rolling stones walkin' thru the sleepy city 1964Can You Hear the Music?


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Rolling Stones songs: (Walkin’ Thru) the Sleepy City
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No one listens to what people say/ I just sit and hear the radio play…

Written by: Jagger/Richard
Recorded: Pye Studios and Decca Studios, London, England, Aug. 31-Sept. 4 1964
Guest musicians: Jim Sullivan (gtr)/John McLaughlin (guitar)/ Jimmy Page (guitar, maybe bass)/Joe Moretti (guitar)/John Paul Jones (maybe bass/ Andy White (drums)/Christine Ohlman (backing vocals)/Doug Schlink (guitar)
*Data taken from Martin Elliott’s book THE ROLLING STONES COMPLETE RECORDING SESSIONS 1962-2012

From the The Rolling Stones – All the Songs book:
This is a song on the theme of solitude in a city at night in which no light burns. Until, that is, a young woman makes her appearance… This song, like the majority of those written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards when they first started out, at Andrew Loog Oldham’s urging, is light-years away from those they would later compose. It has a romantic side that comes as something of a surprise on the part of the future Glimmer Twins, who nevertheless capture the spirit of the times very well. This is a pop song with a Spector-like vibe.

This helps to explain why the Rolling Stones were not the first to introduce the number to the general public. That honor fell to the Mighty Avengers—another group managed by Andrew Loog Oldham—who released it as a single in July 1965, albeit unsuccessfully, by contrast with “So Much in Love,” another Jagger-Richards song with which the group had reached number 46 on the British hit parade the previous year.
(ref. walkin’ thru the sleepy city)

A riff played on electric guitar with heavy reverb opens this new song intended to augment Oldham’s publishing catalog and incidentally swell the coffers of Mick Jagger and Keith Richards. In addition to the omnipresent influence of Phil Spector, it is also possible to detect that of the Beach Boys, whose one dream in their early days, amusingly enough, was to rival the master of the wall of sound. This session held at the end of summer 1964 once again took place within the context of the Andrew Oldham Orchestra, of which Mike Leander was the arranger and musical director (at least for this song)

Of all the Stones, it is likely that only Mick Jagger took part in the recording, but he does not seem particularly motivated in his performance, which is distinctly lacking in conviction and punch. The drummer (Andy White?) adopts a style similar to that of Hal Blaine, the piano part is very well crafted (by Reg Guest?), and the various guitarists, almost certainly including the excellent Doug Schlink, provide a very good accompaniment. Finally, to reinforce the Spector-like sound world, tubular bells, castanets, and hand claps can be heard.
(ref. walkin’ thru the sleepy city)

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