Thursday 10pm: Feature LP: Rolling Stones – Bridges to Babylon (1997)

Bridges to Babylon is the 21st British and 23rd American studio album by British rock band The Rolling Stones, released by Virgin Records on September 29,1997. It was their last full-length release of new songs until 2005’s A Bigger Bang. Released as a double album on vinyl and a single CD, the album was supported by the year-long worldwide Bridges to Babylon Tour that met with much success.

Unlike the prior several albums, which the production and songwriting team of vocalist Mick Jagger and guitarist Keith Richards had co-produced alongside a single producer, the group brought in an eclectic mix of superstar producers, including the Dust Brothers, Don Was, and Rob Fraboni among others. Similarly, a wide array of guest musicians appeared on each of the tracks alongside band members Jagger, Richards, Ronnie Wood (guitar) and Charlie Watts (drums). The sprawling album features a wide range of genres, including the Stones-standard blues rock, sample-laden hip hop and rap. As a decade earlier, the band was once again not on speaking terms during the recording of the album, with Jagger and Richards each recording their parts separately and rarely appeared in the studio together. They had, however, repaired their relationship well enough to embark on a wildly successful tour to support the album.

Though critics gave the album mixed reviews, it sold well, reaching platinum or gold status in many markets, and produced the world-wide top-40 single “Anybody Seen My Baby?”

1. “Flip the Switch” 3:28
2. “Anybody Seen My Baby?” 4:31
3. “Low Down” 4:26
4. “Already Over Me” 5:24
5. “Gunface” 5:02
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
10. “Always Suffering” 4:43
11. “Too Tight” 3:33
12. “Thief in the Night” 5:15
13. “How Can I Stop” 6:53

“Anybody Seen My Baby?” Released: 22 September 1997
“Saint of Me” Released: 26 January 1998
“Out of Control” Released: August 1998