Revisiting this masterpiece - which I bought on release - recently and currently. Its pleasures only increase with time. For my generation, it was our ‘Exile On Main Street’. I remain in awe of this band at their creative peak; as, indeed, I do of The Stones at theirs.
The 25th Anniversary edition contains ‘The Vanilla Tapes’, long lost rehearsal recordings in preparation for the studio recording – which I am discovering for the first time. It is insightful to hear a great work of art take shape. Who knew that The Clash covered Dylan’s (truly, he is everywhere) ‘The Man in Me’ – in a reggae version - via Matumbi? And how did ‘Heart And Mind’ not make it on to the finished album, or any subsequent release? (Perhaps because it references The 101ers' 'Keys to your Heart' in its coda?)
Turn up at the grubby rehearsal studio around noon or lunchtime. Jam until around 4. Then take a break, and go play some ‘bonding’ recreational schoolyard football for an hour or two. Then some liquid refreshment and food at the pub across the road. Then back to the rehearsal space around 8pm, and heads down ‘til midnight…or later. Repeat the following day. Sounds like an ideal, and idyllic, existence. A bit like Villa Nellcôte.