Bridges to Babylon is an album by The Rolling Stones and was released in 1997.
It would prove to be their final studio album of the 1990s and their last full-length
release of new songs until 2005. The album was supported by a massive year-long
worldwide tour that met with much success.
Following the Voodoo Lounge, Voodoo Lounge Tour, and Stripped projects of 1994/1995,
the Stones afforded themselves a brief respite from their recent spate of prolific work
before leaders Mick Jagger and Keith Richards began devising new numbers 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 - impressed
with their work on Beck's Odelay - wanted to bring The Dust Brothers in to
work with the band. Richards, typically, wasn't keen on the idea, thus the
only tracks that would bear their influence would be "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.
A few extra producers would also contribute to give 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 - and was being mastered just as
projected lead single, "Anybody Seen My Baby?", was discovered to sound like another famous song. Richards'
daughter, Angela, brought it to her father's attention that The Rolling Stones'
new song bore a striking resemblance to k.d. lang's 1992 hit "Constant Craving" in its chorus.
Seeking to avoid any possible future legal entanglements,
lang and her co-writer Ben Mink were
credited with Jagger and Richards on the potentially offending song.
Upon its release, it would reach #22 in the UK and become a US radio rock hit.
Bridges to Babylon, containing an unprecedented three solo moments by Keith Richards,
was released to mixed reviews - some
finding the looseness of Stripped having transferred
successfully to the album - and it reached #6 in the UK and #3 in the US,
where it went platinum. Further singles "Saint of Me" and Out Of Control were also minor hits.
Eight different people played bass on the album: Jeff Sarli,
Jamie Muhoberac, Blondie Chaplin, Don Was, Danny Saber,
Darryl Jones, Me'shell Ndegeocello, and Doug Wimbish.
The Stones had become a touring phenomenon by this point.
The Bridges to Babylon Tour in 1997 consisted of 108 shows,
making it the second largest grossing North American tour of all time.
All songs by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, except where noted.
"Flip the Switch" – 3:27
"Anybody Seen My Baby?" (Mick Jagger/Keith Richards/k.d. Lang/Ben Mink) – 4:31
"Low Down" - 4:26
"Already Over Me" – 5:24
"Gunface" – 5:02
"You Don't Have to Mean it" – 3:44
"Out of Control" – 4:43
"Saint of Me" – 5:14
"Might as Well Get Juiced" – 5:23
"Always Suffering" - 4:43
"Too Tight" - 3:37
"Thief in the Night" (Mick Jagger/Keith Richards/Pierre de Beauport) – 5:15
"How Can I Stop" – 6:54
Japanese Bonus Track
The following track was played at the Tokyo Dome on March 6 , 1995 in Tokyo, Japan.
"Angie" – 3:39
Mick Jagger - Vocals, Electric Guitar, Backing Vocals, Acoustic Guitar, Keyboards, Harmonica, Shaker
Keith Richards - Electric Guitar, Backing Vocals, Vocals, Acoustic Guitar, Piano
Charlie Watts - Drums, Backing Vocals
Ronnie Wood - Electric Guitar, Slide Guitar, Pedal Steel Guitar, Dobro
Darryl Jones - Bass
Blondie Chaplin - Backing Vocals, Tambourine, Piano, Bass, 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 Markee - Rap
Jamie Muhoberac - Keyboards, Bass
Me'Shell Ndegeocello - Bass
Billy Preston - Organ
Danny Saber - Bass, Electric Guitar, Clavinet, Keyboards
Kenny Aronoff - Bucket
Jeff Sarli - Bass
Wayne Shorter - Saxophone
Joe Sublett - Saxophone
Benmont Tench - Organ, Piano, Keyboards
Waddy Wachtel - Electric Guitar, Acoustic Guitar, Backing Vocals
Don Was - Piano, Bass, Keyboards
Doug Wimbish - Backing Vocals, Bass
Year Chart Position
1997 UK Top 75 Albums 6
1997 The Billboard 200 3
Year Single Chart Position
1997 "Anybody Seen My Baby?" Mainstream Rock Tracks 3
1997 "Anybody Seen My Baby?" UK Top 75 Singles 22
1997 "Flip The Switch" Mainstream Rock Tracks 14
1998 "Saint of Me" UK Top 75 Singles 26
1998 "Saint of Me" The Billboard Hot 100 94
1998 "Saint of Me" Hot Dance Music/Maxi-Singles Sales 23
1998 "Saint of Me" Mainstream Rock Tracks 13
1998 "Out Of Control" UK Top 75 Singles 51
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