- Salt of the Earth (song)
Name = Salt of the Earth
The Rolling Stones
6 December 1968
track_no = 10
Recorded = May - July 1968
Genre = Rock
Length = 4:47
Label = Decca/ABKCO (UK)
Producer = Jimmy Miller
prev = "Factory Girl"
prev_no = 9
"Salt of the Earth" is a song from the 1968
Rolling Stonesalbum " Beggars Banquet".
Mick Jaggerand Keith Richards, the song is most notable for its opening lead vocal by Richards. While not his first like many believe (that title goes to " Something Happened to Me Yesterday" off " Between the Buttons"), it was his most prominent to date. The lyrics (written primarily by Jagger) salute the common workers of the world:
Jagger said in a 1970 interview that the lyrics were written as "...total cynicism. I'm saying those people haven't any power and they never will have." Notable within the lyrics is the salute to the salt of the earth but no action to change or improve the circumstances of working people is implied or suggested. In a twice-repeated stanza, the singer professes a distance from his subject that seemingly belies the sentiment of the verses [ Unterberger, Richie. [http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=33:kbfexx9sldke "Salt of the Eath"] . "allmusic". 2007 (accessed
10 June 2007).] :
"Salt of the Earth" heavily features the acoustic work of Richards, typical of most songs from "Beggars Banquet". Richards also performs the
slide guitarthroughout the song as Brian Jones, notable for his slide on other songs from "Beggars Banquet", was absent from these sessions. While some songs from "Beggars Banquet" were famously recorded by Jagger and Richards with only a tape recorder in between them, "Salt of the Earth" was recorded at London's Olympic Sound Studios from May until July in 1968.
Featuring on the song are the Los Angeles Watts Street Gospel Choir and a raucous piano performance by
Nicky Hopkins. These additions, and their prominence near the end of the song, are thought to have had an influence on their next album " Let It Bleed"'s closing song, " You Can't Always Get What You Want".
"Salt of the Earth" has a unique live history. It has only been played live six times. The first was for the taping of the Stones' 1968 television special "
Rock and Roll Circus". It was then revived 21 years later for three performances in Atlantic City during the 1989-1990 Steel Wheels/Urban Jungle Tour, where the Stones were joined onstage by Axl Roseand Izzy Stradlinof Guns N' Roses. Jagger and Richards performed it as a duet for the 2001 " The Concert for New York City", commemorating the fallen of September 11, 2001. This could be considered ironic, although many in the audience probably assumed the song to be a wholly sincere salute to blue-collar workers everywhere. Its only other performance was in London in 2003 during the Licks Tour.
"Salt of the Earth" is also the title to a documentary on the Rolling Stones 2005-06 'A Bigger Bang' World Tour. [http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1046190/]
* [http://www.rollingstones.com/discog/index.php?v=so&a=1&id=114 Complete Official Lyrics]
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