The Rolling Stones – More Fast Numbers (Dog N Cat DAC-97)

More Fast Numbers (Dog N Cat DAC-97)

Disc 1 (78:28) More Fast Numbers – When The Whip Comes Down, Start Me Up, Claudine, I Can’t Help It, Miss You, Just My Imagination.  All Them Women – Munich Hilton, Respectable, Lies, When The Whip Comes Down, I Can’t Help It, Shattered

Disc 2 (76:37) Some Other Girls – Some Girls, The Way She Held Me Tight, Beast Of Burden, I Need You, Do You Think I Really Care, Just My Imagination, Fiji Jim, Shattered.  Spend It So Fast – Miss You, A Different Kind, Far Away Eyes, Hang Fire, When The Whip Comes Down

More Fast Numbers collectors together four LPs worth of Rolling Stones outtakes, all released in the early eighties.  All of the material is taken from the sessions in 1977 and 1978 which produced Some Girls.  It also has eary versions of songs that would later appear on Tattoo You (“Start Me Up” and “Hang Fire”) as well as unreleased outtakes.

The LP More Fast Numbers, an early working title for Some Girls, was released on Playboy Records in 1984 with six songs from the early sessions.  “When The Whip Comes Down,” the first track, is the same track and mix of the tune used on Some Girls except it’s extended several more minutes with rough and tumble guitar breaks from Keith and Ronnie.

“Start Me Up” dates from the 1978 Pathé Marconi sessions in Paris and is an early take of the familiar tune but with less vocals and no backing vocals from the others (it’s just Mick singing along).  

Two unreleased songs follow.  “I Can’t Help It” (aka “Love You Too Much” and “Shaved Stone”) dates from the early sessions in Paris.  Two versions are included in this collection.  The one from More Fast Numbers is slower tempo “growling” take with Jagger calling-out “one more (line)” on the verses.  

It is followed by “Claudine,” a song that was recorded during both the 1977 and 1978 sessions.  This recording is the earliest slow tempo take running almost eight minutes long with notable for Jagger singing in a lazy country twang.  “Miss You” is an eight minute long take without saxophone and harmonica and the final track is an elongated take of “Just My Imagination” sounding close to the official version but with additional instrumental passages. 

All Them Women / Some Girls Rehearsals Vol. 3 (WHOM-SGR-3) came out in 1982 with six more Some Girls outtakes and sessions in excellent sound quality.  It starts with the instrumental “Munich Hilton,” a ten minute take with various guitar passages and melodies weaving around the melody, and is followed by an early version of “Respectable” which sounds similar to the final cut. 

“Lies” also dates from 1977 and is the first take of the song that would be included on the album.  This arrangement is a bit slower and has a rock beat instead of the punkish beat employed in the final version.  The lyrics also aren’t finished and Jagger shouts out the key changes as the band jams on the tune.  

An early version of “When The Whip Comes Down” follows, and like the take on the LP More Fast Numbers this is ten minutes long and very raw and lacks backing vocals.  “I Can’t Help It” (aka “Love You Too Much” and “Shaved Stone”) follows and unlike the other take is an energetic punkish workout which would have fit well on Some Girls.  The rawness of the recording suggests it is an amateur rehearsal recording.  The disc ends with a professionally mixed instrumental take of “Shattered” with Mick faintly audible in the mix. 

Some Other Girls / Some Girls Rehearsals Vol. 1 (WHOM-SGR-1) also came out in 1982, manufactured by the same ones who produced All Them Women with eight tracks.  “Some Girls” sounds like the commercial version but with a short spoken part at the end.  

“Misty Roads” (aka “The Way She Held Me Tight”) is an unreleased song from the 1978 sessions in Paris.  It exists only in this take which sounds like an amateur recorded rehearsal session.  It sounds unlike much of the Stones’ catalogue with a funky piano, fuzzy guitar (with strange country & western interludes) and Jagger’s lazy, nonchalant delivery of the lyrics.

“Beast Of Burden” represents the first attempt at recording the classic.  More of Jagger’s vocals are in falsetto (although the “you can put me out” part is still shouted) and have some different lyrics than the commercial version.  The acoustic guitar is much more audible in the mix.

“I Need You” is another unreleased song from 1978.  Like the other unreleased songs “Misty Roads” and “I Can’t Help It” it sounds like a rehearsal than a polished outtake.  It is an interesting piano driven mid-tempo rocker with Keith and Mick trading vocals.  It is followed by another outtake “Do You Really Think I Care?” (aka “Yellow Cab,” “Do You Think I Really Care” and “Do You Think I Saw Her”).  This recording features Ronnie on pedal guitar, the same recording that can be found on Place Pigalle.

“Just My Imagination” sounds close to the official version except for a faint Hammond organ deep in the mix and only audible in a few passages.  “Fiji Gin” (a.k.a. “Fiji Jim” & “Come Bring Your Electric Guitar”) is another unreleased song which exists in several takes over these sessions.  Some Other Girls documents the take with a count-in and heavy on the guitars.  The final song from the LP is the earliest instrumental take of “Shattered.”  The phase effect on the guitar is missing and the melody is much more basic than the commercial recording.  It continues for a few minute before breaking down. 

Spend it so Fast / Some Girls Rehearsals Vol. 2 (WHOM-SGR-2) was also released in 1982 with five tracks from the sessions.  Opening the album is the second overall take of “Miss You.”  It is professionally recorded and  mixed, but lasts almost twelve minutes and has slightly different lyrics than the well known version.  Most of the narrative takes the form of a Mick Jagger free-form association.

“A Different Kind,” mislabeled as “Everlasting Is My Love” on early titles, dates from the 1977 sessions and is the last unreleased song in the DAC collection.  Like the other unreleased songs, it was recorded in a rehearsal session rather than in the studio.  It’s a pretty ballad which has potential, but in this form sounds very bland and boring.

“Far Away Eyes” dates from the 1978 sessions and is very similar to the commercial version.  The pedal steel guitar is a different performance including a solo in the middle.  “Hang Fire,” which would be finished for Tattoo You in 1981, sound primitive with different lyrics than the final recording.  The set ends with the third take of “When The Whip Comes Down.”

All of the Paris rehearsals and recordings are fascinating to listen to and digest.  Given the multiple takes of well known songs, it’s possible to explore the Stones’ recording process and philosophy and gain tremendous insight into their artistic vision in the late seventies.  The sound on More Fast Numbers is uniformly excellent and DAC include informative track information on the sleeve. 

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