Thursday, 2 August 2012

Start Me Up 1981

It seemed obvious to me that you'd start the Olympics with this. Of course the big story took over, the propaganda, but if you could have just got the Stones to play flash, street fighting man, brown sugar, honky tonk and this, you would have the quintet of greatest late twentieth century rock tunes in open tuning (whatever that is) and you would have 'the set' always good to have the set like in maths (OK you might include 'All Down The Line' but that would be just for air guitar aficionados) and you would have the thing perfectly done and dusted.
I have a 7" of this little baby and it is the most perfect thing I play. Partly I love the fact it's a single and it has bags of room in the sound and there is no rumble at all, the band sound like they are in the room, and there is terrific thing going on inside the band, something I hear very rarely indeed, Keef calls it weaving I believe. For those who haven't a clue what that might mean, another example is found very briefly during the latter stages of Aerosmith's Love in an Elevator, but only just. It something to do with everybody doing different things but sounding absolutely together. I'm no musician, but it sounds bloody marvellous (and very difficult) to me. This record is just something else, and I don't have to worry about the rest of the crap on Tattoo You with just the single to hand, and I just love the sleeve. Bought it for a couple of quid on e-bay only a month ago.
It took at least six years to record, starting out as reggae track around Black and Blue '74/5, but finally saw the final cut on the same day/night/whatever as Miss You, and then was saved for Tattoo You. Good things take a while, clearly, but I cannot imagine a day that puts down both Miss You and Start Me Up. Must have just about the finest day/night/whatever any band could have. It is still talked about with the same reverence as flash and so on in the great chronologies. The last great attempt to follow it is probably 'Between a Rock and a Hard Place' (1999).

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