October 26, 2013

101 Reel-To-Reel Tapes 11: Rolling Stones ~ Beggar’s Banquet

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In addition to my vinyl collection I'm selling, I have hundreds of reel-to-reel, pre-recorded tapes I'm selling. This is an entry about one of them that was for sale on eBay (see link below for others). I have the vinyl LP version as well. Interested? Contact me by email, please, not by a comment.


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Beggar's Banquet was not one of my favorite albums by The Rolling Stones but it did contain one of my favorite songs by them. Sympathy for the devil has to be one of the most vivid commentaries on the evil man does to man ever written. The congas, played by Rocky Dijon, add excitement and syncopation to the driving beat of the song. It is exciting to see it performed in concert; you just get up and dance, you can't help yourself.  Written by Mick Jagger, the lyrics are profound; I've put them below.

A cover of the song, with a Dracula-like (read Bela Lugosi) voice reciting rather than singing the intro, was made by the Slovenian, avant-garde group, Laibach. The name "Laibach" is the German name for Slovenia's capital city, Ljubljana.

Universal Studios
photographer unknown

A very deep, raspy, gruff and thoroughly scary bass voice takes over during the intro and the song goes into a moderately slow, extremely heavy, march beat that is startling. The new voice also recites the lyrics rather than singing them. The congas are present again, however, they are sporadic, echoey and sinister this time. Tubular bells bring the song to it's conclusion. It is quite a frightening interpretation, to say the least, but it is brilliantly executed (and executed is the right word to use here). There is a fantastic video of their cover of the song with very creative imaging on YouTube (see link below). It was directed by Peter Vezjack in 1988 and shot on location in the caves of Skocjan and the Predjama Castle (which has a fascinating history) in Slovenia (formerly Yugoslavia).

On the other hand, Salt of the Earth is a beautiful tribute to the working man of the world. The Los Angeles Watts Street Gospel Choir provides a gospel-like backing to the song. It was recorded at London's Olympic Sound Studios from May until July in 1968.

The rest of the songs are in the good-as-usual Rolling Stones style of Rock-'n'-Roll song writing and performing. More details on the album below the images as well as links to the songs mentioned on YouTube so you can hear them for yourself, if you'd like.


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 Tracklist

Side one    

1. Sympathy for the Devil               6:18
2. No Expectations                         3:56
3. Dear Doctor                                3:28
4. Parachute Woman                      2:20
5. Jigsaw Puzzle                             6:06

Side two    

1. Street Fighting Man                    3:16
2. Prodigal Son (Robert Wilkins)    2:51
3. Stray Cat Blues                          4:38
4. Factory Girl                                2:09
5. Salt of the Earth                         4:48


Personnel:

The Rolling Stones

Mick Jagger – lead and backing vocals

Keith Richards – acoustic, electric and slide guitar, bass guitar on "Sympathy for the Devil" and "Street Fighting Man," backing vocals, lead vocals on opening of "Salt of the Earth"

Brian Jones – slide guitar on "No Expectations", harmonica on "Parachute Woman", "Dear Doctor" and "Prodigal Son", Mellotron on "Jig-Saw Puzzle" and "Stray Cat Blues" and sitar and tanbur on "Street Fighting Man", backing vocals on "Sympathy for the Devil", tambourine on "Dear Doctor"

Charlie Watts – drums, backing vocals and cowbell on "Sympathy for the Devil," clave on "No Expectations," tabla on "Factory Girl"

Bill Wyman – bass guitar, upright bass on "Dear Doctor" and "Parachute Woman," backing vocals and maracas on "Sympathy for the Devil"

Additional personnel

Nicky Hopkins – piano on "Sympathy for the Devil," "Stray Cat Blues," "Salt of the Earth," "Jigsaw Puzzle," and "No Expectations", organ on "No Expectations"

Rocky Dijon (Rocky Dzidzornu) – congas on "Sympathy for the Devil," "Stray Cat Blues," and "Factory Girl"

Ric Grech – fiddle on "Factory Girl"

Dave Mason – shehnai on "Street Fighting Man", mellotron (mandolin setting) on "Factory Girl"

Jimmy Miller – backing vocals on "Sympathy for the Devil"

Watt Street Gospel Choir – backing vocals on "Salt of the Earth"


Music links:

Sympathy for the Devil (live performance by the Stones) is on YouTube
Sympathy for the Devil (Laibach cover) is on YouTube
Salt of the Earth is on YouTube
Beggar's Banquet (complete album) is on YouTube


Sympathy For The Devil Lyrics
Please allow me to introduce myself
I'm a man of wealth and taste
I've been around for a long, long year
Stole many a man's soul and fate

I was 'round when Jesus Christ
Had his moments of doubt and pain
Made damn sure that Pilate
Washed his hands and sealed his fate

Pleased to meet you
Hope you guess my name, oh yeah
But what's puzzling you
Is the nature of my game

I stuck around St. Petersburg
When I saw it was a time for a change
Killed the Czar and his ministers
Anastasia screamed in vain

I rode a tank
Held a General's rank
When the Blitzkrieg raged
And the bodies stank

Pleased to meet you
Hope you guess my name, oh yeah
What's puzzling you
Is the nature of my game, oh yeah

I watched the glee
While your kings and queens
Fought for ten decades
For the Gods they made

I shouted out
"Who killed the Kennedys?"
Well after all
It was you and me

Let me please introduce myself
I'm a man of wealth and taste
And I laid traps for troubadours
Who get killed before they reached Bombay

Pleased to meet you
Hope you guess my name, oh yeah
But what's puzzling you
Is the nature of my game, oh yeah

Pleased to meet you
Hope you guess my name, oh yeah
But what's confusing you
Is just the nature of my game, ooh yeah

Just as every cop is a criminal
And all the sinners saints
As heads is tails just call me Lucifer
I'm in need of some restraint

So if you meet me, have some courtesy
Have some sympathy and some taste
Use all your well learned politics
Or I'll lay your soul to waste, mmm yeah

Pleased to meet you
Hope you guess my name, mmm yeah
But what's puzzling you
Is the nature of my game, get down
Woo hoo, ah yeah, get on down, oh yeah
Tell me, baby, what's my name?
Tell me, honey, baby guess my name
Tell me, baby, what's my name?
I'll ya one time you're to blame
What's my name?
Tell me, baby, what's my name?
Tell me, sweetie, what's my name?

Songwriters
JAGGER, MICK / RICHARDS, KEITH
Published by
Lyrics © ABKCO Music Inc.


Rolling Stones ~ Beggar’s Banquet, Reel-To-Reel Tape on eBay

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more reel-to-reel tapes on the Styrous® Viewfinder:
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Thanks for the great tunes Guys.


Styrous® ~ October 26, 2013



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