Through The Vaults Darkly (The Godfatherrecords G.R. 195/196)
CD 1: 01. Dear Doctor 02. Child Of The Moon 03. You’ve Got The Silver 04. Downtown Susie 05. Travellin’ Man 06. Gimme Shelter 07. Highway Child 08. Schoolboy Blues 09. Cocksucker Blues 10. Sister Morphine 11. Brown Sugar (original version w/Eric Clapton) 12. Wild Horses 13. Good Time Woman 14. Gimme A Hamburger 15. Ain’t Gonna Lie 16. Too Many Cooks 17. Criss Cross Man 18. Drift Away
CD 2: 01. Dance Little Sister 02. Everlasting Is My Love 03. Fingerprint File (original Long Version) 04. Fool To Cry 05. Let’s Go Steady 06. Yellow Cab 07. Claudine 08. You Win Again 09. Misty Roads 10. We’ve Had It All 11. Indian Girl 12. Summer Romance 13. Slave (original Long Version) 14. Waiting On A Friend 15. Undercover Of The Night
Through The Vaults Darkly is a compilation of outtakes and alternate versions sourced from new found studio reels covering 1968 to 1983. A number of he above listed tracks have been previously released on the 8 CD “Record Mirror” Vol. 1 + 2 (Bedrock Records), “Time Trip” Vol. 1 -4 (Scorpio), “Hot Stuff” 8 CD Vol. 1 + 2 (Great Dane), “Rare Trax” 10 CD Vol. 1 – 10 (Genuine Pig). “Got To Be Worked On” 1 CD (Rover Records) is the most recent release next to GR-195/196 to offer studio sessions from 1966 – 1970 from new found sources in mostly improved sound quality. RR CD001 comes the closest to matching the fidelity of GR-195/196.
G.R. 195/196 outshines each and every one of the above listed releases by offering incredibly stunning sound quality and crystal clear clarity throughout. “Dear Doctor” was recorded 5-13-68 w/Nicky Hopkins on piano + Dave Mason on guitar.”‘Child Of The Moon” was recorded in March 1968 at the Olympia Sound Studios. “You’ve Got The Silver” is the infamous 2-16-69 Jagger lead vocals. “Downtown Susie” originally titled “Downtown Lucy” was recorded 4-17-69 + written by Wyman. “Travellin’ Man” written by Mick Taylor dates back to 10-70. “Gimme Shelter” with Richards on vocals + Jimmy Miller on percussion was recorded at Olympic Sound Studios in 3-69. “Highway Child” includes Ry Cooder. “Schoolboy Blues” is the slow blues version w/Jagger on vocals + guitar only. “Cocksucker Blues’ is the electric version recorded in the 70’s. “Sister Morphine” is an early Olympic Studios take from 5-68. “Brown Sugar” has Clapton on guitar w/Al Kooper on piano from 12-70 from Olympic Studios. “Wild Horses” is the alternate country-tinged version.
“Good Time Woman” includes Stu on piano from 10-70 which eventually became “Tumbling Dice”. “Gimme A Hamburger” a/k/a “Stuck Out Alone” was recorded at Olympic Sound Studios in 5-68. “Ain’t Gonna Lie” a/k/a “Mistreating Woman” is from 12-71. “Too Many Cooks” is the solo Jagger track produced by Lennon at Record Plant West during Lennon’s “Lost Weekend'” period. “Criss Cross Man” and “Drift Away” originate from the Dynamic Sound Studio summer of 73 Jamaica sessions.”Dance Little Sister” comes from the 1-74 Musicland Studio sessions in West Germany. “Everlasting Is My Love” is the late 1977 version from Pathe Marconi Studios in Paris. “Fingerprint File” features Billy Preston on clavinet + Nicky Hopkins on piano with this being the 4-74 slower long version. “Fool To Cry” originates from Casino in Montreux, Switzerland in late 1975. “Let’s Go Steady” (Again) was recorded in 2-5-79 at Compass Point Studios in the Bahamas featuring a duet with Richards + Krissy Kimsey on backround vocals. “Yellow Cab” a/k/a “Do You Think I Really Can”, “Claudine”, and the Hank Williams original “You Win Again” all stem from the 1978 Pathe Marconi Studio sessions with the latter including a plastered Richards sharing the vocals w/Jagger.
“Misty Roads” from 3-78 includes Ian Stewart on piano with Jagger’s falsetto vocals from the Marconi sessions. “We’ve Had It All” is a mid to late 1979 unreleased track and “Indian Girl”, also from the same sessions, is the longer version with Nicky Hopkins on piano. “Summer Romance” is from the Pathe Marconi sessions as well. “Slave” is the notorious long version recorded in Rotterdam in 1975 + in 1980 at Pathe Marconi splicing together two tapes. “Waiting On A Friend” is the original version recorded in Jamaica in 1972. This 2 disc set closes out with “Undercover Of The Night” take 3 from Pathe Marconi.
The Godfatherrecords label has been successfully issuing a host of excellent releases over the past number of years. Their packaging is complete with extensive liner notes and attractive graphics housed in trifold sleeves. They have generally always augmented their live offerings with bonus tracks to fill each disc with 75+ minutes of well-recorded material. “Through The Vaults Darkly” + the previously reviewed “Through The Vaults Darkly Vol. 2” (No Spare Parts) provide the listener with the best sound quality of the tracks included to date. GR-195/196, incidentally, has reportedly sold out and will sport a 2nd future issue. This is an exciting release from a rock- solid label. [Rawlings]
All 3 volumes of this series are very enjoyable & great to have in one’s collection – highly recommended. And unlike some studio compilations for which the max. volume levels tend to be noticeably somewhat inconsistent, Godfather did an excellent job normalizing just about all the tracks – all 6 discs can be played straight through from start to end without ever having to fiddle with any volume controls at all, which I wish were always the case. Anyway, even all the outstanding pets my family used to have, incl. 3 dogs, a kitty-cat, & several gerbils, would probably have loved this entire 3-volume series.