This article contains too many or overly lengthy quotations for an encyclopedic entry.(July 2018)
|"Sympathy for the Devil"|
|Song by the Rolling Stones|
|from the album Beggars Banquet|
|Released||6 December 1968|
|Recorded||4–5, 8–10 June 1968|
"Sympathy for the Devil" is a song by English rock band the Rolling Stones, written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards. It is the opening track on their 1968 album Beggars Banquet .
It is considered one of the best songs of the popular music era, and it is ranked number 32 on Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Songs of All Time list.It is also the 22nd best ranked song on critics' all-time lists according to Acclaimed Music.
"Sympathy for the Devil" is credited to Jagger and Richards, though the song was largely a Jagger composition.The working title of the song was "The Devil Is My Name", having earlier been called "Fallen Angels". Jagger sings in first person narrative as the Devil, boasting his role in each of several historical atrocities. The singer then ironically demands the listener's courtesy towards him, implicitly chastising the listener for their collective culpability in the listed killings and crimes. In the 2012 documentary Crossfire Hurricane , Jagger stated that his influence for the song came from Baudelaire and from the Russian author Mikhail Bulgakov's novel The Master and Margarita (which had just appeared in English translation in 1967). The book was given to Jagger by Marianne Faithfull and she confirmed the inspiration in an interview with Sylvie Simmons from the magazine Mojo in 2005.
In a 1995 interview with Rolling Stone, Jagger said, "..that was taken from an old idea of Baudelaire's, I think, but I could be wrong. Sometimes when I look at my Baudelaire books, I can't see it in there. But it was an idea I got from French writing. And I just took a couple of lines and expanded on it. I wrote it as sort of like a Bob Dylan song."It was Richards who suggested changing the tempo and using additional percussion, turning the folk song into a samba.
Furthermore, Jagger stated in the Rolling Stone interview: "it's a very long historical figure — the figures of evil and figures of good — so it is a tremendously long trail he's made as personified in this piece."By the time Beggars Banquet was released, the Rolling Stones had already raised some hackles for sexually forward lyrics such as "Let's Spend the Night Together", and their cover of the Willie Dixon's blues "I Just Want to Make Love to You" etc. There were also claims they had dabbled in Satanism (their previous album, while containing no direct Satanic references in its music or lyrics, was titled Their Satanic Majesties Request ). "Sympathy" brought these concerns to the fore, provoking media rumours and fears among some religious groups that the Stones were devil worshippers and a corrupting influence on youth.
The lyrics focus on atrocities in mankind's history from Satan's point of view including the trial and death of Jesus Christ ("Made damn sure that Pilate washed his hands to seal his fate"), European wars of religion ("I watched with glee while your kings and queens fought for ten decades for the gods they made"), the violence of the Russian Revolution of 1917 and the 1918 execution of the Romanov family during World War I ("I stuck around St. Petersburg when I saw it was a time for a change/Killed the Tsar and his ministers/Anastasia screamed in vain"), and World War II ("I rode a tank, held a general's rank when the blitzkrieg raged, and the bodies stank"). The song was originally written with the line "I shouted out 'Who killed Kennedy?'" After Robert F. Kennedy's death on 6 June 1968, the line was changed to "Who killed the Kennedys?".And the answer is "when after all it was you and me", which is a way of saying that "the devil is not the other one, but eventually each one of us."
The song may have been spared further controversy when the first single from the album, "Street Fighting Man", became even more controversial in view of the race riots and student protests occurring in many cities in Europe and in the United States.
The recording of "Sympathy for the Devil" began at London's Olympic Sound Studios on 4 June 1968 and continued into the next day; overdubs were done on 8, 9 and 10 June. [ citation needed ]Personnel included on the recording include Nicky Hopkins on piano, Rocky Dijon on congas and Bill Wyman on maracas. Marianne Faithfull, Anita Pallenberg, Brian Jones, Charlie Watts, producer Jimmy Miller, Wyman and Richards performed backup vocals, singing the "woo woos". Richards plays bass on the original recording, and also electric guitar. Brian Jones plays a mostly mixed out acoustic guitar, although in isolated tracks of the studio cut, it is audible playing along with the piano.
In the 2003 book According to the Rolling Stones, Watts commented:
"Sympathy" was one of those sort of songs where we tried everything. The first time I ever heard the song was when Mick was playing it at the front door of a house I lived in in Sussex ... he played it entirely on his own ... and it was fantastic. We had a go at loads of different ways of playing it; in the end I just played a jazz Latin feel in the style that Kenny Clarke would have played on "A Night in Tunisia" – not the actual rhythm he played, but the same styling.
On the overall power of the song, Jagger continued in Rolling Stone:
It has a very hypnotic groove, a samba, which has a tremendous hypnotic power, rather like good dance music. It doesn't speed up or slow down. It keeps this constant groove. Plus, the actual samba rhythm is a great one to sing on, but it's also got some other suggestions in it, an undercurrent of being primitive—because it is a primitive African, South American, Afro-whatever-you-call-that rhythm (candomblé). So to white people, it has a very sinister thing about it. But forgetting the cultural colors, it is a very good vehicle for producing a powerful piece. It becomes less pretentious because it's a very unpretentious groove. If it had been done as a ballad, it wouldn't have been as good.
The backing "who who-woo-woo' vocals, which helped to make the song's sound stand out, came about by accident thanks to Jimmy Miller and Anita Pallenberg. Pallenberg was in the engineering booth with Miller while Jagger was belting out an early vocal take of the song. According to Pallenberg, Miller was half talking to himself as Jagger sang, saying stuff like "Come on Mick, give it your all, who are you singing about? - Who, who?" He then repeated "Who who" several times after that as Jagger sang on, and Pallenberg realized how wonderful that all sounded. After the take, she told Jagger what transpired in the booth and suggested that "who who" be used in the song as a backing vocal chant. The Stones then gave it a go and after the first take, 'Who who" became "woo-woo", with most of this caught on film by director Jean-Luc Godard for his One Plus One (aka Sympathy for the Devil) movie.[ citation needed ]
In an interview with Creem , Jagger said, "[When people started taking us as devil worshippers], I thought it was a really odd thing, because it was only one song, after all. It wasn't like it was a whole album, with lots of occult signs on the back. People seemed to embrace the image so readily, [and] it has carried all the way over into heavy metal bands today. Some people have made a living out of doing this; for example, Jimmy Page."
Of the change in public perception the band experienced after the song's release, Richards said in a 1971 interview with Rolling Stone, "Before, we were just innocent kids out for a good time, they're saying, 'They're evil, they're evil.' Oh, I'm evil, really? So that makes you start thinking about evil ... What is evil? Half of it, I don't know how many people think of Mick as the devil or as just a good rock performer or what? There are black magicians who think we are acting as unknown agents of Lucifer and others who think we are Lucifer. Everybody's Lucifer."
Hunter S. Thompson and his attorney Oscar Zeta Acosta kept replaying the song hundreds of times during their drug-induced Chevy ride to Las Vegas in 1971 in order to maintain focus whilst high on class A drugs. In Thompson’s novel, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas and the film of the same name, the song is referenced several times.[ citation needed ]
Contrary to a widespread misconception, it was "Under My Thumb" and not "Sympathy for the Devil" that the Stones were performing when Meredith Hunter was killed at the Altamont Free Concert.Rolling Stone magazine's early articles on the incident typically misreported that the killing took place during "Sympathy for the Devil", but the Stones in fact played "Sympathy for the Devil" earlier in the concert; it was interrupted by a fight and restarted, Jagger commenting, "We're always having—something very funny happens when we start that number." Several other songs were performed before Hunter was killed.
|United Kingdom (BPI)||Platinum||1,000,000|
^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.
Sympathy for the Devil is also the title of a producer's edit of a 1968 film by Jean-Luc Godard whose own original version is called One Plus One. The film, a depiction of the late 1960s American counterculture, also featured the Rolling Stones in the process of recording the song in the studio. On the filming, Jagger said in Rolling Stone: "[it was] very fortuitous, because Godard wanted to do a film of us in the studio. I mean, it would never happen now, to get someone as interesting as Godard. And stuffy. We just happened to be recording that song. We could have been recording 'My Obsession.' But it was 'Sympathy for the Devil', and it became the track that we used."
During the several days of recording the Stones as they played, a film lamp set up by Godard's crew, started a major fire in the studio that caused substantial damage to the studio and laid waste to some of the band’s equipment. However, the song's tapes were saved by producer Jimmy Miller before he fled the studio, and Godard kept his cameras rolling capturing the fire on film as it roared on.
|"Sympathy for the Devil"|
|Single by Guns N' Roses|
|from the album Interview with the Vampire soundtrack|
|B-side||"Escape to Paris" (by Elliot Goldenthal)|
|Released||13 December 1994|
|Guns N' Roses singles chronology|
Guns N' Roses recorded a cover in 1994 which reached number 55 on the Billboard Hot 100; it was featured in the closing credits of Neil Jordan's film adaptation of Anne Rice's Interview with the Vampire (except the 4K cut of the film) and was included on their Greatest Hits album. This cover is noteworthy for causing an incident involving incoming guitarist, Paul "Huge" Tobias, that was partially responsible for guitarist Slash departing from the band in 1996.Slash has described the Guns N' Roses version of the song as "the sound of the band breaking up".
Rhythm guitarist Gilby Clarke, who does not appear on the recording, noted that the recording foreshadowed his departure from the band:
They did that while I was on the road touring for my solo record. […] I knew that that was the ending because nobody told me about it. Officially I was in the band at that time, and they did that song without me. That was one of the last straws for me, because nobody had said anything to me, and they recorded a song by one of my favorite bands..
|Austria (Ö3 Austria Top 40)||17|
|Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders)||18|
|Belgium (Ultratop 50 Wallonia)||40|
|Canada Top Singles ( RPM )||48|
|Canada ( The Record )||9|
|Europe (Eurochart Hot 100)||3|
|Finland (Suomen virallinen lista)||2|
|Germany (Official German Charts)||20|
|Iceland (Íslenski Listinn Topp 40)||4|
|Italy ( Musica e dischi )||5|
|Netherlands (Dutch Top 40)||10|
|Netherlands (Single Top 100)||9|
|New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)||13|
|Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)||15|
|UK Singles (OCC)||9|
|US Billboard Hot 100||55|
|US Mainstream Rock ( Billboard )||10|
|Europe (Eurochart Hot 100)||63|
|Iceland (Íslenski Listinn Topp 40)||86|
^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.
Keith Richards, often referred to during the 1960s and 1970s as Keith Richard, is an English musician, singer, and songwriter. He is best known as the co-founder, guitarist, secondary vocalist, and co-principal songwriter of the Rolling Stones. Rolling Stone magazine called Richards the creator of "rock's greatest single body of riffs" on guitar and ranked him fourth on its list of 100 best guitarists in 2011. The magazine lists fourteen songs that Richards wrote with the Rolling Stones' lead vocalist Mick Jagger on its "Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Songs of All Time" list.
"Jumpin' Jack Flash" is a song by English rock band the Rolling Stones, released as a non-album single in 1968. Called "supernatural Delta blues by way of Swinging London" by Rolling Stone magazine, the song was perceived by some as the band's return to their blues roots after the baroque pop and psychedelia heard on their preceding albums Aftermath (1966), Between the Buttons (1967) and especially Their Satanic Majesties Request (1967). One of the group's most popular and recognisable songs, it has featured in films and been covered by numerous performers, notably Thelma Houston, Aretha Franklin, Tina Turner, Peter Frampton, Johnny Winter, Leon Russell and Alex Chilton. To date, it is the band's most-performed song: they have played it over 1,100 times in concert.
Anita Pallenberg was a German-Italian actress, artist, and model. A style icon and "It Girl" of the 1960s and 1970s, Pallenberg was credited as the muse of the Rolling Stones: she was the romantic partner of the Rolling Stones founder, multi-instrumentalist Brian Jones, and later, from 1967 to 1980, the partner of Stones guitarist Keith Richards, with whom she had three children.
Beggars Banquet is a studio album by English rock band the Rolling Stones. Released in December 1968 by Decca Records in the United Kingdom and London Records in the United States, it is the band's seventh British and ninth American studio album. It was the first Rolling Stones album produced by Jimmy Miller, whose production work formed a key aspect of the group's sound throughout the late 1960s and early 1970s.
Forty Licks is a double compilation album by The Rolling Stones. A 40-year career-spanning retrospective, Forty Licks is notable for being the first retrospective to combine their formative Decca/London era of the 1960s, now licensed by ABKCO Records, with their self-owned post-1970 material, distributed at the time by Virgin/EMI but now distributed by ABKCO's own distributor Universal Music Group. Four new songs are included on the second disc. The album was a commercial success, as it reached No. 2 on both UK and US charts. Concurrently with the album's release, the Stones embarked on the successful, year-long international Licks Tour, which would result in Live Licks in 2004.
December's Children is the fifth American studio album by the English rock band the Rolling Stones, released in December 1965.
"Honky Tonk Women" is a song by the English rock band the Rolling Stones. It was a released as a non-album single on 4 July 1969 in the United Kingdom, and a week later in the United States. It topped the charts in both nations. The song is on Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Songs of All Time list, and was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame.
Love You Live is a double live album by The Rolling Stones, released in 1977. It is drawn from Tour of the Americas shows in the US in the summer of 1975, Tour of Europe shows in 1976 and performances from the El Mocambo nightclub concert venue in Toronto in 1977. It is the band's third official full-length live release and is dedicated to the memory of audio engineer Keith Harwood, who died in a car accident shortly before the album's release.
Metamorphosis is the third compilation album of the Rolling Stones music released by former manager Allen Klein's ABKCO Records after the band's departure from Decca and Klein. Released in 1975, Metamorphosis centres on outtakes and alternate versions of well-known songs recorded from 1964 to 1970.
"Tumbling Dice" is a single written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards for the Rolling Stones' 1972 double album Exile on Main St., and was the album's lead single. The song, recorded in the basement of the chateau Villa Nellcôte in France, peaked at number 7 on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart and number 5 in the UK Singles Chart. The lyrics tell the story of a gambler who cannot remain faithful to any woman. The music has a blues boogie-woogie rhythm and has been noted for its irregular lyrical structure and "groove".
"Gimme Shelter" is the opening track to the 1969 album Let It Bleed by the Rolling Stones. Greil Marcus, writing in the unaffiliated Rolling Stone magazine at the time of its release, praised the song, stating that the band has "never done anything better".
"Out of Time" is a song by the Rolling Stones, first released on their 1966 album Aftermath. The most commercially successful version of the song was by Chris Farlowe, an English solo artist. Farlowe's single, produced by Mick Jagger, peaked at number one in the UK Singles Chart on 28 July 1966 and stayed at the top for one week. A shorter alternative mix of the Rolling Stones' recording was released in the US in 1967 on the album Flowers. A third version featuring Jagger's lead vocal and the orchestration and backing vocals from Farlowe's cover version was released on the 1975 rarities album Metamorphosis and as a single.
"The Last Time" is a song by the English rock band The Rolling Stones, and the band's first UK single written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards. Recorded at RCA Studios in Hollywood, California in January 1965, "The Last Time" was the band's third UK single to reach number one on the UK Singles Chart, spending three weeks at the top in March and early April 1965. It reached number two in the Irish Singles Chart in March 1965, and was released on the US version of the album Out of Our Heads on 30 July 1965.
The Rolling Stones' Steel Wheels Tour was a concert tour which was launched in North America in August 1989 to promote the band's album Steel Wheels; it continued to Japan in February 1990, with ten shows at the Tokyo Dome. The European leg of the tour, which featured a different stage and logo, was called the Urban Jungle Tour; it ran from May to August 1990. These would be the last live concerts for the band with original member Bill Wyman on bass guitar. This tour would also be the longest the band had ever done up to that point, playing over twice as many shows as their standard tour length from the 1960s and 1970s.
"I'm Free" is a song by the Rolling Stones written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, first released as the final track on the UK Out of Our Heads album on 24 September 1965. It was also released at the same time as a single in the US and later included on the American December's Children album.
"Dancing with Mr. D." is the opening track of rock and roll band The Rolling Stones' 1973 album Goats Head Soup.
"I Go Wild" is a song by The Rolling Stones featured on their 1994 album Voodoo Lounge. Credited to Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, "I Go Wild" is largely a Jagger composition.
Shine a Light is the soundtrack to The Rolling Stones' concert film of the same name, directed by Martin Scorsese. It was released on 1 April 2008 in the UK by Polydor Records and one week later in the United States by Interscope Records. Double disc and single disc versions were issued.
L.A. Friday is a live album by The Rolling Stones, released in 2012. It was recorded at The Forum in Inglewood, California, near Los Angeles. The album was released exclusively as a digital download through Google Music on 2 April 2012. The concert was on Sunday 13 July 1975, but bootleggers used the Rolling Stone title of the review of the Friday show for its vinyl bootleg releases.
Steel Wheels Live is a live album by British rock band the Rolling Stones. It was broadcast live and recorded on 19 December 1989 on the Steel Wheels/Urban Jungle Tour, promoting Steel Wheels album, and was released in 2020. Flashpoint was another live album from the same tour.