The band didn't release it as a single until , but Jagger produced a version by British blues singer Chris Farlowe signed to Andrew Loog Oldham's Immediate label , which was a U.
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The delicious, droning flip of "Jumpin' Jack Flash" is a fond farewell of sorts to the psychedelia of the Their Satanic Majesties Request era. The sax is Jones, and the subject is likely Jagger 's girlfriend Marianne Faithfull. One of the most grown-up moments of their career, "Fool to Cry" is a falsetto ballad about a child helping Jagger through heartbreak. Written almost entirely by Jagger, it was never a Richards favorite: He fell asleep when they played it live in In , as Otis Redding was covering "Satisfaction," the Stones cut a version of this Otis classic originally recorded in by Memphis soul man O.
But where Redding's version is plaintive, the Stones' is driving and overheated, with Jones' and Richards ' frenzied strumming and Jack Nitzsche's ascending organ backing Jagger , who sounds more like a stalker than a dream date. A tambourine-spangled folk rocker with chime-y, Byrds -like guitar, this offhandedly libertarian tune wasn't a big hit, but it's one of the Sixties' most pliant anthems. That's probably why it has remained a concert favorite — the Stones ' version in Shine a Light sounds like it was written yesterday.
Heart of Stone
But the Stones sound more like dirty scavengers than reverent revivalists. Despite its raw immediacy, it was recorded in an all-night session over many takes, with Richards arriving late in the process to work in his punishing riff on the fly. Another dark moment in the Stones ' unflowery psychedelic phase. Sounding like an imperiled lord of the manor, Jagger surveys a world in chaos and, ignoring it all, beckons for a few maidens to "please come see me in the citadel. Why did the Stones call this album Some Girls? The title song remains one of the Stones' funniest moments, as Jagger sings about the hard work of womanizing, pursued by groupies who take his money and take his clothes.
Jagger's delivery is boozy and sly, and one line in particular raised hackles: He confesses he doesn't have the "jam" to satisfy "black girls," who "wanna get fucked all night. Jagger protested that the song was intended as a joke. I really like girls an awful lot, and I don't think I'd say anything really nasty about any of them.
Country music that doesn't get weighed down with reverence. Over that Bakersfield arrangement, with Wood on the pedal steel, Jagger sings about driving down the road, listening to gospel radio, hearing the preacher announce, "You always got the Lord by your side," and running 20 red lights in God's name.
It's a loving outsiders' tribute to the essential weirdness of America. In the studio one night, Jagger improvised an outrageous falsetto-disco goof at the electric piano, backed by Wood on bass and Watts on drums. The resulting track stretches out near the six-minute mark, with Jagger making up his arched-eyebrow sex monologue as he goes along. The Stones decided to release it as a single — whereupon it became a massive international dance hit.
One of the first songs Jagger and Richards ever recorded — for a demo the "Blue Boys" gave to Alexis Korner in — their take on the churning Chuck Berry classic would spur fan frenzy in concert, and it introduced the Stones to America during their Ed Sullivan Show debut later that year. The band's wildness freaked out the variety-show host.
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The little girls, however, understood. Richards called hearing Bob Dylan a "punch in the face," and this is one of the Stones ' most Dylanesque moments — a country-rock blast of Highway 61 Revisited surrealism. Per Richards: "Like Dylan says, 'To live outside the law, you must be honest. Recorded shortly after Taylor's departure in , "Hand of Fate" is a growling, funked-up murder fantasy. Wayne Perkins, auditioning to be Taylor's replacement, played the sterling solo. When they performed it on the U. Largely written in a hotel room during their tour of Ireland, this modest fingerpicked folk shuffle feels like a throwaway it appeared on the outtakes set, Flowers.
In fact, it's kind of a manifesto: Jagger watches his friends grow up, marry and buy homes — "'cause there's nothing else to do" — and opts to stay on that fence and lead the swingin' single life, at least for now. Early in , the Stones hit the Top 20 for the second time after "Time Is on My Side" with this wonderfully prickly soul ballad written by Jagger and Richards. With its poking guitar twang and caddish lyrics "If you try acting sad, you'll only make me glad" , it's an early flare-up of Jagger-ian devilry.
Fittingly, an alternate take featured a young Jimmy Page on guitar. The murky, clattering sound and Julien Temple's action-thriller video weren't the only things that set "Undercover of the Night" apart. A slow-building electric blues about a man aching long-distance for his baby, it morphs into a fevered jam at the three-minute mark — Jagger freestyling in a way he'd refine on "Midnight Rambler.
Debate still rages as to whether it's about Jagger 's then-paramour, Marianne Faithfull she even had a part in writing it. Whatever the case, it's one of the Stones ' starkest, scariest recordings. It's gruff, simple country blues with his shining acoustic-slide work, some handsome Nicky Hopkins organ, and autoharp from Jones.
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It's also a sleeper among Let It Bleed 's flamboyant set pieces. As a love song by a romantic to a gold digger, it's among the guitarist's truly revealing moments. One of the band's most uncharacteristic ballads is credited as a Jagger — Richards song.
But Richards had little to do with it. Taylor's glistening Santana-esque guitar lines define it, and his extended outro may be the best guitar solo in the Stones catalog. Sadly, it would be a swan song, as he quit the band shortly after it was released, in part, he claimed, for being denied writing credit.
One of the band's softest and most tenderhearted ballads and their only ballad to go Number One , "Angie" was written by Richards while he was being treated for heroin addiction at a clinic in Switzerland.
I just went, 'Angie, Angie. It was just a working title, like, who's gonna call a song 'Angie,' how boring, another chick's name, ya know. A tribute to Angela Davis, the Black Panther who was jailed for murder in , this ballad is the band's most activist moment. Jagger sings, "Free the sweet black slave," framed by acoustic guitars, backwoods harmonica and a touch of calypso lilt.
It may also be Jagger's least campy, most convincing country-folk performance. The Stones made this Buddy Holly standard sound demanding and desperate. Andrew Loog Oldham went so far as to say it was "the first song Mick and Keith wrote. The way they arranged it was the beginning of their shaping of them as songwriters. As per the chorus, this tribute to groupies was titled "Starfucker," until label honcho Ahmet Ertegun stepped in. And it became even more infamous during the tour, when a foot-tall penis was inflated alongside Jagger as he sang it. The line about "givin' head to Steve McQueen" had to be vetted with the actor, who was quite flattered.
You can read more about the project and support it here. What a wondrous summer that was. Highlights include a collaborative set with our dear friends Ranky Tanky at the Vancouver Folk Festival and an illuminating hang with my hero Ry Cooder. Headed into the creative laboratory this fall but will venture out for a Folklife tour of Ontario in November and a sneak preview of my next album on October 19 at the Icicle Creek Center for the Arts in Leavenworth, WA. If a TED-talk and a fiddle camp had a love-child, this would be it. All workshops and concerts are free and open to the public.
More news soon! My brother, Michael Stone , passed away on July 14th. My love for him is immense and is only growing stronger through the experience of his passing.
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You can listen to the record here and get your copy now on Bandcamp , iTunes , Amazon and Borealis Records. This gathering of versatile musicians blows the dust off of old songs and remakes them for modern ears.
The album is a musical journey through the Appalachians, the Sea Islands and the Caribbean. With spellbinding singing and virtuosic playing, the repertoire reaches into the arcane corners of American roots music with shape note hymns, Gullah spirituals and Creole calypsos. A Sea Island spiritual for our troubled times. New album out on Borealis Records April 7! Complete tour dates here.