Rolling Stones – Shattered

I remember this one very well. I bought the single and then the album a little while later. It’s a great rock song with some punk in it. It’s on the album Some Girls that was released in 1978.

This was the last song on Some Girls. While they were recording this album, Keith Richards had drug charges hanging over his head from a bust in Toronto. Facing a maximum sentence of life in prison, Keith let Mick take control of the album, which is shown on songs like this. Richards ended up getting off easy… he was sentenced to probation and ordered to play a concert for the blind.

Richards came up with the guitar riff on this and the line “Sha-doobie.” Jagger wrote the rest.

They performed this on Saturday Night Live and to this viewer they were not as tight as normal. Turns out they drank a lot of alcohol, did some seventies substances and rehearsed a lot before show time… after watching the rehearsals it seems like they made the mistake of peaking too early during the rehearsals. By showtime they didn’t sound as strong as usual…but it still was a good show.

The song peaked at #31 in the Billboard 100 and #32 in Canada in 1978.

From Songfacts

The lyrics are a bleak picture of life in New York City. The Stones always had a love/hate relationship with the US, and Mick Jagger’s lyrics were often influenced by his thoughts on the country (see “Satisfaction”). New York in particular is a place where you could be wildly successful, but is also a city filled crime, drugs, and poverty. It should be noted that The Stones have taken shots at their home country of England as well, notably on “Hang Fire.”

Just after this was released, The Stones performed it on Saturday Night Live. It was memorable for Mick Jagger licking Ron Wood on the lips for about 5 seconds. This stuff just didn’t happen on TV back them.

When Jagger sings, “Shmatta, shmatta, shmatta, I can’t give it away on 7th Avenue, this town’s been wearing tatters,” he’s making reference to the fashion district of New York City, which is on 7th Avenue. The word “Shmatta” is slang for old, worn clothing. 

Shattered

Uh huh shattered, uh huh shattered
Love and hope and sex and dreams
Are still surviving on the street
Look at me, I’m in tatters!
I’m a shattered
Shattered

Friends are so alarming
My lover’s never charming
Life’s just a cocktail party on the street
Big Apple
People dressed in plastic bags
Directing traffic
Some kind of fashion
Shattered

Laughter, joy, and loneliness and sex and sex and sex and sex
Look at me, I’m in tatters
I’m a shattered
Shattered

All this chitter-chatter, chitter-chatter, chitter-chatter ’bout
Shmatta, shmatta, shmatta, I can’t give it away on 7th Avenue
This town’s been wearing tatters (shattered, sha ooobie shattered)

Work and work for love and sex
Ain’t you hungry for success, success, success, success
Does it matter? (shattered)
Does it matter?

Ah look at me
I’m shattered
I’m shattered 0
Look at me, I’m a shattered, yeah (shattered)

Pride and joy and greed and sex
That’s what makes our town the best
Pride and joy and dirty dreams and still surviving on the street
And look at me, I’m in tatters, yeah
I’ve been battered, what does it matter
Does it matter, uh-huh
Does it matter, uh-huh, I’m a shattered

Mmm, I’m shattered, unh
Sha oobie, shattered, unh
Sha oobie, shattered
Sha oobie, shattered, shattered

Don’t you know the crime rate is going up, up, up, up, up
To live in this town you must be tough, tough, tough, tough, tough!
You got rats on the West Side
Bed bugs uptown
What a mess this town’s in tatters, I’ve been shattered
My brain’s been battered, splattered all over Manhattan

Sha oobie, shattered, shattered, what say
Sha oobie, shattered
Sha oobie, shattered
Sha oobie, shattered

Uh-huh, this town’s full of money grabbers
Go ahead, bite the Big Apple, don’t mind the maggots, huh
Sha oobie, my brain’s been battered
My friends they come around they
Flatter, flatter, flatter, flatter, flatter, flatter, flatter
Pile it up, pile it up, pile high on the platter

Rolling Stones – Sad Sad Sad

Out of all of the tracks on Steel Wheels…this one sounded like the old Stones. The open G chord that Keith Richards made famous is in full display on the intro.  This is the first track from Steel Wheels, an album that brought The Stones back together.

With the album Dirty Work, the Stones did look like it could be over. Jagger and Richards were not getting along. They took shots at each other in the press. Jagger released two albums, She’s The Boss and Primitive Cool. Keith Richards also released a solo album…a very good album  Talk Is Cheap.

Keith and Mick finally took time out to talk to each other and get the band back together. Bill Wyman, Charlie Watts, and Ron Wood joined them and this would be Bill’s last album and tour. Bill has had musical projects since then and he has rejoined the Stones onstage a few times.

The song peaked at #14 in the Mainstream Rock Tracks in 1989. Mixed Emotions was the big hit off of the album.

Charlie Watts helped write this, but as was custom for The Stones, it was credited only to Jagger/Richards.

From Songfacts

The horns were played by the Brass ensemble The Kick Horns.

Ron Wood played bass. Bill Wyman, The Stones bassist, had to deal with the press after announcing his engagement to 18-year-old Mandy Smith, and was not available. Wyman and Smith divorced soon after their marriage.

Sad Sad Sad

Fling you out into orbit
No one’s gonna hear you shout
And fools ain’t gonna follow
You don’t need to sleaze about

Now you’re sad sad sad
Sad sad sad
Sad sad sad
But you’re gonna be fine

The elephant’s in the bedroom
Throwing all his weight about
And I’m locked in the bathroom
Your screams are gonna drown me out

Now you’re sad sad sad
Sad sad sad
Sad sad sad
But you’re gonna be fine

Oh, yeah

I got a cold chill
I get a cool thrill
Are you ready for the gilded cage?
Are you ready for the tears of rage?
Come on baby, don’t let them drown you out

Sad sad sad
Bad bad bad
Sad sad sad
But you’re gonna be fine

Sad sad sad
Sad sad sad
Sad sad sad
But you’re gonna be fine

You’re gonna be fine
You’re gonna be fine
You’re gonna be fine fine fine fine
You’re gonna be fine fine fine fine
Fine fine fine fine

Ooh, yeah
Ooh, yeah
Ooh, yeah
Gonna be fine fine fine fine
Fine fine fine fine
Fine fine fine fine