No Spare Parts: Through The Vaults Darkly Volume 2 (Godfather GF 219/220)
Disc 1: Cops & Robbers, Have You Seen Your Mother Lately, 19th Nervous Breakdown, Paint It Black, 2000 Light Years From Home, Country Honk, Honky Tonk Women, Satisfaction (live), You Gotta Move, Exile On Main Street Blues, I Don’t Know The Reason Why, Jiving Sister Fanny, Loving Cup, Potted Shrimp, Shake Your Hips, Still A Fool, Stop Breaking Down, Sway
Disc 2: Winter, Living In The Heart Of Love, If You Can’t Rock Me, Do You Get Enough (aka Lucky In Love), Little Red Rooster (live), Far Away Eyes, I Can’t Help It, I Need You, I Think I’m Going Mad, No Spare Parts, So Young, Somewhere Over The Rainbow, The Nearness Of You, I Talked Her Into It, She Was Hot (original long version), Crushed Pearl, Dangerous Beauty
No Spare Parts is the second volume of Godfather’s series of Rolling Stones outtakes, alternate versions and rare live material. It follows their first volume released several months ago but it is not, as the title suggests, leftovers. Rather it is a well thought out, comprehensive collection of tracks covering more than forty years in the recording career of the Stones from an early BBC session to 2005’s A Bigger Bang. The benefit of listening to a collection such as this is the opportunity to follow the evolution of styles and attitudes in the band’s musical ideas.
This title begins with an early BBC session in excellent sound quality. “Cops & Robbers” is a live performance on the “Blues In Rhythm” show taped at the Camden Theater in London on March 19th 1964 with host John Baldry. “Have You seen Your Mother Baby?” dates from the August 31st to September 2nd sessions at IBC Studios in London, and this version has alternate lyrics and a different beginning than the takes found on Time Trip Vol. 5.
“19th Nervous Breakdown” comes from a December 1965 session at RCA Studios in Los Angeles and has a heavy echo on the vocals. “Paint It Black” is an instrumental run-through which is different than the version appearing on Time Trip Vol. 5. It has different tunings at the beginning of the track. “2000 Light Years From Home” was recorded at Olympic Studio in the summer 1967 and this version is more distorted than the final version as it appears on Their Satanic Majesties Request.
“Country Tonk” dates from the first sessions with Mick Taylor, from April 17th to July 2nd at Olympic Studio in London. This is an early version that lacks Byron Berline’s fiddle, which wouldn’t be added until November 2nd, 1969. Godfather follows this with the earliest existing take of “Honky Tonk Women,” recorded on March 9th, 1969, the final session with Brian Jones on guitar. This is in excellent quality and includes alternate second verse; “I’m strolling on the boulevards of Paris / as naked as the day I will die…”
This is followed by a live version of “Satisfaction” which the label claims is an outtake from the 1970 live album Get Yer Ya-Ya’s Out. This is actually the performance at the beginning of the movie Gimme Shelter and is taken straight off of the Criterion Collection edition of the DVD. The performance and sound quality are excellent and is an edit of two performances of the song. The first half comes from the November 28th, 1969 Madison Square Garden early show and the second half from the late show on the same day.
It is a killer performance and should have been included on the album and it is good to hear it here. “Exile On Main Street Blues” was recorded at Sunset Sound Studios in Los Angeles on March 28th, 1972 and released on a 7″ flexidisc by the British music paper New Musical Express. It is a ninety second little ditty featuring only Mick accompanied by blues piano as he sings little excerpts from each song on the album. This track is sourced from a very good copy of the disc with minimal surface noise.
“I Don’t Know The Reason Why” (aka “Hillside Blues”) was recorded in Los Angeles right before their tour in 1969 and has never been officially released. There is a little “bump” 3:58 in the music, but the sound quality is excellent and it is a typical Stone groove driven blues with a killer solo by Taylor. This is followed by an early version of “Jiving Sister Fanny” from the spring 1969 sessions at Olympic Studios. “Loving Cup” is the same version that appears on Time Trip Vol. 1 and the two Empress Valley Lost Sessions but contains two cuts losing a minute of music that are not present on the earlier editions. It sounds as if the label got hold of a faulty master, but this is a rare imperfection on an otherwise solid release.
“Potted Shrimp” is the instrumental that dates from the October 1970 sessions at Stargroves and Olympic and is also found on Trident Mixes among many other titles. “Still A Fool” (aka “Two Trains”) is a nine minute long Muddy Waters cover recorded at the May 13th to 23rd, 1969 sessions at Olympic Studio in London and features Nicky Hopkins on piano. This classic has yet to be released officially by the band. “Stop Breaking Down” and “Sway” are two tracks that have appeared on other releases in the past and are different mixes of the officially released versions as they appear on Exile On Main Street and Sticky Fingers.
The second disc begins with the Goats Head Soup track “Winter.” This is the same version that appears in the Time Trip series, but lacks the six second tape rewind at the beginning and sounds much better. “Living In The Heart Of Love” was recorded in January 1974 in Munich and is an early version of “Luxury,” and is followed by “If You Can’t Rock Me.” This dates from the April 1974 sessions at Stargroves and is a different mix of the final track. This version exists on acetate that is the source of the track on this collection.
“Do You Get Enough” (aka “Lucky In Love”) follows this on the disc but is not mentioned on the artwork. This unreleased reggae song was recorded at Pathé Marconi in early 1978 and is in excellent sound quality. “Little Red Rooster” dates from the two-night engagement at the El Mocambo Tavern in Toronto March 4th and 5th. This is essentially the track used for Love You Live but without the overdubs and sounds very raw.
This also is from an acetate with audible surface noise. “Far Away Eyes” was begun during the late 1977 sessions at Pathé Marconi Studios in Boulogne Billancourt, France and this is an early take that lacks backing vocals and Jagger saying “wadda think, Woody?” in the middle. “I Can’t Help It” (aka “Love You Too Much”, “Shaved Stone”) dates from the same sessions as “Far Away Eyes” and features Jagger on vocals sounding very punk. This song would be worked on again in the eighties but still remains unreleased. “I Need You” dates from the early 1978 Paris sessions and is an innocuous late seventies pop number.
“I Think I’m Going Mad” was worked on at the January 18th to February 12th, 1979 sessions at Compass Point Studios in Nassau, Bahamas but had a long gestation period before being officially released as a B-side to “She Was Hot” in January 1984. This outtake dates from the earliest sessions of the piece. “No Spare Parts,” the title track for this collection, is a six-minute country number recorded in the early 1978 Paris sessions with Jagger on vocals and piano and Wood on slide guitar and remains officially unreleased.
“So Young” dates from the same sessions yet wasn’t released until 1994 as a B-side for “Love Is Strong.” The following two songs in this collection, Harburg and Arlen’s “Over The Rainbow” (from The Wizard Of Oz) and the Hoagy Carmichael tune “Nearness Of You,” feature Keith Richards singing and playing piano accompanied by Bobby Keys on saxophone. These two songs were recorded at Eldorado Recording Studio in Los Angeles in March 1981 before work on Tattoo You.
“I Talked Her Into It” (aka “Tried To Talk Her Into It”) is a country-flavored song that dates from the November to December 1982 Pathé Marconi sessions for Undercover and remains unreleased. The nine-minute recording of “She Was Hot” dates from late 1982 and is a highlight in this set. There is a long jam in the middle between Richards and Wood, trading riffs off of one another. “Crushed Pearl” dates from the early 1985 sessions for Dirty Work and is an awesome song with Richards on vocals. The sound quality is good, but the tape is a tad hissy. The final track is the alternate mix of “Dangerous Beauty” from A Bigger Bang.
No Spare Parts is packaged in a tri-fold cardboard sleeve with generous and generally accurate liner notes in the middle. With the sound quality being generally excellent, this is an great summation of Stones outtakes and hopefully Godfather will follow this with a third volumeIf you liked this review, buy me a cup of joe. (Suggested: $3 a shot or $7.5 for a double)