Bridges to Babylon is the 21st British and 23rd American studio album by British rock band The Rolling Stones, released by Virgin Records on 29 September 1997. It would prove to be the band's final studio album of the 1990s and their last full-length release of new songs until 2005's A Bigger Bang. The album was supported by the year-long worldwide Bridges to Babylon Tour that met with much success.


 [hide*1 Background and recording

Background and recording[edit]Edit

Following the Voodoo Lounge Tour, and Stripped projects of 1994/1995, the Stones afforded themselves a brief respite before Mick Jagger and Keith Richardsbegan composing new songs together in the summer of 1996 with demos to follow at the end of the year. Although the band would use Don Was as a producer again, Jagger wanted to bring The Dust Brothers in to work with them, having been impressed with their work on Beck's Odelay.[citation needed]Richards wasn't keen on the idea and brought in Rob Fraboni for his solo material, such that the only tracks that would bear their influence were "Anybody Seen My Baby", "Saint of Me" and "Might as Well Get Juiced"; it was thus the first, and so far only, Stones album to feature sampling. Additional producers would also contribute, giving the project a more rounded feel.

Bridges to Babylon was recorded during the spring into summer months of 1997 in Los Angeles in a matter of four months, one of their most concise periods of recording in years. As it was being mastered, the projected lead single "Anybody Seen My Baby?" was found to resemble k.d. lang's 1992 hit "Constant Craving" in its chorus,[1] a discovery brought to Richards' attention by his daughter Angela. Seeking to avoid possible future legal entanglements, lang and her co-writer Ben Mink were credited along with Jagger and Richards on the new song. Upon its release, it would reach #22 in the UK and become a US radio rock hit.

A total of eight different musicians played bass on the sessions for the album: Jeff Sarli, Jamie MuhoberacBlondie ChaplinDon WasDanny SaberDarryl JonesMe'shell Ndegeocello, and Doug Wimbish.

The Stones had a number of the album's songs remixed in extended versions but have as yet not released any of them e.g. "Out Of Control / Papa was A Rolling Stone": 10 minutes, 10 seconds, "Might As Well Get Juiced" aka "Keith's Revenge Mix": 10:54, "Always Suffering" aka "Sentimental Mix": 9:27, "Already Over Me" aka "Ancient Remix": 9:27

Release and reception[edit]Edit

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic [2]

Bridges to Babylon, containing an unprecedented three solo vocals by Richards, was released to mixed reviews. It reached #6 in the UK, #2 in France and #3 in the US, where it was certified platinum by the RIAA in November 1997.[3] As of January 2010, Bridges to Babylon has sold 1.1 million copies in the US.[4]Further singles "Saint of Me" and "Out of Control" were also minor hits.

The Stones had become a touring phenomenon by this point. The Bridges to Babylon Tour in 1997 consisted of 108 shows.

In 2009, Bridges to Babylon was remastered and reissued by Universal Music.

Track listing[edit]Edit

All songs written and composed by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, except where noted. 

No. Title Length
1. "Flip the Switch"   3:28
2. "Anybody Seen My Baby?(Jagger/Richards/k.d. lang/Ben Mink) 4:31
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"   4:43
8. "Saint of Me"   5:15
9. "Might as Well Get Juiced"   5:23
10. "Always Suffering"   4:43
11. "Too Tight"   3:33
12. "Thief in the Night" (Jagger/Richards/Pierre de Beauport) 5:15
13. "How Can I Stop"   6:53


The Rolling Stones
Additional personnel

Charts and certifications[edit]Edit


Album chart (1997) Peak position
Australian Top 50 Albums[5] 19
Austrian Top 75 Albums[6] 1
Belgium (Flanders) 100 Albums[7] 2
Belgium (Wallonia) 100 Albums[8] 5
Canadian Albums Chart[9] 2
Finnish Top 40 Albums[10] 3
French Top 200 Albums[11] 2
German Albums Chart[12] 1
Hungarian Top 40 Albums[13] 12
Japanese Albums Chart[14] 10
Netherlands Top 100 Albums[15] 2
New Zealand Top 50 Albums[16] 10
Norwegian Top 40 Albums[17] 1
Swedish Top 60 Albums[18] 1
Swiss Top 100 Albums[19] 3
UK Albums Chart[20] 6
US Billboard200[21] 3
Year Single Chart Position
1997 "Anybody Seen My Baby?" Mainstream Rock Tracks[22] 3
1997 "Anybody Seen My Baby?" UK Singles Chart[23] 22
1997 "Flip The Switch" Mainstream Rock Tracks[22] 14
1998 "Saint of Me" UK Singles Chart[23] 26
1998 "Saint of Me" Billboard

Hot 100[22]

1998 "Saint of Me" Hot Dance Music/Maxi-Singles Sales[22] 23
1998 "Saint of Me" Mainstream Rock Tracks[22] 13
1998 "Out Of Control" UK Singles Chart[23] 51


Region Certification Sales/shipments
Argentina (CAPIF)[24] Platinum 60,000x
Austria (IFPI Austria)[25] Platinum 50,000x
Canada (Music Canada)[26] Platinum 100,000^
France (SNEP)[27] 2× Gold 200,000
Germany (BVMI)[28] Platinum 500,000^
Norway (IFPI Norway)[29] Gold 25,000
Poland (ZPAV)[30] Gold 50,000
Sweden (GLF)[31] Gold 40,000^
Switzerland (IFPI Switzerland)[32] Platinum 50,000x
United Kingdom (BPI)[33] Gold 100,000^
United States (RIAA)[34] Platinum 1,000,000^
Europe (IFPI)[35] Platinum 1,000,000

  • sales figures based on certification alone ^shipments figures based on certification alone xunspecified figures based on certification alone

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