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‘Jamming With Edward’, 1972
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“Budget” album released on Rolling Stones Records on Jan. 7 1972 (also called: NICKY HOPKINS, RY COODER, MICK JAGGER, BILL WYMAN, CHARLIE WATTS—JAMMING WITH EDWARD) featuring a jam session produced by Glyn Johns at Olympic Studios, London, with all of the above musicians. Keith didn’t show up one night during the 1969 LET IT BLEED sessions, rumoured to be due to his feud with Ry Cooder, but three-fifths of the band played on without him. The album came complete with a letter of apology from Mick making reference to this “piece of bullshit,” Cut in London while “waiting for our guitar player to get out of bed,” and noting that Glyn Johns and Marshall Chess unearthed the soon-forgotten tapes and felt that Stones fans might want to hear this “historic” jam session.
SIDE A: 1. The Boudoir Stomp/ 2. It Hurts Me Too/ 3. Edward’s Thrump Up
SIDE B: 1. Blow With Ry/ 2. Interlude A La El Hopo/ 3. The Loveliest Night Of The Year/ 4. Highland Fling
Though many feel that the Stones were at their best when playing loose, sloppy rock & roll à la Exile on Main St., with this 1972 release on Rolling Stones Records the unrehearsed style of the album is more of a hindrance than a call to ragged glory. Not an official Rolling Stones release, the assembled band does contain three-fifths of the group (Mick Jagger, Bill Wyman, and Charlie Watts) along with session man extraordinaire Nicky Hopkins and guitarist Ry Cooder.
The band stumbles through keyboard-dominated original numbers such as “Boudoir Stomp” and “Edward’s Thrump Up,” as well as more conventional cuts like a cover of Elmore James’ “It Hurts Me Too.” Yet the songs never get beyond giving the listener the impression they were thrown together during a drunken night’s rehearsals. In that sense the album is a bit of a letdown; though any Stones fan would surely clamor for lost material from the band’s golden age, Jamming With Edward instead makes one wish it had never been released.
The album was recorded at London’s Olympic Studio on April 23, 1969, during the Let It Bleed sessions, and released on Rolling Stones Records in 1972. It consists of a series of loose jams performed by band members while waiting for Keith Richards to return to the studio. The reason for Richards’ absence is uncertain; though it is commonly believed that he walked out over Cooder being brought in as a support guitarist, producer Glyn Johns has attributed his absence to a phone call from his girlfriend Anita Pallenberg. Although Jamming with Edward! reached No. 33 on the US charts in February 1972 during an 11-week stay, it failed to make the UK listings.
“Edward” is a nickname for pianist Nicky Hopkins, originating from some earlier studio conversation between Hopkins and another Rolling Stone, Brian Jones. Hopkins also contributed the cover art. In the original liner notes, Mick Jagger describes the album as “a nice piece of bullshit… which we cut one night in London, England while waiting for our guitar player to get out of bed. It was promptly forgotten (which may have been for the better) … I hope you spend longer listening to this record than we did recording it.” On the CD version there are additional notes written by Mark Paytress adding more context and describing the result as a “curio to top all curios, perhaps”.
Johns said of the album: “[It] was just a joke really, just a laugh. I recorded it and they played it, and then, I don’t know how long later, we dug the tapes out, I mixed it and they stuck it out on album. It didn’t really warrant releasing really, but it was okay, a bit of fun, and there’s some good playing on it.”
According to Rolling Stone, the release was delayed several months due to the appearance of an expletive on the back cover art, which was partially covered with stars in the ultimate release.