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Rolling Stones songs: Doom and Gloom
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I crash landed in a Louisiana swamp/ Shot up a horde of zombies but I come out on top…
Written by: Jagger/Richards
Recorded: Studio Guillaume Tell, Suresnes, France, Aug. 20-23 2012
Guest musicians: Darryl Jones (bass), Chuck Leavell (keyboards), Emile Haynie (drum programing)
*Data taken from Martin Elliott’s book THE ROLLING STONES COMPLETE RECORDING SESSIONS 1962-2012
This hard-rocking, Louisiana bluesy number is one of two brand new songs taken from the Rolling Stones’ hits collection, GRRR!. It finds Mick Jagger railing about various travails and was recorded in Paris and produced by Don Was. The French session marked the first time Jagger, Keith Richards, Charlie Watts and Ronnie Wood had been in the studio together since completing A Bigger Bang seven years previously. The song received its first airplay at 8.15am (BST) on BBC Radio 2 when DJ Chris Evans played it twice, back to back.
This was the first original Rolling Stones song to chart on the UK singles chart in nearly six and a half years. Their previous entry was “Biggest Mistake,” which peaked at #51 in June 2006.
Jonas Akerlund directed the song’s music video. The longtime Madonna visual collaborator filmed the footage of the Stones playing behind closed doors in a Paris warehouse, while they were rehearsing for their 50th anniversary shows. The apocalyptic clip stars Noomi Rapace, who we see having a series of bizarre and violent dreams as she sleeps next door to The Stones. The Swedish actress is best known for her portrayal of Lisbeth Salander in the trilogy: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, The Girl Who Played with Fire and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets’ Nest, as well as the lead role of Dr. Elizabeth Shaw in the Ridley Scott science fiction film Prometheus.
Speaking with Esquire magazine, Keith Richards said this was laid down very quickly. “I don’t think the Stones have ever cut a track so fast,” he said. “It was like three takes and – boom! We were like looking at each other and going, ‘Got anything else?’ It was amazingly quick. The Stones are amazing that way, their chemistry and their energy when they get together. The hard bit with the Stones is getting them together.”
The song was produced by Jeff Bhasker, who has also worked with Kanye West, Alicia Keys and Fun. Jagger came up with the original idea for the song. The Rolling Stones frontman then sent Bhasker a few ideas before their session. “Watching Mick come up with the lyrics to that song, I thought he just killed it; the lines are so good,” he recalled to American Songwriter magazine. “There’s social references, it’s ballsy, he’s talking about zombies and planes crashing. It’s crazy.”
Keith Richards, July 2013: “At first I said, Hey Mick, ‘Doom and Gloom’ is a kind of weird title for a 50-year celebration, you know? But you know what the Stones are like, it’s always against the grain. But he came up with it and it’s a great track and a really quite ‘funny’ song, actually – there are some great lyrics.”
This features keyboardist Chuck Leavell on organ. When the song was released, Leavell explained: “The song sounds a lot different than the title. The theme is that he [Mick Jagger] is talking to a girl saying, ‘All I hear from you is doom and gloom – let’s go party, let’s go dance.’ It’s an uptempo tune.”
From the The Rolling Stones – All the Songs book:
For the studio reunion of Mick, Keith, Charlie, and Ronnie, their first for
seven years (since A Bigger Bang), the Glimmer Twins appear not to have
been in the best of spirits. Or, more accurately, it was Mick Jagger who was
out of sorts, for after all he was the main songwriter (words and music)
behind “Doom and Gloom.” The scenario is bleak, if not downright
terrifying. The Stones singer has had a bad dream in which he is at the
controls of an airplane, whose passengers are drunk and insane. The plane
crashes in a Louisiana swamp and is attacked by a horde of zombies. All I
hear is doom and gloom, sings Mick Jagger. In this song, another example
of an apocalyptic tableau in a Stones number, the only glimmer of hope is
the face of a beautiful stranger glimpsed in the night… Producer Jeff
Bhasker recalls the day when Mick wrote the words to the song: “Watching
Mick come up with the lyrics to that song, I thought he just killed it; the
lines are so good. There’s social references, it’s ballsy, he’s talking about
zombies and planes crashing. It’s crazy.”
“Doom and Gloom” was the first original composition to be released by
the Stones (on October 11, 2012, one month before the compilation GRRR!)
since “Biggest Mistake” in August 2006. It peaked at number 61 in the
United Kingdom and at number 30 on the Billboard Rock Songs chart.
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