rolling stones I'm going down 1969Can You Hear the Music?


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Rolling Stones songs: I’m Going Down
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Oh babe, what’s your fairy tale/ The good lord’s gonna ring your front door bell…

Written by: Jagger/Richard/Taylor
Recorded: Olympic Sound Studios, London, England, June 5-July 3 1969; Sunset Sound Studios, Los Angeles, USA, Oct.18-Nov.2; Olympic Sound Studios, London, England, July 14-15 1970
Guest musicians: Stephen Stills (guitar), Bill Plummer (bass), Bobby Keys (sax), Rocky Dijon (bongos)
*Data taken from Martin Elliott’s book THE ROLLING STONES COMPLETE RECORDING SESSIONS 1962-2012

From the The Rolling Stones – All the Songs book:
The final track on Metamorphosis is also the best—at least for all those who
consider Keith Richards’s guitar riffs to capture the Rolling Stones magic.
The lyrics count for little, even if the image of God ringing someone’s
doorbell and the notion of an uncontrollable urge to kill a mother-in-law
and flee to Mexico have the merit, at least, of being clear. In truth, they are
subservient to the rhythm of this irresistible rock number that recalls
“Brown Sugar” and “All Down the Line.”

There are those who suggest that Keith Richards may not have played on
“I’m Going Down,” but in that case, Stephen Stills (of Crosby, Stills, Nash
& Young) has done an amazing job of imitating him! Is this possible? The

handiwork of the master is so distinct, from the very first chord, that it is
difficult to believe. He may have contributed more modestly than usual, but
there only seems to be one guitar on the entire track. A plausible
explanation would be that Stephen Stills did indeed collaborate on the
session, but that his guitar has been buried in the mix. Similarly, the name
of upright bass player Bill Plummer is mentioned by some (he would later
play on a few tracks on Exile on Main St.). It has to be recognized, however,
that the bass on the track is electric, in all likelihood played—excellently!—
by Mick Taylor. Charlie Watts’s drumming, combining swing, power, and
groove, is of a high caliber, with Jimmy Miller’s advice paying dividends.
On the other hand, Rocky Dijon’s congas do not sit well with the pure, hard
rock of this number, as their Latin flavor is out of keeping with the vibe.
The same goes for Bobby Keys’s sax, which, despite a good performance, is
not well-integrated into the track and has little in common with his solo on
“Brown Sugar.” The problem for both one and the other, however, almost
certainly stems from the mixing, which is very mediocre. Mick Jagger does
not give one of his best performances. His voice doesn’t really take off, and
this is a pity, because with a little more work, “I’m Going Down” could
have been a great track. And the Stones must have believed this themselves
as they seem to have worked on it back in 1969 (Olympic Studios, Sunset
Sound Studios, and/or Electra Studios) before returning to it for the final
time in July 1970.

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