Empress Valley let loose in 2005 two volumes of Stones “lost” sessions. Vol 1 covered Exile On Main Street.
Click on the panels for a better view or to download artwork.
THE ROLLING STONES
The Lost Sessions Vol 1: Sweet Black Angel [Empress Valley Supreme Disc EVSD 332, 1CD]
16 outtakes from 1968-70, 7 are instrumentals. Excellent soundboard stereo.
What was Empress Valley thinking with Sweet Black Angel? Presumably they had found better quality recordings of these bootleg songs and make quick money. By assembling the sessions from Nellcote, France, the first eight tracks offer a first glimpse of the Stones at work from May to September 1971 (the dates on the artwork offer contradicting information) for Exile On Main Street. Most of the rest of the tracks are from the Elektra Sessions in Los Angeles, around November 1972, by which time Exile had already been released in May.
One can only guess Empress Valley wanted to assemble the bulk of the sessions from ‘71 to ‘72. The only sessions that can be called “lost” are the seven instrumentals, almost all from the LA sessions assembled nicely together. They are led by either Mick Taylor or Nicky Hopkins with not a sign of thick-lips Jagger in them.
These then are the “jams”. The instrumentals Sweet Black Angel and Let It Loose are however not jams but fully formed songs. Potted Shrimp has a very nice interplay between Taylor (or is that Keith?) and Hopkins both driving the song into a quiet, graceful closure. This is followed by Aladdin Story, which has a spacey organ and Jim Price horn that suggests perhaps there was more to this tune. Otherwise why write the horn parts? Aladdin recalls 2000 Light Years From Home.
It may be that after Taylor left, the Stones would never be as much a blues-based outfit. Although there are many bootlegs of sessions since 1972, mostly the guitar sound is “modern” reflecting a desire to stay hip and with it or driven by a monotonous organ riff.
One instrumental, I’m A Country Boy, is from 1968, recorded at Olympic Studios in London presumably for the album Beggar’s Banquet or Let It Bleed. It has that affinity for rusticity with a rambling honky tonk piano. Probably influenced by The Band’s album of that year.
The rest of Sweet Black Angel is filler from the late ’60s. Complete songs that just had no place to go. For example the soulful ballad with strange title, Hamburger To Go. And the songs I’m Going Down and I Don’t Know Why, both of which are second division parodies of The Stones. Sound quality is excellent and perhaps that was the main reason for Sweet Black Angel.
- The Little Chicken
Note: Click on the highlighted tracks to download the MP3s (these are high quality MP3s - sample rate of 192 kbps). As far as we can ascertain, these tracks have never been officially released on CD.
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Track 01. Loving Cup 6:38 (9.1MB)
Track 02. Shake Your Hips (Early Long Version) 4:23 (6.3MB)
Track 03. Good Time Woman (Early Version Of Tumbling Dice) 3:31 (4.8MB)
Track 04. Sweet Virginia 4:22 (6.0MB)
Track 05. Stop Breakin’ Down(Early Version No Harp) 4:38 (6.3MB)
Track 06. Shine A Light 4:04 (5.5MB)
Track 07. Sweet Black Angel (Instrumental) 3:03 (4.1MB)
Track 08. Let It Loose (Instrumental) 5:35 (7.6MB)
Track 09. Dancing In The Light (Instrumental) 2:46 (3.8MB)
Track 10. Potted Shrimp (Instrumental) 4:05 (5.6MB)
Track 11. Alladin Story (Instrumental) 5:29 (7.9MB)
Track 12. Leather Jacket (Instrumental) 3:23 (4.6MB)
Track 13. I’m A Country Boy (Instrumental) 4:17 (6.2MB)
Track 14. I’m Goin’ Down 2:59 (4.1MB)
Track 15. I Don’t Know Why 2:05 (2.8MB)
Track 16. Hamburger To Go 3:23 (4.4MB)
Artwork offers recording dates and venue where available. Some may be wrong.
Tks 9-12 with Nicky Hopkins on piano.
To record 1972’s Exile On Main Street, the Stones delved into their archives from 1968 onwards to see whether there were any tunes suitable for release they had missed. There were none. Exile remains a critical success and as time passes, a favourite of new fans as well. Buy it here.