Saturday, August 10, 2013

Compass Point Sessions

On January 18, 1979, the Rolling Stones entered Chris Blackwell's Compass Point Studios at Nassau, Bahamas, to start recordings (January 18-February 12) for a new studio album. Besides working on new songs, the band also returned to the many outtakes of their very productive 1978 "Some Girls" sessions at Pathé Marconi Studios, Paris.

Although the Stones invited some notable guest musicians, among whom Bobby Keys, Sugar Blue, Boz Scaggs, Max Romeo and Michael Shrieve, Ian Stewart was the only keyboard player around. Among the songs he played his trademark piano on were two more fast numbers from the Paris sessions, 'Summer Romance' and 'Hang Fire'.

On 'Summer Romance', which would appear on the band's new album, "Emotional Rescue", Keith Richards and Ron Wood intuitively wind up their guitars to produce a song which is essentially lead guitar orientated. Stu, as so often buried deep in the mix, accompanies the band when they strain to recollect those 'Butlins Holiday Romances".

'Hang Fire', a song characterized by innocent sounding harmony vocals, would stay in the can until 1981's "Tattoo You" album. The track, originally titled 'Lazy Bitch', portrays the depressing state of a country racked by unemployment and poverty. The song's mood is up tempo; yet another fast number, but Stu seems to feel comfortable.

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

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