GODDESS IN THE DOORWAY

Pre-production:
September 1999: La Fourchette (Mick Jagger's home studio), PocÚ sur Cisse, France
November 1999: La Fourchette, PocÚ sur Cisse, France
February 2000: Twin Studios, Paris, France
May 2000: Norfolk Lodge (Mick Jagger's home studio), Richmond, Surrey, England
January 2001: studio, New York City, USA
February 2001: Norfolk Lodge, Richmond, Surrey, England

Recorded & mixed:
Late April 2001: Roxie Studios, Miami, Florida, USA
Mid-May-early June 2001: Third Stone Studios, Drive By Studios &
Rumbo Studios, Los Angeles, USA
June 2001: Chiswick Studios, London, England
Mid-June-mid-July 2001: Metropolis Studios, London, England &
Norfolk Lodge, Richmond, Surrey, England
July 13, 2001: hotel room, Heidkamp, Germany
July 21, 2001: The Hit Factory, New York City, USA
Late July 2001: studio, New York City, USA

Producers: Mick Jagger, Marti Frederiksen, Matt Clifford, Chris Potter,
Lenny Kravitz, Wyclef Jean & Jerry Duplessis
Chief engineers: Rich Chycki & Max Heyes
 Chief mixers: Jack Joseph Puig & Tom Lord-Alge
Released: November 2001
Original label: Virgin Records



Contributing musicians: Mick Jagger, Matt Clifford, Marti Frederiksen, Phil Spalding, Ian Thomas, Steve Knightley, Pete Townshend, Jim Keltner, Joe Perry, Kenny Aronoff, Mick Dolan, Kyle Cook, Milton McDonald, Lenny Castro, Wyclef Jean, Lenny Kravitz, Ruby Turner, Mikal Reid, Max Heyes, Cris Frederiksen, Robert Aaron, Jerry Duplessis, Craig Ross, Steve Sidwell, Chris White, Neil Sidwell, Patsy Gamble, Matt Knobel, Serge Tsai, Paul Clarvis, Bono, Rob Thomas, Tatiana Okou, Elizabeth Jagger & Georgia May Jagger.
 

Visions of Paradise
Joy
Dancing in the Starlight
God Gave Me Everything
Hide Away
Don't Call Me Up
Goddess in the Doorway
Lucky Day
Everybody Getting High
Gun
Too Far Gone
Brand New Set of Rules
 
 
 


CREATION


I was really just coming from a songwriting point of view, rather than I want to do a rap album, or I want to do an album of ballads or an album of blues, or something of that kind. It's a mixture of traditional things and more contemporary things. It's very much based on the actual songs themselves.

- Mick Jagger, August 2001


Songwriting for me is a very uncalculated business. I think it is for most writers in rock music. Very few writers set out to write a particular song. Hardly anyone writes to order. I have writing periods, but during the non-writing periods you accumulate ideas, and then you go into periods where you don't do much else and it just seems to happen, and the more you do it the more it comes. But you're nothing thinking Today I'm going to write this beautiful love ballad. Whatever happens that morning you're grateful for, whether it's a rock song or a more dance-orientated thing or whatever.

- Mick Jagger, October 2001


These are all personal songs... (The concept was v)ery personal songs that could be sung directly to you. If you wanted to, you could sing these songs in a kitchen more or less with an acoustic guitar. So the album would basically be like a guy with a guitar singing a tune. And if the songs would stand it, we wanted to have some orchestration with it as well. But it's about the songs and what they're saying.

- Mick Jagger, 2001


A lot of the album is just based on me playing a guitar, and then getting other people involved. So I'm playing an awful lot, which as it goes on gets erased by other people coming in and playing better, but it's all based on those parts I originally created.

- Mick Jagger, August 2001


I play guitar on every track, which I never get to do with the Rolling Stones. I get to play guitar on two songs every three years, which is not very much, you know? So you want to stretch a little bit, you know.

- Mick Jagger, October 2001


I love the writing process. That is what is so much fun about making this record. I would just sit in my house in France in the little recording room and just write the songs and put them down and then lay down some beats on the computer and play the guitar. That feeling - or the actual guitar - would end up on the finished record. So the writing process is in the grooves so to speak.

- Mick Jagger, 2001


I don't believe in having bands for solo records. It's pointless. I mean, I've got a very good band in the other world.

- Mick Jagger, August 2001


I just sort of kept working it up. I didn't redo it all again with an enormous amount of musicians. So a lot of it just retains the original spark of the idea, which is kind of fun. I've never really done it like that before.

- Mick Jagger, August 2001


A lot of the production was on my own with assists from other people, like Chris Potter who I've worked with before. That's more of a kind of English way of production, where you all just get in the studio and more or less do it yourselves, kind of thing. Whereas with Marti (Frederiksen) it was very song-focused at the beginning, where you're working out songs and doing arrangements. There's a great talent which some producers have of being able to take your song and say, That's great, but let's forget about that bit and let's just focus in on this bit, because this is the bit that I really like.

- Mick Jagger, October 2001


I had a lot of good times making it. My family was always around. Matt Clifford was always around. And I worked really closely with Marti Frederiksen on the five tracks that I did with him. And Pete Townshend kept saying, I want to play on this, you know. Pete lives twenty yards away from me in England, so one day I said, Pete, can you come today?... Yeah I do, I enjoy playing with other people. All the people on this record I knew well, apart maybe from Rob Thomas who I only knew in passing. But the rest I know really well, so it all felt like friends and family.

- Mick Jagger, 2001


I got there like 20 minutes early, and I was playing a couple songs. (Mick) came in and started singing along, just this fucking gold. It's good to know that Mick's still a guy that gets an idea in his head, picks up a pen and goes with it.

- Rob Thomas, August 2001


It's probably not quite as loose as a Stones thing but a couple of tracks have that feel. It all ties together pretty well.

- Marti Frederiksen, August 2001

 
 
 


APPRECIATION


I think it's different from anything I've done previously, but there's a lot of different styles on the record. It's got a bit of everything. It's got rock songs and dance, and it's got ballads and a bit of reggae. It's very different stylistically. It covers a lot of bases. It's emotionally rather broad, as broad as I could make it. And stylistically, it's a contemporary record without being trendy.

- Mick Jagger, November 2001


Of course, I have human feelings (laughs). In this record there's a mix of romantic songs and some songs that have some overlay of the spiritual side. Those seem to be the two things going on in this record really. But I hadn't thought about it too much until I stood back and looked at all the songs together.

- Mick Jagger, 2001


I don't know (if it's more personal than the other solo albums). I think it's direct. Personal - I don't know what that means. I tried to make contact on this record. It's what I wanted to do, without too much clutter, without a lot standing in the way, and then trying to make a direct line between the author and the listener.

- Mick Jagger, October 2001


It's hard to come up with a sort of one-liner on what the record's about. But I mean, it is about love, relationships. But it's not only restricted (to that) and there's quite a lot of observations and there's quite a lot of humour, and the leavening of spirituality, which I tkink is all part of everybody's makeup.

- Mick Jagger, October 2001


What, Dog Shit In The Doorway? I listened to three tracks and gave up on it. Sometimes you wonder. With the Stones he's great. It's best to keep him on a short leash.

- Keith Richards, July 2002


I'm not going to live or die by the record sales, hopefully. But I mean, you want three things when you do something. You want to be pleased with the result; you don't want to put out something you're not happy with, which can happen. You want critics and friends to like it, peole that actually listen and take it in. And thirdly you want some kind of commercial success. I'm quite pleased with the record. I'm not saying I wouldn't have changed a single note of it but I'm quite pleased with it, so I've done one-third of it already. So now I'm going to the second stage, and people seem to like it. It's really hard to gauge whether they like it or whether they just say they like it. So you have to pierce that little bubble.

- Mick Jagger, October 2001

 
 
 


REVIEW EXCERPTS


Up to this point, Mick Jagger's solo career has been an incidental affair... His previous releases... were earnest, respectable efforts that offered their fair share of pleasures but did not establish a distinct or significant new musical identity for Jagger apart from the Stones. Goddess In The Doorway finds Jagger taking a giant step - not away from the shadow of the Stones but beyond what that understandably history-bound band has been able to achieve on record in recent times. In terms of consistency, craftsmanship and musical experimentation, Goddess In The Doorway surpasses all his solo work and any Rolling Stones album since Some Girls... Jagger has poured his heart into this album. The strongest songs - Don't Call Me Up, Brand New Set of Rules, Hide Away and Everybody Getting High - are also the most candidly personal. In the past, he has slipped into personae - the Street Fighting Man, Jumpin' Jack Flash, the Man of Wealth and Taste - but he lets his guard down to an unprecedented degree on Goddess; the beautiful ballads draw on feelings of loneliness, vulnerability, spiritual yearning and, as always, life with the ladies...

It may seem a truism, but it's worth nothing that he is - along with John Lennon, Van Morrison, Bob Dylan and Bono - one of the great male rock voices of this age. And he is exceptional form on Goddess In The Doorway. If anything, Jagger's voice is rounder and warmer than ever, and he brings a new richness of phrasing to the hearbroken, confessional Don't Call Me Up and the extraordinary closing tracks, Too Far Gone and Brand New Set of Rules... It is a clear-eyed and inspired Mick Jagger who crafted Goddess In The Doorway, an insuperably strong record that in time may well reveal itself to be a classic. World, meet Mick Jagger, solo artist. (5 STARS)

- Jann S. Wenner, Rolling Stone, November 2001


Mick Jagger had struggled with launching his solo career for over 15 years when he unleashed Goddess In The Doorway... Whereas the Stones incorporated reggae, disco, and punk effortlessly into their core sound, Jagger's attempts to sound contemporary came across as him desperately flailing about to stay hip... Jagger briefly shed this complex on 1993's excellent Wandering Spirit...which raised hopes for Goddess, since he seemed willing to bare his soul and keep the music direct the last time out, and the Stones' efforts that followed also shared similar qualities. And that's why Goddess is rather disappointing... This finds Jagger once again striving to sound sleek, commercial, and hip, winding up with an album that could have been released in 1987. This is shiny, impeccably produced mainstream rock, occasionally blessed with Jagger's falsetto or sly turn of phrase, but dominated by its self-conscious, middlebrow attempt to cover all the bases: slinky dance tunes, some contemporary rhythms, hints of the Stones, tamed raunch, and frothy pop songs dressed up to have the appearance of grit. This all makes it sound worse than it actually plays, since it is all professionally done and rather melodic, but it never escapes Jagger's nervous desire to sound contemporary...  It's the kind of record that you expect from somebody who's been making records for nearly 40 years and still wants to remain hip, and it's not bad on that level, but when it stands next to the brilliant albums by Dylan, Sir Paul, and Sir Elton in 2001 - records where the veterans didn't care about being hip and wound up returning to what they did best, confirming why they're legends - it's all too clear what Goddess In The Doorway is missing.
(3/5 STARS)

- Stephen Thomas Erlewine, All Music Guide


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