The Rolling Stones, ‘Unreleased Studio Tracks’ (No Label)

‘Unreleased Studio Tracks’ (No Label)

Don’t Mess With Cupid / Undercover Of The Night / Don’t Want Somebody Else / You Got Me Rocking / Might As Well Get Juiced / Low Down / Saint Of Me / Anybody Seen My Baby (Single Edit) / Anybody Seen My Baby (Don Was Radio Edit) / Anybody Seen My Baby ? No Biz Radio Edit) / Anybody Seen My Baby (Call Out Hook) / Flip The Switch (Clean Version) / Flip The Switch (Call Out Hook #1) / Flip The Switch (Call Out Hook #2) / Saint Of Me (Single Edit) / Saint Of Me (Call Out Hook) / Out Of Control (Album radio edit) / Out Of Control (Don Was live remix) / Out Of Control (Call Out Hook) (60:55)

In March of 2021, while we were still picking apart the trove of 50 new Stones tracks on Fully Finished Outtakes, a contributor to the IORR forum, Davie137, asked if anyone had heard particular variations of a handful of Stones tracks that he had on CD-R while posting a Tongue watermarked tracklist.

A collection that had been given to him as ‘stolen’ by “Leroy Strange”, the 8 tracks all seemed to stem from various sessions and featured a few more early versions of takes we all now know and a dash of unknown studio sessions.

As true as form, various bootleggers were quick to put these sessions out, some tacked on their versions of ‘Fully Finished’ to round up to 4 disks, the Moonchild label went the Swingin’ Pig route and put just the 40 minute of sessions out as a budget priced disk, the Mayflower label added a couple of additional tracks including the ‘fixed’ version of “Strictly Memphis” that should have been on the first volume. The No Label gang, my choice of the releases, went with the ‘More is more’ maxim and have filled their version of the collection up with some choice remixes from the BtB era rounding out the set to a cats whisker over an hour.

The sound is slightly overloaded sometimes, a little brittle as may befit a tape that hasn’t seen studio mastering, however, it IS studio quality and is a lovely wide stereo.

Starting with a Ronnie Wood cover of ‘Don’t Mess With Cupid’, recorded between the ‘Dirty Work’ sessions, this short rendition (Just over 2 minutes in length), is a cover of an Otis Reading song in part – Some of it follows the lines of the Reading rendition, the rest seems to be improvised in the studio.

The second track is an early version of ‘Undercover’, Micks vocals are some of the toughest you’ll hear this side of sipping on a glass of water or sucking on a Fisherman’s Friend. Either this was purposeful for recording reasons or Mick was straight out of bed for this recording session. The track ends with Mick agreeing that it was a good take.

‘Don’t Want Somebody Else’ is an unrealised track from the “Voodoo Lounge” sessions. A very clear sounding, studio work out with a falsetto vocal by Mick. It’s the very germ of an idea as the lyrical idea just seems to loop on itself – It was very surely a very, very piece meal idea that struck for inspiration in the sessions – Here it’s mercifully short as, presumably, it’s scrapped for something else to work on.

A rare gem on here for the ‘You Got Me Rockin’’ demo – This time it features Keith on lead vocals as the track is worked out on piano. The chords are in place, the lyrics are pretty much fully finished – The main differences are that it appears that only Keith and Charlie were available at the time – Bill’s bass was apparently being covered for by a visiting Vinnie Carslake.

While we got an unpolished version of ‘Might As Well Get Juiced’ on “Fully Finished Studio Outtakes”, the version here is a much earlier version featuring a wall-of-sound style production by the Dust Brothers. This features some extra vocal ad-libbing and a different guitar sound at the very beginning.

‘Low Down’ is another early take of this track as also found on ‘Fully Finished ..’, here however, Ronnie’s mandolin is mixed far further up in the mix than seems necessary and distracts from the song itself as it seems like Ronnie is playing off chords, giving a far too inconsistent feel. The track ends to a smattering of studio chat and a bit of Ronnie’s strumming.

Finally, ‘Saint Of Me’ is a basic version of this track. Complete with energetic drum track, hypnotic choral organ, slight, spidery guitar lines (Though none of the acoustic parts) Mick is of full voice, hamming up his part.

The rest of the CD is made up of compilation of radio mixes prepared for radio play around the release of the ‘Bridges To Babylon’ album. Various, FM friendly versions of 4 tracks with small mix details of snippets of tracks to be used as audio beds for announcing the tracks. They do, at least, fit in with the period and fill the CD up nicely, however, these tracks aren’t exactly as essential.

We’ve lucky indeed that these little Stones deposits keep leaking and let’s hope that they continue to do so – It’s only a matter of time, at time of writing, before the Stones can continue to tour again. With the new originals album still no-where in sight, this is the kind of action that we can cling on to.

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