The Emotional Rescue Sessions (Dog N Cat DAC-108)
Disc 1 (42:58): Blues jam #1, blues jam #2, Summer Romance, Dance, Dance, Dance, We Had It All, We Had It All, Little T & A
Disc 2 (42:28): Where The Boys Go, Jah Is Not Dead, Summer Romance, Summer Romance, Cellophane Trousers, Let’s Do It Right, Munich Reggae
The recording sessions for The Rolling Stones’ fifteenth studio album Emotional Rescue started in the middle of January, 1979 at Compass Point Studios in Nassau Bahamas, and ended in the middle of February. After the New Barbarians ended their tour in the springtime, sessions picked up again in June at Pathé Marconi Studios in Paris and continued intermittently until October. Final recording and mixing was done at the Electric Lady Studios in New York in November before the album’s final release on June 23rd, 1980.
The Emotional Rescue Sessions on Dog N Cat takes its inspiration (and cover-art) from the 2LP vinyl release The Emotional Rescue Sessions (RSERS 1979-A/B/C/D), released in 1986. It’s not comprehensive, but it does contain that what was on the vinyl release, starting with the two blues jams. Neither have names nor vocals, but they date from the initial sessions in January 1979 in Nassau. Taking the form of free-form jams, the first is a ninety second slow, heavy blues and the second is a three minute fast tempo blues with electric piano joining the guitars.
“Summer Romance” makes the first of three appearances in the collection. This sounds like a studio rehearsal runthrough with a long instrumental passage in the middle, clocking in at five and a half minutes.
From the summer session in Paris come the three long takes of “Dance.” Each reaches seven minutes in length and have primitive lyrics. The first take is played at a faster tempo than the commercial version. The second and third each have Jagger count-ins and primitive lyrics.
“We Had It All” also dates from the summer sessions in Paris. There are two takes included, the one without harmonica and another with both harmonica and slide guitar. This is a cover of the tune written by Donny Fritts and Troy Seals and was a huge hit for Waylon Jennings from Honky Tonk Heroes in 1973. It would covered by many other artists including Bob Dylan in 1986. Richard’s version is considered close to being a masterpiece and deserves official release.
“Little T & A” is an instrumental run through of the Tattoo You track, and “Where The Boys Are” is a rough play through of the Emotional Rescue song. “Jah Is Not Dead” is a strange, ten minute long reggae riff recorded early 1979 in Nassau. Max Romeo joins in on vocals and percussion and Boz Scaggs on guitar. “The problem with Christians is Christianity” Jagger narrates and repeats “Jah is not dead” repeatedly. At one point he tells someone “If you want to do coke, do it in the other room.” As strange as it is guarantees the Stones would never release this officially.
The two takes of “Summer Romance” come from Paris 1979 and one is the basis for the commercial version. “Cellophane Trousers” dates from 1975 and would be reused almost a decade later for “Too Tough” on Undercover. “Let’s Do It Right” first attempted in early 1975 and that take can be found on Munichland Melodies (Dog N Cat DAC-088). This release has a take recorded six years later in New York.
Finally “Munich Reggae” from the Black And Blue sessions is included. Compared to prior releases, these tracks sound clearer with less hiss. The Emotional Rescue Sessions are another strong outtake release on DAC worth having.