“Shattered” is a song by The Rolling Stones from their 1978 album Some Girls. The song is a reflection of American lifestyles and life in 1970s-era New York City, but also influences from the English punk rock movement can be heard.
Recorded from October to December 1977, “Shattered” features lyrics sung in sprechgesang by Jagger on a guitar riff by Keith Richards. Jagger commented in a Rolling Stone interview that he wrote the lyrics in the back of a New York cab. Most of Richards’ guitar work is a basic rhythmic pattern strumming out the alternating tonic and dominant chords with each bar, utilising a relatively modest phaser sound effect for some added depth. Due to the absence of bassist Bill Wyman, the bass track is played by Ronnie Wood.
“Shattered” was released as a single in the United States with cover art by illustrator Hubert Kretzschmar and in 1979 climbed to number 31 on the Billboard Hot 100. The Rolling Stones performed the song live for an episode of Saturday Night Live.
A live version was captured during their 1981 tour of America and released on the 1982 live album Still Life. A second version, captured during the band’s A Bigger Bang Tour, appears on Shine a Light. It would act as the opening song for the 1981 compilation Sucking in the Seventies, and the Stones included it on their career retrospective, Forty Licks, in 2002.
The 8-track tape of the Some Girls album features an edited version of “Shattered” clocking in at 2:45, with a shortened intro and guitar break. An instrumental version circulates among collectors.
The track was featured on WKRP in Cincinnati on the episode “Pilot: Part Two”. “Weird Al” Yankovic included this song in his Rolling Stones polka medley “The Hot Rocks Polka”, and also parodied it as “Fatter” by including it in medleys of his first two tours.