Rolling Stones – Stripped

I’m in a Stones mood (which happens all the time, natch). In the wake of Deke’s review of the recent Totally Stripped set, I decided to go back and hear the old original 1995 release of Stripped for the millionth time in my life. I loved this disc back then, and I love it now.

Included (below) is the track list (and recording date/locations) but, for me, the real power here are the little moments and versions of the songs…

Take in the perfect instrumental sections of Street Fighting Man, the slinky majesty of Like A Rolling Stone (with Keef saying “Thank you, Bob!” at the end of it). Love the sassy shuffle of Not Fade Away, and then the soul uplift glory with brilliant guitar solos of Shine A Light, one of my favourite tracks from Exile. Mick humourously changes up the lyrics in the acoustic guitar blues of The Spider And The Fly to reflect their age, while I’m Free remains a truly perfect song, and fits the mix here very well indeed. Fun guitar and organ solos.

Wild Horses, well, I mean, Wild Horses. Must I say anything? Haha no I don’t. Awesome. Let It Bleed follows hot on its heels with that inimitable chug and swing, and it’s Chuck Leavell’s piano that rules this one. Dead Flowers gets sped up a bit, but is so strong it hardly matters. Keef’s vocals on Slipping Away are gorgeously imperfect, and it’s nice they threw in a Steel Wheels track, here.*

Angie is once again a showcase for Leavell’s piano, and while not nearly as harrowing as the original, this update adds breadth to its sound. I’m a sucker for well done covers of Robert Johnson, and Love In Vain (even with its false start) is barroom blues bliss. Sweet Virginia, another Exile favourite of mine, swings beautifully like a gospel track, and rips that gorgeous sax solo (R.I.P. Bobby Keys). And finally, a run through Willie Dixon’s Little Baby blues rock stomps us into a puddle. Glory.

In Sum:

Full marks. And bonus points too. I love this disc. Love love love. Note to self: I need to collect up those singles, again!

* A little weird to have the SW track instead of, say, the awesome I’m The Worst since Voodoo Lounge had only been the year before Stripped. Ah well, whatever Keef wants, he does!

***

For those keeping score, here are the dates and locations of all the recordings on this disc (from Wiki). All songs by Jagger/Richards except where noted.

1 Street Fighting Man – 3:41 (live in Amsterdam on 26 May 1995)
2 Like a Rolling Stone (Bob Dylan) – 5:39 (live in London on 19 July 1995)
3 Not Fade Away (Norman Petty/Charles Hardin) – 3:06 (live in the studio in Lisbon from 23–26 July 1995)
4 Shine a Light – 4:38 (live in Paris on 3 July 1995)
5 The Spider and the Fly – 3:29 (live in the studio in Tokyo from 3–5 March 1995)
6 I’m Free – 3:13 (live in the studio in Lisbon from 23–26 July 1995)
7 Wild Horses – 5:09 (live in the studio in Tokyo from 3–5 March 1995)
8 Let It Bleed – 4:15 (live in Paris on 3 July 1995)
9 Dead Flowers – 4:13 (live in London on 19 July 1995)
10 Slipping Away – 4:55 (live in the studio in Tokyo from 3–5 March 1995)
11 Angie – 3:29 (live in Paris on 3 July 1995)
12 Love in Vain (Robert Johnson) – 5:31 (live in the studio in Tokyo from 3–5 March 1995)
13 Sweet Virginia – 4:16 (live in the studio in Lisbon from 23–26 July 1995)
14 Little Baby (Willie Dixon) – 4:00 (live in the studio in Tokyo from 3–5 March 1995)

There also were some outtakes from this album that have been released.

1 Honest I Do (Hope Floats Movie Soundtrack) (live in the studio in Tokyo from 3–5 March 1995)
2 All Down the Line (Like a Rolling Stone single) (live in Amsterdam on 27 May 1995)
3 Black Limousine (Like a Rolling Stone single) (live in London on 19 July 1995)
4 Gimme Shelter (Wild Horses single) (live in Amsterdam on 26 May 1995)
5 Tumbling Dice (Wild Horses single) (backstage rehearsal in Amsterdam on 26 or 27 May 1995; live at the Olympia, Paris on 3 July 1995)
6 Live with Me (Wild Horses single) (live in London on 19 July 1995)
7 It’s All Over Now (e-download only) (live in Amsterdam on 27 May 1995)

14 thoughts on “Rolling Stones – Stripped

  1. J. says:

    Great review, Aaron. I’m a big fan of this one also – even if the lack of Voodoo Lounge material was disappointing.

    Like

    1. keepsmealive says:

      It was weird, eh? Not including more current stuff… gotta be tough for them, really, ‘cos everyone wants to hear the old hits, so putting together a track list that represents such a long career has got to be daunting!

      Like

  2. mikeladano says:

    e-download only? That must be a recently released bonus track?

    I know I have only seen one of those singles up close and personal. I didn’t realize so many songs had actually been released! Everybody always seems to complain about songs that are missing, well there they are!

    Great album great review!

    Like

    1. keepsmealive says:

      I daresay you’ll dig this one all over again. All the guitar touches in the background, Charlie is a swingin’ metronome… great looks at all of these songs.

      No need to duck for cover! I know later Stones haven’t impressed most people. Me, I still love it, and feel that when they’re able to get their shit together and make a record, it’s still new and interesting and indelibly them at the same time. Hard to nitpick on a group that’s been together that long and still trying new things (on the infrequent occasions that they do). Fairly uncharted waters, really!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. deKE says:

    Awesome write up!
    When this was released my first thoughts were at the time “Not another F*#kin unplugged album!!!” Thankfully they kept the electrics plugged in for the most part!
    But these guys like i stated were on fire from the Voodoo Lounge Tour! But I didn’t have to tell U that right? !
    Ha!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. keepsmealive says:

      Thanks Deke! I do love this record, so it was pretty easy to write! Ha, I hear you on the Unplugged fears and, while there are elements of an Eric Clapton Unplugged-type of thing in here, the Stones add a lot more to the mix.

      I know you and I were at the same Voodoo Lounge show, so we can both tell everyone how well the band was doing at the time = great! Stripped was in my player constantly, back then, and after hearing it for this post, it may well be back there again.

      Like

        1. keepsmealive says:

          Totally Stripped is on my list, for sure! 😉 I Go Wild is a cool track – actually, so is all of Voodoo Lounge. It has become deep catalogue stuff but it really ought to have been a whole bunch of singles!

          Like

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