Thursday, August 20, 2009

If You Remember the 70s, You Weren't Really There

Okay, ladies and germs, please enjoy one of the rarest -- and certainly one of the most exciting -- Rolling Stones rarities of them all.

From 1978, it's the Bob Clearmountain remix of the great Some Girls track "Before They Make Me Run." Which kicks the album version's ass bigtime.





How rare is this? Pretty damned rare; it was released as a limited edition 45 for critics and press only (with that fabulous Annie Leibovitz photo of Keith as the picture sleeve) and over the years it's pretty much disappeared down the memory hole. I'd been trying to find a copy since the old Napster days, with no success, but I stumbled on it at a torrent site the other day.

True story: Three years ago, I e-mailed Bob Clearmountain himself (he has a website, obviously) and asked if there was any chance he could spare an mp3 of this magnum opus. I assured him that I wasn't going to bootleg it or anything, but that I simply wanted to have a copy for my personal listening pleasure.

He got back to me right away -- nice guy -- but his answer was "Sorry, Steve -- to be honest, I have absolutely no recollection of ever having done the record."

[h/t Gummo]

18 comments:

Mister Pleasant said...

Glad you found your holy grail. Quite a find too. That guitar work is amazing. Mind boggling that Mr. Clearmountain has no memory of it.

Peter said...

Sometimes nothing else will do.

Gummo said...

What I always love about Clearmountain's production is implicit in his name -- the clarity.

Sure, the guitars are gorgeous, but listen to that drum sound -- sharp & clean & right up front.

I may be more impressed by the drums than the guitars on this cut!

steve simels said...

Gummo -- absolutely. It's a better edit than the album version (six seconds shorter, with an awkward pause cut out) and he got the right guitars in there.

But what makes it better is just a an indescribable sonic sheen. If you play the two versions back to back, the difference is really striking...

Kid Charlemagne said...

Bob C. is a genius. He was the engineer on Roxy Music's "Avalon" the *greatest* make-out record ever!

Kid Charlemagne said...

He also did the Church's "Blurred Crusade", another great LP.

NYMary said...

Roxy Music's "Avalon" the *greatest* make-out record ever!

I think you just dated yourself to within about six months, dude.

steve simels said...

Ah, Avalon.

Ferry's Moonlight and Roses period...takes me back...
:-)

Kid Charlemagne said...

That record works like catnip! :)

Anonymous said...

You finally found it! IIRC, the first time we exchanged e-mails you were looking for that. Wha? - about 5 years ago? Mazel tov! - bill buckner

steve simels said...

Bill --

The irony is that I found a pristine vinyl copy of the 45 and dropped it off to have it transferred (cost me fifteen bucks) last Thursday. Then I found the torrent version on Sunday.

Oh, well. At least this way I have both the stereo AND mono remixes. So I'm still too cool for school...
:-)

Dave Lifton said...

A reminder of just how great Charlie is when he gives a crap.

Noam Sane said...

I love the sideways Brown Sugar riff that this song is hung from.

I'd happily give up any future RS records if the Winos would reform. Keith's solo songwriting is so much more interesting than the later Jagger/Richards stuff.

But anyway, certainly a superior mix to the original. Maybe he could do the rest of the album now.

Brooklyn Girl said...

And, on top of everything else ("sonic sheen" --- what a great description), that photo is stunning.

Anonymous said...

My favorite Clearmountain product came out the next year - Ellen Foley's "Night Out" and (I have to assume it was his since it was also an Ian Hunter production) David Werner's third. Twin albums, really.

otoh, we probly have him to blame for Bryan Adams.

steves said...

Hey, mazel tov! Your years-long has come to a happy end.

Clearmountain is great guy, but how the hell does one forget working on a Stones' record?

spot check billy said...

how the hell does one forget working on a Stones' record?

Have you read anything about the Stones in the 1970s at all? I'm surprised Keith remembers writing the thing.

MBowen said...

I particularly liked Clearmountain's production on Garland Jeffreys' Escape Artist - again, slick, crisp, and crystal clear.

Maybe a Stones expert can nail this down, but ISTR that Keith said that Mick actually wrote "Before They Make Me Run" and that he wrote one of the other songs - either "Far Away Eyes" or "Miss You" - that everyone thought had to be all Mick.