Rolling Stones – Bitch

Yeah when you call my name, I salivate like a Pavlov dog…One of the raunchiest riffs around. Combine that with the lyrics and you have a great little rock song. This is the Stones at the top of their game.

This song was the B side to Brown Sugar. Not a bad deal for your money. It’s another great song off of the Sticky Fingers LP. Here is a review of Sticky Fingers at Aphoristic’s site.

Below Andy Johns talks about the importance of Keith Richards…no matter if he was tardy a few times.

Andy Johns engineer: When we were doing “Bitch,” Keith was very late. Jagger and Mick Taylor had been playing the song without him and it didn’t sound very good. I walked out of the kitchen and he was sitting on the floor with no shoes, eating a bowl of cereal. Suddenly he said, Oi, Andy! Give me that guitar. I handed him his clear Dan Armstrong Plexiglass guitar, he put it on, kicked the song up in tempo, and just put the vibe right on it. Instantly, it went from being this laconic mess into a real groove. And I thought, Wow. THAT’S what he does

Bitch was written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, “Bitch” was recorded during October 1970 at London’s Olympic Studios, and at Stargroves utilizing the Rolling Stones Mobile studio.

From Songfacts

Love is the “bitch,” not any specific woman. Mick Jagger had many relationships he could base this on, including his breakup with Marianne Faithfull. He broke up with her after she tried to commit suicide while they were in Australia in late 1969 (Mick was filming Ned Kelly). As soon as Marianne recovered, Mick dumped her.

The Stones recorded this song, and many others on the album, at the Stargroves estate in Hampshire, England, using their mobile recording unit manned by engineer Andy Johns.

Despite (or maybe because of) the rather provocative title, this became one of the more popular Rolling Stones songs, often appearing in their setlists. It wasn’t released as a single but got plenty of play on rock radio.

In 1974, Elton John broke the “bitch” barrier on pop radio with “The Bitch Is Back,” which went to #4 in the US.

Along with “Under My Thumb,” this didn’t help the Stones’ image with women’s groups.

The album cover was designed by Andy Warhol. It was a close-up photo of a man in a pair of jeans complete with an actual zipper. The zipper caused problems in shipment because it scratched the record. They figured out that if they opened the zipper before shipment, it did minimal damage.

Speaking with Rolling Stone, Keith Richards said: “It comes off pretty smooth, but it’s quite tricky. There’s an interesting bridge you have to watch out for. Otherwise, it’s a straightforward rock and soul that we love. It’s Charlie Watts’ meat and potatoes.”

This features Bobby Keys on sax and Jim Price on trumpet. They provided horns on albums and tours for The Stones in the early ’70s.

The Goo Goo Dolls covered this in 1997 on the compilation album No Alternative.

The album title Sticky Fingers refers to the aptitude of a person who is likely to steal. It went well with the lawless image The Stones put forward.

Bitch

Feeling so tired, can’t understand it
Just had a fortnight’s sleep
I’m feeling so tired, I’m so distracted
Ain’t touched a thing all week

I’m feeling drunk, juiced up and sloppy
Ain’t touched a drink all night
I’m feeling hungry, can’t see the reason
Just ate a horse meat pie

Yeah when you call my name
I salivate like a Pavlov dog
Yeah when you lay me out
My heart is beating louder than a big bass drum, alright

Yeah, you got to mix it child
You got to fix it must be love
It’s a bitch, yeah
You got to mix it child
You got to fix it but love
It’s a bitch, alright

Sometimes I’m sexy, move like a stud
Like kicking the stall all night
Sometimes I’m so shy, got to be worked on
Don’t have no bark or bite, alright

Yeah when you call my name
I salivate like a Pavlov dog
Yeah when you lay me out
My heart is bumpin’ louder than a big bass drum, alright

I said hey, yeah I feel alright now
Got to be a
Hey, I feel alright now
Hey hey hey
Hey hey yeah
Hey hey hey
Hey hey yeah
Hey hey hey
Hey hey yeah
Hey hey hey
Hey hey yeah
Hey hey hey

Rolling Stones – Moonlight Mile

Next to Memory Motel, this is one of my favorite Stones songs. It has yet to be played into the ground by radio.

Keith Richards was not at the recording session because of one reason or another. Richard likes the song, though. With Richards gone, Mick Taylor did all the guitar work on the recording.

The song was on Sticky Fingers and the album peaked at #1 in the Billboard Album Chart, #1 in the UK, and #1 in Canada in 1971.

Mick Jagger: That’s a dream song. Those kinds of songs with kinds of dreamy sounds are fun to do, but not all the time – it’s nice to come back to reality.”

From Songfacts

This was the result of an all-night recording session at Stargroves, The Stones’ mobile recording studio. A moonlight mile is a night time cocaine session. 

he working title was “The Japanese Thing.”

Jim Price, who usually arranged horns and played the trumpet and piano.

Paul Buckmaster, known for his work with Elton John, arranged the strings.

In an interview with The Wall Street Journal’s Marc Myers, Jagger explained the creation of the song: “I also came up with an Oriental-Indian riff on my acoustic guitar. At some point during the tour I played it for Mick Taylor, because I thought he would like it. At that point, I really hadn’t intended on recording the song. Sometimes you don’t want to record what you’re writing. You think, ‘This isn’t worth recording, this is just my doodling.’

“When we finished our European tour in October 1970, we were at Stargroves… We were sitting around one night and I started working on what I had initially written. I felt great. I was in my house again and it was very relaxing. So the song became about that – looking forward to returning from a foreign place while looking out the window of a train and the images of the railway line going by in the moonlight.”

Moonlight Mile

When the wind blows and the rain feels cold
With a head full of snow
With a head full of snow
In the window there’s a face you know
Don’t the nights pass slow
Don’t the nights pass slow

The sound of strangers sending nothing to my mind
Just another mad mad day on the road
I am just living to be lying by your side
But I’m just about a moonlight mile on down the road

Made a rag pile of my shiny clothes
Gonna warm my bones
Gonna warm my bones
I got silence on my radio
Let the air waves flow
Let the air waves flow

Oh I’m sleeping under strange strange skies
Just another mad mad day on the road
My dreams is fading down the railway line
I’m just about a moonlight mile down the road

I’m hiding sister and I’m dreaming
I’m riding down your moonlight mile
I’m hiding baby and I’m dreaming
I’m riding down your moonlight mile
I’m riding down you moonlight mile

Let it go now, come on up babe
Yeah, let it go now
Yeah, flow now baby
Yeah move on now yeah

Yeah, I’m coming home
‘Cause, I’m just about a moonlight mile on down the road
Down the road, down the road

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

Rolling Stones – Salt Of The Earth

Hope everyone had a great long weekend.

Let’s drink to the hard-working people
Let’s drink to the lowly of birth
Raise your glass to the good and the evil
Let’s drink to the salt of the earth

This song is on the great album Beggars Banquet. I had this album and it remains one of my favorite albums by the Stones. There is not a bad song on the LP. This one and Prodigal Son I always liked. Beggars Banquet peaked at #5 on the Billboard album charts in 1969.

Keith and Mick Jagger both sing on this with the  Los Angeles Watts Street Gospel Choir singing background…Nicky Hopkins is on piano.

The title refers to the working class…they are “The salt of the Earth.” Jagger later said: “The song is total cynicism. I’m saying those people haven’t any power and they never will have.” 

From Songfacts

This was one of Keith Richards’ first lead vocal performances for The Stones (his first was on “Something Happened To Me Yesterday” from Between The Buttons). 

The Stones played this on Rock and Roll Circus, a British TV special The Stones taped in 1968 but never aired because they were upstaged by other acts on the show. A series of musical acts and circus performances, it was released on video in 1995.

The Stones performed this in Atlantic City in 1989 with Axl Rose and Izzy Stradlin of Guns N’ Roses on vocals.

Mick Jagger and Keith Richards performed this at the 2001 “Concert For New York,” which honored the rescue workers, cops, and firefighters in New York City after the World Trade Center disaster.

Salt Of The Earth

Let’s drink to the hard working people
Let’s drink to the lowly of birth
Raise your glass to the good and the evil
Let’s drink to the salt of the earth

Say a prayer for the common foot soldier
Spare a thought for his back breaking work
Say a prayer for his wife and his children
Who burn the fires and who still till the earth

And when I search a faceless crowd
A swirling mass of gray and
Black and white
They don’t look real to me
In fact, they look so strange

Raise your glass to the hard working people
Let’s drink to the uncounted heads
Let’s think of the wavering millions
Who need leaders but get gamblers instead

Spare a thought for the stay-at-home voter
His empty eyes gaze at strange beauty shows
And a parade of the gray suited grafters
A choice of cancer or polio

And when I look in the faceless crowd
A swirling mass of grays and
Black and white
They don’t look real to me
Or don’t they look so strange

Let’s drink to the hard working people
Let’s think of the lowly of birth
Spare a thought for the rag taggy people
Let’s drink to the salt of the earth

Let’s drink to the hard working people
Let’s drink to the salt of the earth
Let’s drink to the two thousand million
Let’s think of the humble of birth

Rolling Stones – All Down The Line

One of my favorites off of Exile on Main Street. This was going to be the first single off of the album but Tumbling Dice… understandably was the first. This song didn’t chart but it just added to the greatness that is Exile on Main Street.

Engineer Andy Johns talked about this single. It was the first song finished for the album and Mick thought it was perfect for the first single. Andy disagreed and told Mick. I know this is a long quote but it’s worth a read. It shows you how much power some bands like the Stones had in the 60s and 70s.

Andy Johns:

“It was the first one that was finished cause we’d be working for months and months. Mick got very enamored. ‘It’s finished! It’s going to be the single!’ I thought, ‘This isn’t really a single, you know.’ I remember going out and talking to him and he was playing the piano. ‘Mick, this isn’t a single. It doesn’t compare to “Jumpin’ Jack Flash” or “Street Fighting Man.” ‘Come on, man.’ He went, ‘Really? Do you think so?’ I thought, ‘My God. He’s actually listening to me.’ (laughs). And then, I was having a struggle with the mix I thought was gonna be it. Ahmet Ertegun then barged in with a bunch of hookers and ruined the one mix. He stood right in front of the left speaker with two birds on each arm (laughs).
I told Mick, ‘I can’t hear it here. If I could hear it on the radio that would be nice.’ It was just a fantasy. ‘Oh, we can do that.’ ‘Stew (piano player Ian Stewart), go to the nearest FM radio station with the tape and say we’d like to hear it over the radio. And we’ll get a limo and Andy can listen to it in the car.’ I went, ‘Bloody hell…Well, it’s the Stones. OK.’
So sure enough, we’re touring down Sunset Strip and Keith is in one seat, and I’m in the back where the speakers are with Mick, and Charlie is in there, too. Just because he was bored (laughs). And Mick’s got the radio on and the DJ comes on the air, ‘We’re so lucky tonight. We’re the first people to play the new Stones’ record.’ And it came on the radio and the speakers in this car were kind of shot. I still couldn’t tell. And it finishes. Then Mick turns around. ‘So?’ ‘I’m still not sure, man.’ I’m still not used to these speakers’. ‘Oh, we’ll have him play it again then.’
Poor Stew. ‘Have them play it again’ like they were some sort of radio service. It was surreal. Up and down Sunset Strip at 9:00 on a Saturday night. The Strip was jumpin’ and I’m in the car with those guys listening to my mixes. It sounded OK. ‘I think we’re down with that.’ So then we moved on.”

From Songfacts

When The Stones gave this to a Los Angeles radio station in 1971 while they were still working on it so they could hear what it sounded like on the radio, it spread rumors that it would be the first single off Exile on Main St., but that honor went to “Tumblin’ Dice.”

Producer Jimmy Miller added percussion. He had to play some of the instruments on the album because The Stones were rarely together during the sessions, which took place at a French villa Keith Richards rented.

Kathi McDonald sang backup. She was a backup singer for Leon Russell and went on to record with Nicky Hopkins and Quicksilver Messenger Service.

All Down The Line

Yeah, heard the diesel drumming all down the line.
Oh, heard the wires a humming all down the line.
Yeah, hear the women sighing all down the line.
Oh, hear the children crying all down the line.

(All down the line)
We’ll be watching out for trouble, yeah.
(All down the line)
And we’d better keep the motor running, yeah.
(All down the line)
Well, you can’t say yes and you can’t say no,
Just be right there when the whistle blows.
I need a sanctified girl with a sanctified mind to help me now.

Yeah, all the people singing all down the line.
Mmmm, watch the men all working, working, yeah.
(All down the line)

(All down the line)
We’re gonna open up the throttle yeah.
(All down the line)
We’re gonna bust another bottle, yeah.
(All down the line)

I need a shot of salvation, baby, once in a while.
Hear the whistle blowing, hear it for a thousand miles.

(All down the line)
We’re gonna open up the throttle, yeah.
All down the line, we’re gonna bust another bottle, yeah.
Well you can’t say yes, and you can’t say no,
Just be right there when the whistle blows.
I need a sanctified mind to help me out right now.

Be my little baby for a while.
Won’t you be my little baby for a while?
Won’t you be my little baby for a while?
Won’t you be my little baby for a while?
Won’t you be my little baby for a while?

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

 

Rolling Stones – Ruby Tuesday

I wish this era of the Stones would have lasted longer. Yes, I love the electric blues slanted work they did after this but they wrote some great pop songs. Brian Jones plays the recorder (it sounds like a flute) in this song. You don’t hear much about Brian now but he expanded their sound in the mid-sixties with an array of instruments.

Bill Wyman said that Keith wrote the lyrics and Brian helped finish the melody. This song was the B side to “Let’s Spend The Night Together.”

This song peaked at #1 in the Billboard 100 in 1967.

 

Keith Richards: “That’s one of those things – some chick you’ve broken up with. And all you’ve got left is the piano and the guitar and a pair of panties. And it’s goodbye you know. And so it just comes out of that. And after that, you just build on it. It’s one of those songs that are easiest to write because you’re really right there and you really sort of mean it. And for a songwriter, hey break his heart and he’ll come up with a good song.” 

 

 

From Songfacts

The fourth US #1 hit for the Rolling Stones, this ballad is about a groupie. It may have been inspired by Linda Keith, who was Keith Richards’ girlfriend. Richards said in According to the Rolling Stones: “It was probably written about Linda Keith not being there (laughs). I don’t know, she had pissed off somewhere. It was very mournful, very, VERY Ruby Tuesday and it was a Tuesday.”

Originally, this was called “Title B.”

Keith Richards and Brian Jones wrote most of this, but in keeping with Stones tradition, it was credited to Mick Jagger and Keith Richards.

Brian Jones was their lead guitarist until he died in 1969, and could play just about any instrument. 

A large double-bass was used. Bill Wyman plucked the notes while Richards played it with a bow.

This was not on the English version of Between The Buttons because it was already released as a single there, and it was customary not to put singles on albums.

This was supposed to be the B-side of “Let’s Spend the Night Together,” but many radio stations shied away from the sexual implications of that song, so they played this instead and made it a hit.

Jagger: “Ruby Tuesday is good. I think that’s a wonderful song. It’s just a nice melody, really. And a lovely lyric. Neither of which I wrote, but I always enjoy singing it.”

The singer Melanie, who had a #1 hit with “Brand New Key” in 1971, released a cover of “Ruby Tuesday” in 1970 that went to #9 in the UK and #52 in the US. Rod Stewart also released a popular cover that was accompanied by a video. His version made #11 in the UK in 1993.

Ruby Tuesday

She would never say where she came from
Yesterday don’t matter if it’s gone
While the sun is bright
Or in the darkest night
No one knows, she comes and goes

Goodbye Ruby Tuesday
Who could hang a name on you?
When you change with every new day
Still I’m gonna miss you

Don’t question why she needs to be so free
She’ll tell you it’s the only way to be
She just can’t be chained
To a life where nothings gained
And nothings lost, at such a cost

Goodbye Ruby Tuesday
Who could hang a name on you?
When you change with every new day
Still I’m gonna miss you

“There’s no time to lose”, I heard her say
Catch your dreams before they slip away
Dying all the time
Lose your dreams and you will lose your mind
Ain’t life unkind?

Goodbye Ruby Tuesday
Who could hang a name on you?
When you change with every new day
Still I’m gonna miss you

Goodbye Ruby Tuesday
Who could hang a name on you?
When you change with every new day
Still I’m gonna miss you