The Rolling Stones

Andrew's Blues

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This Rolling Stones bootleg album has four sources. The title song, an obscenity-laden tribute to Stones manager/producer Andrew Loog Oldham sung by Phil Spector (!), was recorded at a February 1964 session for the single "Not Fade Away." "Cocksucker Blues," another X-rated selection (in case that wasn't obvious), was cut at the Sticky Fingers sessions in 1970 as a contractual fulfillment on the Stones' commitment to Decca/London Records; of course, it was not deemed suitable for legitimate commercial release. Tracks three through 14, the bulk of the album, are drawn from an appearance at the Olympia in Paris on April 17, 1965. The last three tracks come from the Stones' performance in their Rock and Roll Circus film in December 1968. (This final section has been added for the CD reissue of Andrew's Blues; it was not included on the original LP version.) The first two tracks are, of course, notorious items in the Stones' discography. On "Andrew's Blues," Spector sings gleefully over a chugging rhythm track reminiscent of "Can I Get a Witness," with Mick Jagger and Graham Nash, of all people, joining in. "Cocksucker Blues," actually a Jagger solo performance on vocals and acoustic guitar, tells the woeful tale of a male prostitute going down to London. The Olympia show, which has only adequate sound quality, nevertheless gives a sense of what a Stones concert was like in the mid-'60s. (The seven-track British EP Got Live If You Want It!, not to be confused with the later U.S. LP of the same name, was recorded only a month before and covers much of the same material, but it is hard to find.) Since the 1996 release of Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus, that material is no longer obscure, but there is still enough here to interest hardcore Stones fans.