Composers: Mick Jagger & Keith Richards
Recording date: May-June 2002
Recording location: Guillaume Tell Studios, Suresnes, Paris, France
Producer: Don Was & The Glimmer Twins Chief engineer: Ed Cherney
Mixer: Bob Clearmountain Performed onstage: 2002-03
Bass: Darryl Jones
Acoustic guitars: Mick Jagger & Keith Richards
Electric guitars: Keith Richards, Mick Jagger & Ron Wood (incl. solos)
Vocals: Mick Jagger
Keyboards: Chuck Leavell
Tambourine: Blondie Chaplin
For me, doing a solo album or a Stones album is all the same, with one proviso: that when I'm writing for the Rolling Stones I don't mind if the song sounds like the ones the Stones do, whereas if I'm writing, but not recording, with the Rolling Stones, I don't want the song to contain too many of the clichés that one associates with the Rolling Stones, so I try quite hard to avoid them. Before the release of Forty Licks, I wrote Don't Stop in the same period that I was writing the songs for my solo album, and I just put it to one side and said to myself, This sounds very much like the Rolling Stones to me. It might be very useful in the coming months, but I'll leave it for now and I won't record it because I think it's going to be better for the Stones.
It's basically all Mick. He had the song when we got to Paris to record. It was a matter of me finding the guitar licks to go behind the song, rather than it just chugging along. We don't see a lot of each other - I live in America, he lives in England. So when we get together, we see what ideas each has got: I'm stuck on the bridge. Well, I have this bit that might work. A lot of what Mick and I do is fixing and touching up, writing the song in bits, assembling it on the spot. In Don't Stop, my job was the fairy dust.
(It's) kind of a stock Mick riff. It's quite a simple song. Mick had the words and the phrasing, which was good, and Keith and I were kind of, All right, we'll give it a try. It ended up sounding like another Start Me Up, out of that stable.
Don't Stop is a classic Mick song. I could see that Mick had designed it to come across well in large venues, a Start Me Up-style crowd song, with a simple kind of message and a straightforward sructure. Because Mick is playing guitar, there isn't so much room for Keith, but he did manage to find a way of stabbing away at it, so that he was semi-happy with the result. I took on the stronger guitar part, because I was covering for Keith and also delivering what Mick was expecting from the way he had written the song: he wanted a trademark Woody guitar solo.
Don't Stop is the single-y one.
Don't Stop is probably not as good a song as something like Satisfaction, but as long as it fits in the show it works. What is interesting is that unlike those songs from the 1960s, it will never, in our lifetime, get played as much and acquire the patina of age. But a lot of the songs that we play live were not important songs when they came out... (A) tune like Don't Stop might - or might not - one day acquire the same patina. What is certain is that if you don't play a song onstage, it will never have a chance to be anything.
I can probably live without Don't Stop, although I enjoyed playing it - it's a pretty little thing and you can sizzle it off, but there's not much substance to it.
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