Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Fever In The Funkhouse

One of the cooler things I picked up at the WFMU Record Fair last month was a pretty common record. The Stones' 1972 US single of "Tumbling Dice." What is extraordinary about it is that they issued it in Mono. The B-Side, "Sweet Black Angel" is stereo. To do this in 1972, was probably not a self-conscious retro pose, as much as the realization that the record should be mixed to be heard through the speaker of a Delco radio on the dashboard of a Pontiac. FM radio was still optional in those days. So, aside from any geeky discussion of Mono vs. Stereo, this is in my opinion the Stones finest moment. Originally kicked around in 1969 sessions for Sticky Fingers as "Good Time Women," it was recorded and remained unfinished until the riff and the groove coalesced into "Tumbling Dice" in the sweaty basement of Keith's Chateau Villa Nellcote on the French Riviera during the sessions for Exile on Main Street. What is great about this record is pretty simple: there's the groove, the riff, and great lyrics from Jagger when he was still a credible voice. Mick is on rhythm, Keith takes the solo and Mick Taylor plays bass. The Mono mix has a more lively drum sound and more subdued background vocals.

Dig it...


"Tumbling Dice" mp3 mono mix
by The Rolling Stones, 1972.
Single RS-19103


The genesis of a groove....

"Good Time Women" mp3
by The Rolling Stones, 1969.

"Tumbling Dice #1 & #2" mp3
by The Rolling Stones, 1971
Mick Taylor on lead guitar

"Tumbling Dice" mp3 stereo mix
by The Rolling Stones, 1972
available on Exile on Main St.

photograph: © Robert Frank, 1972.


Anonymous said...

I hate to get all music purist, either, but I recently bought - at huge expense - all the Beatles' singles in their original mono mixes after years of really hating the horrible stereo mixes.

Anyone who has only heard the Beatles on CD has no idea how terrible they sound compared to the way they sounded on tiny transistor radios and mono jukeboxes in the sixties. The mono mixes are fuller, rounder, have the right amount of echo chamber, everything.

BTW, Ted, I had this same 45 as a kid, so it was an extra special treat. Thanks!

Bobby D. said...

Tumbling Dice is Nice! I agree with tp

Anonymous said...

The mono version is heads and tails above the stereo one. Great post!

Anonymous said...

E X C E L L E N T !

kindsaluv said...

what a great blog. thank you so much