Munichland Melodies (Dog N Cat DAC-088)
Musicland Studios, Munich, Germany – December 1974 & March – April 1975
Rolling Stones Mobile Recording Unit (“MRU”), Rotterdam, Holland – January 1975
Disc 1 (45:30): Hey Negrita, Cherry Oh Baby, Crazy Mama, Fool To Cry, Slave, Melody, I Love Ladies
Disc 2 (41:14): Hand Of Fate, Munich Reggae, Cellophane Trousers, Worried About You, Memory Motel, Let’s Do It Right, Hot Stuff
Munichland Melodies is another collection of Black And Blue demos. These tracks first appeared on vinyl on Black & Blue Session Vol. 1 (797) and Reggae’n’Roll (83-20.C TVR). On compact disc they can be found on Jamming With The Stones (Scarecrow 2-061), Can You Hear The Music? (73-RAAR U428), and most recently on Play It Rough (Exile-40A/B). Dog N Cat claims to be remastered from the master cassette in the original order of the songs on the tape and to be pitch corrected. The sound is very good albeit comes from a hissy cassette recording.
The Black And Blue sessions from 1974 to 1975 are a fascinating period of transition for the Stones. The most obvious change they were coping with was the departure of Mick Taylor and the search for his replacement with many famous guitarists auditioning including Peter Frampton and Jeff Beck. But there is a heavier emphasis upon finding a new style of music by incorporating more funk and reggae elements to varying degrees of success. Beck, who played in the spring Munich sessions and whose work (supposedly) can be heard in “I Love Ladies,” made the infamous remark “Wyman & Watts can’t funk it up.”
The fourteen tracks come from three different sessions. “Cherry Oh Baby” and “Fool To Cry” are the earliest, dating from the December 1974 sessions at Musicland in Munich. From the January 1975 Rotterdam session with the MRU comes “Crazy Mama,” the nine minute instrumental of “Slave” which wouldn’t be finished and released until 1981, “Melody,” “Worried About You,” and “Let’s Do It Right” (aka “Come On Sugar”).
Finally from the March to April 1975 session in Munich comes and eleven minute jam on “Hey Negrita,” “I Love Ladies,” a very early vocal take of “Hand Of Fate,” “Munich Reggae,” the second take of “Cellophane Trousers,” “Memory Motel,” “Let’s Do It Right,” and an instrumental “Hot Stuff.”
This is a nice collection of demos. The only negative is the very short running times on each disc with both just over forty minutes long. There are many more tracks from this era that could have been included, which although may not be on the master cassette DAC claim to use, would have made good bonus material. The value of this release is solely the discretion of the collector.