In 1975, about to go on tour with Ron Wood and unable to get Black and Blue out in time, the Stones released Made in the Shade, a canon-building, tour-supporting compilation drawn from their four most recent albums: Sticky Fingers, Exile on Main Street, Goats Head Soup, and It’s Only Rock and Roll. The album defined the early Seventies as “Bitch,” “Angie,” “Tumbling Dice,” “It’s Only Rock and Roll,” etc. – the foundation of what would become the permanent post-Sixties Rolling Stones brand.
This companion compilation is drawn from the same four albums as Made in the Shade and is intended to be its opposite.
Jagger ran the band in the long decade of Richards’ drugged marginality, and this compilation highlights Mick as the emerging, ambitious, essential songwriter, exploring options for his band in a new decade. My focus here is on his developing “sincere” mode, which also generally highlights the degree to which his melodies were almost always the decisive shapers of the Stones’ songs, post-Brian Jones. Ultimately, this faux album documents the early Seventies origins of the late Seventies Jagger-Stones (“Beast of Burden,” “Emotional Rescue,” “Tops,” “Heaven,” etc.). And there are a lot more excellent 1970s Stones songs in that mode than there are in the tongue-lolling rocker mode. If you’re going to stick up for the post-“Exile” Stones, you’re sticking up for Mick Jagger.
Of course, you know all these tunes by heart, and you see no reason to download a mix you could compose as a playlist in your iTunes library anytime. But that’s a hassle, and you probably will never bother to do it. Why not trust me and download this distinctly-tagged, volume-equalized mix now and give it a spin? You can always delete it.
It’s not a compilation of my favorite nine tracks from these four albums that weren't included on “Made in the Shade”; it’s a proposition about a particular, excellent band The Rolling Stones were that isn’t the one we mostly experience or valorize. And, as usual, when you separate tunes like these from their more bombastic album kin, they all get bigger. If you imagine the mix as the moody half of a double album that The Stones put out to match “Physical Graffiti,” you’ll hear what I was looking for, and I don’t think you’ll be disappointed to have these tunes recontextualized. (The recent remaster of “Exile” makes this mix sonically possible.)
- Loving Cup
- Hide Your Love
- Till the Next Goodbye
- Coming Down Again
- Shine a Light
- Moonlight Mile
- If You Really Want to be My Friend
- I Got the Blues