Tag: Rolling Stones

Song Lyric Sunday – Paint it Black, Gloria!

Happy New Year everyone! This week Jim Adams has prompted us with PG for Song Lyric Sunday. Not PG rated, but a song that starts with the letter “P” or “G”. I missed last Sunday’s Challenge because of the holidays so I have chosen two songs today. I have had both in my mind for a while and was just waiting for the right prompt, and here it is! Two of my all time favorites. “Paint it Black” by the Rolling Stones and “Gloria” by Van Morrison (THEM). I hope you enjoy them.

This is written from the viewpoint of a person who is depressed; he wants everything to turn black to match his mood. There was no specific inspiration for the lyrics. When asked at the time why he wrote a song about death, Mick Jagger replied: “I don’t know. It’s been done before. It’s not an original thought by any means. It all depends on how you do it.”
The song seems to be about a lover who died:

“I see a line of cars and they’re all painted black” – The hearse and limos.

“With flowers and my love both never to come back” – The flowers from the funeral and her in the hearse. He talks about his heart being black because of his loss.

“I could not foresee this thing happening to you” – It was an unexpected and sudden death .

“If I look hard enough into the setting sun, my love will laugh with me before the morning comes” – This refers to her in Heaven.

The Rolling Stones wrote this as a much slower, conventional soul song. When Bill Wyman began fooling around on the organ during the session doing a takeoff of their original as a spoof of music played at Jewish weddings. Co-manager Eric Easton (who had been an organist), and Charlie Watts joined in and improvised a double-time drum pattern, echoing the rhythm heard in some Middle Eastern dances. This new more upbeat rhythm was then used in the recording as a counterpoint to the morbid lyrics.

On this track, Stones guitarist Brian Jones played the sitar, which was introduced to pop music by The Beatles on their 1965 song Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown). Jones made good television by balancing the instrument on his lap during appearances.

Keith Richards explained how this song came together: “We were in Fiji for about three days. They make sitars and all sorts of Indian stuff. Sitars are made out of watermelons or pumpkins or something smashed so they go hard. They’re very brittle and you have to be careful how you handle them. We had the sitars, we thought we’d try them out in the studio. To get the right sound on ‘Paint It Black’ we found the sitar fitted perfectly. We tried a guitar but you can’t bend it enough.”

This was used as the theme song for Tour Of Duty, a CBS show about the Vietnam War that ran from 1987-1989.

On the single, there is a comma before the word “black” in the title, rendering it, “Paint It, Black.” This of course changes the context, implying that a person named “Black” is being implored to paint. While some fans interpreted this as a statement on race relations, it’s far more likely that the rogue comma was the result of a clerical error, something not uncommon in the ’60s.

Mick Jagger on the song’s psychedelic sound: “That was the time of lots of acid. It has sitars on it. It’s like the beginnings of miserable psychedelia. That’s what the Rolling Stones started – maybe we should have a revival of that.”

U2 did a cover for the 7″ B-side of “Who’s Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses,” and used some of it in live versions of “Bad.” Other artists who have covered the song include Deep Purple, Vanessa Carlton, GOB, Tea Party, Jonny Lang, Face to Face, Earth Crisis, W.A.S.P., Rage, Glenn Tipton, Elliott Smith, Eternal Afflict, Anvil, and Risa Song.

Jack Nitzsche played keyboards. Besides working with The Stones, Nitzsche arranged records for Phil Spector and scored many movies. Nitzsche had an unfortunate moment when he appeared on the TV show Cops after being arrested for waving a gun at a guy who stole his hat. He died of a heart attack in 2000 at age 63.

The Stones former manager Allen Klein owned the publishing rights to this song. In 1965, The Stones hired him and signed a deal they would later regret. With Klein controlling their money, The Stones signed over the publishing rights to all the songs they wrote up to 1969. Every time this is used in a commercial or TV show, Klein’s estate (he died in 2009) gets paid.

This is featured in the closing credits of the movie The Devil’s Advocate. It is also heard at the end of Stanley Kubrick’s movie Full Metal Jacket, where it serves as an allegory of the sorrow of the sudden death in the song relating to the emotional death of the men in the film, and of all men in war.

Brian Jones had a lot of input into this song, but was left off the songwriting credits (Mick Jagger and Keith Richards are the credited writers). Jones did the arrangements for “Paint It Black” and many other songs around this time, but according to Keith Richards, he never presented a finished song to the group, which kept him off the credits.

Jones was a founding member of the Stones and key to their early success. He was still going strong when this song was released in 1966, but fell off a year later when his drug use caught up to him and his girlfriend, Anita Pallenberg, left him for Richards. By June 1969, he was a liability, and the Stones fired him. Less than a month later he drowned in his swimming pool at age 27.

His notable contributions to the group include lead guitar on “Get Off of My Cloud” and recorder on “Ruby Tuesday,” but his work on “Paint It Black” may have been his greatest musical achievement. “Brian’s sitar line not only makes the song happen but also turns it into a timeless classic,” Danny Garcia, director of the film Rolling Stone: Life and Death of Brian Jones, told Songfacts.

Paint if Black Lyrics

I see a red door and I want it painted black
No colors anymore, I want them to turn black
I see the girls walk by dressed in their summer clothes
I have to turn my head until my darkness goes

I see a line of cars and they're all painted black
With flowers and my love, both never to come back
I see people turn their heads and quickly look away
Like a newborn baby it just happens ev'ryday

I look inside myself and see my heart is black
I see my red door and I must have it painted black
Maybe then I'll fade away and not have to face the facts
It's not easy facing up when your whole world is black

No more will my green sea go turn a deeper blue
I could not foresee this thing happening to you
If I look hard enough into the setting sun
My love will laugh with me before the morning comes

I see a red door and I want it painted black
No colors anymore I want them to turn black
I see the girls walk by dressed in their summer clothes
I have to turn my head until my darkness goes

I want to see your face painted black, black as night, black as coal
Don't want to see the sun, flying high in the sky
I want to see it painted, painted, painted, painted black, yea

Written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, "Paint It Black"

Courtesy of Songfacts

For “Gloria” I chose Van’s version from The Essential Van Morrison as he sounds so great here.

Them was a garage band from Belfast. “Gloria” was written by Van Morrison, who was their lead singer. The song is about a girl who comes by for (presumably) sexual encounters.

The recorded version is a tidy two and a half minutes with nothing explicit, but when Them (and later The Doors) would perform the song live, it often became an extended jam with Morrison going into more graphic, spoken-word detail about the encounter. Anyone who wondered just what happened when a groupie came by to see a willing rock star was given a first-hand account.

According to Van Morrison, the song was titled after his cousin Gloria, who was 13 years older. The song is not about her though.
In December 1964, this was released as the B-side of the Them single “Baby Please Don’ t Go,” which was a cover of a blues standard. “Gloria” gained traction when it became a highlight of the group’s live shows, sometimes developing into a 20-minute jam.

The song got little airplay in England, but found a following in America among the same garage rock audience that loved “Louie Louie.” In the US, it was first released (as the B-side) in March 1965, but was reissued as the A-side of the single in April 1966, which is when it charted at #71. It became the most well known song for the group, despite its humble beginnings.

At this stage in their career, session musicians played on Them’s records instead of the actual band, although Van Morrison did the real singing. One of these session players was Jimmy Page, who played guitar on this song. He did a lot of studio work before going on to fame with The Yardbirds and Led Zeppelin.

The Shadows of Knight made a version that hit #10 in the US two years later. It became a very popular song to cover because it’s easy to play on guitar and contains an anthemic chorus (G-L-O-R-I-A).

Some of the other groups to record the song include I ragazzi del sole (1966), Blues Magoos (1967), Patti Smith (1975, with a line from her poem Oath added at the beginning: “Jesus died for somebody’s sins but not mine”), The Doors (1983), Count Five (1991), Eddie & The Hot Rods (1997), Rickie Lee Jones (2001), Simple Minds (2001) and Popa Chubby (2001).

Van Morrison released his own version in 1974.

Courtesy of Songfacts

GLORIA - Lyrics

Like to tell you 'bout my baby
 You know she comes around
 Just 'bout five feet-four
 A-from her head to the ground
 You know she comes around here
 At just about midnight
 She make me feel so good, Lord
 She make me feel all right

 And her name is G-L-O-R-I-A
 G-L-O-R-I-A
 Gloria!
 G-L-O-R-I-A
 Gloria!
 I'm gonna shout it all night
 Gloria!
 I'm gonna shout it every day
 Gloria!
 Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah

 She comes around here
 Just about midnight
 She make me feel so good, Lord
 I want to say she make me feel all right
 Comes a-walkin' down my street
 Then she comes up to my house
 She knock upon my door
 And then she comes to my room
 Yeah, and she make me feel all right

 G-L-O-R-I-A
 Gloria!
 G-L-O-R-I-A
 Gloria!
 I'm gonna shout it all night
 Gloria!
 I'm gonna shout it every day
 Gloria!
 Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
 So good
 Gloria!
 All right
 Feels so good
 Gloria!
 All right, yeah
 Writer/s: Van Morrison 
 Publisher: Warner Chappell Music, Inc.
 Lyrics licensed and provided by LyricFind

Song Lyric Sunday – Brown Sugar

This week’s Song Lyric Sunday from Jim Adams, prompted us with Bounty/Dessert/Eat/Feast/Food/Hungry/Turkey. Hmmm ….what can I say Jim? Thanks? I wasn’t happy with what I was coming up with so I played it safe with one of my favorite Stones songs, “Brown Sugar” Sugar is food, right? I chose a video from a 2015 concert because I think it’s fun to see how fantastic they still are in their seventies! I hope you enjoy it along with the colorful description of the scandalous lyrics to Brown Sugar, courtesy of Wikipedia.





Though credited, like most of their compositions, to the singer/guitarist pair of Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, the song was primarily the work of Jagger, who wrote it sometime during the filming of Ned Kelly in 1969. The song was written by Jagger with Marsha Hunt, Jagger’s secret girlfriend and mother of his first child Karis, in mind. It is also claimed it was written with Claudia Lennear in mind. Lennear claimed to be the song’s subject on BBC’s Radio 4 (25 February 2014, Today), because she kept Jagger’s company at the time when it was written.

“Brown Sugar” was recorded over a three-day period at Muscle Shoals Sound Studio in Sheffield, Alabama, from 2 to 4 December 1969. The song was not released until over a year later due to legal wranglings with the band’s former label. At the request of guitarist Mick Taylor (who had joined the band as Brian Jones’ replacement in July of 1969), the Stones debuted the number live during the infamous concert at the Altamont Speedway on 6 December 1969. 

In the liner notes to the compilation album Jump Back (1993), Jagger says, “The lyric was all to do with the dual combination of drugs and girls. This song was a very instant thing, a definite high point”.

In the Rolling Stone interview (14 December 1995, RS 723) Jagger spoke at length about the song, its inspiration and success, and taking credit for writing the lyrics. Keith Richards also credits Jagger with the song in his autobiography. He attributed the success of the song to a “good groove”. After noting that the lyrics could mean so many lewd subjects, he again noted that the combination of those subjects, the lyrical ambiguity was partially why the song was considered successful. He noted, “That makes it… the whole mess thrown in. God knows what I’m on about on that song. It’s such a mishmash. All the nasty subjects in one go… I never would write that song now.” When interviewer Jann Wenner asked him why, Jagger replied, “I would probably censor myself. I’d think, ‘Oh God, I can’t. I’ve got to stop. I can’t just write raw like that.'”

The lyrical subject matter has often been a point of interest and controversy. Described by rock critic Robert Christgau as “a rocker so compelling that it discourages exegesis”, “Brown Sugar’s popularity indeed often overshadowed its scandalous lyrics, which were essentially a pastiche of a number of taboo subjects, including slavery, rape, interracial sex, cunnilingus, sadomasochism, lost virginity and heroin.

An alternative version was recorded on 18 December 1970, at Olympic Studios in London, after (or during) a birthday party for Richards. It features appearances by Al Kooper on piano, and Eric Clapton on slide guitar. Richards considered releasing this version on Sticky Fingers, mostly for its more spontaneous atmosphere, but decided on the original. The alternative version, which had previously been available only on bootleg recordings, was released in June 2015 on the Deluxe and Super Deluxe editions of the reissued Sticky Fingers album.

"Brown Sugar"
Lyrics

Gold coast slave ship bound for cotton fields
Sold in a market down in New Orleans
Skydog slaver knows he's doing alright
Hear him whip the women just around midnight

Brown sugar how come you taste so good?
Brown sugar just like a young girl should

Drums beating, cold English blood runs hot
Lady of the house wonderin' where it's gonna stop
House boy knows that he's doing alright
You shoulda heard him just around midnight

Brown sugar how come you taste so good, now?
Brown sugar just like a young girl should, now

Ah, get along, brown sugar how come you taste so good, baby?
Ah, got me feelin' now, brown sugar just like a black girl should

I bet your mama was a tent show queen
And all her boyfriends were sweet sixteen
I'm no schoolboy but I know what I like
You shoulda heard me just around midnight

Brown sugar how come you taste so good, baby?
Ah, brown sugar just like a young girl should, yeah

I said yeah, yeah, yeah, woo
How come you... how come you taste so good?
Yeah, yeah, yeah, woo
Just like a... just like a black girl should
Yeah, yeah, yeah, woo
 
Written by Mick Jagger - 1969


Song Lyric Sunday – Start Me Up

Whenever I hear the intro to this song it reminds me of being at a pro basketball game. I’m immediately pumped up! As you can see this week I have chosen “Start Me Up” by The Rolling Stones. Jim Adams prompted us with Around, Down, Sideways and Up for Song Lyric Sunday.

This is a great live concert video with some backstage clips. The music starts at 1 minute 25 secs. Mick is in his usual fine form on stage and I love him performing this song in his green coat!

Wiki says, “Start Me Up” is featured on the 1981 album Tattoo You. Released as the album’s lead single, it reached number one on Australian Kent Music Report, number two on the Billboard Hot 100 and number seven on the UK Singles Chart.

The basic track “Start Me Up” was recorded during the January and March 1978 sessions for the Rolling Stones’ album Some Girls. The song began as a reggae-rock track named “Never Stop”, but after dozens of takes it was abandoned. “Start Me Up” was not chosen for the album and was saved for later use. Richards commented:

It was one of those things we cut a lot of times; one of those cuts that you can play forever and ever in the studio. Twenty minutes go by and you’re still locked into those two chords … Sometimes you become conscious of the fact that, ‘Oh, it’s “Brown Sugar” again,’ so you begin to explore other rhythmic possibilities. It’s basically trial and error. As I said, that one was pretty locked into a reggae rhythm for quite a few weeks. We were cutting it for Emotional Rescue, but it was nowhere near coming through, and we put it aside and almost forgot about it. 

In 1981, with the band looking to tour, engineer Chris Kimsey proposed to lead singer Mick Jagger that archived songs could comprise the set. While searching through the vaults, Kimsey found the two takes of the song with a more rock vibe among some fifty reggae versions. Overdubs were completed on the track in early 1981 in New York City at the recording studios Electric Lady Studios and The Hit Factory. On the band’s recording style for this track in particular, Kimsey commented in 2004:

Including run-throughs, ‘Start Me Up’ took about six hours to record. You see, if they all played the right chords in the right time, went to the chorus at the right time and got to the middle eight together, that was a master. It was like, ‘Oh, wow!’ Don’t forget, they would never sit down and work out a song. They would jam it and the song would evolve out of that. That’s their magic.

Lyrics
Start Me Up
The Rolling Stones


If you start me up
If you start me up I'll never stop

You can start me up
You can start me up I'll never stop
I've been running hot
You got me ticking going to blow my top
If you start me up
If you start me up I'll never stop

Never stop, never stop, never stop
You make a grown man cry
You make a grown man cry
You make a grown man cry

Spread out the oil, the gasoline
I walk smooth, ride in a mean, mean machine
Start it up
If you start it up

Kick on the starter
Give it all you got, you got, you got
I can't compete with the riders in the other heats
If you rough it up
If you like it, I can slide it up
Slide it up, slide it up, slide it up

Don't make a grown man cry
Don't make a grown man cry
Don't make a grown man cry

My eyes dilate, my lips go green
My hands are greasy
She's a mean, mean machine
Start it up
Start me up
Ah, give it all you got
You got to never, never, never stop
Slide it up, baby, just slide it up
Slide it up, slide it up, never, never, never

You make a grown man cry
You make a grown man cry
You make a grown man cry

Ride like the wind at double speed
I'll take you places that you've never, never seen
If you start it up
Love the day when we will never stop, never stop
Never, never, never stop
Tough me up
Never stop, never stop

You, you, you make a grown man cry
You, you made a dead man come
You, you made a dead man come

Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Mick Jagger / Keith Richards
Start Me Up lyrics
© Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

Song Lyric Sunday – Put on Your High Heel Sneakers

This week I looked at Jim Adams’ prompts for Song Lyric Sunday and thought “Oh no! What on earth am I going to find?” I don’t know what I was worried about, there were so many songs to choose from. From Clothing, Hat, Pants, Scarf, Shirt, Shoes or Tie, I choose this classic from The Rolling Stones from 1964, “Put on Your High Heel Sneakers.”

High Heel Sneakers is a blues song written and recorded by Tommy Tucker in 1963. Blues writer Mary Katherine Aldin describes it as an uptempo twelve-bar blues, with "a spare, lilting musical framework", and a strong vocal. The song's rhythmic approach has also been compared to that of Jimmy Reed. Tucker's lyrics recall the time he spent as a Golden Gloves boxer in the 1950s:

Put on your red dress baby
Because we're going out to night
You better wear some boxing gloves
In case a fool might want to fight


This song has been covered by a multitude of artists from Jerry Lee Lewis, to Stevie Wonder, The Faces and Jose Feliciano, and many more. My personal favorite is this one from The Stones.

Lyrics
Put On Your High Heel Sneakers
The Rolling Stones


Put on your red dress baby
Because we're going out to night
Put on your red dress baby
Because we're going out to night
You better wear some boxing gloves
In case a fool might want to fight

Put on your high-heel sneakers
Wear your wig hat on your head
Put on your high-heel sneakers
Wear your wig hat on your head
I'm pretty sure now baby
Because you know, you're going to knock them dead

Put on your high-heel sneakers
Wear your wig hat on your head
Put on your high-heel sneakers

Written by Tommy Tucker, 1963

Song Lyric Sunday – Let’s Spend The Night Together

This week Jim Adams has prompted us for Song Lyric Sunday with Dawn/Noon/Dusk/Midnight/Nocturnal/Diurnal. That is quite a range! I’m sure we will see a diverse selection today. I opted for ‘Let’s Spend The Night Together’ by The Rolling Stones.

Written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, it was originally released in 1967 as a double A-sided single together with Ruby Tuesday. I hope you enjoy the vintage Stones video.

Have a great Sunday!

Lyrics
Let's Spend The Night Together
The Rolling Stones

My, my, my, my
Don't you worry 'bout what's on your mind (oh my)
I'm in no hurry I can take my time (oh my)
I'm going red and my tongue's getting tied (tongues' getting tied)
I'm off my head and my mouth's getting dry
I'm high, but I try, try, try (oh my)
Let's spend the night together
Now I need you more than ever
Let's spend the night together now
 
I feel so strong that I can't disguise (oh my)
Let's spend the night together
But I just can't apologize (oh no)
Let's spend the night together
Don't hang me up and don't let me down (don't let me down)
We could have fun just groovin' around, around and around
Oh my, my
Let's spend the night together

Now I need you more than ever
Let's spend the night together
Let's spend the night together
Now I need you more than ever
 
You know I'm smiling baby
You need some guiding baby
I'm just deciding baby, now

I need you more than ever
Let's spend the night together
Let's spend the night together now
This doesn't happen to me everyday (oh my)
Let's spend the night together
No excuses offered anyway (oh my)
Let's spend the night together
I'll satisfy your every need (your every need)
And I now know you will satisfy me
Oh my, my, my, my, my
Let's spend the night together

Now I need you more than ever
Let's spend the night together now (oh my my my my my my)
Let's spend the night together
Now I need ya, need ya more than ever (oh my)
Let's spend the night together
I satisfy your every need (whoa my)
Let's spend the night together
Now I know, I know you satisfy me (whoa my) Let's spend the night together
I beg ya baby, (Let's spend the night together)
 
Songwriters: Keith Richards / Mick Jagger
Let’s Spend the Night Together lyrics © Abkco Music, Inc

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