13 May - 8 June 2002: Place: Studio Guillaume Tell, Paris, France; Mix This! Studios, Los Angeles, USA.
Played Live: 2002, 2003
Rolling Stones with Chuck Leavell, Darryl Jones.
Producer: Don Was, The Glimmer Twins.
Engineer: Ed Cherney.
Mixed by: Bob Clearmountain.
UK CD LP FORTY LICKS: 30 September 2002: No. 2 - 45 weeks
USA Promo CD Track Don't Stop (Edit): September 2002
USA CD LP FORTY LICKS: 1 October 2002: No. 2 - 50 weeks
UK Single: 7 October 2002: No. 36 - 2 weeks
USA Single: 8 October 2002
USA Promo EP Four New Flicks: October 2002
UK Single: 16 December 2002
UK CD box set THE SINGLES COLLECTION 1971-2006: 45 X 45s: 11 April 2011
USA CD box set THE SINGLES COLLECTION 1971-2006: 45 X 45s: 26 April 2011
Keith Richards' electric guitar opens the ironically-named Don't Stop and Charlie Watts' drums enter the arena in a mid-tempo rock song, which is clearly designed to be a single. It is a straightforward pop song with no great twists and turns but played in a relaxed manner. The lyrics relate to a lost love who has twisted in the knife - is that you Jerry? They also include throw back references to Highwire with the “cold, cold” refrain. Mick Jagger doesn't rely on an atypical affected enunciation but rather sings the song plain and simply. Ron Wood takes the initiative from Keith and supplants the lead solo which is very clean and radio friendly. A third guitar, an acoustic, sits back in the mix. As Keith said to Guitar World in the mid-90s: “When in doubt, if something doesn't sound right, just brush on an acoustic guitar and see what happens. What it does, if you're recording a band, is fill the air between the cymbals and all the electric instruments. It's like a wash in painting. Just a magical thing. If something sounds a little dry or heavy or tight, put on an acoustic, or maybe just a few notes of piano-another acoustic instrument. Somehow it will just add that extra glue.”
In essence Mick Jagger told Bob Clearmountain his thoughts: “It's a band, not a fuckin' metronome.” Perhaps this technique was used for Don't Stop. There are no backing vocals or any detectable backing instrumentation such as Chuck Leavell's organ. It is the band making a statement that they are back and that they intend to rock. In the documentary Tip Of The Tongue, Mick did not want any country lilts to the song, it should be a sinewy and snaky rock effort. As well as the album version, there is a Radio Edit friendly take (* a - 3.32) a Call Out Hook (* b - 0.13) and a slightly rockier mix by Jack Joseph Puig from Ocean Way Studios, all available on the single. Of the new songs it was the only one to be played live on the tour.