Voodoo Lounge

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Voodoo Lounge
Studio album by The Rolling Stones
Released 11 July 1994
Recorded September, 3 November – 11 December 1993, 15 January – 23 April 1994
Genre Hard rock, blues rock, roots rock
Length 62:08
Language English
Label Virgin
Producer Don Was, The Glimmer Twins
The Rolling Stones chronology
Steel Wheels
(1989)
Voodoo Lounge
(1994)
Bridges to Babylon
(1997)
Singles from Voodoo Lounge
  1. "Love Is Strong"
    Released: 5 July 1994
  2. "You Got Me Rocking"
    Released: 26 September 1994
  3. "Out of Tears"
    Released: 1 November 1994
  4. "I Go Wild"
    Released: 1995

Voodoo Lounge is the 20th British and 22nd American studio album by The Rolling Stones, released in July 1994. As their first new release under their new alliance with Virgin Records, it ended a five-year gap since their last studio album, Steel Wheels in 1989. Voodoo Lounge is also the Stones' first album without long-time bassist Bill Wyman, who left the band in early 1991.[1] In 2009, the album was remastered and reissued by Universal Music.

Background[edit]

Following the release of Keith Richards' Main Offender and Mick Jagger's Wandering Spirit in 1992 and 1993, respectively, both leaders of the Rolling Stones began composing new songs in April 1993, deciding upon Don Was (who has produced several Grammy-winning records) as co-producer for the upcoming sessions. In November, after rehearsing and recording at Ronnie Wood's house in Ireland that September, the Stones shifted to Windmill Lane Studios in Dublin and began cutting Voodoo Lounge. Although not joining the band officially, Darryl Jones would be taking Bill Wyman's place as the group's regular bassist, at the suggestion of drummer Charlie Watts.

Don Was, noted for his retro rock production sensibilities, was reportedly responsible for pushing the band towards more conventional territory in an attempt to reproduce the archetypal "Rolling Stones" sound. Although this approach pleased critics and the Stones rock-oriented fan base, Jagger in particular expressed some dissatisfaction with Was' aesthetic, commenting in a 1995 interview with Rolling Stone:

... there were a lot of things that we wrote for "Voodoo Lounge" that Don steered us away from: groove songs, African influences and things like that. And he steered us very clear of all that. And I think it was a mistake.[2]

Was responded that he was not "anti-groove, just anti-groove without substance, in the context of this album. They had a number of great grooves. But it was like, 'OK, what goes on top of it? Where does it go?' I just felt that it's not what people were looking for from the Stones. I was looking for a sign that they can get real serious about this, still play better than anybody and write better than anybody."[3]

The result was an essentially classicist recording that drew on the blues, R&B, and country that had informed the Stones classic late 1960s/early 1970s recordings. Jagger would insist on a more diverse, contemporary production cast for the subsequent Bridges to Babylon. Nevertheless, Was remains the Stones producer to this day. After a period of recording in Los Angeles in the first few months of 1994, Voodoo Lounge was complete and The Rolling Stones moved onto the rehearsals for the (yet another massive, worldwide) Voodoo Lounge Tour which would begin in August.

During the recording of the album, Richards adopted a stray cat in Barbados which he named Voodoo, because they were in Barbados, and the kitten had survived the odds. He dubbed the terrace of the house, Voodoo's Lounge. "Sparks Will Fly" was written by Richards after a blow up with Jerry Lee Lewis in Ireland. Richards invited Lewis to Wood's home to jam on a few songs. Lewis took it seriously and thought they were making an album, and upon playback of the session, he started to pick apart Richards' band, which outraged Richards.[4]

Release and reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3.5/5 stars[5]
Chicago Tribune (Positive)[6]
Entertainment Weekly (C+)[7]
Los Angeles Times 3/4 stars[8]
The New York Times (Positive)[9]
People (Not favorable)[10]
Robert Christgau (2-star Honorable Mention)[11]
Rolling Stone 4/5 stars[12]
Vox (8/10)[13]

Released in July 1994, Voodoo Lounge received strong reviews and debuted at #1 in the UK (their first chart-topper there since 1980's Emotional Rescue) and #2 in the US where it went double platinum.

Writing for Vox magazine in August 1994, Steven Dalton thought that the album's strongest tracks were filled with "echoes of the band's halcyon days", most notably 1972's Exile on Main Street and 1978's Some Girls.[13] He went on to surmise that Voodoo Lounge "reminds us why we liked the Stones in the first place", and singled out "New Faces", "Out of Tears" and "Blinded By Rainbows" as the album's highlights, despite also stating that the record contained "too many sketchy, arsing-around-in-the-studio jobs" to be considered one of the group's overall best albums.[13]

Robert Christgau commented: "world's greatest roots-rock band".[11]

In early 1995, while the Voodoo Lounge Tour was still in full force (not finishing until August that year), Voodoo Lounge won the Grammy Award for Best Rock Album.

Singles

"Love Is Strong", which was inspired by Richards' solo "Wicked As It Seems", was released as the first single, reaching #14 in the UK. However, although the track was a hit on US rock radio, it stalled on the overall US singles charts at #91, and (at least in the US) became the Rolling Stones' worst performing lead single from an album to that time. Two follow-up US singles also received strong rock radio airplay, but failed to cross over into top 40 hits: "Out of Tears" peaked at #60, and "You Got Me Rocking" fared even worse, peaking at #113. Consequently, Voodoo Lounge would be the first Rolling Stones album to not produce significant hits in the US, even with two million copies sold. In the UK, "Love Is Strong", "You Got Me Rocking", "Out of Tears", and "I Go Wild" were all top 40 chart hits.

Legacy[edit]

The song "Thru and Thru", which features Keith Richards on lead vocals, appears in several times in "Funhouse", the second season finale of "The Sopranos", including over the end credits.

In July 2014, Guitar World placed Voodoo Lounge at number 42 in their "Superunknown: 50 Iconic Albums That Defined 1994" list.[14]

Rolling Stones Voodoo Lounge CD ROM Interactive[edit]

An interactive CD-ROM was released using early QuickTime video technology. A Windows/Macintosh game titled Rolling Stones Voodoo Lounge CD ROM published by GTE Interactive Media in 1995.[15]

In 2009, Voodoo Lounge was remastered and reissued by Universal Music.

Track listing[edit]

All songs by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards.

Side one
No. Title Length
1. "Love Is Strong"   3:46
2. "You Got Me Rocking"   3:34
3. "Sparks Will Fly"   3:14
Side two
No. Title Length
4. "The Worst"   2:24
5. "New Faces"   2:50
6. "Moon Is Up"   3:41
7. "Out of Tears"   5:25
Side three
No. Title Length
8. "I Go Wild"   4:19
9. "Brand New Car"   4:13
10. "Sweethearts Together"   4:46
11. "Suck on the Jugular"   4:26
Side four
No. Title Length
12. "Blinded by Rainbows"   4:33
13. "Baby Break It Down"   4:07
14. "Thru and Thru"   5:59
15. "Mean Disposition"   4:09
  • Track 15 was only included on CD in 1994, but is also featured on the 2010 vinyl (2LP) release.[16]

Personnel[edit]

The Rolling Stones
Additional personnel

Singles[edit]

Year Single Chart Position
1994 "Love Is Strong" UK Top 75 Singles[18] 14
The Billboard Hot 100[19] 91
Mainstream Rock Tracks 2
"You Got Me Rocking" Mainstream Rock Tracks 2
UK Top 75 Singles[20] 23
"Out of Tears" The Billboard Hot 100[19] 60
Mainstream Rock Tracks[19] 14
UK Top 75 Singles[21] 36
1995 "You Got Me Rocking" Bubbling Under Hot 100 113
"Sparks Will Fly" Mainstream Rock Tracks 30
"I Go Wild" Mainstream Rock Tracks 20
UK Top 75 Singles[22] 29

Charts[edit]

Certifications[edit]

Multi platinum award
Region Certification Sales/shipments
Austria (IFPI Austria)[47] Gold 25,000x
Canada (Music Canada)[48] 3× Platinum 300,000^
France (SNEP)[49] 2× Gold 295,400[50]
Germany (BVMI)[51] Platinum 500,000^
Japan (RIAJ)[52] Gold 172,410[44]
Mexico (AMPROFON)[53] Platinum 250,000^
Netherlands (NVPI)[54] Platinum 100,000^
Norway (IFPI Norway)[55] Gold 25,000*
Spain (PROMUSICAE)[56] Gold 50,000^
Switzerland (IFPI Switzerland)[57] Gold 25,000x
United Kingdom (BPI)[58] Gold 100,000^
United States (RIAA)[59] 2× Platinum 2,000,000^
Summaries
Europe (IFPI)[60] Platinum 1,000,000*

^shipments figures based on certification alone
xunspecified figures based on certification alone

|}

References[edit]

  1. ^ Wyman left the band in 1991 but the Stones did not formally announce the departure until 1993. See Keith Richards, Life, New York: Little Brown, 2010, p. 494
  2. ^ Wenner, Jann. "Jagger Remembers". Rolling Stone. Wenner Media. Retrieved 2009-12-13. 
  3. ^ "Voodoo Lounge". Time Is on Our Side. Retrieved 2009-12-13. 
  4. ^ Keith Richards, Life, New York: Little Brown, 2010, pp. 498-500
  5. ^ Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Review: Voodoo Lounge". Macrovision Corporation. Retrieved 3 September 2009. 
  6. ^ Kot, Greg (1994-07-10). "The Stones Age It's Not Great, But The New Album Gives Some Satisfaction". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 18 December 2013. 
  7. ^ Browne, David (1994-07-22). "Music Review > Voodoo Lounge (1994) > The Rolling Stones". ew.com. Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 18 December 2013. 
  8. ^ Hilburn, Robert (10 July 1994). "Good 'Voodoo' or Lounge-Lizard Time? : ***; THE ROLLING STONES, "Voodoo Lounge" ( Virgin ) : THE REVIEW : Getting back to basics, the Stones again sound relaxed and enthused". articles.latimes.com. Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 18 December 2013. 
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  13. ^ a b c Dalton, Steven. "Review: Rolling Stones - Voodoo Lounge (Virgin V2750)". Vox (IPC Media) (VOX47, August 1994): 93. 
  14. ^ "Superunknown: 50 Iconic Albums That Defined 1994". GuitarWorld.com. 14 July 2014. Retrieved 14 July 2014. 
  15. ^ "Rolling Stones Voodoo Lounge CD-ROM - Moby Games". Retrieved on 7 January 2009
  16. ^ 2010 2LP verion
  17. ^ Saulnier, Jason (8 April 2010). "Chuck Leavell Interview". Music Legends. Retrieved 6 May 2013. 
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  21. ^ ""Out of Tears" UK chart history-Rolling Stones singles". Retrieved 19 July 2009. 
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