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Rolling Stones songs: Lies
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Lies, lies you dirty Jezebel/ Why, why, why, why don’t you go to hell?,,,
Written by: Jagger/Richard
Recorded: EMI Pathé Marconi Studios, Paris, France, Oct. 10-Dec. 1977/Jan. 5-March 2 1978
*Data taken from Martin Elliott’s book THE ROLLING STONES COMPLETE RECORDING SESSIONS 1962-2012
From the The Rolling Stones – All the Songs book:
“Lies” is again one hundred percent Mick Jagger. This time, the singer targets liars of all kinds, from the girlfriend who whispers sweetly in the ear of her boyfriend, to the authors of history books, and even to the lies in my papa’s looks. This builds into a dark, almost nihilistic vision of the world that can be seen as an echo, of sorts, of the “No future” slogan of the
“Blank Generation.” “Lies” is the Stones’ response (over a rhythm Steve Jones, the Sex Pistols’ guitarist, would have had difficulty following) to criticisms from bands on the punk rock scene that they were no longer relevant. The song would be included in their set list for the 1978 US tour (beginning at Lakeland, Florida, on June 10, and ending in Oakland, California, on July 26)
It looks as if the Stones meant to prove that they too could play fast, using few chords and making a sound that was distinctly rough around the edges. But they were rich, all were over thirty, they were recording in a sophisticated studio even though the equipment was modest, and they had few worries for the future. This meant their approach was inevitably based on a false premise, however noble the sentiment. But it is difficult to hold this against them. “Lies” is a good, high-energy rock number. It may be somewhat lacking in substance, and not of the same caliber as “Rip This Joint,” but the production is excellent. In particular, the guitar sound is perfect, Keith and Ron trading interweaving riffs, and Mick playing a rhythm part that helps to create a deliberate “garage band” feel. Ronnie (probably) plays a well-constructed solo, although without really taking off, because he tends to stick too closely to the other guitars. Charlie is excellent on his Gretsch kit. He pounds away determinedly on his drums and cymbals, and is supported by the majestic Bill, whose bass has a very clear, clean sound. As for Mick, he is obviously completely at ease in rock numbers of this type, but succumbs too much to caricature and overdoes it a little. This is a shame. However, there’s no getting away from the fact that the Stones have an advantage over the punk musicians: they really know how to play. As for writing hits, they can do that too. When they’re not trying to prove something to themselves.
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