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Subject: RE: Exile Bonus Disk CD2 - Song by song review
Date: Monday, June 28, 2010
Time: 6:26:55 PM
Remote Address: 188.8.131.52
Message ID: 255077
Parent ID: 255076
Thread ID: 255076
The ten new releases found on the Exile On Main Street bonus CD are very good indeed, overall I rate them higher than the rest of the album. Some of these songs we knew for years as unreleased instrumentals found on bootlegs. In early 2009 the lyrics to these former instrumentals were written by Mick Jagger and late in '09 he added in his vocals, along with backing vocals from Lisa Fischer and Cindy Mizelle, and some guitar riffs from Mick Taylor.
The following review is placed in the order as the songs appear on CD2 in the box set, which is different than the order of how they appear on the extended version of the album.
"Loving Cup" (Alternate Take) - rating - 6.2 - I always loved the lyrics to this song, oh yes, they are a 10.0 indeed. But the released song on the main Exile CD always sounded like it was played too slow, along with weak vocals, and this alternate version even more so falls under this one and only problem with the song. But that's a big problem. This one should had been sped up to at least the speed of say, "Honky Tonk Woman", boy what a blast these lyrics would had sounded like with some harder rocking here. Other than that not bad for what was really more of an early take and which was not really meant to be released.
"Pass the Wine (Sophia Loren)" rating -7.7 - One of the songs with new added vocals and lyrics that sounds cool enough, but nothing too great either. One of a few songs in this bunch that feature current Stones backing singers Fischer and Mizelle on them, who were nowhere around when the main double LP was first released in 1972.
"I'm Not Signifying" rating - 7.7 - One song with spotty info available as to just when it was first worked on and if most of it came from Keith's basement or not. Sounds like only some of it did. Like "Pass the Wine (Sophia Loren)", a better than average song that makes me feel something is missing here which could had made it even better.
"Dancing In the Light" rating - 9.0 - I like this one very much thank you. I have the boot of it from when it was just an instrumental and I remember thinking to myself years ago why wasn't this one worked on more and finished. Finally! Some nice guitar play between Mick Taylor and Keith Richards on here and it's fun to hear how Mick Jagger wrote the lyrics today to fit in just perfectly with the music that was already recorded on this one back in 1970 - good job MJ!
"So Divine (Aladdin Story)" rating - 5.2 - I also have the instrumental boot to this song and I didn't mind it at all when it wasn't released; but now that it is, that fact changes things. The main guitar riff, which is repeated over and over throughout the entire song, is a complete and total rip off of Brian Jones' sitar riff heard on "Paint It Black", but even Brian didn't repeat that riff as much as it is repeated in this song.
I've been told that today Jagger/Richards have stopped taking credit for music written by others in the band and now do credit those who's music or songs they use. So then, why wasn't Jones and Bill Wyman credited for this riff when this song was released in May? This song is like going back to the old days of the Stones again in more than one way, and not just music wise. Back to when Jones and Wyman also weren't credited for "Paint Black", when both should have been. So this song kind of opens up old wounds when some of us hear it played today. But give us fans a break, this is the very same riff from "Paint Black" and anybody who doesn't hear this is totally deaf. Again, it's all over this song, but the real question is, why was this well loved riff used again like this? Well, it really wasn't meant to be, at least not back in '70 when it was first recorded. When the Boys first started on this song they more than likely were just playing around. Plus the rest of the music heard bedsides that one riff isn't anything to die for either, another reason not to release it.
The new lyrics added in by Jagger are nothing special, just very simple. I'm being nice giving this one a 5.2 rating. Now I've heard the argument that this song sounding like "Paint it Black" doesn't matter any since the song doesn't appear on a 'real' new studio album; but only on the special bonus CD, so all is cool for that reason. Well to that I say this. Had this one actually been from the Exile sessions (it isn't), and if the bonus CD didn't cost fans extra money to buy it and it was just added on as a bonus song at no added cost to the LP (like other bands do for their fans), then I would say fine, it would had been okay to release it in this way and I would rate it a 6 or so. But fans paid the added price for what is really a new album, so don't give us a repeat of what we heard back in the '60s, after all, the songs on here are suppose to be (or should be) 1971-72 material that was just spiced up a bit, and this one clearly ain't that.
"Soul Survivor" (Alternate Take) rating - 6.1 - This is the demo vocal along with the music we grew to dig on the regular version of Exile. The lyrics are totally different and aren't as good, close to being plain out poor, and the vocals sung by Keef, well you can tell this was just a vocal guide to what was to come, he didn't give it his all on this since he didn't have to. But other than that, I love the way Keef's voice sounded during this time frame, so I'll rate it a bit higher than I would had other wise, and it ends up with the same rating as I give the other version of the song. Thing is, this one makes me appreciate the other version more now and I would rate that one higher today.
"Following The River" rating - 10.0 - Oh yes, this tune is a dandy and the best song on the bonus CD! I knew nothing about this song before I heard it at the Stones site a few months back and I loved it that very day. This number is great because of two things, both Jagger's great vocals, along with some fine backing vocals by Fischer and Mizelle, plus the late Nicky Hopkins' piano playing is just wonderful! What a treat to hear something new from Nicky, even if it is something old that I never heard before. The one thing about this song is, that if you had to pick the one song from the bonus CD that doesn't sound anything like the rest of Exile On Main Street, well, it is this one, no question! This sounds like it comes off of A Bigger Bang, as does a few other songs on this bonus CD, since Jagger's vocals have changed in the last 38 years. Still, I'm one who digs Mick's new sound and his vocal output here is tops!
"Plundered My Soul" rating - 9.1 - This one is the second best song on the bonus CD and again, just like "Following the River", it is the great vocals (lead and backing) that help make this number special. Also like "Following the River", I'm not sure where this one came from - well, I know it was recorded in 1971, but I don't think I got it on boot. The lyrics were written and sang in late 2009 and on this one Taylor added in his guitar at that time also, as Jagger noted the two of them were not on the original track recorded in '71.
"Good Time Woman" rating - 8.5 - Long available on boot, this was the outtake to "Tumbling Dice", with different lyrics that might remind you a bit of "Honky Tonk Woman", along with slightly different music. For an outtake it is excellent, and yes, it's okay to include it on here, even if it was started in 1970 and wasn't first recorded at the Exile sessions. It also, unlike "So Divine (Aladdin Story)", is fine to release, since it came before "Tumbling Dice", not after it, and it isn't being looked at as a different, stand alone song.
"Title 5" rating - 7.7 - An instrumental that actually stayed an instrumental. Both Taylor and Jagger do not appear on this one. Simple, but features the remaining Stones (Keef, Bill and Charlie Boy) jamming' real nice together and it's a cool way to close out the bonus CD. Just wish it was a bit longer, but still, it's cool enough!
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