Bob Dylan – Sweetheart Like You

This song was on the Infidels album. That is my favorite Dylan album of the 80s by far. I wore it out when I bought it. Great album. Songs like Jokerman, Neighborhood Bully, Union Sundown, and many more. 

A photograph of Dylan's face, wearing sunglasses and a short beard

I liked the song straight off. It did remind me of the old line that has been used over and over again in bars and clubs ALL over the world. 

Sometimes it’s hard to post Dylan’s music because of the varied meanings of his songs…so I don’t even try to decipher them. I will say this though…the melody and lyrics flow perfectly. Dylan isn’t known much for ballads but this is a great one. 

The first time I heard this song was watching a video of it. That led me to get the album. It was Dylan’s first music video in the MTV era and it pulled me in to buy the album. The video for the song featured Carla Olson, Steve Ripley, drummer Charlie Quintana, and Clydie King. In the clip, Olson mimes former Rolling Stone Mick Taylor’s guitar part and solo. 

Dylan recorded this song with an all-star cast. Dire Straits’ Mark Knopfler and the Stones’ Mick Taylor on guitar, Alan Clark on keyboards, Robbie Shakespeare on bass, and Sly Dunbar on drums.

Dylan’s previous album Shot of Love was released in 1981 and wrapped up a trilogy of Christian-based albums. Infidels was thought to be his return to secular music but he kept biblical imagery in this song.  Lines such as “They say in your father’s house, there’s many a mansions” which is a reference to John 14:2 –  In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.

The album peaked at #20 in the Billboard Album Charts, #14 in Canada, #4 in New Zealand, and #9 in the UK in 1983. Sweetheart Like You peaked at #55 on the Billboard 100 in 1984. 

British engineer Ian Taylor talks about Bob: “He was very specific about how the solo should start, it wasn’t about the sound he wanted, but the first few notes. He wanted the guitar solo at the end, the last thing you hear. So he wanted it to embellish the spirit of the song.” 

Joni Mitchell considers Sweetheart Like You one of her favorite Bob Dylan songs ” for its Damon Runyon style of storytelling” and she recorded it on her “Artist’s Choice: Joni Mitchell—music that matters to her” compilation released through Starbucks in 2005.

Chrissie Hynde also recorded the song on her  Standing in the Doorway: Chrissie Hynde Sings Bob Dylan album. 

Sweetheart Like You

Well the pressure’s down, the boss ain’t here
He’s gone North, for a while
They say that vanity got the best of him
But he sure left here in style
By the way, that’s a cute hat
And that smile’s so hard to resist
But what’s a sweetheart like you doing in a dump like this?

You know, I once knew a woman who looked like you
She wanted a whole man, not just a half
She used to call me sweet daddy when I was only a child
You kind of remind me of her when you laugh
In order to deal in this game, got to make the queen disappear
It’s done with a flick of the wrist
What’s a sweetheart like you doing in a dump like this?

You know a woman like you should be at home
That’s where you belong
Taking care for somebody nice
Who don’t know how to do you wrong
Just how much abuse will you be able to take?
Well, there’s no way to tell by that first kiss
What’s a sweetheart like you doing in a dump like this?

You know you can make a name for yourself
You can hear them tires squeal
You could be known as the most beautiful woman
Who ever crawled across cut glass to make a deal.

You know, news of you has come down the line
Even before ya came in the door
They say in your father’s house, there’s many a mansions
Each one of them got a fireproof floor
Snap out of it baby, people are jealous of you
They smile to your face, but behind your back they hiss
What’s a sweetheart like you doing in a dump like this?

Got to be an important person to be in here, honey
Got to have done some evil deed
Got to have your own harem when you come in the door
Got to play your harp until your lips bleed.
They say that patriotism is the last refuge
To which a scoundrel clings
Steal a little and they throw you in jail
Steal a lot and they make you king
There’s only one step down from here, baby
It’s called the land of permanent bliss
What’s a sweetheart like you doing in a dump like this?

Rolling Stones – Ain’t Too Proud To Beg

If I had to pick my favorite Stones song they covered…this one would be high up there. I like the intro and Keith’s sloppy guitar solo that was perfect for it.

The Stones covered this song in 1974 on the It’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll album. Later in 1978 they would cover another Temptations song called Just My Imagination.

The Stones originally planned for Dobie Gray’s “Drift Away” as the only cover song on It’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll, but they bumped it for this. Billy Preston plays the funky piano on this song, and it really makes it.

It’s Only Rock and Roll would be the last album that Mick Taylor worked on. Ron Wood would eventually replace him on guitar. Wood probably fit in with the Stones more than Taylor…but Taylor had a sound that was never replicated again. The albums he played on are considered to be the Stones best.

This was written by Motown writers Norman Whitfield and Eddie Holland. Holland, who was part of the Holland/Dozier/Holland writing team, wrote the lyrics. The Temptations version peaked at #13.

Other covers of this song include Phil Collins, TLC, and the one and only Rick Astley… whom the Internet’s never going to give up..

The song peaked at #17 in the Billboard 100 and #14 in Canada in 1974.

Paul McCartney: “There were two songs I turned Mick onto that the Stones have done. One was She Said Yeah and the other was Ain’t Too Proud To Beg. Mick would deny it – ‘Wot? Never saw him, never met him’ – but I distinctly remember having him up into a little music room and playing it to him. He loved it and he went and did it. We’ve messed around with the track a little bit, but it is sort of like my memory of the original.”

Ain’t Too Proud To Beg

I know you wanna leave me,
But I refuse to let you go,
If I have to beg, plead for your sympathy,
I don’t mind ’cause you mean that much to me.

Ain’t too proud to beg and you know it,
Please don’t leave me girl,
Don’t you go,
Ain’t too proud to plead, baby, baby,
Please don’t leave me, girl,
Don’t you go.

Now I’ve heard a cryin’ man
Is half a man with no sense of pride,
But if I have to cry to keep you,
I don’t mind weepin’ if it’ll keep you by my side.

Ain’t too proud to beg and you know it,
Please don’t leave me girl,
Don’t you go,
Ain’t too proud to plead, baby, baby,
Please don’t leave me, girl,
Don’t you go.

If I have to sleep on your doorstep all night and day
Just to keep you from walking away,
Let your friends laugh, even this I can stand,
’cause I wanna keep you any way I can.

Ain’t too proud to beg and you know it,
Please don’t leave me girl,
Don’t you go,
Ain’t too proud to plead, baby, baby,
Please don’t leave me, girl,
Don’t you go.

Now I’ve got a love so deep in the pit of my heart,
And each day it grows more and more,
I’m not ashamed to call and plead to you, baby,
If pleading keeps you from walking out that door.

Ain’t too proud to beg and you know it,
Please don’t leave me girl,
Don’t you go,
Ain’t too proud to plead, baby, baby,
Please don’t leave me, girl,
Don’t you go.

Rolling Stones – Doo Doo Doo Doo Doo (Heartbreaker)

One of my favorite intros to any song.  Billy Preston did a  funky clavinet intro that sounds dark and huge. Mick Taylor’s solo on this song is perfect…without Mick Taylor they would have made those stretch of albums in the late sixties and early seventies but they would have sounded different. When Mick Taylor quit…they lost their sound from this period.

The song peaked at #15 in the Billboard 100 in 1974. It was on the great album Goats Head Soup which peaked at #1 in 1973.

 

From Songfacts

This tells two stories, a young man shot by police in a case of mistaken identity, and a 10-year girl who dies in an alley of a drug overdose. Neither is based on a true story, but is a commentary on urban America.

The horns were arranged by trumpet player Jim Price, who along with Bobby Keys on sax, provided the brass on records and tours for The Stones in the early ’70s. This was the last time Price recorded with The Stones. He went on to produce other artists, including Joe Cocker.

Keith Richards played bass and shared lead guitar duties with Mick Taylor.

Billy Preston played the piano.

The Stones played this on their 1973 European tour, even though it describes events in America.

Chuck Findley played trumpet on this. Other artists he worked for include George Harrison, Quincy Jones, Diana Ross, the Carpenters, Julio Iglesias, Rod Stewart, Robert Palmer and Madonna.

Doo Doo Doo Doo Doo Heartbreaker

The police in New York City 
They chased a boy right through the park 
And in a case of mistaken identity 
The put a bullet through his heart 

Heart breakers with your forty four 
I want to tear your world apart 
You heart breaker with your forty four 
I want to tear your world a part 

A ten year old girl on a street corner 
Sticking needles in her arm 
She died in the dirt of an alleyway 
Her mother said she had no chance, no chance! 

Heart breaker, heart breaker 
She stuck the pins right in her heart 
Heart breaker, pain maker 
Stole the love right out of you heart

Oh yeah, oh yeah
Want to tear your world apart
Oh yeah, oh yeah
Want to tear your world apart

Heart breaker, heart breaker 
You stole the love right out of my heart 
Heart breaker, heart breaker 
I want to tear that world 
I want to tear that world 
I want to tear that world apart

Heart breaker, heart breaker 
Stone love, stone love
Oh yeah, oh yeah

Heartbreaker, heartbreaker
Want to tear that world apart

Doo, doo doo doo doo doo doo, doo doo doo