August 9, 2017 at 9:19 pm #69605andrew tParticipant
Wow. Only 2000 copies sold apiece. Guess it’ll be a collectors item:August 10, 2017 at 7:15 am #69611
I’ve been listening now thru and thru all these different mixes of “Gotta Get A Grip”. It looks like Amok re-mix was the one which get me into the song, and I guess it is my favourite still. But anyway, through it’s ‘interpretation’ – with those airy spaces which give room to those traditional blues-based elements (so Stonesian guitars, blues harmonica, Jag’s voice) easy to digest by my old Rolling Stones fan ears – I have started more to appreciate the other mixes as well – and hearing there things that I didn’t first do. And what surprises me is how different they are, and how many different musical choices, not just in mixes and arrangements, but in actual musical parts there are. And the more I listen them, the more I start to like them. Some observations and thoughts.
1. This whole approach of releasing many different versions – I wouldn’t call them even “re-mixes” at all because there are musical elements in some the others don’t have at all – gives altogether a new idea what I have a ‘released song’. Surely there’ve been all kinds of different ‘mixes’ and ‘dubs’ of Jagger and Stones stuff since the 80’s, but usually those have sounded a bit artificial affairs. The different mixes have been exactly that: using the ‘original’ or ‘real’ version as a strong blue print and then fooling around a bit with its sounds – emphasing some elements more than others, etc.. Back in the 80’s it was like a hot thing to do, and they – always trendy – did it. But they have ended up like being some collector’s items mostly, not much adding to the songs really. Anorak stuff.
2. With “Gotta Get A Grip” the idea that there is an ‘official’ version to define and capture the ‘real’ essence of a song has been abandoned. The ‘re- mixers’ have been given such a free hands that they can really build – or re-build – the song almost from the start again. It is important and telling that all these different versions have been released ‘equally’ at the same token – it is the distribution through streaming and youtube, which makes this possible; this kind of easiness in distribution is only possible thanks to a net culture. The old mediums would have been too stiff and rigid (and our concepts based on them).
3. The outcome is that the whole “Gotta Get A Grip” is not ‘one song’ but a kind a ‘hybrid’ of different versions not to end up but to begin with. A vague idea that has different reincarnations, different realizations that altogether to get the idea of the song. To make a simple analogy (coming from a recent discussion in IORR): think of The Stones having released “Street Fighting Man” as a double single: A-side will feature the Beggars Banquet studio version and B-side the Ya-Ya’s! live version. What had been our idea what “Street Fighting Man” really is? Which is the ‘real’ version? Neither of them I claim, but the ‘idea’ we would construct from the base of this two incarnations (and if that example doesn’t work, think of “Sympathy For The Devil” in those two incarnations). What Jagger & co are aiming here for is a similar effect, and thereby “Gotta Get A Grip” is not actually ‘one song’, but a ‘nice bunch of versions of a song’. As a listening experience, “Gotta Get A Grip” is actually like a listening a bunch of songs. To me it has been almost like listening to a small album.
4. This not to say that what is done, not even in the case of the Stones is totally novel or unhearable, but the way the whole cake is cooked here in its radicality, is something we haven’t seen earlier (of course, the point of reference, in so far as this is ‘experimental’ or even ‘revolutionary’ is Mick Jagger and The Rolling Stones; The DJ-era artists who have these kind of things for ages already). This is a first real or pure ‘net era’ release by a member of The Rolling Stones family, utilizing the possibilities of the resources of the new media. For an old fart like me, a child of a vinyl era, it has been an interesting and fascinating little adventure and learning process to rethink my own concepts – the the way music is constituted these days, and of its new possibilities in our ‘post-album-era’ or ‘post physical release-era’. Little by little I start to understand what the much hype about new ‘democracy’ of net-era music is all about. Not just that the music is so easily to released and reached, but how that ‘easiness’ affects to the very nature of the music and of its creative processes. Surely there are all those downloads and physical copies available, but those are not the ones driving this project, but more like by-products. It can be, as proposed, that Universal is here ‘testing waters’ not only by the way the song(s) sound, but also and thereby (probably) bridging the way for a new Rolling Stones release, though my view is that their record company is well awere of the potential audience of a Rolling Stones release still consists of people buying old-time physical and digital copies; in the case of catalogue artists like the Stones, the big – or any – money is still there, not in streaming or youtube business.
5. To me quite clear why this is a Mick Jagger release. To make it possible it involves so much radical new ideas that the machinery of The Stones wouldn’t have been flexible enough to make it as it is – pretty hard to think that the guy who made Crosseyed Heart on his own and Blue&Lonesome with his pals – many ways beautiful, old-time albums based on old concept of different songs making one big, beautiful over-all musical statement – would have very easily bought – be it good or bad – all these new concepts. There’ve been way too many compromises along the way to water it down, and something in me says that Jagger wasn’t there to make any. It needed to be executed like this.
These were just general observations ‘what’s going on’. I guess some, if not all, of it is ignorant or laughable for many, or that ‘now Doxa has finally gone totally mad’ – but, however, personally I am happy – and very surprised – that a new product by my very old idol is able to have some kind of effect on me. The next I will take a closer look at different re-mixes and add some beef to my claims concerning the substantial musical differences of the versions in this post. But that will be a subject for following posts.
– DoxaAugust 10, 2017 at 12:07 pm #69614
Hallelujah and thank you Doxa. That was a nice read and spot on. Me like the songs and i like the way they were released. Of course i like the vinyl releases, but thank God for the net era and the streaming era, i discover some good music almost every day, for free 🙂
Don't you think it's sometimes wise not to grow up?August 10, 2017 at 4:43 pm #69621andrew tParticipant
Great read there, Doxa. Thanks. The Alok mix is my pick of the bunch as well, if I had to choose.
I’m also glad this came out separately. As I mentioned earlier in the thread, I’d much rather have the Stones album be a cohesive band project rather than a Bridges To Babylon type 50/50 affair, and there’s no need to drag Keith kicking and screaming into a song like this when things can be put out online so easily and quickly these days. Also good to see Mick keep busy while the Stones project was on hold while Ronnie got over his surgery.August 11, 2017 at 7:41 am #69625Roll MeParticipant
i like both tracks….still…..and now comes word that maybe…possibly…these 2 tracks are Stones outtakes…..who else other than RW and CW is playing on these tracks?….hmmm…..I’d be interested to know…..August 11, 2017 at 11:09 am #69627
i like both tracks….still…..and now comes word that maybe…possibly…these 2 tracks are Stones outtakes…..who else other than RW and CW is playing on these tracks?….hmmm…..I’d be interested to know…..
This is a good question. Many things seem to imply that it is a Rolling Stones product initially… not only Charlie and Ronnie contributing but that is also relaesed by Promotone. and not by some Jagger’s own publishing house… Only Keith is missing, and the semantical use of different name, which makes it different (and in the case of Keith missing, that is not any reason to not relaese something under the name of the Stones, as history shows). It is not far reaching to suggest that these two were among those “40 Jagger demos” Mick was supposedly said to offer to the Stones.
Jagger seems to divide his creativity into two boxes: those songs fitting for the Stones, and those that doesn’t. I have no any idea which is the criterion diving those two really, but as tunes I don’t think neither in “Grip” or “England Lost” is anything that couldn’t have fitted for the Stones (what the difference, say, of “Undercover of The Night” to “Gotta Get A Grip” really?). Yeah, the way they they were executed, the mixing, the distribution, and all that, might be something – as I speculated in my long post above – that is different to the ‘normal’ Stones’ routines, but I don’t think the songs are nothing else but typical Jagger/Stones R&B based tunes with a certain groove. My hint is that Jagger wanted to do them the way they were done and that’s why the ‘box’ of the Stones wasn’t suitable. It could be, as been guessed by many people especially in IORR, that Richards vetoed them, which would have been the reason them being rejected as Stones releases. Could be. But I as easily think that Jagger could have done that conclusion by himself – knowing very well the limits of the Stones and of their schedules and working habits – in which they are good and in which they are not so good.
Jagger claims that he made the songs in April and wanted to release them now when they are still somehow ‘relevant’. Who knows, what he means by that. Were there some song demo sketches he had already – before April – done with Clifford, and into which Ronnie and Charlie had already contributed (as a part of Stones sessions), and then – quickly – having this sudden burst of creativity in writing ‘topical’ lyrics, he decided to use them as a backing track, re-made the vocals, and gave all the material to the hands of ‘re-mixers’ to do their soup out of them? And that’s it?
– DoxaAugust 12, 2017 at 9:33 am #69635RedhotcarpetredParticipant
Doxa – thank you, great posts.
“Jagger claims that he made the songs in April and wanted to release them now when they are still somehow ‘relevant’. Who knows, what he means by that.”
Good question, is that one of those Jaggerisms, where he tries to distance himself from a pop song? The actual song isnt good enough and it sounds like he’s refering to an ad, a marketing tool. The lack of promotion is perhaps meant to make this look like something you happen find on youtube, a song that gains a following online?
I took Ry Cooder for everything I could get - Keith RichardsAugust 12, 2017 at 9:36 am #69636RedhotcarpetredParticipant
“Little by little I start to understand what the much hype about new ‘democracy’ of net-era music is all about. Not just that the music is so easily to released and reached, but how that ‘easiness’ affects to the very nature of the music and of its creative processes. Surely there are all those downloads and physical copies available, but those are not the ones driving this project, but more like by-products. It can be, as proposed, that Universal is here ‘testing waters’ not only by the way the song(s) sound, but also and thereby (probably) bridging the way for a new Rolling Stones release, though my view is that their record company is well awere of the potential audience of a Rolling Stones release still consists of people buying old-time physical and digital copies; in the case of catalogue artists like the Stones, the big – or any – money is still there, not in streaming or youtube business.”
I read that just now (missed it the first time, believe it or not). Wow. Yes, I think you’re on to something.
I took Ry Cooder for everything I could get - Keith RichardsAugust 14, 2017 at 2:32 pm #69663
the songs are good but don’t come close to Memo from Turner
Don't you think it's sometimes wise not to grow up?August 14, 2017 at 3:43 pm #69665Cocaine EyesParticipant
^^^^^^True, Nita but let’s remember. During Turner, Jagger was still surrounded by THE STONES. He was working with Anita (the 6th Stone). And he hadn’t begun his meandering into the so-called ‘hip world of the newest thing’ thing. And after the movie shoots, KEITH was waiting outside for Anita. Methinks Keith’s mere presence added to the quality of the tune. (Merely my own humble opinion).
~CE 🍁August 18, 2017 at 8:01 am #69813
Hallelujah and thank you Doxa. That was a nice read and spot on. Me like the songs and i like the way they were released. Of course i like the vinyl releases, but thank God for the net era and the streaming era, i discover some good music almost every day, for free
The point is that I am a very stubborn music consumer myself… But the thing is that when this old dog finally learns some new tricks, there is no way looking back… I resisted as long as I could against CD format – all my friends and everybody were telling how crystal clear and distinct the music is through this new brilliant format, but I thickhead protested that and claimed that some of the dynamics, warmth, breathing and all that is lost in those plastic packaged records (I have heard similar observations/confessions especially during the last decade or so by old Hi-Fi people, which has always made me smile).. I damn sure loved the scratches as well… add there that the art of record sleeves was reduced to microscope stuff – it was no fun any more to ‘study’ by detail those stupid plastic packages. But I remember the day Keith’s Main Offender was released. I rushed to my record store to purchase but they said “sorry we have only CDs of that album; we need to order the vinyl version from importers and that will cost you some extra money”. That’s it. The camel’s back was broken. Yes, I ordered the vinyl version but turned out to be the last vinyl album I have bought ever since. I rushed to buy a CD player next day and never looked back.
Anyway, I lost my interest in collecting albums. The CDs I bought were not anymore any treasures or little pieces of art of its own tbut just vehicles via which to listen music, nothing else. I still have my vinyl collection without one piece missing – the one I collected during those 15 years, but of the hundreds of CDs I have brought since 1992 I guess I have lost over half if not more – left them to parties, giving to my friends, broke them to pieces by stepping over drunk, just disappearing here and there (and I never learned to open the bloody plastic package without breaking it – the worst innovation of the 80’s that bloody thing)… It was not the physical form: the albums turned out not to be any longer artistic statements to be consisted of two different sides, both having side opener songs as the finishing ones – and all the dramatic story going over them. No, the albums started to be just collections of individual songs, each of them to picked easily by puhing a button – no more DJ-like using manually your hand. It was so easy to skip the songs you didn’t care – and there started to be more and more of them. The quantity – there was so much room – took over quality. So to my ears, the CD format was the first step in killing the album format. The music started to be less and less physical. And less and less significiant by non-musical means.
The digital turn – downloading – was the next, a logical step. At least one didn’t need to worry about those ugly physical entities any longer. I don’t know if I actually welcomed the change – but at least it didn’t come as any shock. I mean, it is just music – with the function of using ears, not by looking or touching, to enjoy it – where do we need any physical entities for that? And it was easy to get – just order from the net, and it was within a seconds to be reached. And so easily to be resorted – and to bring with you anywhere you wanted to go.
But what we have see during the last couple of years has been that of the whole notion of buying music starting to disappear altogether. Youtube and streaming make that possible. Why one should need to own music? It’s all out there in a public domain so to speak – not really, but in practise it happens like that. It’s all out there, easy to be reached, just listen it. Compared to the times I needed to order from abroad and travel to whatever places to get some rare stuff, it is so incredibly easy these days. Yeah, part of the fun was that of collecting things back then (and the effort to get the stuff actually addes something to the significance), but I don’t have any nostalgia for those days. It was fun back then, but it’s gone. Thankfully. My wallet says the same.
So no surprise I dig this new approach by Jagger; the guy seems to know how the music world works these days. That the single sold next to nothing in physical copies, it doesn’t mean anything. The target and the philosophy lies in somewhere else. That an old fart (a ‘catalogue artist’) like Jagger cannot get any huge streaming numbers doesn’t matter either. The songs are out there, to be reached by anyone, anywhere, anytime if they feel like it. And that’s all.
August 18, 2017 at 9:59 am #69818
Nice and funny read, thank you Doxa, (times they are a changin’). I grew up with a music freak of a dad. Some of Our quality time nowadays is putting on a (Stones) vinyl record, open a beer and talk about whatever we want to talk about. I remember when i was a kid and put on a record and he told me to be careful and not make any scratches. About the streaming era it sure have made us pay for concert ticket’s though. I like that Jagger is doing this for us and i’m grateful for that. CD’s suck’s and i have a couple of thousands of them. I only buy Stones cd’s nowadays. I buy all kinds of vinyl records though. Don’t tell anyone but i love to nick music and i have 7o ooo songs on a couple of hard disc’s. The sad thing about the streaming era is the record store’s slowly dissapears, i like the atmosphere in record shop’s. Looking for treasures is always fun. About Mick Jagger is facinating how a 74 year old man still have the energy to do this and he is doing good. I put on “England lost” at a party a couple of weekends ago and people (some of them in theyre 30’s) liked it. Hope he keep doing this and i hope there are more new Stones music to come.
Don't you think it's sometimes wise not to grow up?
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