rolling stones wish I'd never met you 1989Can You Hear the Music?


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Rolling Stones songs: Wish I’d Never Met You

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And I wish that I forgot her/ And I’ll buy another drink/ And all the love you’ve taken back/ Was all that took me sane…

*UK B-side of Mixed Emotions
Written by: Jagger/Richards
Recorded: AIR Studios, Montserrat, West Indies, March-Apr. 1989; Olympic Studios, London, England, May-June 1989
Guest musicians: Chuck Leavell (piano)
*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:
The hero of this song does not pull his punches. He wishes he had never met the woman who has thrown his life into disarray, but he is so much in love that he has become a slave to his passion. He has tried to forget her but to no avail, and the time has come for regrets… “Wish I’d Never Met You” seems to date back to the Dirty Work sessions and 1985. It was during the recording of Steel Wheels (1989), however, that the number was finally cut, with Chuck Leavell on the piano. This is a Chicago-style blues in the spirit of the timeless music of Howlin’ Wolf. Left off the track listing of Steel Wheels, “Wish I’d Never Met You” was chosen as the B-side for two singles: “Almost Hear You Sigh” and “Terrifying.”

There are B-sides that the Stones tossed out as quickly as possible and others, such as “Anyway You Look at It” (the B-side of “Saint of Me,” 1998) that they carefully honed. Unfortunately, “Wish I’d Never Met You” belongs in the first category. The track is badly constructed, there was no time to write a melody for the bridge (2:35), and none of the musicians seem motivated (to say the least). Mick sings with little enthusiasm. He swallows his words, seems unsure of the tune, and gives the impression of not being particularly convinced by the results. The same goes for Charlie, whose playing is totally lacking in groove. The drummer also botches snare drum rolls (4:14) and slows down and speeds up the tempo. Bill, in turn, seems listless. Ronnie plays slide but is in no better form than the others. He gives the impression of rehearsing the song rather than recording it, and his solos at 1:38 and 2:20 are hardly unforgettable. Keith, who is on rhythm guitar, forgets to stop playing his chord on the break at 0:55, and the remainder of his accompaniment is pretty unconvincing. The only one who seems rather more focused is Chuck Leavell, who delivers a strong piano part. When all is said and done, however, it is difficult to hold this mediocre performance against the Stones. They were perhaps planning to rework “Wish I’d Never Met You,” but in the end, no doubt for some reason or another, left it as it was. It is a drop in the ocean and matters not a jot.

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