Interesting this on recording technology by Keith Richards, and as interesting is Alan Jacobs’ take on it:
Keith rails against “technology” but what he’s actually doing is making the case for one kind of technology rather than another
Listening to the music the Stones (and Dylan is another example) made in the 80s, I think it remained of a quality in the early part of this decade because of the new recording technology not despite it. It was only when everyone involved in making the records became more adept and familiar with the recording technology – and now after reading Richards’ account, felt they had to use all of it – the music of these two suffered. This perhaps is connected to what I was feeling when I wrote about ‘Emotional Rescue’.
Recently I’ve been listening to a few albums from the mid to late 90s. There is definitely a sound they share which dates them to that period; it’s not always prevalent through a whole album (not on the good ones anyhow), and you can get a sense of it listening to albums that don’t share it, but as yet I can’t quite put my finger on what “it” is or how, or even if, the recording technology around that time played a part.
Related maybe to this is this interview with Ewan Pearson, where the subject of dynamic range compression being used more (and so becoming an issue) in the first half of the decade of the 2000s comes up.
The Rolling Stones – ‘Emotional Rescue’
In an interview with Stuart Maconie about a compilation, English Weather, he and Pete Wiggs had compiled, Bob Stanley was asked if they were trying to evoke a certain period with the songs they had chosen? In reply he said the day after the 60s; before the 70s knew what the 70s were.
A song like 1980’s ‘Emotional Rescue’ (and Dylan’s ‘Jokerman’  comes to mind also) evokes for me, if I can adapt Stanley’s phrase, the day after the 70s; before The Rolling Stones (or Dylan) knew what the 80s were. However, where Stanley means his positively, I don’t necessarily.
The Rolling Stones – Gimme Shelter
Recently I watched the music documentary The Rolling Stones Olé Olé Olé: A Trip Across Latin America, and wasn’t expecting to find it as good as I did. What struck me most was the devotion they inspired, and the high regard and love for them that exists still in the countries they visited.
Continue reading “Going For A Song: ‘Gimme Shelter’”
Cat Power – (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction
I’ve not been thinking about this song particularly this week. And I’d be lying if I said I was a big Cat Power fan. I have considered it (with the intention of writing something on cover songs) alongside Devo’s cover of the same tune. I was (and still am) interested in how both bands remove the swagger from the original: Devo with the rhythm section pushing the image of the narrator towards one of a Midwestern high-schooler, loping along, listening to the original; Cat Power by removing the chorus (I’m simplifying here what Chan Marshall does to it for the sake of brevity) and finding an untapped weariness in the verse lyrics. Importantly though, for covers, both versions return you to a reassessment of the original. But the reason I’m choosing it this week is because it was when discussing these songs with Douglas Cowie I thought to start this blog; “appropriating” what Doug has been doing for a while now on his website. I’ve asked him, he’s ok with it, so the least I can do is point whoever reads this in the direction of his Song of the Week. I’ve discovered some very good music following it, so I recommend giving it some of your time.