1. The Rolling Stones – Sympathy for the Devil (Take 2)
I wonder how far they got with Take 1. I particularly like the way Jagger blames Charlie for this one falling apart when he’s already got the first line wrong. The Alternate Beggar’s Banquet is much better than The Alternate Let it Bleed, but definitely not worth 40 bloody quid. Unless you want to buy it off me, in which case it’s worth more.
2. Slim Harpo – Shake Your Hips
Credit where credit’s due, the Stones didn’t try to take the royalties for this one, crediting “James Moore” on the Exile on Main St labels. Very fucking big of them. More than they did for Robert Wilkins.
3. Lord Fly - When Mi Look Upon Janie So; Time So Hard
Keith still has a house in Jamaica, and is very fond of the traditional Jamaican music. This mento number sounds a bit like Trinidadian Calypso, but is in fact one of the very first Jamaican-made records. So there.
4. Howlin’ Wolf – Little Red Rooster
There’s something a little funny in the press of this record. Sorry about that. Still think it’s absolutely incredible that the Stones hit Number 1 with a slow blues record which, by the standards of the time, goes on forever.
5. Robert Wilkins – The Prodigal Son
This song really does go on forever, which is good if you are enjoying it, or actually interested in the parable of the prodigal son, or you’re DJing and need a piss. BLUES NIGHT then returns from the toilet to see his adoring crowd looking pretty bored. And that’s only halfway through. But this song would not be worthy of a place on this CD in any lesser version. It is itself a reworking of Wilkins’ 1929 recording “That’s No Way To Get Along” - since Wilkins (whose real name is Tim) had already stolen the song from himself, it probably seemed quite acceptable to state simply “by Mick Jagger and Keith Richard” in poncey script on the back of Beggars Banquet. So faithful is the Stones’ short version of this that BLUES NIGHT decided to DJ for the subconscious with the sequencing here…
6. The Rolling Stones – Stray Cat Blues (New York, 1969)
BLUES NIGHT loves Get Yer Ya-Ya’s Out! And this is his favourite track. And he really doesn’t have to justify putting a Stones track on a Stones-themed cd. After the sequencing success between these last two tracks, and another can of Stella, BN decided to go for the double hit, half-expecting to hear Keith play the intro to…
7. Robert Johnson – Love In Vain
You have got to love the way that this total and utter fuckup played guitar.
(Stevie Wonder - You Can't Judge a Book by its Cover has been removed from here. If you received an original version of TOPICAL DISEASE, all your subsequent track numbers are now wrong. Soz.
Stevie opened for the Stones when they were touring Exile in the States, until he had to drop out with his drummer suffering what Robert Greenfield describes as “a genuine nervous breakdown.” Presumably that means it wasn’t just a hangover. This song from 1970 was a regular in the set at the time. Probably. )
8. The Rolling Stones – Dear Doctor (Take 1)
Not too drastically different, but worth hearing.
Pros: Keith’s OTT bass line
Cons: No silly voice from Jagger.
9. Chuck Berry – Come On
Chuck Berry. What an incredible guitar sound. What a remarkable lyricist. What a complete arsehole.
10. The Flying Burrito Brothers – Wild Horses
It’s not a cover, you know. This version was actually recorded before the one on Sticky Fingers, which the Stones had spent ages farting around with. BLUES NIGHT considered putting SuBo’s version on instead, but remains convinced that he made the right decision in the end.
11. Lord Composer – Hilly and Gully Ride; Mandeville Road
This is even older than the previous Jamaican track, although it is not a Jamaican-made record as such. It’s a proper old folk song. Keith definitely likes it.
12. Muddy Waters – Let’s Spend The Night Together
Proper old blues gits hate Electric Mud. Colin Larkin said that this track represents “the ultimate artistic volte-face.” Bollocks. BLUES NIGHT loves it, and so did the DJ out of Cypress Hill, whose name escapes me. Thank you to BNBM for pointing out that the backing band (Rotary Connection) are pretending to be Cream.
13. The Staples Singers – This May Be The Last Time
What’s that boys? I can let you out of the kitchen now? Have you finished writing a song? Great! Did you write it all yourselves?
14. Otis Redding – Satisfaction
This is better than the original. BLUES NIGHT will fight anyone who disagrees.
15. The Rolling Stones – Loving Cup
This was the starting point for the CD, hence the Exile-themed title. But the Stones had been trying to record it for years – this session comes from 1969. A better title for this cd might have been “A Fool and His Money Are Easily Parted” as the nice man in JB’s records played BLUES NIGHT like a cheap guitar with this one.
BN: Wow! The Alternate Let it Bleed! Shit. Forty quid!? Is it any good?
JB: I’m a big Stones fan, and I really like it. I’ll play a bit to you.
(The piano is clearly leading us into a really cool version of Loving Cup. BLUES NIGHT, slightly pissed as he always is when thinking he can afford to go into a record shop, is desperately trying to hang on to his money.)
BN: Do you have a copy?
JB: I don’t collect records anymore. It doesn’t make good business sense.
BN: Like a drug dealer, I s’pose? Don’t get high on your own supply?
JB: Ha! Yeah. D’you want to hear another track?
BN: I’ve heard enough thank you. And I’ll have that Alternate Beggar’s Banquet too, please.
(He hands JB eighty bloody quid and exits.)
16. Terry Reid – July
Terry opened for the Stones when they were touring the States with Let It Bleed. I hope he played this one in his set, because all his other songs are shit.
17. Ike and Tina Turner – I Can’t Believe What You Say
Another refreshing soul departure made relevant by the fact that they were drafted in for the same purpose on the 1969 US Tour. Which makes their inclusion here a hell of a lot more appropriate than in a cycling-themed set at a cycling-themed café.
18. The Rolling Stones – You Got The Silver
The final scene in the play “Drunk Twat in JBs Records” is the one where BLUES NIGHT finds that this is the only other decent track on the album. And it’s less Keith and more Mick, which should probably be made illegal.
19. Toots and the Maytals – Monkey Man
The bubbly Stella threatening to squirt up his throat and out of his nose as he contemplates how absolutely hilarious he is, BLUES NIGHT makes another sequencing joke while injecting a bit of life and musical familiarity into the last few tracks of his mixtape. And did I tell you how Keith was a big fan of Jamaican music? D’you want me to tell you again…?
20. Fred McDowell – You Got To Move
“Why thank you, Missa Jagger. You been kind ‘nuff to admit you dint write dis song. I worked hard all my life and ain’t never had nuttin, but now you got my song on yo pop’lar rekkid album, I can ‘ford to live my last days in sum comfit.”
(Less than a year later)
“Lord, don’t be gittin’ ready on me yet. I ain’t even spent this here royalty check!”
21. The Rolling Stones – Still a Fool
True, it sounds like Jagger is singing with a saucepan stuck on his head. But it’s the Rolling Stones playing a Muddy Waters blues, and that’s a good place for us to end. Drink up and go home.
SONGS from the MAN ROOM
The original BLUES NIGHT CD. Still requested by shameless freeloaders worldwide...
1. Mitchell's Christian Singers - Traveling Shoes
2. Muddy Waters – I Can’t Be Satisfied
3. Markos Vamvakaris – Taxim-Zeybekiko
4. Michael Hurley – Wildgeeses
5. Lord Invader – Reincarnation
6. Jimi Hendrix – Hear My Train a-Coming
7. Jackie Mittoo – Got My Bugaloo
8. Blind Willie McTell – Atlanta Strut
9. Golden Gate Jubilee Singers – The Sun Didn’t Shine
10. John Lee Hooker – It Serve You Right to Suffer
11. Joseph Spence – Brownskin Gal
12. Songs Ohia – Soul
13. Josh White – The Lass with the Delicate Air
14. John Fahey – Wine and Roses
15. Elizabeth Cotton – Freight Train
16. Rita Abaci – Gazeli Neva Sabah
17. Bill Williams – Total Rag
18. Blue Sky Boys – Down on the Banks of the Ohio
19. Robert Wilkins – Rollin’ Stone (Part 2)
20. Sweet Honey in the Rock – Grey Goose
21. Fred and Annie Mae Mc Dowell – Get Right, Church