Bridges to Babylon is the twenty-first studio album (twenty-third American album) by The Rolling Stones, released in 1997. By this stage of their career, the time-space between their albums was growing. Although this album came out three years after Voodoo Lounge, it would be eight years before their next studio album (A Bigger Bang) was released.
Upon release, it was greeted by strong mixed reviews, particularly the main single "Anybody Seen My Baby?". The chorus of "Anybody Seen My Baby?" sounds a lot like kd lang's "Constant Craving": It's reportedly a coincidence, and since this came to the band's attention before this album was released, they actually credited lang (and her co-writer, Ben Mink) as co-writing the song to help prevent any kind of lawsuit.
- "Flip the Switch" (3:28)
- "Anybody Seen My Baby?" (4:31)
- "Low Down" (4:26)
- "Already Over Me" (5:24)
- "Gunface" (5:02)
- "You Don't Have to Mean It" (3:44)
- "Out of Control" (4:43)
- "Saint of Me" (5:15)
- "Might as Well Get Juiced" (5:23)
- "Always Suffering" (4:43)
- "Too Tight" (3:33)
- "Thief in the Night" (5:15)
- "How Can I Stop" (6:53)
- Mick Jagger - lead vocals, guitar, keyboard, harmonica
- Keith Richards - guitar, backing and lead vocals, piano
- Charlie Watts - drums, vocals
- Ronnie Wood - guitar, dobro
Tropes In The Night:
- Added Alliterative Appeal: "Always Suffering"While the whole world was wandering
- Alliterative Title: "Bridges To Babylon" and "T'oo Tight".
- As the Good Book Says...: "Saint Of Me"Saint Paul the persecutorWas a cruel and sinful manJesus hit him with a blinding lightAnd then his life beganI said yeahI said yeahAugustin knew temptationHe loved women, wine and songAnd all the special pleasuresOf doing something wrong
- Break-Up Song:
Anybody seen my babyAnybody seen her aroundLove has gone and made me blindI've looked but I just can't findShe has gotten lost in the crowd
- "Anybody Seen My Baby?" is one where the girl seemingly left the city without even warning the narrator.
In the first flush of ecstasyAs you lay naked next to meWhile our love put the dawn to flightI just ignore all those warning lightsCause when you laugh I just cryWhen you left I just diedAre you already over me?Are you already over me?Are you already sick me?What a fool I've been
- "Already Over You"
I know where your place isAnd it's not with himI'm the one who is out here babyOut here, just looking inHe ain't gonna like it at all
- "Thief In The Night"
- Celebrity Cameo: Angelina Jolie appears as a stripper in the music video of "Anybody Seen My Baby?"
- Crapsack World: "Always Suffering"Now the rain is falling slowAnd the nights grow longAnd the trainCries out so hauntinglyShe is goneNow we're always sufferingAlready lost
- Epic Rocking: The 6:53 and aptly titled "How Can I Stop?".
- Fading into the Next Song: In at least the latest CD edition of this album, "Out Of Control" cross-fades into "Saint Of Me". It's especially noteworthy because in the cassette and vinyl editions those two songs were separated by a side break.
- Intercourse with You: "Too Tight"Baby you're tight for me(I warn you) yeahFar too tight for meYeahUntie those sheep shanks, yesAnd all those fancy knotsI'm not Houdini, honeyC'mon now and loosen up(Tight)(Too tight)
- New Sound Album: Most likely due to the use of multiple producers. The sound is firmly in The '90s.
- Ode to Intoxication: "Might As Well Get Juiced"The wheels of life are passing you byYou might as well get juicedMight as well get juicedSome people like to get high on loveBuss it off with alcohol
- One-Word Title: "Gunface".
- Panthera Awesome: The Assyrian lion on the cover, which has a Pharaoh-like beard because the art director drew influence from the Lamassu.
- Questioning Title?: "Anybody Seen My Baby?" and "How Can I Stop?".
- Sampling: The only Stones album to do so. Used in the songs "Anybody Seen My Baby?" (featuring a brief Biz Markie rap), "Saint Of Me" and "Might As Well Get Juiced".
I am not Houdini
- "Too Tight"
- "Saint Of Me" references biblical characters Saint Paul, Jesus, Augustin, John the Baptist, Herodes and Salome.
- Special Guest: By recording in Los Angeles, various musicians friends could attend the sessions, such as Billy Preston and Blondie Chaplin .
- Stalker with a Crush: "Thief In The Night"I'm gonna steal what's mineOh I'm gonna break the lawsBut I'll get through you doorBut you wait and seeYeah, I'm gonna get ya, get you free(Like a thief)I found out where he keeps youI've even been insideyou check under your pillow babyYou'll get the message
- Step Up to the Microphone: Keith Richards sings lead vocals on "You Don't Have To Mean It", "Thief In The Night" and "How Can I Stop".
- Troubled Production: Mick Jagger wanted to bring in outside producers instead of just relying on Don Was. Keith Richards was less than willing to do bring in "loop gurus", going as far as expelling Danny Saber from the studio once he found him overdubbing guitars. Was made sure to work with Richards and Jagger in separate rooms, Richards brought another producer for the tracks he sang (with Jagger boycotting those sessions), and Charlie Watts, who tried to relieve tension getting closer to the percussionist (they would even record an album together), left LA as soon as he wasn't needed anymore.
- Villain Song: "Saint Of Me"And I do believe in miraclesAnd I want to save my soulAnd I know that I'm a sinnerI'm gonna die here in the coldI said yes, I said yeahI said yeah, oh yeah, oh yeahYou'll never make a saint of me