rolling stones steel wheels break the spellCan You Hear the Music?


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Rolling Stones songs: Break the Spell
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And the whole world lies sleeping/ There’s a gypsy all dressed in white…

Also known as: CALL GIRL BLUES
Written by: Jagger/Richards
Recorded: Air Studios, Montserrat, March 29-Apr. 1989; Olympic Sound Studios, May 15-June 29 1989
Guest musicians: Matt Clifford (keyboards)
*Data taken from Martin Elliott’s book THE ROLLING STONES COMPLETE RECORDING SESSIONS 1962-2012

From the The Rolling Stones – All the Songs book:
Following their detour to Morocco, the Stones stopped off in the southern
United States, where they have some of their deepest roots. “Break the
Spell” is a real blues, with a spritely rhythm, whose hero is a gypsy all
dressed in white
. When the elements are raging—the glacial winter wind or
the floods that accompany the beginning of spring—does the gypsy have
the power to ward off bad luck? With this material, we have strayed a long
way from the title originally envisioned for this low-down blues: “Call Girl
Blues.” “Break the Spell” was chosen as the B-side of the single “Almost
Hear You Sigh,” which was marketed in continental Europe. It has never
been performed live, however.

This excellent blues number, of a kind that nobody but the Stones could
make (as they had been doing for decades) is apparently launched by Mick
Jagger on guitar. Keith joins him straightaway (on the left), and together
they construct a fantastic, very Muddy Waters–like intro with a sonority that
could almost have been created at Chess Studios with Ron Malo at the
helm. Ronnie accompanies them from 1:02 with a Dobro slide part, but is
too recessed in the mix. In the absence of Bill, Ronnie is also on bass, but
unfortunately he cannot stop himself from trying to play too many notes,
coming up with a riff that may be ideal for a rhythm guitar, but is certainly
not right for a bass. Charlie chooses to play softly and simply, caressing the
skins of his Gretsch kit with brushes. Matt Clifford is credited with
keyboards, but his contribution seems to have been buried in the mix. It is
Mick who literally dominates “Break the Spell,” initially with a surprising,
very bass voice closer to Keith’s tonalities, before modulating skillfully
toward a more familiar style of delivery. He also plays some very good
distorted harmonica that is reminiscent of Little Walter, performing a superb
solo at 1:21 and helping to make this track one of the triumphs of the

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