rolling stones bridges to babylon low downCan You Hear the Music?


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Rolling Stones songs: Low Down
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Please give me the low down/ I can only get it from you…

Written by: Jagger/Richards
Recorded: Ocean Way Recording Studios, Hollywood, USA, March-July 1997
Guest musicians: Waddy Wachtel (guitar), Blondie Chaplin (bass, maracas and background vocals), Joe Sublett (saxophone), Darrell Leonard (trumpet), Jim Keltner (shaker), Bernard Fowler (background vocals)
*Data taken from Martin Elliott’s book THE ROLLING STONES COMPLETE RECORDING SESSIONS 1962-2012

From the The Rolling Stones – All the Songs book:
“Low Down” is the first song written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards
for Bridges to Babylon in the studio, with the Stones singer demoing the
drums, and Keith, naturally enough, picking up the guitar. Although
denoting the strand of blues that has remained most faithful to its
Mississippi Delta roots, the term low down is used here in the sense of just
give me the truth. A man asks his partner not to give him the sports or
political news, nor to pass on the gossip, but to tell him the truth about the
state of their relationship, to reveal a future that cannot be gleaned from any
horoscope… The Rolling Stones only performed “Low Down” during their
1997–1998 tour.

And to think that the Stones were afraid of losing their soul as a result of
the new production methods unwisely solicited by Mick! “Low Down” is a
rock number with an impressive sound and groove that takes the Stones
back to a level of quality they had not attained for quite a while. Once
again, Keith Richards, the eternal riff master, opens this track, most likely
on a 5-string Telecaster in open G. His guitar sound is fabulous, with an
impact like an instant uppercut. Charlie Watts joins him with an excellent
drum part in which he rediscovers a feel, derived from the late Jimmy
Miller, that he seemed to have forgotten over the last few albums. Worth
emphasizing is the support provided on the shaker by Jim Keltner, a
talented drummer and percussionist who had recorded with John Lennon,
George Harrison, Eric Clapton, and Bob Dylan. Another important factor is
the enormous and highly impressive bass of Blondie Chaplin. And then
there is Mick’s voice, which is absolutely impeccable, and far removed
from its perpetually strained timbre of the eighties. In the melody of its
refrains, “Low Down” is reminiscent of Led Zeppelin, and it has to be said
that this impression is boosted by the guitar playing of Keith, Ronnie (on
rhythm and slide), and Waddy. The three share an excellent break at 2:08,
with Wachtel apparently on lead. This is highly effective and makes for a
powerful pickup back into the track. The horns of Darrell Leonard and Joe
Sublett are difficult to make out, although they can be heard in the refrains.
Meanwhile, the backing vocalists contribute a very appealing pop flavor to
the track.

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