Sympathy for the Devil

by: The Rolling Stones

As a means of promoting a DVD reissue of Jean-Luc Godard's 1970 film Sympathy for the Devil (which depicts the 1968 recording session that produced the Rolling Stones' song), ABCKO Records has released this seven-track CD single, running over 38 minutes, which contains remixes of "Sympathy for the Devil" by the Neptunes, Fatboy Slim, and Full Phatt (each presented in a "Radio Remix" and a "Full Length Remix"), plus the original Stones track. Since the song has a distinctive percussion part played by Stones drummer Charlie Watts and conga player Rocky Dijon, it's interesting that all the remixers begin by eliminating that part. But then, that's in the nature of the "remix" business, which tends to involve newly recorded rhythm tracks. The Neptunes retain Mick Jagger's vocal and Keith Richards' guitar solos, their new underlying track at first having an Indian flavor complete with sitar licks. Halfway through, a backing of acoustic guitar and string-like sounds replaces the Indian track. Fatboy Slim likes Nicky Hopkins' piano part and keeps it along with the vocal, laying in a characteristic stop-and-start electronica percussion part. Full Phatt is also fond of the original piano, and his percussion track has a more bass-heavy feel. Of course, when the original recording comes on at the end, it wipes the floor with the remixers. (The CD features a three-dimensional image of the Stones' tongue logo on the cover.) ~ William Ruhlmann

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