rolling stones cook cook blues 1989Can You Hear the Music?


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Rolling Stones songs: Cook Cook Blues
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Bad, bad, bad loving baby/ And I lay out my love alright…

*B-side of the ‘Rock And A Hard Place’ single
Also known as: Call Girl Blues
Written by: Jagger/Richards
Recorded: EMI Pathé Marconi Studios, Paris, France, Nov. 11-Dec. 16 1982; Olympic Sound Studios, London, England, May 15-June 29 1989
Guest musicians: Ian Stewart and Chuck Leavell (piano)
*Data taken from Martin Elliott’s book THE ROLLING STONES COMPLETE RECORDING SESSIONS 1962-2012

From the The Rolling Stones – All the Songs book:
“Cook Cook Blues” has the air of one of those tracks that were improvised
by the Stones over the immortal blues chords by way of preparation for a
long session in the studio. It took shape during the recording of Undercover
at the Pathé Marconi Studios in November and December 1982 (most
probably November 11), with Ian Stewart and Chuck Leavell on keyboards.
Seven years later, the Stones returned to it when recording the various
tracks for Steel Wheels at Olympic Sound Studios in London. It was at this
point that Mick Jagger is thought to have written the words, which he sings
to a rhythm infused with the boogie-woogie of the Old South.
“Cook Cook Blues” is not on any album, but the Rolling Stones decided
to make it the B-side of “Rock and a Hard Place” (which is 1:20 shorter
than the album version). The single was released on November 4, 1989.
“Rock and a Hard Place” peaked at number 23 in the United States and
number 63 in the United Kingdom.

This is another twelve-bar blues, like so many played by the Stones.
Although there is nothing startlingly new about it, playing the blues is
something they did regularly as a way of getting back to their roots. It is
true that “Cook Cook Blues” is more of a jam than an original composition,
but what room is there for innovation in a genre that has been rehashed over
the course of decades? Furthermore, what is not to enjoy about listening to
the late lamented Stu playing an impassioned boogie-woogie piano part one
more time? The track starts with a fade-in to what turns out to be a veritable
feast of solo guitar offered up by Keith and Ronnie, the former in a very
pure style and the latter with slide. The two of them alternate in this fashion
all the way to the final note of the track. Chuck Leavell has found a place at
the heart of the band, with a very good organ part that sounds as if it could
be a Hammond B-3. Charlie and Bill lay down such a well-oiled groove
that they could almost be playing with their eyes shut. As for Mick, his
inimitable voice is able to glide through this blues with the greatest of ease,
and there can be only one regret: that he does not play the harmonica on this track.

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