1973–74: It's Only Rock 'n Roll

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Posted on Sun, 02/15/2015 - 7:55am
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In November 1973, when the band was to begin work on the LP It's Only Rock 'n Roll at Musicland Studios in Munich, Taylor missed some of the sessions while he underwent surgery for acute sinusitis. Not much was achieved during the first 10 days at Musicland. Most of the actual recordings were made in January (Musicland) and April 1974 (Stargroves). When Taylor resumed work with the band, he found it difficult to get along with Richards. At one point during the Munich sessions, Richards confronted him and said, "Oi! Taylor! You're playing too fuckin' loud. I mean, you're really good live, man, but you're fucking useless in the studio. Lay out, play later, whatever." Richards erased some of the tapes where Taylor had recorded guitar parts to some of the songs for It's Only Rock n' Roll. Taylor was, however, present at all the sessions in April at Stargroves, England, where the LP was finished and most of the overdubs were recorded.

Not long after those recording sessions, Taylor went on a six-week expedition to Brazil, travelling down the Amazon River in a boat and exploring Latin music.

Just before the release of the album in October 1974, Taylor told Nick Kent from the NME magazine about the new LP and that he had co-written "Till the Next Goodbye" and "Time Waits for No One" with Jagger. Kent showed Taylor the record sleeve, which revealed the absence of any songwriting credits for Taylor.

I was a bit peeved about not getting credit for a couple of songs, but that wasn't the whole reason [I left the band]. I guess I just felt like I had enough. I decided to leave and start a group with Jack Bruce. I never really felt, and I don't know why, but I never felt I was gonna stay with the Stones forever, even right from the beginning.

We used to fight and argue all the time. And one of the things I got angry about was that Mick had promised to give me some credit for some of the songs – and he didn't. I believed I'd contributed enough. Let's put it this way – without my contribution those songs would not have existed. There's not many but enough, things like "Sway" and "Moonlight Mile" on Sticky Fingers and a couple of others.

In December 1974, Taylor announced he was leaving the Rolling Stones. The bandmates were at a party in London when Taylor told Mick Jagger he was quitting and walked out. Taylor's decision came as a total shock to many. The Rolling Stones were due to start recording a new album in Munich, and the entire band was reportedly angry at Taylor for leaving at such short notice.

When interviewed by Jann Wenner of Rolling Stone magazine in 1995, Mick Jagger stated that Taylor never explained why he had left, and surmised that "[Taylor] wanted to have a solo career. I think he found it difficult to get on with Keith." In the same interview Jagger said of Taylor's contribution to the band: "I think he had a big contribution. He made it very musical. He was a very fluent, melodic player, which we never had, and we don't have now. Neither Keith nor Ronnie Wood plays that kind of style. It was very good for me working with him ... Mick Taylor would play very fluid lines against my vocals. He was exciting, and he was very pretty, and it gave me something to follow, to bang off. Some people think that's the best version of the band that existed". Asked if he agreed with that assessment, Jagger said: "I obviously can't say if I think Mick Taylor was the best, because it sort of trashes the period the band is in now." Charlie Watts stated: "I think we chose the right man for the job at that time just as Ronnie was the right man for the job later on. I still think Mick is great. I haven't heard or seen him play in a few years. But certainly what came out of playing with him are musically some of the best things we've ever done". Another statement, made by Keith Richards, is: "Mick Taylor is a great guitarist, but he found out the hard way that that's all he is." Taylor later admitted in the 2012 documentary Crossfire Hurricane that he had become addicted to heroin and hoped to protect his family from the drug culture surrounding the band by leaving.

In an essay about the Rolling Stones, printed after Taylor's resignation, music critic Robert Palmer of The New York Times wrote that "Taylor is the most accomplished technician who ever served as a Stone. A blues guitarist with a jazzman's flair for melodic invention, Taylor was never a rock and roller and never a showman."

Taylor has worked with his former bandmates on various occasions since leaving the Rolling Stones. In 1977 he attended London-based sessions for the John Phillips album Pay Pack & Follow, appearing on several tracks alongside Jagger (vocals), Richards (guitar) and Wood (bass) – taking notable solos on the songs "Oh Virginia" and "Zulu Warrior". A possibly apocryphal story is that after Taylor played a particularly jaw-dropping solo in the studio, Richards half-jokingly exclaimed, "That's why I never liked you, you bastard!".

On 14 December 1981 he performed with the band at their concert at the Kemper Arena in Kansas City, Missouri. Keith Richards appeared on stage at a Mick Taylor show at the Lone Star Cafe in New York on 28 December 1986, jamming on "Key to the Highway" and "Can't You Hear Me Knocking"; and Taylor is featured on one track ("I Could Have Stood You Up") on Richards' 1988 album Talk is Cheap. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inducted Mick Taylor along with the Rolling Stones in 1989. Taylor also worked with Bill Wyman's Rhythm Kings in the early 1990s.

In addition to his contributions to Rolling Stones albums released during his tenure with the band, Taylor's guitar is also on two tracks on their 1981 release Tattoo You: "Tops" and "Waiting on a Friend", both of which were originally recorded in 1972. (Taylor is sometimes mistakenly credited as playing on "Worried About You", but the solo on that track is performed by Wayne Perkins.)

Taylor's onstage presence with the Rolling Stones is preserved on the album Get Yer Ya-Yas Out!, recorded over four concerts at Madison Square Garden in New York and the Civic Center in Baltimore in November 1969, and on the album Brussels Affair (Live 1973), compiled from two shows recorded in Brussels on 17 October 1973 in the Forest National Arena, during their European Tour. Taylor's live performances also feature in the documentary films Stones in the Park (released on DVD in 2001), Gimme Shelter (released in 1970) and Cocksucker Blues (unreleased); and in the concert film Ladies and Gentlemen: The Rolling Stones (shown in cinemas in 1974, and released on DVD and Blu-ray in 2010); these performances were also released on an album with the same title. Bootleg recordings from the Rolling Stones' tours from 1969 through 1973 also document Taylor's concert performances with the Rolling Stones.

In March 2010, rumours started circulating that Taylor had contributed guitar work on the upcoming Exile on Main Street special edition release. This expanded version of the original double album includes 10 outtakes or alternative versions of songs. Taylor later revealed (in an interview with a journalist from Cleveland) that he had indeed recorded new guitar overdubs for the CD, at Mick Jagger's request. On 17 April 2010 (National Record Store Day), the new Rolling Stones single "Plundered My Soul" came out, featuring recently recorded vocals and guitars by Jagger and Taylor.

Around this time, Eagle Rock Entertainment also announced that a first official release of the concert film Ladies and Gentlemen: The Rolling Stones was planned for autumn 2010. Apart from a one-off cinema screening in the past, the film had previously only been available on bootleg videos and DVDs.

 

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Mick Taylor - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia : taken from - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mick_Taylor http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/