rolling stones bridges to babylon might as well get juicedCan You Hear the Music?


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Rolling Stones songs: Might As Well Get Juiced
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And the wolves are howling right at your door/ And the vultures want to tear off some more…

Written by: Jagger/Richards
Recorded: Ocean Way Recording Studios, Hollywood, USA, March 13-July 1997
Guest musicians: Waddy Wachtel (guitar), Doug Wimbish (bass)
*Data taken from Martin Elliott’s book THE ROLLING STONES COMPLETE RECORDING SESSIONS 1962-2012

From the The Rolling Stones – All the Songs book:
Wolves howling at the door, vultures waiting for their chance, children who
kick their parents out of their home. What could possibly be the link
between all these elements, other than a desire on the part of Mick Jagger to
create an apocalyptic atmosphere? Or perhaps the singer simply had fun
picking words at random from a rhyming dictionary: sump and hump (of a
camel in this case), abused and juiced. As so often in Stones songs, the
lyrics to “Might as Well Get Juiced” are subservient to the music, and more
precisely, in this instance, to the beat laid down by Charlie Watts. This does
not alter the fact that the song is one of the most original on the album. A
“fake blues for the ’90s,” is how Mick Jagger has described it. Or, if one
prefers, the fruit of an encounter between the Stones, servants of the twelve-
bar blues since the beginning of the sixties, and the Dust Brothers (John
King and Mike Simpson), who were catalysts not merely of alternative
rock, but of hip-hop and electronic music as well.

The start of this track is somewhat reminiscent of the VCS-3 on “Won’t Get
Fooled Again” by the Who. Mick Jagger would later describe how,
surrounded by synthesizers, he amused himself by producing a multitude of
sounds that led to the composition of “Might as Well Get Juiced.” With this
sonority, generated right from the intro by a kind of arpeggiator, which
dominates the entire track, one could be forgiven for fearing an incursion
from the Stones into the world of electronic rock. But this song has a big
surprise in store: it is actually a blues revisited to great effect by the Dust
Brothers. Charlie’s drumming, which has clearly been put on a loop, is
superbly hypnotic and radiates a murky atmosphere in which Mick happily
immerses himself, his voice presumably distorted by a sound effect such as
a flanger or phasing. Another key element on this track is the bass. The
house sound produced by Doug Wimbish, bassist with the Sugarhill Gang
and Grandmaster Flash, is powerful and gives the impression of having
been realized on a sequencer. (It is interesting to note that the bass falls
away on the bridges.) Ronnie excels with some good phrases on slide, and
Keith plays some effective rhythm, while Waddy is also on guitar, in a
supporting role. Finally, Mick plays another excellent harmonica solo at

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