Mick Jagger & Keith Richards
October 1970, July-November 1971 & December 1971-March 1972
Recording locations: Olympic
Sound Studios, London, Rolling
Stones Mobile Unit, Keith Richards' home, Villefranche-sur-mer,
France & Sunset Sound Studios, Los Angeles, USA
Johns, Andy Johns & Joe
Performed onstage: 1972-73,
1975-78, 1981-82, 1989-90, 1994-95, 1997-99, 2002-03, 2005-07, 2012-13
Watts & Jimmy Miller
Bass: Mick Taylor
Electric guitars: Mick
Jagger & Keith Richards (incl. solo)
Lead vocal: Mick
Harmony vocal: Keith
Background vocals: Mick
Jagger, Keith Richards, Clydie King,
Field & Merry Clayton
Trumpet and/or trombone: Jim
Women think I'm tasty, they're always trying
to waste me
Make me burn the candle right down
But baby, baby
I don't need no jewels in my crown
Cause all you women is low down gamblers
Cheating like I don't know how
Baby, I'm no crazy
There's fever in the fuck house now
This low down bitching got my poor feet itching
Don't you know the deuce is still wild?
Baby, I can't stay
You got to roll me and call me the tumbling
Always in a hurry, I never stop to worry
Don't see the time flashing by
Honey, got no money
I'm all sixes and sevens and nines
Say now, baby, I'm the rank outsider
You can be my partner in crime
Baby, I can't stay
Oh my, my, my, I'm the lone crap shooter
Playing the field every night
Baby, can't stay
Got to roll me...
Keep on rolling
...yeah... baby, call me the tumbling dice,
Oh baby, sweet little sugar... yeah...
Keith and me (wrote it). I wrote the lyrics. (He
did the groove.)... It comes back to that thing where I really don't remember
who had the melody or not, but it doesn't really matter. I don't really
know what people like about it. I don't think it's our best stuff. I don't
think it has good lyrics. But people seem to really like it, so good for
Mick Jagger, 1995
This was done in the basement of my house,
this grand Edwardian Villa called Villa Nellcote in Villefranche in Cap
Fernat, where we did all of Exile. I remember writing the riff upstairs
in the very elegant front room, and we took it downstairs the same evening
and we cut it. A lot of time when ideas come that quick, we don't put down
lyrics, we do what what we call vowel movement. You just bellow over the
top of it, to get the right sounds for the track.
Keith Richards, 1993
I know we did that one fairly early on in France because I remember the weather. The basic idea, as you can hear from Good Time Women, was already there. But it took a while for it to turn into Tumbling Dice.
We were stuck for a good lyrical hook to go with this really great
riff, so we left it in abeyance for a bit. And then I think Mick came
up with the title Tumbling Dice, although we may have got it from someone else. Ha!
Keith Richards, 2010
With Tumbling Dice we worked on that
for a couple of weeks at least, just the basic track. I know we had a hundred
reels of tape on the basic track. That was a good song, but it was really
like pulling teeth. It just went on and on.
Andy Johns, engineer
There must have been at least 30 two-inch reels on Tumbling Dice.
I mean, Keith sat there one afternoon just playing the reprise for
about six hours. Just round and round and round and round. Sitting in a
chair with his legs up on something.
Andy Johns, 2010
Charlie had a hard time playing the out-section. You know, where it breaks down before the end? He had a mental block on it.
Andy Johns, 2010
Tumbling Dice was written to fit Keith's
riff. It's about gambling and love, an old blues trick. I had a lot of
friends at that time who used to fly to Las Vegas for the weekend.
Mick Jagger, 1993
Tumbling Dice, there's an outtake
I've found that has completely different lyrics. It wasn't until we got
to L.A. that I rewrote them. The original lyrics were crap. So it was
nothing to do with the original experience of recording the album, if
you see what I mean.
Mick Jagger, 2009
(T)hat's the perfect tempo (for that song).
Try to top that one up and you lose the flow.
Keith Richards, June 1994
(M)y pet theory is that if you play
a particular song long enough onstage, then they mumble to one another,
that's a good song. It's like you've endorsed your own material simply
by playing it onstage.
Mick Jagger, 1978, told people are beginning
appreciate the song
I really loved Tumbling Dice. Beautifully
played by everybody. When everybody hits it, that's those moments of triumph.
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