Rolling Stones unreleased: Bulldog (early version of ‘LITTLE T & A’)
*Click for MORE STONES UNRELEASED TRACKS
Written by: Jagger/Richards
Recorded: Compass Point Studios, Nassau, Bahamas, Jan. 18-Feb. 12 1979
*Data taken from Martin Elliott’s book THE ROLLING STONES COMPLETE RECORDING SESSIONS 1962-2012
Epitomizing the swagger that the Rolling Stones regain every time Keith Richards digs into one of his patented riffs or steps up to growl into the microphone, “Little T&A” makes no pretensions: It is a big dumb rock & roll song about sex, set to an easily identifiable Richards groove. The song, as with most of the 1981 LP Tattoo You, was dug up from an earlier session and dusted off by engineer Chris Kimsey, along with Mick Jagger. Renowned remixer Bob Clearmountain managed to pull tracks — spanning over eight years and studios on different continents — together into a cohesive-sounding record.
This track, recorded during the 1979 Emotional Rescue sessions, is one of Tattoo You’s freshest recordings. The guitars are the thing here, and Clearmountain brings out a crisp sound from them that is at once retro and contemporary in the way that many so-called new wave bands embraced old rockabilly sounds like slap-back delay. The Stones toy with drum and guitar breaks, deconstructing the song’s riff and rebuilding it, giving the recording a jaunty, dancy spirit.
The lyrics — with a chorus just repeating “She’s my little rock & roll/Her tits and ass with soul, baby/She’s my little rock & roll” — almost succeed at attaining the sort of anthemic slogan status of past Stones songs like “It’s Only Rock & Roll” and “You Can’t Always Get What You Want.” Richards sings a few verses about an illicit affair, a one-night stand: “Joint’s rocking, could be anytime at all/But the bitch keeps bitching, the snitcher keeps snitching/Dropping names and telephone numbers and all, well.”
Richards noted in a 1981 interview: “Well, that song’s just about every good time I’ve had with somebody I’d met for a night or two and never seen again. And also about the s*** that sometimes goes down when you just sort of bump into people unknowingly, and not knowing the scene you’re walking in on, you know? You pick up a chick and end up spending the night in the TANK, you know?”
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