THE ROLLING STONES SONG OF THE DAY– MEMO FROM TURNER

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The Rolling Stones Song of the Day is- Memo From Turner. Memo From Turner is credited to Mick Jagger and Keith Richards but it seems to be all Jagger- a Mick Jagger solo song although it was released on The Rolling Stones Compilation Metamorphosis – their former manager Allen Klein’s release of outtakes and alternate versions of Stones songs. Ry Cooder adds a slide guitar- it is unclear that any Rolling Stone other than Jagger is performing on the song. The song is from the movie Performance- where Jagger plays the role of a reclusive rock star.

Here is what Richie Unterberger at allmusic.com says about the song/ movie-

The story behind “Memo from Turner” is a rather complicated one, but one that needs to be told in order for listeners to straighten out which version appears where. In the late ’60s, Mick Jagger starred in the controversial film Performance, and while he didn’t do much singing in the movie, it did prominently feature one song with him on vocals, “Memo from Turner.” When “Memo from Turner” was first released, it was on a Mick Jagger 1970 solo single that was a small hit in the U.K., recorded with musicians other than the Rolling Stones. Five years later, a different demo version, recorded in 1968 and credited to the Rolling Stones, surfaced on the outtakes compilation Metamorphosis. “Memo from Turner”‘s a very interesting song that not only fit in well with the plot of the Performance movie — as a memo in song from the scene in which Jagger fantasizes playing a gangster — but would have been worthy of inclusion on a regular Rolling Stones album. Musically it’s very much in the spirit of the late-’60s/early-’70s Stones, with a lazy but funky midtempo blues-rock feel and excellent slide guitar. Jagger puts on his best drawling speak-sing voice for the lyrics, spinning bizarre mini-snapshots of decadent, cruel gangster behavior. The music isn’t grim, though; it’s more in a sly, ironic happy-go-lucky vein, as if to illustrate the callous, carefree glee gangsters take in such antics. It’s not a celebration of the gangster mentality, though, so much as a subtle, mocking look at its decadence, with hints of repressed homosexuality and almost gruesome imagery of dog-eat-dog behavior. In contrast to the Performance soundtrack recording, the demo on Metamorphosis is perfunctory and bloodless, with a slightly cardboardish sound, a stiff brisk tempo, and a Jagger vocal that sounds as if he’s doing a guide track to be improved upon later. The Performance version is far superior, and though it was originally credited to Mick Jagger alone, it’s included on the box set of vintage Rolling Stones singles tracks, Singles Collection: The London Years.

 

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17 responses to “THE ROLLING STONES SONG OF THE DAY– MEMO FROM TURNER

  1. Hey Hans…have you ever watched Performance? I’ve wanted to but I just never have… I’ve read where James Fox flipped out after this movie and joined a cult or something.

    • I’m going to look… I heard it’s better than Ned Kelly…

      Off topic…. have you seen the Elvis HBO bio “The Searcher”? It is really good. I watched part one last night.

    • The key to Elvis’s greatness is his music- and for some reason it is always put on the back burner- it should be like with The Beatles- the first thing that is talked about instead of the tabloid and tacky fodder.

    • I agree… I’ve been going over his music… every time I read a book this happens… his 50s music like Jailhouse Rock… it’s hard to beat that…. the energy

    • lol- john could be brutally honest.. i remember reading in the Lewisohn book -when he came out of the Army- those first singles- weren’t up to par with what came before and John knew it and acknowledged it.

    • I just read…which you did of course that when Priscilla was living there…no married yet he asked her opinion on a song and she said it was pretty and all but everyone wants “Jailhouse Rock” lol….of course he got upset for a while.
      You can see it coming around 66…thats where I’m at now in the book.

    • I was thinking of Elvis- Judy Garland and Michael Jackson today- Garland was married on this date in 1969 for the 5th time- and would be dead in a little over 3 months- those three lead such sad and tragic lives….I wasn’t shocked when Jackson died- and I know I wasn’t when Elvis died but of course I was a teenager then.. he just seemed like someone who wasn’t going to see old age.

    • No he lived so fast…You picked 3 very similar people no doubt. All of them just burned themselves out.

      I was younger and didn’t see how Elvis looked…my gosh after looking at that tour now…there is no way he should have been out there. I just feel so bad for him.

    • I feel bad for him too- more than the others- I don’t know that much about Garland other than the basics- but Elvis- it’s a heartbreaking story.

    • I’m learning a lot about him I didn’t know. I had no clue that like Lennon he was looking for a “guide” or to find himself…much like John in India. The book humanizes him instead of what you said…something other than a cartoonish figure.

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