rolling stones slipping away 1989Can You Hear the Music?


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Rolling Stones songs: Slipping Away
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Just as you have touched my heart/ I wake up babe and we’re apart…

Written by: Jagger/Richards
Recorded: Air Studios, Montserrat, March 29-Apr. 1989; Olympic Sound Studios, May 15-June 29 1989
Guest musicians: Chuck Leavell (organ and piano), Matt Clifford (electric piano), The Kick Horns (brass), Lisa Fischer, Sarah Dash and Bernard Fowler (backing 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:
Keith Richards may be the unsurpassed master of the rock ’n’ roll riff, but
he is also a fine composer of ballads, a musical form in which he expressed
himself more and more as one album followed the next. “I like ballads.
Also, you learn about songwriting from slow songs. You get a better rock &
roll song by writing it slow to start with, and seeing where it can go.
Sometimes it’s obvious that it can’t go fast, whereas ‘Sympathy for the
Devil’ started out as a Bob Dylan song and ended up as a samba.”
“Slipping Away” is a dream that disappears little by little, a love that
gradually fades away. Happiness is ephemeral: such is the message Keith
Richards seems to be conveying. Does it even exist other than in our
imagination and fantasies? Drifting away… Slipping away, sings Keith
Richards. Might he also have been thinking of the ultimate journey to the
next world that we all have to make one day?

“Slipping Away” is the very last Stones album track on which Bill Wyman
would play (with the exception of the two previously unreleased studio
tracks on Flashpoint, 1991). The bassist was to bow out in 1993, but for the
time being he provides solid support with the same skill and subtlety that he
had been bringing to bear since 1963. Charlie responds to his bass line with
feeling and a certain swing. This very beautiful Keith ballad provides an
opportunity to hear Richards, who was gradually becoming a serious rival
to Mick, singing with a certain patina to his voice. Meanwhile, Mick
contents himself with singing backing vocals alongside the three talented
backing singers who light up the entire track. Chuck Leavell provides a fine
accompaniment on organ as well as piano, playing with all the lyricism of
Nicky Hopkins, while Matt Clifford plays electric piano and also produces
string pads on the synthesizer (1:08). The Kick Horns make a discreet
contribution, coloring the harmonies with some good arrangements. As for
the guitars, Keith and Ronnie share the rhythm work, playing in a funky
rock style. Keith also distinguishes himself by playing a short solo with
excellent phrasing on his Sadowsky Nylon String guitar (2:30). Finally, a
tambourine can be heard from 3:12. “Slipping Away” brings Steel Wheels
to something of an unusual close.

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