Rolling Stones – Let It Bleed

This song is why I first bought this album. I heard it and it’s country/blues/rock style stayed with me. The song sounds low down, dirty, and sleazy…that only the Stones can deliver.

Keith Richards’ fingers began to bleed as he played acoustic guitar for hours while Mick Jagger worked with an engineer on the drum track. The title came from Keith’s desire to record his track. At least that’s the story the Mick and Keith tells. The phrase “Let It Bleed” is an intravenous drug user slang for successfully finding a vein. The syringe plunger is pulled back and if blood appears, it is called letting it bleed.

This was recorded around the same time as The Beatles Let It Be, but the similar titles were just a supposed coincidence.

The Stones recorded this after the death of Brian Jones but before Mick Taylor joined the band as his replacement. As a result, Keith Richards played both acoustic and slide electric guitar, and Bill Wyman played bass and autoharp.

The song wasn’t a single but the album (also named Let It Bleed) peaked at #3 in the Billboard Album Chart in 1969.

From Songfacts

This was the first Stones song to also be the album title.

Ian Stewart, often considered “The sixth Stone,” played the piano. This was his only appearance on Let It Bleed.

There are many references to sex and drugs in the lyrics to this track – an example of the Stones writing about what they knew.

 Autoharp is a string instrument with a series of chord bars attached to dampers which, when pressed, mute all but the desired chord. An autoharp is not really a harp – it’s a zither. 

The English TV cook and author Delia Smith baked the cake on the album sleeve before she became famous. She got the gig through being a friend of the photographer, Don McAllester. In 1971, two years after the release of Let It Bleed, Delia Smith’s first cookery book, How To Cheat at Cooking, was launched and by the end of the decade she’d become the UK’s best known TV cook.

Let It Bleed

Well, we all need someone we can lean on
And if you want it, you can lean on me
Yeah, we all need someone we can lean on
And if you want it, you can lean on me

She said, my breasts, they will always be open
Baby, you can rest your weary head right on me
And there will always be a space in my parking lot
When you need a little coke and sympathy

Yeah we all need someone we can dream on
And if you want it baby, you can dream on me
Yeah, we all need someone we can cream on
Yeah and if you want to, you can cream on me

I was dreaming of a steel guitar engagement
When you drunk my health in scented jasmine tea
But you knifed me in my dirty filthy basement
With that jaded, faded, junky nurse oh what pleasant company, ha

Though, we all need someone we can feel on
Yeah and if you want it, you can feel on me, hey
Take my arm, take my leg
Oh baby don’t you take my head

Yeah, we all need someone we can bleed on
Yeah but if you want it, well you can bleed on me
Yeah, we all need someone we can bleed on
Yeah yeah and if you want it baby why don’t ya
You can bleed on me
All over, hoo

Ah, get it on rider, hoo
Get it on rider
Get it on rider
You can bleed all over me, yeah
Get it on rider, hoo
Get it on rider, yeah
You can cream all over, you can come all over me, ah
Get it on rider ey
Let it out rider
Let it out rider
You can come all over me

Get it on rider
You can come all over me, yeah

Get it on rider

Author: Badfinger (Max)

Power Pop fan, Baseball fan, old movie and tv show fan... and a songwriter, bass and guitar player.

39 thoughts on “Rolling Stones – Let It Bleed”

      1. I told Jeremy that I always thought they got it from the Beatles and ran with it…it surprised me. The artwork is really cool.


  1. The song is good but for some reason their attitude doesn’t work for me on it. There is an almost spiteful tone. They were in the thick of it at this time, caught up in the hedonistic maelstrom of rock stardom.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yea they were a tad bit arrogant at this point. I honestly thought they took the name from Let It Be and went from there…so this was a surprise to me.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I had a girlfriend who didn’t like them….called them low rent lol. I always liked them though


      2. I’ve enjoyed many pieces of their music. I’ve never owned one of their albums. They are one of the rock quad…Zepplin, The Who, The Stones & The Kinks (and to some degree, Queen). They will always be on classic rock radio.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Yes they will always be there. They are part of the Holy Trinity of Rock.. The Beatles, The Who, and the Stones.
        For me it’s that order but I love that name they are given. Really its true. All modern bands come down somewhere off of that tree.


      4. I know you love them. And, I really like their early stuff. We will just have to agree to disagree. They are Gods in the music world but, their flavor & style, I just see & feel differently. ❤

        Liked by 1 person

      5. Hey. Diff’rent Strokes fo Diff’rent Folks!

        I remember going to a party when I was a sophomore. I was attending the high school across town where the rich kids went. I was in some kid’s basement with about 30 others. Somebody put on the record “Guyana Punch” by The Judy’s. I’d never heard it and it was obscure punk music. In the course of a conversation with someone I didn’t know, I remember her saying that she loved the song and hated Boston. That just floored me. I thought “Who the hell hates Boston???” Culture shock for sure.

        That is a strong memory of learning that not everyone shares your likes or your perspective.

        Liked by 1 person

      6. Yea but I’m always right…LOL…

        No I won’t argue politics, economy, religion, money…or anything…except. You hit on the only area I will…

        I know…but I have to show my defense. The rest is up to you.

        The first time I remember someone saying how they loved…excuse the name…The Circle Jerks…that was my culture shock


      7. I’m not fond of arguing. I prefer a back & forth discussion. I like the room to breathe in my own space and wish the same for others. I will present my side, my view but, acceptance of such is not required. I’m like “there it is…for better or worse…”

        I knew when I said that Beatles weren’t rock to me, you would protest. I wasn’t poking at you. LOL! Honest.

        I’ve heard of The Circle Jerks but, I’ve never heard their music.

        Of course you’re always right, dear. Of course you are…(pat, pat, pat…) LOL!

        Liked by 1 person

      8. Dude said the Circle Jerks was as good as the Beatles and Rolling Stones. He really meant it. A couple years later he said he was stupid….I I told him I knew.

        They are one subject I know about backwards and forward…an idiot savant lol.


      9. Yes after he was laughed at lol…

        I don’t argue with strangers…I just let it go…but with you…oh no…we can go at it!


      10. How about some toilet paper? LOL

        No I got plenty of stuff. If you think of something else tell me. I know how it was wanting something and never could get it…

        I need to do a DIR print of what I have so you can see.


      11. A guy in TN had 18,000 hand sanitezers that he bought from Chattanooga to KY. He was selling some of them for $70 dollars each. Amazon and Ebay shut him down…
        Now…because of the goodness in his own little heart (he is getting ripped) he is donating them.

        I’ll look for both tonight.
        There has been only one movie I could not find…and that is Big Bad Mama II a 1987 film that my perverted cousin wanted. I thought I found it but no…. it was a porn LOL.


      12. Oh yea….he had already sold some on Ebay and Amazon. After he got totally ripped…he donated it. Every avenue for him to get rid of it was gone.


      13. I’m loading it now….
        And I did find both…I’ll get them tomorrow…Bailey wants to see Firefly


      14. I think he will love it…then, be completely disappointed that it was cancelled, like the rest of us. To me, Firefly was a re-write of Star Trek…a Western in space.

        THANK YOU.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. ‘Let it bleed’ is my favourite Stones album. (Though I recently wrote down the proper track order and put it on a bit of paper inside the crystal case, as the printed order is wrong, wrong, wrong!! Or at least, it is on the British version of the disc.) And the title track is one I associate very strongly with the in-between bands playlist at The Roundhouse, ‘Implosion’ gigs. Great song.

    Oh and, not wanting to gross you out but ‘let it bleed’ may not entirely refer to dope use, but to, er… menstruation.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That could very possibly be it on the name. They of all bands would use it. I really thought that they grabbed the name of Let It Be and played with that .

      I like this album a bunch. For me it’s a toss up between Beggars Banquet and this one. Those stretch of 5 albums they made was incredible.

      Liked by 1 person

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