Brazilian site Pop Fantasma has confirmed yesterday that the song ‘Scarlet’ Mick recorded when visiting Rio de Janeiro in 1976 with Brazilian musicians is indeed the same one from 1974. Up to then, it was rumoured it could have been a completely different song, although under the same title. Eventually, the 1976 take of ‘Scarlet’ remains completely unreleased.
‘SCARLET’, BY THE ROLLING STONES’: “OH YEAH, I KNOW THAT SONG”
(By Leandro Souto Maior)
The Rolling Stones’ “new” song was also recorded in Brazil with a group of musicians that included local musicians Dadi and Antonio Adolfo, but it was never officially released.
When Cor do Som’s bassist Dadi listened to ‘Scarlet’, the “new” Stones song originally recorded in 1974 along Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin on guitar, he found it very reminiscent of something he had heard before. More over, he thought it was very familiar with something he had played in. That’s because in January 1976, when Mick was in Brazil, he recorded the very same song with a bunch of local musicians, which included him.
On his book Os Rolling Stones no Brasil, author Nélio Rodrigues details that Mick was taken to the 16-track Polygram recording studio in the Barra de Tijuca area, west side of Rio de Janeiro. Once there, he did a recording session with musicians Dadi (bass, who just left the Novos Baianos, at the time a member of Jorge Ben’s band), Antonio Adolfo (piano), Paulo Braga (drums), Luiz Cláudio (guitar), Neném (cuíca), Marçal (tamborim), Lula (surdo), Risadinha (tambourine) and Canegal (ganzá) The did a few jam sessions, stopping at 10 pm.
The song was named ‘Scarlet’ and, according to the bassist, it’s the same song the Stones will include in the expanded release of the Goats Head Soup album, to be released soon, with guest Jimmy Page on guitar. Only that the take with the Brazilians musicians remains under seven keys, still unreleased. Dadi, Paulo Braga and Antonio Adolfo listened to (actually, listened again) the new song and shared some nice and bizarre memories of that day with POP FANTASMA.
IS IT THE SAME ‘SCARLET’?
DADI: “It’s the same song we recorded in 1976. Mick Jagger took the tape, he still keeps it at his home studio. Mick always does that: wherever he goes, he gets hold of some local musicians to record something. Our session took place at Polygram Studios in Rio. Keith Richards has already recorded it with Jimmy page in 1974, and then we taped it during the summer, in January 1976”
ANTONIO ADOLFO: “When Pop Fantasma contacted me and told me about it, I looked for ‘Scarlet’, and it sounded good. Strangely, their recording seems to lack the piano. It might have been the same one we recorded in 1976. I haven´t heard it ever since. I remember it was on a Saturday afternoon”
PAULO BRAGA: “I didn’t know the Stones are releasing the song now. I then played it, and actually I can’t remember if it’s the same one we did with Mick in 1976”
‘WE ARE BETTER THAN THEM’
PAULO BRAGA: “In those days I used to do a lot of recording, day after day. When Polygram contacted me and said I had to do a session with Mick Jagger… See, at the time I liked Genesis, Yes, or Jethro Tull. I played with Wagner Tiso, Nivaldo Ornellas and Milton Nascimento. I also listened to Miles Davis and John Coltrane. We used to consider the Stones ‘old styled’. We used to say that ‘we were better than them’, meaning we played much better than the Stones. So, that Rolling Stones drummer, couldn’t play at all!”
ANTONIO ADOLFO: “Mick Jagger was in Brazil and he contacted Polygram, which represented he Stones here (that was up to 1973, actually) And they scheduled a recording session and then they called people who they thought could do the job”
MICK JAGGER, A NICE GUY
DADI: “Mick was playing guitar and singing right in front of me. A very nice guy, far from a primma donna. He helped to load the equipment, he asked me to play some musical phrases during the recording, so I did, and he just said, ‘Great, man!’ And for me, as a Stones’ fan since I was 13, it something unforgettable”
ANTONIO ADOLFO: “Once we finished recording, we talked to him for about an hour. We left the studio and went up to a hall in the building with a staircase that was connected to other floor. That’s when Mick Jagger surprised me, I thought he would play the rock star. But he was really sweet, a soft and dear kind of guy”
PAULO BRAGA: “I remember Mick was really polite. He was even trying to get through to me. Only that I didn’t let him, I didn’t pay much attention to him, I really wasn’t into the Rolling Stones. We tend to me more prejudiced when we are young. He asked me to play in some sort of style, but I wasn’t respecting him much. He said Charlie Watts was the best drummer in the world, and I remember laughing at that. I asked him if he knew Jack DeJohnette, Elvin Jones… But he replied by saying that was a different thing, so for the Stones Charlie Watts was the best one. I then remember he got a guitar and started playing it, and he was really good at it, with some beautiful singing”
ANTONIO ADOLFO: “In those days I used to listen to lots of rock music. I lived for a while in the USA and Europe, between 1972 and 1974. I would listen to the Stones a lot, or go see them. I’m extremely curious to listen to that version of ‘Scarlet’ with the Brazilian musicians, it would be great if they also put it out”
STOP IT, MICK!
PAULO BRAGA: “I just wanted to finish that recording right away, I only thought I had to record with Agnaldo Timóteo. I hope they also release our version, who knows, maybe we get something extra from that recording, right?”