Evil, Evil Bootleggers

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Posted by Lord Voodoo on June 18, 1999 at 13:35:16:

Here's a peice of info I would bet most of you didn't know. You know that song, Gangster's Moll? The one from the Emotional Rescue/Tattoo You sessions. That song was brought back during the Steel Wheels sessions, but again, it never made it to the album.

Similar things have happened in the past. More of you probably know this story, but I would bet that most of you don't know the full history. There was a song, Waiting For A Friend, that first started getting kicked around in 1970 during the Sticky Fingers sessions. It didn't make it on that album and remained in the can until the sessions for Goat's Head Soup. It was reoworked a little but again not used. It resurfaced again in the Some Girls Sessions, only to be put away again. Finally, during the Tattoo You sessions, it was finsished and renamed Waiting On A Friend.

Now here's another story. About two weeks before Voodoo Lounge was released, two box sets appeared. They were called Voodoo Brew and Voodoo Stew. They were perfect studio versions of outtakes, alternnate versions, and songs that didn't make it onto Voodoo Lounge. Basically between the two box sets (a total of 8 disks) the bootlegger managed to wipe out the entire session Catalogue. What ensued was a very quick move by the stones to release just about everything that was in the box sets via singles or soundtracks in movies. If you don't believe this ask yourself why Voodoo Loungue, which was already a double album managed to have more b-sides than any stones album in history.

My point in all of this should be pretty easy to see. In the past, the stones have come out with some very very good albums based mostly off of songs that were kicked around for a while. Two such albums are Exile on Main Street and Tattoo You. On Exile, Loving Cup, All Down The Line, Hip Shake to name three (there are more) were all created in the Let It Bleed Sessions. Tops, Waiting on a Friend, Start Me Up, and others on Tattoo you were all started pre 1975.

So what have these bootleggers done? They have basically screwed B2B, and the next 2 or 3 albums by steeling a the sessions tapes. You think its a coincidence that B2B sounds so different from B2B, usually the stones do songs and do songs and do songs, and they throw many of these on albums when they think they are done. However, often they are not done. They are planned to be used on the next album. Or maybe two or three albums down the road. There was this big shock when people heard the Stones might put Fiji Gin on an upcoming album, because it was like 20 years old. So what, its their song, does it matter if its 20 years old. Gangsters Moll might still show up on an album.

The general public doesn't know what these songs are, but the stones don't want all of their fans running around with perfect early versions of songs they wanted to put on an album. The songs simply aren't done and if they are, well, what's the point in releasing it if all of the superfans already have it. Thus the plethora of B sides on Voodoo Lounge. The stones basically got these songs out so that at least they could get something for them. Who here would have liked B2B a bit more if it had had the STorm or Jump on Top Of Me on it.

I have no problem with recording concerts and trading them. In My opinion the band has not ever given us a good enough live album. Ya Ya's was close but it was missing half of the songs played on the tour. If they want people to stop Bootlegging, then they should make a live record that is representative of an actual concert. Make the damn thing a two or three cd set, charge 30 dollars for it. I'd pay. Hell I'd love to see on of those from 72. Could you imagine that! Or from 76, with all of the songs they did on that tour. I mean honestly in sound quality, Hampton 81 is light years behind No Security, but what if we had a released full concert version of 81 or 82. Still Life is just plain aweful. It is a sample of the opening of the show and the closing of the show. Its missing everything from that tour that was cool.

So in one way bootleggers are good. They get us recordings of the show, and when a good live album comes out, it shows us how much better the stones are. I have yet to hear anything from 97-98-99 that is as clean as no security. Hey the remastering helps alot. I have yet to hear anything from 69 that is as clean as Ya Ya's. But the other live albums don't cut it. Stripped and Flashpoint are ok, but .. well their a little different.

So bootleggers are good, but when they go to far they suck. How many songs might the stones have given us in complete form if they hadn't been swiped by bootleggers. My suggestion to the stones is to not care. And it looks like they don't on the whole. But when basically the whole sessions tapes are released, there's not much else they can do except release a lot of quick, basically unfinished b-sides

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