So this is the album that consisted of tracks that were left over from other albums and a couple of new ones, a filler perhaps in the bigger scheme of things. But it all hangs together so well, so well, in my humble opinion, that as an album it was the last great Stones album. There is not a track on it that I do not like, or rate as being amongst the best 30 they ever wrote(how many rock bands have so many to pick from?).
Start me up, a clarion call to the male undead, well not quite,(how did this get past the BBC censors?), an instantly recogniseable classic with an intro as good as any ever written. Slave, a leftover from Black and Blue as far as I remember, a great lolling funky number. Black Limousine, a great bluesy rocker and one of the very few songs with a writing credit to someone other than the Glimmers themselves-well done Woody!
The last five numbers are stunning slow numbers, possibly the strongest tracks on the album. I love them. Great soulful singing and emotive playing by all. Waiting on a Friend - a stunner!! The sax solo by Sonny Rollins just tops off what is already a truly wonderful song and makes it essential.
The remastering has really brought out every last drop of music from an already super sounding album. Bills bass playing has tune rather than thud and is a relevation in certain numbers. Charlies brushwork on Heaven is sublime, the jazzer in him really pays off here.
The artwork is the most disappointing aspect of this release. The green chosen for the back cover is too dark to easily read the track listing, unlike the original, or even the Virgin reissue, and the image of Keef resplendant in tribal tattoo pattern looks like fourth generation photocopy, all nasty pixelated noise and stuff. The attention to the artwork has been less than average across this series of remasters. I would have done better myself if they had asked!
A sonic masterpiece! Only just pipped at the post by Some Girls.