Il sole sta per tramontar
Dei bimbi corrono a giocar
Visi che sorridono
Ed io son qui
Con le mie lacrime cosi

When I was about 13 my parents made me a mix tape of all their Rolling Stones singles at my request, A and B sides* it was all great until a really soggy track came on with a girl’s voice, ‘As Tears Go By’ by Marianne Faithful; ‘Yuk!’ thought young 1537.  A few belting tracks later and there it was again, ‘As Tears Go By’ this time it was still soggy but was saved from shitting awfulness by the addition of an over-enunciating Mick Jagger on the band’s version.  Over the years I’ve mellowed and I’ve now reached the point of thinking that it’s a pretty exercise in songwriting, nothing more, the Stones have never once convinced me in any expression of passionate feeling, or romantic intent.

Rolling Stones Slow Rollers 03

So there I was last night playing Slow Rollers a 1981 compilation of the Stones’ lovey dovey stuff (mostly) that I’ve owned since ’97 and track 7, side 1 was ‘As Tears Go By’ and I noticed that something was awry.  It sounded different, it was more echoey, there were extra harpsichord trills and the vocals were a bit less exaggerated.  A different mix maybe? Still, there was something nagging away at me about this song, this version. Then after some flashy, yet dogged detective work** I found the answer, it was in fact called ‘Con Le Mie Lacrime’ and was an Italian language version, from a single release there.  That’s the kind of attention to detail you get from me, readers!

Rolling Stones Slow Rollers 02

I bought Slow Rollers on a visit to the second-hand record shop near Chester station which was one of those unsatisfactory visits when you want to buy a record but you can’t always get what you want, because you’re not quite sure you’ll get what you need.  I got it to own ‘Play With Fire’ on vinyl as I correctly calculated I was/am going to have to wait a bit to inherit a copy, due to my selfish parents being all hale and hearty and not-very-old and stuff.   Ostensibly it’s a collection of ballads and formed a two-part set with another LP called Solid Rock, but basically it was another chance for Decca to squeeze some more money from their back catalogue.

Rolling Stones Slow Rollers 04

It’s a very mixed bag too, my dad would differ, but for me the Stones didn’t get properly interesting until 1966 and there are a few too many ‘Pain In My Heart’ and Heart of Stone’ (the latter I do like) type tracks in here and not enough from later, although any LP that opens with ‘You Can’t Always get What You want’ is worth its’ place on the shelves.  ‘Con Le Mie Lacrime’ aside, the first side is boosted skywards by the woozy, boozy, she’s-a-floozy ‘Dear Doctor’*^.  Where can I start on this one? okay, let’s just stick to the fact that even if Mick Jagger had never sung another word I’d love him forever for the way he pronounces the word ‘sponge’ here, that and the high-pitched girlie voice at the end, those and the drunken funereal plod of it all.

Rolling Stones Slow Rollers 06Rolling Stones Slow Rollers 07 (2)

‘Ruby Tuesday’ has always been a funny one for me, I drift in and out of love with it, but I’ll always love ‘Play With Fire’ for its sinister, poised, bullying, meanness – proper essence of Stones, if you ask me.  This is exactly what set them aside from their contemporaries, what made them bite a little deeper and endure, all those qualities that make for fairly shitty human beings but wonderful rock stars.

Rolling Stones Slow Rollers 01

I’m more susceptible to the English charms of ‘Back Street Girl’ than I was once upon a time, especially since my daughter told me she really liked it, but the faux medievalism of ‘Lady Jane’ just gives me wind.  I do really like their version of ‘Under The Boardwalk’ though, not a patch on the Drifters natch, but there again it’s such a good song that I even liked Bruce Willis’ version.  True story.

For a hastily assembled bit of back catalogue exploitation Slow Rollers does an okay job and it is always interesting to hear songs you’ve heard a trigillion times before in a different context.  I’d be more interested in a collection called Hollow Rollers featuring all their numbest, druggiest, magnificentist moments.  But for now,

Il sole sta per tramontar
Un’altro giorno se ne va
Tutti si divertono
Ed io son qui
Con le mie lacrime cosi

654 Down.

PS: I love this deliciously half-assed attempt by the previous owner fo this LP to draw the Stones logo on the inner sleeve.  I can relate!

Rolling Stones Slow Rollers 05

*which is why ‘Spider And The Fly’ and ‘Who’s Driving Your Plane?’ are possibly my two favourite songs by the Stones. I had no idea which were A-sides, or B-sides.

**I read the back cover properly for the first time in almost 19 years.

*^One day when I’m good enough I’ll review Beggar’s Banquet.

24 thoughts on “Con Le Mie Lacrime

  1. I am late to this party. Sorry.

    I usually skip these comps because I have all the racks already, and many of them are on sketchy Russian labels…

    Anyway, this looks like a winner. Totall agreement on Play With Fire. The music is as sinister as the words.

    Also: kudos on the writing here. Many lines sang, and with power. 1537 blog, folks. Come for the tunes, stay for the great writing.

  2. “This is exactly what set them aside from their contemporaries, what made them bite a little deeper and endure, all those qualities that make for fairly shitty human beings but wonderful rock stars.” -Mr. 1537

    I’d say that pretty much sums up the appeal of the Stones in general. Shitty humans, but great rock stars. You were never disappointed in horrible behavior because that’s just what you’d expect from them. So when they’d come off as charming in interviews they seemed that much better. Where as I grew up idolizing John Lennon, thinking the man was the greatest human on earth. Come to find out, he was kind of a horse’s ass and that revelation burnt a bit.

  3. Thank you for an enjoyable read. Never seen/heard of this compilation — you collectors come up with the craziest things. Here are three statements in lieu of a thoughtful comment (which seems to evade me this evening): That Italian version is horrendous. I like the Marianne Faithful version of “As Tears Go By” specifically because it seems so passionless. “Heart of Stone” and “Play with Fire” are in my all-time Stones Top 10.

  4. With you on ‘Play with fire’. Like ‘Heart of stone’, too. ‘Can’t always get…’ is certainly the strongest here, but does it fit with ‘the concept’? Decca didn’t care, obviously.

    A very fair-minded review, but really, you shoulda bought ‘Solid Rock’. Which is certainly not to say that I don’t have an entire shelf of LP bought under the desperate circumstances you describe – and which are unlikely to EVER get written about. So why am I keeping them? Oh god not another existential vinyl crisis. Better make a morning coffee, quick…

Leave a Reply