Rolling Stones – Angie

This song is a great ballad by the Rolling Stones. Keith Richards wrote this song in Switzerland after the Exile on Main St. album had been approved by the record company, but before it was released. “Angie” was one of the first songs The Stones recorded for Goat’s Head Soup.

It was on 20 October 1973 that the Rolling Stones secured their 7th US No.1 when ‘Angie’ made the top of the Billboard chart.

It has been speculated that it was inspired by Angie, David Bowie’s wife, or even Keith’s daughter. Keith, who wrote the majority of the song’s music and lyrics. Keith said in his autobiography that the name Angie came to him while in Switzerland detoxing from his heroin addiction. “I wrote ‘Angie’ in an afternoon, sitting in bed, because I could finally move my fingers and get them in the right place again…It was not about any particular person, it was a name, like “Ohhh, Diana””I didn’t know Angela was going to be called Angela when I wrote ‘Angie.’ In those days you didn’t know what sex the thing was going to be until it popped out.”

The song peaked at #1 in the Billboard 100, #5 in the UK, #1 in Canada, and #1 in New Zealand in 1973.
From Songfacts

The big rumor about this song is that it was written about David Bowie’s wife, Angela, who wrote in her autobiography that she once walked in on Bowie and Mick Jagger in bed together – a story Jagger denies. According to the rumor, Jagger wrote this song to appease her, but it was Jagger’s bandmate Keith Richards who wrote most of the song. Jagger had this to say about it: “People began to say that song was written about David Bowie’s wife but the truth is that Keith wrote the title. He said, ‘Angie,’ and I think it was to do with his daughter. She’s called Angela. And then I just wrote the rest of it.”

There was also speculation that Richards’ girlfriend Anita Pallenberg inspired this song, but Keith cleared it up in his 2010 autobiography Life, where he wrote: “While I was in the [Vevey drug] clinic (in March-April 1972), Anita was down the road having our daughter, Angela. Once I came out of the usual trauma, I had a guitar with me and I wrote ‘Angie’ in an afternoon, sitting in bed, because I could finally move my fingers and put them in the right place again, and I didn’t feel like I had to s–t the bed or climb the walls or feel manic anymore. I just went, ‘Angie, Angie.’ It was not about any particular person; it was a name, like ohhh, Diana. 

A rare ballad for The Stones, this was the first single released from Goat’s Head Soup. It wasn’t typical of their sound, since most of the band’s material at the time was hard and aggressive. Still, it was a huge hit, and their only ballad that hit #1 in the US.

This is one of the few Rolling Stones songs that is acoustic.

The Angela Bowie rumor picked up steam in 1990, when she went on The Joan Rivers Show and claimed she once walked in on David Bowie and Mick Jagger in bed together naked. What’s even more shocking is that Rivers had her own talk show. She was quickly replaced by Arsenio Hall.

Nicky Hopkins played piano on this track. He became part of the band’s inner circle after working on the 1966 Stones album Between The Buttons

In 2005 German chancellor Angela Merkel appropriated this acoustic ballad for her Christian Democratic Union Party. “We’re surprised that permission wasn’t requested,” said a Stones spokesman of Merkel’s choice of song. “If it had been, we would have said no.”

The line from this song, “Ain’t it time we said goodbye,” was used as the title to Robert Greenfield’s 2014 book, which chronicles his time covering the Stones’ 1971 British tour and their Exile on Main St. sessions for Rolling Stone magazine. Greenfield is not a fan of the song, however, calling it “soppy and far too sweet for my taste.”

Angie

Angie, Angie, when will those clouds all disappear?
Angie, Angie, where will it lead us from here?
With no loving in our souls and no money in our coats
You can’t say we’re satisfied
But Angie, Angie, you can’t say we never tried

Angie, you’re beautiful, but ain’t it time we said good-bye?
Angie, I still love you, remember all those nights we cried?
All the dreams we held so close seemed to all go up in smoke
Let me whisper in your ear:

Angie, Angie, where will it lead us from here?
Oh, Angie, don’t you weep, all your kisses still taste sweet
I hate that sadness in your eyes
But Angie, Angie, ain’t it time we said good-bye?

With no loving in our souls and no money in our coats
You can’t say we’re satisfied
But Angie, I still love you, baby
Ev’rywhere I look I see your eyes

There ain’t a woman that comes close to you
Come on baby, dry your eyes
But Angie, Angie, ain’t it good to be alive?
Angie, Angie, they can’t say we never tried

 

Author: badfinger20 (Max)

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

21 thoughts on “Rolling Stones – Angie”

  1. Great track and writeup. That Keef book was a huge read. Holy Heck. In saying that considering he was all pickled up at the time out came some great music. This being one.

    On a side note I just finished a STONES review that will be posted next Sunday.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Great song, probably my favorite by them – and one of the few they did that could, in my opinion rank well compared to beatles tunes. I saw a day or two back Mick was making the point that he thought they were better than the Beatles because they’re still around and they are eternally popular as a touring band. which is a bit of a weird way of measuring but he’s right about that – the BEatles only toured (outside of Germany anyway) for about 4 years I guess; the Stones have had how many sell-out tours. BUT I don’t think anyone outside the Stones camp would suggest their 50 year + catalog can top the body of work the Beatles did in 6 years

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Mick should know better…he has been fighting that since the 60s. Yea The Who could make a similiar claim on touring also. Paul McCartney on his own draws quite a few fans…imagine if the Beatles toured in 79…I dont think they would have had trouble drawing fans.
      Mick made comments throughout and he always wanted to compare the Stones to them…The Beatles had more variety to them and personally I think more timeless songs.

      I love this song…yes this one stands up…I also like Beast of Burden. Funny Keith wrote most of this one and that one.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. “In those days you didn’t know what sex the thing was going to be until it popped out.” LOL!

    “What’s even more shocking is that Rivers had her own talk show.” More LOL!

    Yeah. Merkel. What a complete bitch.

    I like Angie. I also like Wild Horses (kinda the same sound).

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I can’t and won’t get into a controversy about who is better, The Beatles or The Rolling Stones. It’s like comparing apples to grapes, both are tasty, but they are two distinct fruits. From my readings on Bowie, he could be “aggressive” about pursuing boy toys. I could see Bowie setting up a scenario where he and Mick would end up in a bed together. It makes no difference to me if it happened or not but I don’t like the thought of it being non-consensual, which it would be if Bowie got Jagger wasted and took advantage. I love “Angie” and the guitar and piano accompaniment. To learn that Keith wrote it in rehab makes it all the more poignant.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Mick has been in competition with them for a while. Keith and McCartney stays out of it. Lennon and Jagger would be the ones to say something.
      They are different…especially after 66. But do I have an opinion? Oh yes lol. But…I do like both of the obviously.

      They both denied it but yea it could have happened back then… or she could have wanted publicity. I never was for sure…only MIck knows for sure I guess.

      Keith can write some good ballads.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. While I think it’s safe to assume not all Stones fans dig “Angie”, I’ve always thought it’s a nice ballad.

    As for the “Beatles-Stones” controversy, based on what I read it sounded like it was Paul McCartney who triggered the latest squabble. Apparently, during a recent interview he said something to the effect that he liked the Stones but their music was blues-based, while The Beatles went beyond the blues. Apparently, he added they “were better.” Reportedly, this prompted Mick Jagger to respond that Paul is a sweetheart and that unlike The Beatles, the Stones are still around.

    While there has always been a degree of rivalry between the two bands, I find the whole thing a bit silly, especially coming from two gentlemen in their ’70s. They should really know better! At the end of the day, The Beatles and The Rolling Stones are two very different bands, and direct comparisons don’t make much sense to begin with.

    Sure, if I would have to choose between The Beatles and The Stones, I’d go with The Beatles. But that’s simply a preference and doesn’t mean one is better than the other.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I didn’t know he said that…that is unlike diplomat Paul…It was usually John and Mick.
      I like both of them as you can see with my posts…but yea my heart goes with The Beatles because of the variety.

      I have some Stones fans for friends and we have a ball arguing with each other about it in good nature.

      Mick and Paul may have done the same thing also. Keith likes to kid about it.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’ve read where Mick and Paul are pretty good friends…they could pick at each other.
        Now John would rip into them if he heard something…of course that was John.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. The CDU in Germany liked to play the track, when Ms. Merkel jumped around. But the good ladies and gentlemen don’t seem to be very proficient in the English language, so it says: “” All the dreams we held so close seemed to all go up in smoke. You can’t say we’re satisfied.”

    Liked by 1 person

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