rolling stones under the radar 2005Can You Hear the Music?


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Rolling Stones songs: Under the Radar

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You changed your number/ To try to bait me/ I phoned your mother… yes/ She tried to date me…

Written by: Jagger/Richard
Recorded: Ocean Way Recording Studios, Los Angeles, USA, June 2005
*Data taken from Martin Elliott’s book THE ROLLING STONES COMPLETE RECORDING SESSIONS 1962-2012

From the The Rolling Stones – All the Songs, The Story Behind Every Track book:
“Under the Radar” obviously means something that cannot be detected, but it is also a synonym of underground, meaning “counterculture” as opposed to mainstream culture. You say you want me / And then you taunt me / Try to reform me / You drive me crazy, go Mick’s words. The narrator of this song wants to be seen as a protector of the woman he loves, but he’s torn by her seemingly hot and cold reception toward him. He tries to warn her of the dangerous and harmful nature of her boyfriend, who is “rich” but “smarmy” and seemingly bent on making her suffer. “Under the Radar,” recorded partly in June 2004 and partly in June 2005, was dropped from the selection of tracks for A Bigger Bang. It can only be found on the DVD A Bigger Bang Special Edition.

From the very first bars of “Under the Radar,” we hear the unique characteristic of the Stones: guitars that interlock perfectly with one another. Charlie hits his drums in a style somewhere between rock and jazz, and Jagger’s voice emerges with its now-legendary sarcastic tone, developed over forty years of performing blues and rock. This piece takes a lot from “Child of the Moon” (the famous B-side of “Jumpin’ Jack Flash,” 1968), especially in the very Stones-style guitar riff shared between Mick and Keith. The melodic line with Sir Mick’s drawling voice and Richards’s vocal harmonies recall the music of the 1960s. Ron Wood, on slide guitar, first plays along with the rhythm guitars and then takes a solo at the end, although it’s unfortunately mixed so that it sounds too distant.

It is possible that Mick is also playing the bass on this track, though this is unconfirmed. Despite a rather unfortunate bridge passage and some oscillation in the production, “Under the Radar” could have been a good choice for the album. Perhaps it’s the track’s resemblance to “Child of the Moon” that caused the band to drop the song. Whatever the reason, it is still an excellent song

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