Tuesday, September 23, 1997

The Rolling Stones’ Bridges to Babylon released

Bridges to Babylon

The Rolling Stones

Released: September 23, 1997

Peak: 3 US, 6 UK, 2 CN, 19 AU

Sales (in millions): 1.0 US, 0.1 UK, 4.5 world (includes US and UK)

Genre: classic rock veteran


Song Title (Writers) [time] (date of single release, chart peaks) Click for codes to singles charts.

  1. Flip the Switch [3:28] (11/22/97, 14 AR, 26 CN)
  2. Anybody Seen My Baby? (Jagger/ Lang/ Mink/ Richards) [4:31] (9/20/97, 45 RR, 2 AA, 3 AR, 22 UK, 1 CN, 58 AU)
  3. Low Down [4:26]
  4. Already Over Me [5:24]
  5. Gunface [5:02]
  6. You Don't Have to Mean It [3:44]
  7. Out of Control [5:02] (8/17/98, 51 UK)
  8. Saint of Me [5:15] (11/1/97, 94 US, 7 AA, 13 AR, 26 UK, 24 CN, 100 AU)
  9. Might As Well Get Juiced [5:23]
  10. Always Suffering [4:43]
  11. Too Tight [3:33]
  12. Thief in the Night (DeBeauport/ Jagger/ Richards) [5:15]
  13. How Can I Stop [5:53]

Songs written by Jagger/ Richards unless indicated otherwise.

Total Running Time: 61:20

The Players:

  • Mick Jagger (vocals, guitar, percussion)
  • Keith Richards (guitar, vocals, bass)
  • Ronnie Wood (guitar, backing vocals)
  • Charlie Watts (drums)


3.413 out of 5.00 (average of 23 ratings)

Awards: (Click on award to learn more).

About the Album:

“It’s no use comparing Stones albums to Exile on Main Street anymore; the world’s greatest rock & roll band clearly substitutes finances for passion these days. But compared to, say, Soul Asylum or the Black Crowes, the band still produces worthwhile records.” AZVoodoo Lounge confirmed that the Stones could age gracefully, but it never sounded modern; it sounded classicist.” AMG

Bridges to Babylon finds the Rolling Stones swaggering towards the millenium with a record that confidently asserts that rock & roll is far from a young person’s game. Don Was returns behind the boards, and joining him at Mick Jagger's behest are uber-technophiles The Dust Brothers. Rather than leaping headlong onto an ill-fitting bandwagon, The Stones wisely gild their rock & roll lily with subtle electronic nuances.” CD Additional collaborators like “Beck, the Beastie Boys, and Danny Saber (of Black Grape)…give the veteran group an edge on their explorations of drum loops and samples.” AMG

“Of course, the Stones are the Stones, and no production is going to erase that, but the group is smart enough – or Keith Richards is stubborn enough – to work within their limitations…As a result, Bridges to Babylon sounds like the Stones without sounding tired. The band is tight and energetic, and there’s just enough flair” in the “noirish mood” CD of “the sultry Anybody Seen My Baby?, the menacing Gunface, and the low-key, sleazy Might as Well Get Juiced, to make them sound contemporary.” AMG

The latter features “swooshing laser sounds” CD while “Anybody Seen My Baby?” includes a sampled rap, both of which offer “present-day window dressing for a legacy deeply rooted in rhythm and blues.” CD “Anybody Seen My Baby?” was released as the lead off single and received a nomination for a Grammy for Best Pop Performance By a Duo or Group with Vocal. The album was nominated for a Grammy for Best Rock Album.

“But the real key to the success of Bridges to Babylon is the solid, craftsman-like songwriting. While there aren’t any stunners on the album, nothing is bad.” AMG “The Stones stop long enough to cleverly acknowledge their past by dropping a harp playing the main riff of ‘Papa Was a Rolling Stone’ into the mid-tempo Out of Control.” CD Rockers like that, Flip the Switch and Low Down, along with “the closing Keith Richards suite all give Bridges the edge over the Stones’ spotty previous Voodoo Lounge.” CD

Richards’ winners include “and the slow-burning How Can I Stop.” AZ He “remains the soul of the Stones. His riffing and his endearing rasp continue to stand out.” CD “His crooning” CD on “the reggae workout You Don’t Have to Mean ItAZ and “the emotive one-two punch of Thief in the NightCD and “the slow-burning How Can I StopAZ “shows Keef to be a closet romantic camouflaged by a bad-ass strut.” CD

There are also ballads like Already Over Me and “Saint of Me to revel in their bad-boy persona.” CD They “cap off another fine latter-day Stones record.” AMG “The Stones don’t deserve our indifference just yet.” AZ

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First posted 3/23/2008; last updated 10/25/2021.

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