Olympic Studios Outtakes - Cool Blokes - SB 6
Comments: Outtkes from the "Beggar's Banquet" Sessions, some nearly identical to the released versions. More reviews, from the Fingerprint File:
-----//----- [firstname.lastname@example.org] This is a review of the newly released ROIO disc, RSVP. It's a limited edition release on an unspecified label. There were apparently 1500 copies pressed. The disc is essentially an alternate way to hear Beggar's Banquet. All the BB tunes--save for Steet Fighting Man--are presented here, as well a few left-over trax that have been available from other sources over the years. To quote the liner notes on RSVP: "Included on this disc are various mixes and outtakes. Some changes are quite subtle, others amazingly different." Also, the release claims that "this is the most complete documentation of the recording sesions done at Olympic Studios, for the Beggar's Banquet Album, all taken from the original reels." It has been reported widely that BB on CD is from something like 3rd-generation tapes. After listening to RSVP, this claims seems very plausible.
Now for the blow by blow on the trax. So the reader knows, the comparisons were made against the purportedly newly-mastered European release of BB. Comparisons were made realtime--or as near as a CD changer permits. As we all know, our ears have the shortest memory of any of our sensory organs...so there is a margin of error at play.
Sympathy For The Devil At 5:52, it comes in some 30 seconds shorter than BB. Some of this is accounted for by a curious edit that omits the "killed the czar and his ministers" line. In general, the vocal is more up front in mix. The "ooh ooh" chorus is significantly more distant in the mix, almost unnoticeable at times. The bass and drums are WAY up front, creating a "choppier" feel to the song....there are moments early in the tune, where a "pounding" of drums is felt on the off-beat. The song fades prematurely, accounting for the rest of the missing 30 seconds. Overall, a "cleaner" (closer to master?) sound is detected. No Expectations A flat-out different take...the same one found on Time Trip Vol. IV...but unlike that release--which fades early---this is the complete alternate take! It opens with studio banter between Mick and Keith concerning Stu's organ. As compared to the BB version, there is audibly more hiss, while the slide checks in lower in the mix. Keith's acoustic rhythm, on the other hand, has much greater definition. Mick's vocal is more stark and striking than BB. During the final instrumentation passage, Jagger hums along very prominently, while Stu's organ competes for space with Nicky Hopkins' piano. Very nice. IMHO, a better overall listening experience than BB's version. One of the highlights of the disc. Dear Doctor Again a different take than BB--take one, as identified by the lead-in---same as Time Trip Vol. IV--however, this time presented in better sound than on that disc. Bass lines more pronounced---instrumentation is noticeably more crisp in general. On this take, no falsetto during the "darling I'm sorry to hurt you" verse. Must-listening for all BB fans. Parachute Woman Might be the best overall improvement on the disc. Same take as BB, but this one is definitely closer to the master. BB version sounds flat, dull and lifeless by comparison. Oooh that bass!! Dramatic improvement in sound. Wider stereo separation. Jigsaw Puzzle Same take as BB. 10 seconds shorter---I believe this is entirely accounted for by a slightly faster speed. The mix here is MONO. Vocal is a shade more distant in mix. Bass line more up front. BB version sounds "tinnier". Significantly different "feel" overall. Acoustic rhythm guitar dominates the song, unlike the BB mix. I'm A Country Boy Listed on disc as "Instrumental." Point of comparison here is the cut on Time Trip Vol. III....simply put, there is no comparison. RSVP's version is "killer" soundwise. Same quality (and generation?) as rest of disc. These folks have definitely been snooping where they don't belong. Tremendous upgrade in sound...no "bleeding" of instruments. In effect, this song replaces SFM, which is not contained on this disc, leading to my theory that it was not on the BB reel from whence the rest of the disc was mined. Prodigal Son Checks in a 3:02, as compared to BB's 2:56. Bass and bassdrum are FELT not just heard. WOW! Crank this one up!! It literally pulses with energy. The acoustic strumming is not so much "in yo' face" as on BB. The harmonica is more up-front and detectable (Brian, is that you?). There is a wider stereo effect, with the guitars all off to one channel. Better than BB? Tough call, but a very welcome alternative way to hear this song. Impressive. Stray Cat Blues One of the most curious of the cuts....it checks in at 5:03 as compared to BB's 4:41. However, most of this is accounted for by the fact that it stops 20 seconds or so into the song. Silence for a few seconds, then back to the beginning. It's as tho' the engineer rewound the tape. ??? In reality the song is shorter due to an earlier and complete fade not found on BB. The good stuff here is that there are very significant differences. Keith's lead underscores Mick's vocal during a middle section, very unlike BB. Bass is more prominent throughout, rhythm electric guitar more distant. But the real jaw-dropper on this one, is a previously unheard Jagger rap---done in a strut-like fashion--this starts during the tag or coda section about 1 minute before the song fades. This alone is worth the price of the disc, IMHO. Factory Girl Same take presented in wider stereo than BB. Mick more prominent in mix. Completely different fiddle than BB -- comes in earlier, where mandolin does on BB. I like this fiddle better than BB--swings harder. Also, there are some apparently subtle variations to Keith's acoustic guitar....it is very possibly a completely different guitar track throughout. Salt Of The Earth Like Jigsaw, presented here in MONO. Slide is more distant in mix. Drums and bass are more prominent. More separation of instruments; slightly more muddy on BB. Nothing really dramatic here in terms of sound improvement or difference. Stuck Out All Alone Widely available outtake, but dramatically better sound than either TT III or Through The Past Starkly versions. No comparison. Nice inclusion of this odd outtake. Sweet Lucy Also known as Downtown Lucy or Downtown Suzie. Although not nearly as dramatic an improvement of sound as previous track, still some noticeable improvements from versions found elsewhere. Highway Child My point of comparison is against the Time Trip III. This one is 10x better in sound. This is a raw cut no matter how close to the master you get. Great rocker, with seemingly only Charlie, Mick and Keith (riffing a la Can't You Hear Me Knockin') in attendance. Still A Fool In all its 10 minutes of glory. Very close in sound to TT III -- only a slight improvement detectable. Still with disc crackle that identifies it as coming from an acetate. Dear Doctor (1:15) Much different (and prematurely aborted) take. Harmonica work is especially different. Sound quality is perfect (like the rest of the disc). Dear Doctor In MONO, same take as BB. Mix is very noticeable different in places. Mick's double vocal on final verse is inverted from BB---falsetto and "normal" voice are mixed opposite from that on BB. More depth and "feel" to acoustic guitar. Dear Doctor Same as BB, but this time in wide stereo. Better overall sound quality, seemingly closer to master. Overall, my evaluation of the disc is that for all BB lovers (that should be all Stones fans), RSVP is a find of major proportions. Yes, some differences to the released product are subtle, even undetectable to uneducated ears, while others are staggering and instantly noticeable and fascinating. I urge everyone to seek out a copy and judge for one's self.. -----//----- [email@example.com] The recording is crystal clear - an improvement on abkco's stuff IMHO, possibly closer to the master tapes and with great choices on mixing. The outakes are also in amazing quality - even better than the Black Box, or at least the same level. -----//----- [Parker, Jason, firstname.lastname@example.org] For all the early accolades, RSVP turns out to have only THREE tracks (mixes) new to the bootleg world: Stray Cat Blues-w/ extra vocals Factory Girl-w/ different fiddle Prodigal Son-1st time Stereo mix Other than a newly 'discovered' tape which may be closer-to-master and of a lower-than-before generation source, all the versions and outtakes, including SFTD and DD have been released before. Most of the outtakes were copied from VINYL, as well!! So, similar to Static in the Attic, this title has a few truly new items with a mixture of the same old stuff, in admittedly better quality. If there wasn't more money to be made, we wouldn't be seeing these endless, mostly marginal upgrades. (The people who have the best available, lowest generation tapes of unreleased Stones material, KNOW who they've traded to/sold to, AND when their tapes end up on a Vinyl Gang bootleg, for example.) To top off all of this particular RSVP-hype, I was stiffed by a *quote* reliable source for this CD, and never received anything for my $30 money order. -----//----- [ChrisM42@aol.com] Another Side of "R.S.V.P." There are six reasons to call this a significant release in my opinion: No Expectations - The great "Time Trip Vol. 4" take...this time complete. Differences include left & right channel acoustic guitar strumming, and the keyboard outro. Parachute Woman - Listen for the opening percussion in the right channel that is missing from the album version! Probably Keith's palm hitting a solid spruce acoustic guitar top. Note the clear right channel acoustic guitar licks and fills. Prodigal Son - Authentic John Lee Hooker foot stomp in the right channel! This is mixed way down on the studio version and is in the "middle" of the track. It makes a big difference on the whole feel of the song, and when played at the proper volume it will rattle your windows! Stray Cat Blues - Probably the infamous "the song has too much bass" version that Anita Pallenberg sent Jagger & Richards back into the studio to fix (reference: "Up and Down with the Rolling Stones" by Tony Sanchez). Note that the reverb sustains after the first tape stop, so my guess is that is a playback that was used to add a particular overdub, such as heavy vocal reverb and ad-lib outro lines missing from the album version. Factory Girl - There is a fair amount of tape hiss on this, but the clarity and separation of the mandolin in the left channel and acoustic guitar right channel is an upgrade for sure. The mandolin is middle-right on the album. The noticeably different fiddle tracks add to the value of this alternate version. Musically much more interesting than the released mix. Dear Doctor - The count in version and takes other than #1 are new to my ears. Note Keith's backing vocals on these takes. No doubt the "filler" from old LP's including Downtown Suzie with the skip for the tenth time detracts, but the surfacing of new takes in brilliant stereo from the 1968 Olympic Studios sessions are treasures that far outweigh the repurchasing of filler. The album tracks sound like mud when compared to these new takes. -----//----- [email@example.com] I called and should be able to get two of them. I've got a tape of it - it's MOSTLY meat, but there are a few real stupid choices on there - like the OLD Downtown Susie with the skip in it, these guys could have CLEARLY gotten the better version ANYWHERE. Outside of that there's a Sympathy For the Devil from either an acetate or a single with MASSIVE noise reduction. The rest are phenomenal remixed (earlier mixes) of the rest of the album including an incredible No Expectations, Stary Cat Blues, Jiggsaw Puzzle, Dear Doctor. However they did this, the mixes truly make BB sound more like a followup to Buttons as well as a very weird album of choices and styles - it becomes more powerful and experimental. the acoustic playing is more prevelant throughout and the entire album is more seperated and distinguishable, making it bigger and more of a "production". I think the mastering on this album and Bleed really squelched the effect. While they are considered great albums, I can honestly say if this record came out it would be heralded even higher, and if Bleed ever sounded like the this the Stones would have left the Beatles in the dust in many more ways. Several numbers sound Beatle-esque in production (Dear Doctor f.e.) but because it's the Stones it's better edged and rockin. It's less a country blues album this way. -----//----- [Dave Heller, firstname.lastname@example.org] There are definitely 2 different pressings of the RSVP CD. However, I don't think one is a copy of the other. The inserts are slightly different shades also, but both are equally sharp and clear. The CD was very hard to obtain for a while, then suddenly everyone had it. I think the CD was temporarily out of print, then more were pressed at a different location. If anything I suspect the "radio show" label with the scratched out matrix is the original.