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Rolling Stones songs: Always Suffering
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Now the rain is falling slow/ And the nights grow long…
Written by: Jagger/Richards
Recorded: Ocean Way Recording Studios, Hollywood, USA, March 13-July 1997
Guest musicians: Darryl Jones (bass), Waddy Wachtel (guitar and backing vocals), Jim Keltner (percussion), Benmont Tench (organ and piano), (tambourine), Bernard Fowler, Doug Wimbish and Blondie Chaplin (background vocals)
*Data taken from Martin Elliott’s book THE ROLLING STONES COMPLETE RECORDING SESSIONS 1962-2012
From the The Rolling Stones – All the Songs book:
“Always Suffering” is a beautiful love song. A man and a woman are taking a stroll and remembering the difficult years they have been through. When all our friends were wavering, we kept on trying, sings Mick Jagger. But this is not to say they haven’t suffered. Now the rain is falling slow and the nights grow long. All the same, the Stones singer wants to send out a message of hope, and concludes with the words: For life is but a chance on a windswept hill and the seeds of love are swirling above. This song can be seen as an expression of the Stones singer’s own torments. “Always Suffering” has never been performed live.
Waddy Wachtel opens this gentle ballad on acoustic guitar, enabling Mick Jagger to adopt an unusually intimate tone. His voice is devoid of any trace of aggression; on the contrary, the rocker of “Midnight Rambler” gives the impression of having quieted down over the years. He accompanies Wachtel on electric, playing arpeggios with a fairly strong tremolo. Keith contributes with the other, clear-toned rhythm part, played most probably on a Telecaster. He takes two solos, a first at 2:57 and a second, with a slightly more distorted sound, in the coda (4:08)
Ronnie is on pedal steel guitar, playing some good phrases that are sadly undermixed (3:08). Darryl Jones makes his second contribution to the album with a bass line that, in the refrains, recalls Bill Wyman. He seems to be playing his 1966 white Jazz Bass. Charlie Watts is again supported by Jim Keltner on percussion (shaker, maracas), continuing their highly successful collaboration. And if the album credits are to be believed, something unprecedented occurs involving the Stones drummer: Charlie has come out from behind his kit to add his voice to the backing vocals, which he shares with Keith, Darryl, Waddy, Jim, Blondie, Bernard, and Doug. Finally, “Always Suffering” owes part of its lyricism to Benmont Tench’s very good work on both the Hammond B-3 and piano.
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