rolling stones cool calm and collected 1966Can You Hear the Music?


Rolling Stones songs: Cool, Calm and Collected
*Click for 

In public the strain’s heard to bear/ She exudes such a confident air…

Written by: Jagger/Richard
Recorded: RCA Studios, Hollywood, USA, Aug. 3-7 1966; Olympic Sound Studios, London, England, Nov. 9-Dec. 6 1966
Guest musicians: Nicky Hopkins (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:
Cool, calm, and collected. The girl described by Mick Jagger possesses
many assets. And on top of everything else, she is wealthy, knows who to
smile to, and knows all the right games to play
. Can we detect some heavy
irony here? A line such as And her teeth ready, sharpened to bite hints at, if
not contempt, at least a certain ridiculing of this powerful woman who uses
and abuses people in order to get what she wants.

In “Cool, Calm and Collected,” the Rolling Stones conspicuously embrace
a music-hall or vaudeville style. This song is reminiscent of the Kinks, in
particular the tracks “Party Line” and “Little Miss Queen of Darkness” on
the album Face to Face, released in October 1966. Once again, Brian Jones
seems to take great pleasure in bestowing a unique character on the number.
Having abandoned his guitars, he now returns to the dulcimer (see “Lady
Jane”), this time his Vox Bijou electric model. His playing is not exactly
faultless, but even with the mediocre timing and tuning, he makes an
essential contribution to the track. He would also seem to be responsible for
the kazoo solo (1:13) a first on any Stones record, and the harmonica solo in
the coda. Keith is on rhythm guitar, no doubt his Guild M-65 Freshman, and
also uses his Fender Precision to shadow Bill in some of the refrains.
Wyman delivers an excellent picked bass line, providing Charlie with
support in setting an impeccable groove. Mick, not always at ease on the
high notes, compensates with a performance that is halfway between rock
and Broadway musical. Above all, “Cool, Calm and Collected” gives the
listener an opportunity to discover Nicky Hopkins, whose excellent
ragtime-style piano contributes a quirky, vaudeville character to the number.
The piano also plays the intro, which bears a certain resemblance to Billy
Preston’s “Nothing from Nothing” (1974). Another unusual aspect of
“Cool, Calm and Collected” is the tempo, which suddenly begins to speed
up from 3:08. The sound is drowned in reverb from around 3:45, with a
panoramic left/right stereo effect that grows frantic at 4:07. Laughter can be
heard at the end (4:12), no doubt as a result of the hellish tempo arrived at
by the group.

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