1. Love Is Strong
2. You Got Me Rocking
3. Sparks Will Fly
4. The Worst
5. New Faces
6. Moon Is Up
7. Out Of Tears
8. I Go Wild
9. Brand New Car
10. Sweethearts Together
11. Suck on the Jugular
12. Blinded by Rainbows
13. Baby Break it Down
14. Thru and Thru
15. Mean Disposition
You got me rocking now > the Rolling Stones get back to the right chord with a back-to-basics approach
- July, 1994
- Rock On Rock Recommends:
Love Is Strong; The Worst; Out of Tears; I Go Wild; Brand New Car; Sweethearts Together; Suck on the Jugular; Mean Disposition
VOODOO LOUNGE WAS WORTH THE WAIT> it had been five years between studio albums – a long time even by Rolling Stones standards.
It was the CD area > vynil replaced by a format which seemed to demand more songs on an album.
The Rolling Stones packed 15 songs in here > only a few duds with the good stuff leaving no doubt they could still pack a punch.
Voodoo Lounge was the first Rolling Stones album without founding bass player Bill Wyman > who left to pursue other interests, including opening his Sticky Fingers fast-food restaurant in London with plenty of band memorabilia on the walls.
Wyman was replaced by Darryl Jones > though Jones was not made an official member of the band.
‘I’ve never even thought about writing songs. I’ve always thought of songs as gifts that just arrive.’
> Keith Richards, from the book According to the Rolling Stones.
ALBUM opener Love Is Strong is a slow rocker that grows on you with its chugging riffs and Mick Jagger harmonica underpinned by Charlie Watts’ drumming > his beats a feature of much of the album.
The characters in faster-paced You Got Me Rocking resemble a queue at the unemployment office in hard times > the butcher, boxer and writer among those having trouble producing their craft. There’s even a hooker “loosing her looks” > but “hey, hey, you got me rocking now”.
The third rocker straight, Sparks Will Fly, fails to produce much electricity > but does have the memorable line “I wanna fuck your sweet ass” as well as the nonsensical “sharks will cry”. [Maybe Mick Jagger got sick of repeating “sparks will fly” and threw in the shark bait to see if you’re paying attention.]
New Faces has old man Jagger lamenting the new kid on the block who is “the figure of youth”. Poor bugger Mick > he’s no longer the King Bee. This ballad features nice duelling acoustic guitars.
Moon is Up > and it takes a long time to come down on this laborious song. The only saving grace the intricate drumming of Charlie Watts.
Ballad Out of Tears has an effecting vocal in a quivering, stilting style as Mick Jagger professes he won’t cry when his lover says goodbye > but he doth protesteth too much!
Big bold rocker I Go Wild kicks off with a burst of electric guitar. Along with final track Mean Disposition, it proves the Rolling Stones can still rock with the best of them.
Humorous Brand New Car has an upbeat tempo and sex-charged lyrics > using the vehicle of a motor car for double entendres. Great fun song.
Sweethearts Together sounds like Mick and Keith Richards are singing to each other > conjuring images of a couple of swashbuckling salty old sea dogs who have come to realise they are in this for the long haul > sitting on the sea wall serenading each other in a drunken embrace. Keith Richards with a bottle of bourbon in hand and Jagger … well, maybe sipping a pina colada through a straw.
New bassist Darryl Jones comes to the fore on Suck on the Jugular > fine funk with a hot guitar break and rocking harmonica.
BRAND NEW CAR
Jack her up baby, go on open the hood
I want to check if her oil smells good
Mmmm, smells like caviar
Slinky like a panther
You can hear her purr
Touch her on the seat
Go on, feel the fur
I said from the first
I am the worst kind of guy
For you to be around
Blinded by Rainbows suffers slightly from an over-sentimental vocal > but it’s strangely pleasing to hear Mick Jagger over-empthasise his way through the word “rainbow” again > just like he did on the Rolling Stones sixties hit She’s Like a Rainbow.
While there’s a couple of top-notch ballads on Voodoo Lounge > Baby Break it Down is not one of them.
It’s followed by Keith Richards singing Thru and Thru > a curious number which gained new-found popularity years later when used in TV mafia drama series The Sopranos. It’s a lurv ballad > but starts off like an ad for a pizza delivery shop. [Maybe Keef was sufferings from an attack of the munchies!!]
Thru And Thru closes with a hard rock groove as deep drums kick in.
Closing track Mean Disposition is a ragged glory of a rocker > an explosion of guitar riffs and snarling, defiant lyrics. “If I’m gonna go, I’m going in a blaze of lights”.
TAKE A SLASH > YOU’RE NOT WANTED GUNS N’ ROSES GUITARIST
GUNS N’ ROSES guitarist Slash was visiting the studios when Keith Richards was working on the song Thru and Thru.
Slash made the unfortunate suggestion that he add some blues licks.
According to the album’s producer Don Was, Keith Richards replied: “Look, I like ya kid, but don’t press your luck. You’re not coming anywhere near my fucken track.” (Quote from the book The Rolling Stones: It’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll by Steve Appleford.)
THEN ALONG CAME JONES > NEW ROLLING STONES BASS PLAYER
Darryl Jones joined the Stones on tour in 1993 and his background is steeped in jazz > having played with the likes of Miles Davis and Herbie Hancock.
He had also toured with Madonna and Eric Clapton.
Jones, also known as “The Munch”, has never officially been a member of the Stones > with his role more as an on-stage musician.
Jones replaced founding bass player Bill Wyman, who left the Rolling Stones in an official announcement early in 1993.
> WORDS by MALCOLM LIVERMORE