Miss You

Composers: Mick Jagger & Keith Richards
Recording date: October-December 1977 & March-April 1978         Recording location: Pathé Marconi Studios, Paris, France & Atlantic Studios, New York, USA
Producers: The Glimmer Twins        Chief engineer: Chris Kimsey
Performed onstage: 1978-79, 1981-82, 1989-90, 1994-95, 1997-98, 2002-03, 2005-07, 2012-14

Line-up:

Drums: Charlie Watts
Bass: Bill Wyman
Electric guitars: Mick Jagger, Keith Richards & Ron Wood
Lead vocal: Mick Jagger
Background vocals: Mick Jagger, Keith Richards & Ron Wood
Electric piano: Ian McLagan
Harmonica: Sugar Blue
Saxophone: Mel Collins
 

I've been holding out so long, I've been sleeping all alone
Lord, I miss you
I've been hanging on the phone, I've been sleeping all alone
I want to kiss you... sometimes

Ooh-ooh ooh-ooh ooh ooh, ooh-ooh ooh-ooh ooh ooh
Ooh-ooh ooh ooh, yeah
Ooh-ooh ooh-ooh ooh ooh, ooh-ooh ooh-ooh ooh ooh
Ooh-ooh ooh ooh
 
Well I've been haunted in my sleep, you've been starring in my dreams
Lord, I miss you, child
I've been waiting in the hall, been waiting on your call
Yeah, the phone rings, it's just some friends of mine, they're saying:

Hey, what's the matter, man? We're going to come around at 12 with some Puerto Rican girls
That's just dying to meet you

We're going to bring a case of wine
Hey, let's go mess and fool around, you know, like we used to

Aah-ahh aah aah aah, aah-aah aah aah ahh
Aah-aah ahh ahh
I say: aah-ahh aah aah aah, aah-aah aah aah ahh
Aah-aah ahh ahh
 
Ooh ooh ooh - baby, why you wait so long?  (ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh)
Ooh ooh ooh - baby, why you wait so long?  (ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh)
Won't you come home, come home?
 

Ahh... tch-tchk, tch-tchk, tch-tchk-tchk

I've been walking in Central Park, singing after dark

People think I'm crazy
Stumbling on my feet, shuffling through the street
Asking people, tchk thck thck: What's the matter with you boy?
 
Sometimes I want to sing to, to myself
Sometimes I sing...

Ooh-ooh ooh-ooh ooh ooh, ooh-ooh ooh-ooh ooh ooh
Ooh-ooh ooh ooh, yeah
Ooh-ooh ooh-ooh ooh ooh, ooh-ooh ooh-ooh ooh ooh
Lord I miss you, child

Oooah!


I guess I'm lying to myself, it's just you and no one else

Lord, I want to kiss you, child
You've just been blotting out my mind, fooling on my time
Lord, I want to kiss you, baby, yeah
 
Lord, I miss you, child
Ooh ooh ooh aah...

Aah, aah, aah, ahh, aah...   (Aah-ahh aah aah aah, aah-aah aah aah ahh)
Aah, aah, aah, ahh, aah  (Aah-aah ahh ahh) - Lord I miss you, child  
(Aaah-ahh aah aah aah, aah-aah aah aah ahh)
(Aah-aah ahh ahh) - Lord I miss you, child

(Aah-ahh aah aah aah)  Oooh ooh ooh  (Aah-aah aah aah ahh)
Ooh-ooh ooh ooh  (Aah-aah ahh ahh) - why, why, why...  


 
TrackTalk

(W)e still work closely on songs. It still comes together even when we haven't seen each other for months. We help each other on songs like Miss You which came together during the 1976 tour of Europe. A lot of our songs take a long time to come out.

- Keith Richards, 1979

I got that together with Billy Preston, actually. Yeah, Billy had shown me the four-on-the-floor bass-drum part, and I would just play the guitar. I remember playing that in the El Mocambo club when Keith was on trial in Toronto for whatever he was doing. We were supposed to be there making this live record... I was still writing it, actually. We were just in rehearsal.

- Mick Jagger, 1995


During the rehearsal of the El Mocambo gig I wrote the song Miss You. So I remember that 'cause I was waiting for everyone in the band to turn up and I was with Billy Preston, and Billy Preston was playing the kick drum and I was always playing the guitar and I wrote Miss You on that so I remember that moment very well.

- Mick Jagger, 2001

The idea for those (bass) lines came from Billy Preston, actually. We'd cut a rough demo a year or so earlier after a recording session. I'd already gone home, and Billy picked up my old bass when they started running through that song. He started doing that bit because it seemed to be the style of his left hand. So when we finally came to do the tune, the boys said, Why don't you work around Billy's idea? So I listened to it once and heard that basic run and took it from there. It took some changing and polishing, but the basic idea was Billy's.

- Bill Wyman, 1978

Miss You wasn't coming together at all, then Billy said, Try playing octave riffs on the bass.

- Bill Wyman, 2011

We didn't intentionally set out to make a DIS-CO record. To me, it's just like... that bass drum beat and my falsettos just fit nicely around the bass part. Vocally, it's more gospel, because nowadays disco records are much more repetitive... you know, I wanna dance and shake my booty repeated 89 times!

- Mick Jagger, 1978


A lot of those songs like Miss You on Some Girls... were heavily influenced by going to the discos. You can hear it in a lot of those four on the floor rhythms and the Philadelphia-style drumming. Mick and I used to go to discos a lot... It was a great period. I remember being in Munich and coming back from a club with Mick singing one of the Village People songs - YMCA, I think it was - and Keith went mad, but it sounded great on the dance floor.

- Charlie Watts, 2003


I thought it was important to keep up with beats and rhythms. Miss You was part of that. I went to Studio 54 - didn't like it. Mick did. Too posey for me. But the records were fantastic. Disco Inferno by The Trammps, George McCrae's Rock Your Baby, The O'Jays. My wife dances, and in those days we used to have lots of parties. Those records would always be on.

- Charlie Watts, 2011

(Charlie had) been listening to a lot of this club music, as well. We would buy all these records and listen to them. So he was very aware of all these different grooves that were behind a lot of these dance tunes. And also, that was the heyday of dance music played with a live drummer. Charlie was very interested in it. He was totally aware of all the subtleties, so he would try now to play dance music all the time. He took to it very easily.

- Mick Jagger, 2011


That’s one of the reasons he’s Charlie Watts. He’s got that deep groove. And if I can find the right tempo and the right riff for him, you know, it’s all smiles. He just has a beautiful feel for reading songs. He kind of knows what you’re going to do before you do it. I’ve never played with a better cat, man.

- Keith Richards, 2011


(W)e didn't get together and say, Let's make a disco song. It was a rhythm that was popular and so we made a song like that.

- Ron Wood, 2003


Disco is just another funk beat. None of us dreamt of making a disco album, but if you can come up with a primo disco track, that would be our input. And Miss You made it.

- Mick Jagger, 2011


I don't think anyone resisted it at all, not to my knowledge. Whether they did mentally or not, I don't think anyone can really remember that. If they say they remember, they probably don't. They're probably lying (laughs). I mean, I think Charlie particularly loved it and Bill loved it because he came up with a really nice bass line. So I think that it was instantly accepted, in my view. It was only really different as far as the rhythm section was concerned. The rest of the instrumentation is very much a kind of blues-rock instrumentation. You just play what you would play. It's just the beat that's different. It's a sloppy version of the beat of six months before in New York, and not played quite so exactly as you would have played it if you were playing in a session band doing those kind of tunes for a dance record. It's quite strict tempo, it doesn't move around, but it's got a nice loose feel to it compared to some of those records. It's very danceable and that's what we were trying to achieve there.

- Mick Jagger, 2011

There was a sort of SLIGHT element of rap in there the way I kind of delivered it. So obviously I'd been listening a bit to that - to the Sugarhill Gang (note: the Sugarhill Gang released their first single in 1979). 'Cause rap like that wasn't like rap now... When Dr. Dre did a remix of it, of Miss You, I'd forgot about what I'd actually done vocally. Then when I listened to the Dr. Dre remix, I realized I was doing that kind of delivery, that at the time was considered sort of talking.

- Mick Jagger, 2011

Miss You is an emotion, it's not really about A girl. To me, the feeling of longing is what the song is - I don't like to interpret my own fucking songs - but that's what it is.

- Mick Jagger, 1978


(The part about the Puerto Rican girls): it's true, it's true. I mean that's what happens to you. Anyway, that's an imagined person. I get much more of a buzz or whatever you want to call it this year out of writing songs that are not totally within my experience. I imagine other people's experiences, you must realize that. It's imagination, observation... You combine the two. In the middle of the song I thought wouldn't it be funny if you're in New York and you're missing someone and you get these terrible crass people knocking on your door... I don't know, it's never happened to me. I don't sit around moping. It's fiction, somgwriting is fiction...

- Mick Jagger, 1978


I still like things like Miss You. I think that has a directness and feeling.

- Mick Jagger, 1984


(T)he amount of thump from Bill and Charlie is quite amazing.

- Keith Richards, 1978


Sugar Blue played harmonica on Miss You and Some Girls. He was somebody that Mick or Keith found playing on the street. The thing that blew my mind was what that guy could do, because I play a little harmonica. I know how to suck and bend, blow and bend like Jimmy Reed, but if you gave a harmonica to Sugar Blue, he could play in C, C sharp, C flat, B, A and F, all on the one harmonica. The way he bent it was unreal.

- Ron Wood, 2003


(T)hat’s not me playing the harp for once. It’s like the only time I haven’t played it. It’s this guy Sugar Blue from Detroit, who played in the subway in Paris. He added that part, which I thought was really beautifully played. He plays on a couple of the bonus tracks, too. I think it’s weird because there’s the rest of this modern groove, or modern for the time, but you’ve got this kind of ’50’s harp on top of it, which is kind of weird, but it all hanged together.

- Mick Jagger, 2011


Although Miss You was a damn good disco record, it was calculated to be one.

- Keith Richards, 1997


Miss You really caught the moment, because that was the deal at the time. And that's what made that record take off.

- Mick Jagger, 1995


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