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Bridges to Babylon is the 21st British and 23rd American studio album by British rock band The Rolling Stones, released by Virgin Records on 29 September 1997. It would prove to be the band's final studio album of the 1990s and their last full-length release of new songs until 2005's A Bigger Bang. The album was supported by the year-long worldwide Bridges to Babylon Tour that met with much success.
- 2 Release and reception
- 3 Track listing
- 4 Personnel
- 5 Charts and certifications
- 6 References
Following the Voodoo Lounge Tour, and Stripped projects of 1994/1995, the Stones afforded themselves a brief respite before Mick Jagger and Keith Richardsbegan composing new songs together in the summer of 1996 with demos to follow at the end of the year. Although the band would use Don Was as a producer again, Jagger wanted to bring The Dust Brothers in to work with them, having been impressed with their work on Beck's Odelay.Richards wasn't keen on the idea and brought in Rob Fraboni for his solo material, such that the only tracks that would bear their influence were "Anybody Seen My Baby", "Saint of Me" and "Might as Well Get Juiced"; it was thus the first, and so far only, Stones album to feature sampling. Additional producers would also contribute, giving the project a more rounded feel.
Bridges to Babylon was recorded during the spring into summer months of 1997 in Los Angeles in a matter of four months, one of their most concise periods of recording in years. As it was being mastered, the projected lead single "Anybody Seen My Baby?" was found to resemble k.d. lang's 1992 hit "Constant Craving" in its chorus, a discovery brought to Richards' attention by his daughter Angela. Seeking to avoid possible future legal entanglements, lang and her co-writer Ben Mink were credited along with Jagger and Richards on the new song. Upon its release, it would reach #22 in the UK and become a US radio rock hit.
A total of eight different musicians played bass on the sessions for the album: Jeff Sarli, Jamie Muhoberac, Blondie Chaplin, Don Was, Danny Saber, Darryl Jones, Me'shell Ndegeocello, and Doug Wimbish.
The Stones had a number of the album's songs remixed in extended versions but have as yet not released any of them e.g. "Out Of Control / Papa was A Rolling Stone": 10 minutes, 10 seconds, "Might As Well Get Juiced" aka "Keith's Revenge Mix": 10:54, "Always Suffering" aka "Sentimental Mix": 9:27, "Already Over Me" aka "Ancient Remix": 9:27
Bridges to Babylon, containing an unprecedented three solo vocals by Richards, was released to mixed reviews. It reached #6 in the UK, #2 in France and #3 in the US, where it was certified platinum by the RIAA in November 1997. As of January 2010, Bridges to Babylon has sold 1.1 million copies in the US.Further singles "Saint of Me" and "Out of Control" were also minor hits.
The Stones had become a touring phenomenon by this point. The Bridges to Babylon Tour in 1997 consisted of 108 shows.
In 2009, Bridges to Babylon was remastered and reissued by Universal Music.
All songs written and composed by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, except where noted.
|1.||"Flip the Switch"||3:28|
|2.||"Anybody Seen My Baby?" (Jagger/Richards/k.d. lang/Ben Mink)||4:31|
|4.||"Already Over Me"||5:24|
|6.||"You Don't Have to Mean It"||3:44|
|7.||"Out of Control"||4:43|
|8.||"Saint of Me"||5:15|
|9.||"Might as Well Get Juiced"||5:23|
|12.||"Thief in the Night" (Jagger/Richards/Pierre de Beauport)||5:15|
|13.||"How Can I Stop"||6:53|
- The Rolling Stones
- Mick Jagger - lead and backing vocals, guitar, keyboards, harmonica
- Keith Richards - guitar, backing vocals, piano, lead vocals on "You Don't Have to Mean It", "Thief in the Night" and "How Can I Stop"
- Ronnie Wood - guitar, slide guitar, pedal steel guitar, dobro
- Charlie Watts - drums, backing vocals on "Always Suffering"
- Additional personnel
- Darryl Jones - bass guitar
- Kenny Aronoff - bucket
- Blondie Chaplin - backing vocals, tambourine, piano, bass guitar, percussion, shaker, maracas
- Matt Clifford - piano, organ
- Pierre de Beauport - six-string bass, piano
- Bernard Fowler - backing vocals
- Jim Keltner - percussion, shaker
- Darrell Leonard - trumpet
- Biz Markie - rapping
- Jamie Muhoberac - keyboards, bass guitar
- Me'Shell Ndegeocello - bass guitar
- Billy Preston - organ
- Danny Saber - bass guitar, electric guitar, clavinet, keyboards
- Jeff Sarli - bass guitar
- Wayne Shorter - saxophone
- Joe Sublett - saxophone
- Benmont Tench - organ, piano, keyboards
- Waddy Wachtel - electric and acoustic guitar, backing vocals
- Don Was - piano, bass guitar, keyboards
- Doug Wimbish - backing vocals, bass guitar
- The cover art was designed by Jay Bryan.
- The album was mixed by Bob Clearmountain.