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Rolling Stones songs: Continental Drift
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Open the door and let the light pour over/ Open the door, don’t you keep me out…
Written by: Jagger/Richards
Recorded: Air Studios, Montserrat, March 29-Apr. 15 1989; Olympic Sound Studios, May 15-June 29 1989; Palace of Ben Abbou,Tamgier, Morocco, June 16-17 1989
Guest musicians: Matt Clifford (keyboards), The Master Musicians of Jajouka with Bachir Attar (African and Moroccan instruments), Luis Jardim (percussion), Lisa Fischer, Sarah Dash, Bernard Fowler, Tessa Niles, Farafina and Sonia Morgan (backing vocals)
*Data taken from Martin Elliott’s book THE ROLLING STONES COMPLETE RECORDING SESSIONS 1962-2012
Some facts about ‘Continental Drift’ by The Rolling Stones (from Songfacts):
In 1989, The Rolling Stones went to Tangier, Morocco for three days to record this song with the Master Musicians of Jajouka led by Bachir Attar for the Stones’ album Steel Wheels. After the recording sessions, Mick Jagger visited the village of Jajouka, which Brian Jones had visited in 1968. This song marked a return to the world music The Stones experimented with in the ’60s.
The squeal at the beginning is Keith Richards scraping a knife against a bicycle wheel.
About ‘Continental Drift’ by The Rolling Stones (from the The Rolling Stones – All the Songs book):
With “Continental Drift,” were the Stones following along the path pioneered by the Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Peter Gabriel, and Talking Heads, who had been some of the first to combine Eastern and Western musical influences? It may be tempting to think so, but on the other hand it should not be forgotten that, under the aegis of Brian Jones, the London quintet had developed an interest in sonorities from outside Europe as early as the mid-sixties, as can be heard on “Paint It Black” and the albums Aftermath and Their Satanic Majesties Request.
“Continental Drift” enabled the Stones to go a step further. In an interview with Rolling Stone in 1989 with David Fricke, Mick Jagger explained the band’s need to move on to something else: “The hard-rock thing just took over, and we lost a little bit of sensitivity and adventure. And it’s boring just doing hard rock all the time. You gotta bounce it around a little.” Mick Jagger wrote “Continental Drift” in Barbados. “I woke up one morning,” says Richards in the same interview, “to find Mick playing this thing on the keyboard. And I thought, ‘Ah, that’s nice, that reminds me of Morocco.’” A few days later, Mick and Keith were in Tangier to meet the Master Musicians of Joujouka, the Moroccan group recorded by Brian Jones twenty years before. Musically, “Continental Drift” is therefore a stirring homage to Brian Jones! And so too are the words: Love comes at the speed of light… It’s as pure as silver/It’s as pure as gold…
Categories: Can You Hear the Music?