmaster
    - Sweet Black Angel (Jagger-Richards) - instrumental, under title Bent Green Needles; unverified
    - Sweet Virginia (Jagger-Richards) - Ian Stewart on piano, Bobby Keys on sax; early version without backing vocals
    - Travellin' Man (Jagger-Richards) - Nicky Hopkins on piano
    - Tumbling Dice (Jagger-Richards) - Nicky Hopkins on piano; with different lyrics, under title Good Time Women.

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