She’s So Cold (as made famous by The Rolling Stones)

“She’s So Cold” is a song recorded by the Rolling Stones, released in September 1980 on the Emotional Rescue album. It was also issued as the second single from the album, with “Send It to Me” as the B-side. Due to the song’s lyric “she’s so goddamned cold”, the promotional copy sent to radio stations had a “cleaned up version” on one side[1], with the “God damn version” on the other.[2]

Street Fighting Man (as made famous by The Rolling Stones)

“Street Fighting Man” is a song by English rock band the Rolling Stones featured on their 1968 album Beggars Banquet. Called the band’s “most political song,”[4] Rolling Stone ranked the song number 301 on its list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.

Originally titled and recorded as “Did Everyone Pay Their Dues?”, containing the same music but very different lyrics, “Street Fighting Man” is known as one of Mick Jagger and Keith Richards’ most politically inclined works to date. Jagger allegedly wrote it about Tariq Ali after he attended a 1968 anti-war rally at London’s US embassy, during which mounted police attempted to control a crowd of 25,000.[5][6] He also found inspiration in the rising violence among student rioters on Paris’ Left Bank,[7] the precursor to a period of civil unrest in May 1968.

Mick Jagger explained in a 1995 interview with Jann Wenner in Rolling Stone:

Yeah, it was a direct inspiration, because by contrast, London was very quiet … It was a very strange time in France. But not only in France but also in America, because of the Vietnam War and these endless disruptions … I thought it was a very good thing at the time. There was all this violence going on. I mean, they almost toppled the government in France; de Gaulle went into this complete funk, as he had in the past, and he went and sort of locked himself in his house in the country. And so the government was almost inactive. And the French riot police were amazing.[8]

Richards said, only a few years after recording the track in a 1971 Rolling Stone interview with Robert Greenfield, that the song had been “interpreted thousands of different ways”. He mentioned how Jagger went to the Grosvenor Square demonstrations in London and was even charged by the police, yet he ultimately claims, “it really is ambiguous as a song”.[9]

Recording on “Street Fighting Man” took place at Olympic Sound Studios from April until May 1968. With Jagger on lead vocals and both he and Richards on backing, Brian Jones performs the song’s distinctive sitar and also tamboura. Richards plays the song’s acoustic guitars as well as bass, the latter being the only electric instrument on the track, because of regular bassist Bill Wyman being unavailable. Charlie Watts performs drums while Nicky Hopkins performs the song’s piano which is most distinctly heard during the outro. Shehnai is performed on the track by Dave Mason. On the earlier, unreleased “Did Everybody Pay Their Dues” version, Rick Grech played a very prominent electric viola.

Watts said in 2003: {{quote|Street Fighting Man” was recorded on Keith’s cassette with a 1930s toy drum kit called a London Jazz Kit Set, which I bought in an antiques shop, and which I’ve still got at home. It came in a little suitcase, and there were wire brackets you put the drums in; they were like small tambourines with no jangles … The snare drum was fantastic because it had a really thin skin with a snare right underneath, but only two strands of gut … Keith loved playing with the early cassette machines because they would overload, and when they overload they sounded fantastic, although you weren’t meant to do that. We usually played in one of the bedrooms on tour. Keith would be sitting on a cushion playing a guitar and the tiny kit was a way of getting close to him. The drums were really loud compared to the acoustic guitar and the pitch of them would go right through the sound. You’d always have a great backbeat.[10]

Richards commented on the recording:

The basic track of that was done on a mono cassette with very distorted overrecording, on a Phillips with no limiters. Brian is playing sitar, it twangs away. He’s holding notes that wouldn’t come through if you had a board, you wouldn’t be able to fit it in. But on a cassette if you just move the people, it does. Cut in the studio and then put on a tape. Started putting percussion and bass on it. That was really an electronic track, up in the realms.[9]

The song opens with a strummed acoustic guitar riff. In his review, Richie Unterberger says of the song, “[I]t’s a great track, gripping the listener immediately with its sudden, springy guitar chords and thundering, offbeat drums. That unsettling, urgent guitar rhythm is the mainstay of the verses. Mick Jagger’s typically half-buried lyrics seem at casual listening like a call to revolution.”[11]

Everywhere I hear the sound of marching, charging feet, boy
‘Cause summer’s here and the time is right for fighting in the street, boy

Hey! think the time is right for a palace revolution, but where I live the game to play is compromise solution
Hey, said my name is called Disturbance; I’ll shout and scream, I’ll kill the King, I’ll rail at all his servants

Well now what can a poor boy do except to sing for a rock & roll band?
Cause in sleepy London Town there’s just no place for a street fighting man, no

Unterberger continues, “Perhaps they were saying they wished they could be on the front lines, but were not in the right place at the right time; perhaps they were saying, as John Lennon did in the Beatles’ “Revolution”, that they didn’t want to be involved in violent confrontation. Or perhaps they were even declaring indifference to the tumult.”[11]

Other writers’ interpretations varied. In 1976, Roy Carr assessed it as a “great summer street-corner rock anthem on the same echelon as ‘Summer in the City’, ‘Summertime Blues’, and ‘Dancing in the Street’.”[7] In 1979, Dave Marsh wrote that it was the keynote of Beggars Banquet, “with its teasing admonition to do something and its refusal to admit that doing it will make any difference; as usual, the Stones were more correct, if also more faithless, philosophers than any of their peers.”[12]

The song was released within a week of the violent confrontations between the police and anti-Vietnam War protesters at the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago.[11] Worried about the possibility of the song inciting further violence, Chicago radio stations refused to play the song. This was much to the delight of Mick Jagger, who stated: “I’m rather pleased to hear they have banned (the song). The last time they banned one of our records in America, it sold a million.”[13] Jagger said he was told they thought the record was subversive, to which he snapped: “Of course it’s subversive! It’s stupid to think you can start a revolution with a record. I wish you could.”[13]

Keith Richards weighed into the debate when he said that the fact a couple of radio stations in Chicago banned the record “just goes to show how paranoid they are”. At the same time they were still requested to do live appearances and Richards said: “If you really want us to cause trouble, we could do a few stage appearances. We are more subversive when we go on stage.”[13]

Mick Jagger – vocals, percussion
Keith Richards – amplified acoustic guitars, bass guitars, slide guitar
Brian Jones – sitar, tamboura
Charlie Watts – drums
Dave Mason – shehnai, bass drum
Nicky Hopkins – piano

Start Me Up (as made famous by The Rolling Stones)

“Start Me Up” is a song by the Rolling Stones 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.[1] 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.[2]

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.[1] 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.[1]

The infectious “thump” to the song was achieved using mixer Bob Clearmountain’s famed “bathroom reverb”, a process involving the recording of some of the song’s vocal and drum tracks with a miked speaker in the bathroom of the Power Station recording studio in New York City.[1] It was there where final touches were added to the song, including Jagger’s switch of the main lyrics from “start it up” to “start me up.”

The song opens with what has since become a trademark riff for Richards. It is this, coupled with Charlie Watts’ steady backbeat and Bill Wyman’s echoing bass, that comprises most of the song. Lead guitarist Ronnie Wood can clearly be heard playing a layered variation of Richards’ main riff (often live versions of the song are lengthened by giving Wood a solo near the middle of the song, pieces of which can be heard throughout the original recording). Throughout the song Jagger breaks in with a repeated bridge of “You make a grown man cry”, followed by various pronouncements of his and his partner’s sexual nature.

Percussion (cowbell and guiro) by Mike Carabello and handclaps by Jagger, Chris Kimsey and Barry Sage were added during overdub sessions in April and June 1981.

A music video was produced for the single, directed by Michael Lindsay-Hogg.[3] According to Linday-Hogg’s recollection, Jagger and Watts proposed the collaboration to him over lunch with Jagger particularly keen to emulate the style of video shown on MTV, which he regarded as “the future”.[3] The subsequent production became one of the most programmed videos of MTV’s early years.[3]

“Start Me Up” peaked at number seven on the UK Singles Charts in September 1981 and remains the last Rolling Stones to appear in the UK top 10. In Australia, the song reached number one in November 1981. In the US, “Start Me Up” spent three weeks at number two on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in October and November 1981.[4] It also spent 13 weeks atop the Billboard Top Tracks chart.[5] This set a record for most weeks at #1 that was not broken until 1994, when Stone Temple Pilots’ “Interstate Love Song” spent 15 weeks on top. The B-side is a slow blues number called “No Use in Crying”, which is also included on Tattoo You.

“Start Me Up” is often used to open the Rolling Stones’ live shows and has been featured on the live albums Still Life, Flashpoint, Live Licks, Shine a Light, and Sweet Summer Sun: Hyde Park Live. It also features on several Stones live concert films: Let’s Spend the Night Together (1983), Stones at the Max (1992), The Rolling Stones: Voodoo Lounge Live (1995), Bridges to Babylon Tour ’97–98 (1998), Four Flicks (2004), The Biggest Bang (2007), Shine a Light (2008), and Sweet Summer Sun: Hyde Park Live (2013). The song was one of three played by the Stones at halftime during Super Bowl XL in 2006.[3]

The song has been included on every major Stones compilation album since its release, including Rewind (1971–1984), Jump Back, Forty Licks and GRRR!. Writing for AllMusic, Stewart Mason noted, “there were hits after ‘Start Me Up,’ but at this remove, it’s undeniable that this 1981 single was the last great Rolling Stones song.”[6] Rolling Stone magazine ranked it the 8th Best Sports Anthem.[7]

Dead Flowers (as made famous by The Rolling Stones)

“Dead Flowers” is a song written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards of the rock band the Rolling Stones, appearing on their 1971 album Sticky Fingers.

Recording of “Dead Flowers” took place in April 1970 at the Olympic Studios in London. The lyrics to the song are notably dark, and feature the line, “I’ll be in my basement room, with a needle and a spoon”, a reference to injecting heroin.

“Dead Flowers” was written during the period when the Stones were stepping into country territory, when Richards’s friendship with Gram Parsons was influencing his songwriting. Jagger commented in 2003: “The ‘Country’ songs we recorded later, like “Dead Flowers” on Sticky Fingers or “Far Away Eyes” on Some Girls, are slightly different (than our earlier ones). The actual music is played completely straight, but it’s me who’s not going legit with the whole thing, because I think I’m a blues singer not a country singer – I think it’s more suited to Keith’s voice than mine.”

Both Richards and Mick Taylor contribute the ‘honky-tonk’ style lead guitar lines throughout the album version. Richards’s choppier fills act primarily as a response to Jagger’s vocal lines during the verses, while Taylor’s more fluid licks counteract with the vocals of the chorus. It is Taylor who performs the guitar solo in place of a third verse.

“Dead Flowers” was performed live during the album tours for Sticky Fingers and Exile On Main Street in 1970-72, then once during the Black and Blue Tour in 1976. It was not played again until the Steel Wheels Tour in 1989. Live performances of the song from 1995 can be found on the Stones’ album Stripped and its 2016 edition Totally Stripped. The song, with its reference to “making bets on Kentucky Derby Day”, was appropriately played during a September 2006 concert at Churchill Downs, site of the Kentucky Derby.

Country music singer/songwriter Brad Paisley joined the Rolling Stones for live renditions of the song in Philadelphia in June 2013 and in Nashville in June 2015.[1]

Mick Jagger – lead vocals, acoustic guitar
Keith Richards – lead guitar, harmony vocals
Mick Taylor – co-lead guitar
Bill Wyman – bass guitar
Ian Stewart – piano
Charlie Watts – drums

Doo Doo Doo Doo Doo (as made famous by The Rolling Stones)

“Doo Doo Doo Doo Doo (Heartbreaker)” is the fourth track on The Rolling Stones’ 1973 album Goats Head Soup.

Written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, “Doo Doo Doo Doo Doo (Heartbreaker)”‘s lyrics relate two stories: one is a story of New York City police shooting a boy “right through the heart” because they mistook him for someone else, and the second of a ten-year-old girl who dies in an alley of a drug overdose. Neither of these events are known to be factual. However, it is certainly possible that Jagger incorporated into the lyrics some elements of a notorious police shooting that took place around the time the song was released.

In April 1973 a ten-year-old boy named Clifford Glover was with his father when plainclothes police stopped them at gunpoint in Queens, in New York City, supposedly having mistaken the two for suspects in an armed robbery (the robbers were described as being about one foot taller than the boy). The boy and his father ran, fearing that they were about to be victims of a robbery. The police chased them and one officer shot the 10-year-old boy in the back, killing him. The bullet entered Glover’s lower back and emerged at the top of his chest (i.e., went through his heart). The case resulted in riots and a murder indictment against the officer, who was later acquitted in a jury trial.[1]

After telling the story of the police shooting the wrong person, Jagger sings,

You heartbreaker, with your .44, I want to tear your world apart.
The .44 magnum cartridge had been recently made famous by the 1971 film Dirty Harry, in which Harry Callahan uses “the most powerful handgun in the world” to cleanse the streets of crime. The lyrics complement the music, which Rolling Stone magazine described as “urban R&B”, due to its funk influence and prominent clavinet part (played by Billy Preston).[2]

“Doo Doo Doo Doo Doo (Heartbreaker)” was first recorded in November and December 1972 before being re-recorded early the following summer. Jim Price arranged the song’s horns and played sax, while Chuck Findley took over for Price on trumpet. Mick Taylor played the lead guitar part (which features use of a wah-wah pedal, and a Leslie speaker), Richards played bass; Preston plays clavinet (also using a wah-wah), and RMI Electra Piano.[3] Released as the second single from Goats Head Soup in the US only (after the #1 hit “Angie”), it reached #15 in the US on the Billboard Hot 100 and has remained a staple on AOR and classic rock radio stations.