Rolling Stones – Time Is On My Side

I remember back in 1981 when the Stones were touring across America. This song was released from the tour with a great version of Twenty Flight Rock. I bought the singles Going to a Go-Go and this one, the live album (Still Life) and then I saw the video Let’s Spend The Night Together. It was going to be the LAST tour of the Stones…uh yeah

The song was written by  Jerry Ragovoy (using the pseudonym “Norman Meade”). The song was originally released by the Stones in 1964 and it peaked at #6 in the Billboard 100. This is one of the very few songs that I prefer the live version to the studio version in 1964.

Keith Richards said of this song: “In America we were basically known for heavy, slowish kind of ballads. ‘Time Is On My Side,’ ‘Tell Me,’ ‘Heart of Stone,’ that was what we were known for. Strangely enough that was our thing. Every single was a slow song. Who would believe it? You’d think they’d be clamoring for out-and-out rock and roll, but no, it was the soul ballads that happened for us in America.”

From Songfacts

This song was originally recorded by the jazz trombonist Kai Winding and his Orchestra on the Verve Records label in October 1963. His version was mostly instrumental with just the lyric “time is on my side” sung by the background trio of Cissy Houston, Dionne Warwick and Dee Dee Warwick.

The first fully vocal version was recorded by the New Orleans soul singer Irma Thomas; her version was released as the B-side of “Anyone Who Knows What Love Is (Will Understand)” in June 1964. The Rolling Stones released their version of the song in the US on September 26, 1964, and it became their first Top 10 hit in America. Thomas’ version contains a spoken part in the middle that the Stones left out.

The lyrics were most likely written by Jimmy Norman, who was a member of The Coasters. The songwriting credit is unclear, and usually lists Jerry Ragovoy, who wrote “Piece Of My Heart” and “Try” for Janis Joplin, as the only writer, sometimes as “Norman Meade,” which he used as a pseudonym. Thomas’ original single lists the credit as “J. Norman – N. Meade.” Ragovoy, who also produced the song for Thomas, died in 2011 at age 80. 

In this song, Mick Jagger has lost his girl, but he knows it’s just a matter of time until he returns. After all, he’s got “the real love, the kind that you need.”

This was one of two songs The Stones performed on their first Ed Sullivan Show appearance, October 25, 1964. The other was “Around And Around,” a Chuck Berry cover.

That February, The Beatles made their historic debut on Sullivan to crowd hysteria. The Stones hadn’t yet developed a fan base in America, but the teenage girls in the audience still went crazy. The appearance earned them lots of attention and helped send “Time Is On My Side” up the chart – it reached #6 on December 5.

The Stones returned to the show five more times, always earning a wildly enthusiastic greeting from the crowd. On their fifth appearance, they capitulated to Sullivan by changing “Let’s Spend The Night Together” to “Let’s Spend Some Time Together.”

The Rolling Stones released two versions of this song. The US single was recorded in England and is slower, with a gospel organ. The British version was recorded at Chess studios in Chicago.

This song played a key role in the suspense thriller Fallen with Denzel Washington and John Goodman.

Time Is On My Side

Time is on my side, yes it is.
Time is on my side, yes it is.
Now you all were saying that you want to be free
But you’ll come runnin’ back (I said you would baby), 
You’ll come runnin’ back (like I told you so many times before),
You’ll come runnin’ back to me.

Time is on my side, yes it is.
Time is on my side, yes it is.
You’re searching for good times but just wait and see,
You’ll come runnin’ back (I said you would darling), 
You’ll come runnin back (Spent the rest of life with ya baby),
You’ll come runnin’ back to me.

Go ahead baby, go ahead, go ahead and light up the town!
And baby, do anything your heart desires
Remember, I’ll always be around.
And I know, I know like I told you so many times before
You’re gonna come back,
Yeah you’re going to come back baby
Knockin’, knockin’ right on my door.

Time is on my side, yes it is.
Time is on my side, yes it is.
‘Cause I got the real love, the kind that you need.
You’ll come runnin’ back (I knew you would one day), 
You’ll come runnin’ back (Baby I told you before),
You’ll come runnin’ back to me.

Time, time, time is on my side, yes it is.
Time, time, time is on my side, yes it is. 
Time, time, time is on my side

 

Blondie – The Tide is High

I remember hearing this a lot in 1981. The Tide Is High,” a remake of an obscure 1967 song by the Jamaican group the Paragons (Very good version by the way). It was released in 1980 but peaked in 1981 at #1 in the Billboard 100, the UK and Canada. It was written by Jamaican DJ Duke Reid in the 1930s

This is interesting. Sean Lennon said: “My father had an old Wurlitzer in the game room of our house on Long Island. It was filled with 45s, mostly Elvis and The Everly Brothers. The one modern song I remember him listening to was ‘The Tide Is High’ by Blondie, which he played constantly. When I hear that song, I see my father, unshaven, his hair pulled back into a ponytail, dancing to and fro in a worn-out pair of denim shorts, with me at his feet, trying my best to coordinate tiny limbs.”

From Songfacts.

Blondie experimented with many different sounds. They were a punk/new wave band in their early years, making a name playing clubs like CBGB’s in New York. This song was their foray into reggae, but they played around with rap on “Rapture” and with disco on “Heart Of Glass.”

Debbie Harry in 1000 UK #1 Hits by Jon Kutner and Spencer Leigh: “I first heard ‘The Tide Is High’ on a compilation tape that someone had given me while we were in London. Chris (Stein) and I both fell in love with the song and decided it was too good to resist.”

Blondie wanted to give the song a Jamaican feel, so they hired three percussion players and created a new string and horn arrangement to give it an authentic sound. According to Chris Stein, the percussion includes “eight tracks of drum sticks tapping on a piano bench.”

 

The Tide is High

The tide is high but I’m holdin’ on
I’m gonna be your number one
I’m not the kind-a girl who gives up just like that, oh no

It’s not the things you do that tease and hurt me bad
But it’s the way you do the things you do to me
I’m not the kind-a girl who gives up just like that, oh no

The tide is high but I’m holdin’ on
I’m gonna be your number one, number one.

Ev’ry girl wants you to be her man
But I’ll wait my dear till it’s my turn
I’m not the kind-a girl who gives up just like that, oh no

The tide is high but I’m holdin’ on
I’m gonna be your number one, number one, number one

Ev’ry girl wants you to be her man
But I’ll wait my dear till it’s my turn
I’m not the kind-a girl who gives up just like that, oh no

The tide is high but I’m holding on
I’m gonna be your number one, number one, number one

The tide is high but I’m holding on
I’m gonna be your number one
The tide is high but I’m holding on
I’m gonna be your number one
The tide is high but I’m holding on
I’m gonna be your number one

Juice Newton – Queen of Hearts

This song was played and played when it was released but I haven’t heard it a lot since. The song peaked at #2 in the Billboard 100, #14 in the Country Charts, and #8 in Canada in 1981. This song was written by Hank DeVito, who was the pedal steel guitarist for Emmylou Harris’ backing group, The Hot Band.

In 1981 I remember 3 songs that you would hear on the radio at any time after they were released. Bette Davis Eyes, The Tide Is High, and Queen of Hearts. You didn’t have to wait for it…turn on the radio and one of them would be there.

From Songfacts.

Juice Newton had the biggest success with “Queen of Hearts” after it appeared on her 1981 album, Juice. In September 1981, Newton’s version peaked at #2 on the US charts, having shifted over one million copies. In 1982, the song was nominated for the Grammy Award for Best Female Country Vocal Performance. Dave Edmunds, who first recorded “Queen of Hearts” in 1979, told Creem Newton stole his composition: “She did pinch my arrangement, note for note, but I’m not angry with that.”

The Welsh musician Dave Edmunds was the first artist to record “Queen of Hearts.” The song appears on his 1979 album, Repeat When Necessary. The track peaked at #11 in the UK, but Edmunds’ label – Led Zeppelin’s Swan Song – refused to release it in the US. Edmunds, who reached #4 US with his 1970 cover of “I Hear You Knocking,” was hoping for another American hit and was not pleased when Swan Song held back both “Queen of Hearts” and “Girls Talk” (a song written by Elvis Costello that made #4 UK for Edmunds in 1979).

 

Queen of Hearts

Midnight, and I’m a-waiting on the twelve-oh-five
Hoping it’ll take me just a little farther down the line

Moonlight, you’re just a heartache in disguise
Won’t you keep my heart from breaking
If it’s only for a very short time

Playing with the queen of hearts
Knowing it ain’t really smart
The joker ain’t the only fool
Who’ll do anything for you
Laying out another lie
Thinking ’bout a life of crime
‘Cause that’s what I’ll have to do
To keep me away from you

Honey, you know it makes you mad
Why is everybody telling everybody what you have done

Baby, I know it makes you sad
But when they’re handing out the heartaches
You know you got to have you some

Playing with the queen of hearts
Knowing it ain’t really smart
The joker ain’t the only fool
Who’ll do anything for you
Laying out another lie,
Thinking ’bout a life of crime
‘Cause that’s what I’ll have to do
To keep me away from you

Lovers, I know you’ve had a few
But hide your heart beneath the covers
And tell ’em they’re the only one

And others, they know just what I’m going through
And it’s a-hard to be a lover
When you say you’re only in it for fun

Playing with the queen of hearts
Knowing it ain’t really smart
The joker ain’t the only fool
Who’ll do anything for you

Playing with the queen of hearts
Knowing it ain’t really smart
The joker ain’t the only fool
Who’ll do anything for you
Laying out another lie,
Thinking ’bout a life of crime
‘Cause that’s what I’ll have to do
To keep me away from you

Playing with the queen of hearts
Playing with the queen of hearts
Playing with the queen of hearts
Playing with the queen of hearts

Steve Miller – Heart Like a Wheel

Many Steve Miller songs I have heard too many times. This one hasn’t been completely worn out. Heart Like a Wheel came out in 1981 on the Circle of Love album. A great thin guitar sound on this song.

Steve started his career more blues-oriented but with “The Joker” in 1973 started in a more pop/rock direction.

This song peaked at #24 on the Billboard Charts in 1981. Steve’s lyrics won’t ever be confused with Bob Dylan’s but the man can write a catchy pop/rock hook.

 

“Heart Like A Wheel”

I’ve got a heart like a wheel
Feel like I got to roll
Ooohh

Heart like a wheel
I told you so
And I’ve been loving you for so long
You are the one
Heart so real
I love you so

Well, I can give what I take
And you know I want to give you my love
Babe I ain’t faking
You know I want to give you my love

I’ve been loving you for so long
You are the one
Heart so real
I love you so
Come on and roll

I’ve been loving you for so long
You are the one
Heart so real
I love you so

It takes two to make love
It takes love to make a family real
I got to know what you need
I got to know what you really feel

And I’ve been loving you for so long
You are the one
Heart so real
I love you so
Come on and roll

You know it’s such a pity
If you’re going to get the summertime blues
Lovers everywhere are pairing off two by twos

And I’ve been loving you for so long
You are the one
Heart so real
I love you so

I’ve been loving you for so long
You are the one
Heart so real
I love you so

I’ve got a heart like a wheel
I love you so

I’ve got a heart like a wheel
I’ve got to roll