Jagger & Keith Richards
Recording date: December 1973 & April-May 1974
Recording locations: Ron Wood's home studio, Richmond, England; Rolling Stones Mobile Unit, Mick Jagger's home, Newbury, England;
& Island Recording Studios, London, England
Producers: The Glimmer Twins Chief engineers: George Chkiantz & Keith Harwood
Performed onstage: 1975-77, 1989-90, 1994-95, 1997-99, 2002-03, 2005-07, 2012-18
Bass: Willie Weeks
12-string acoustic guitar: Ron Wood
Electric guitars: Keith Richards
Lead vocals: Mick Jagger
Backing vocals: Mick Jagger, Keith Richards & Ron Wood
Piano: Ian Stewart
Mick (Jagger) and I worked out I Can Feel the Fire and after we'd done that, he said, Help me with this song 'cause I wanna see how it turns out. So, say on a Tuesday evening: two guitars - Mick and I - and Mick singing lead vocal and David Bowie and myself on backup vocals. Then I overdubbed the rest of the instruments last and it sounded like a good demo. So the next night, we wanted to put it in a more presentable shape so we got hold of Kenny Jones who plays the drums on the actual record. Ah... I ended up with just my acoustic guitar that I laid originally. Keith replaced - RIGHTLY SO - the guitars that I'd done electrically.
The idea of the song has to do with our persona at the time. I was getting a bit tired of people having a go, all that oh, it's not as good as their last one business. The single-sleeve had a picture of me with a pen digging into me as if it were a sword. It was a light-harded, anti-journalistic sort of thing. We originally recorded it in Ronnie Wood's demo-studio.
I didn't do that, that was done - I was in bed at the time of that... And that was done - Kenny played that, Kenny Jones, they pulled HIM out' cause he lived near to Richmond. It was done in a very beautiful house in Richmond that Ronnie used to own. Pete Townshend owns it now, there's a bit of name-dropping isn't it, you'll like that.
We cut it but it just didn't have that one-off feel. So eventually we went back to the dub and overdubbed (laughs) on David and on Kenny and... did another one of those because it just had the right...
I said, But you forgot one thing, Keith, you forgot my twelve-string. And he said, (grunts) I left that on.
I like that track It's Only Rock 'n Roll...
Yeah, it's a very Chuck Berry song, but it's got a different kind of feeling to it than a Chuck Berry song. But it's completely Chuck Berry...
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