- LP Record (Oct 19 1999)
- Number of Discs: 2
- Format: Import
- Label: Virgin Records Us
- ASIN: B00001R3GJ
- Other Editions: Audio CD | Audio Cassette | LP Record
- Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars See all reviews (273 customer reviews)
You get the feeling that the Stones went into the studio and just let it rip. In a way, it can be compared to the Beatles' white album in its eclecticness, but it is much more coherent. While there are different styles, ranging from blues to country to gospel, the record is unified by its uniquely grungy atmosphere. There is a tired, world-weary darkness to the album, "Torn and Frayed," some moments of Tom Waits' rolling-around-in-the-dirt grossness, "Turd on the Run," with moments of shining light, "Let it Loose" and "Shine a Light."
1&2) Rocks Off/Rip This Joint - The album starts with a bang, from the weird, rockin' "Rocks Off" to the Richards gem, "Rip this Joint." You won't find a better Richards tune. Mick's gargling break in the middle of "Rock's Off" mars an otherwise spectacular opening.
3) Shake Your Hips - An eery, murky blues cover. One of the weaker tracks, but it sets the mood for the rest of the album.
4) Casino Boogie - Can't understand most of the words. Keith is particularly nasal on this one. But it introduces the horn section in an upbeat rhythm number.
5) Tumbling Dice - It got radio play, but see how well it fits into the context of this album.
6) Sweet Virginia - A gritty, soulful country number with a memorable scatalogical refrain featuring some great backing vocals. It also features a Tom Waits-ish vocal by Mick.
7) Torn and Frayed - A countrified anthem to exhaustion.
8) Sweet Black Angel - A murky, bluesy ode to a Black pin-up girl. Unfortunately most of the lyrics are indecipherable.
9) Loving Cup - Great piano intro. One of the more joyful songs on the album. "I'm the man who brings you roses when you ain't got none." But a little dirt still sticks, "Do you want to push and pull with me all night?" The rousing ending foreshadows the glorious "Let it Loose."
10) Happy - A Richards gem. Who doesn't "need a love to keep me happy"?
11) Turd on the Run - A Tom Waits-ish roll in the mud. Sounds as if it was written after a visit to a whorehouse. "Dirty hands, vaseline, you give me disease." Perhaps Mick gives us a glimpse into a dark soul.
12) Ventilator Blues - A dark, ponderous, blues number. Another mood piece.
13/14) I Just Want to See His Face/Let it Loose - Gospel was never like this. Man's greatest desire, to see the face of God, "Don't want to walk or talk about Jesus/ I just want to see his face," expressed in a low, rumbling, reverberating, rhythm number. The track features a muffled Jagger vocal with suitablly soulful black backing vocalists. The somber mood lays the ground for the glorious "Let it Loose."
The pent up emotion and desire for redemption explodes on "Let it Loose," a glorious gospel-inspired explosion. The most hopeful, soulful song on the album builds to a glorious crescendo featuring a wonderful chorus and full-tilt horn section. There is no other Stones song like this. Oh, what might have been.
15) All Down the Line - A straight-ahead, no frills rock number. A great one.
16) Stop Breaking Down - One of the mood-creating rhythm tracks. Starts slow but builds to a rollicking end.
17) Shine a Light - The coda to "Let it Loose." "May the good Lord Shine a Light on You/ make every song your favorite tune." Amen brother Jagger.
18) Soul Survivor - A gritty end. The album ends on a hopeful note.