Jimmy Page And Mick Jagger’s Disagreement Over A Rolling Stones Song

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Think of a song that went unreleased for almost 50 years, and when it was finally released, its origins had become sort of a blur for its composers. The song in question is Rolling Stones’ ‘Scarlet.’ The fans only got to hear the song recently when it was released by the record company Polydor on July 22, 2020. The single was on the reissue of 1973’s ‘Goats Head Soup,’ a Stones record that, even though it climbed to top positions on charts, was also regarded by critics as the beginning of the band’s decline after major commercial success.

‘Scarlet’ was featured on the new edition of the record, but it was revealed by Mick Jagger that the song wasn’t really recorded for the album. It was more the product of a jam session where several people added new elements to it. One of those people was Led Zeppelin’s lead guitarist, Jimmy Page. Page recorded some of the solo riffs along with Keith Richards, while Jagger and Richards composed the lyrics. It was relatively far from the Stones’ usual sound as it had a raw and scratchy feel.

Over the years, the song got forgotten, and the details regarding how and where it was produced also faded away. Allegedly, the almost 50-year-old song was named after Page’s daughter, Scarlet Page. Another comment by Keith Richards implied that the song was meant for Page’s solo album. Although the uncertainties surrounding ‘Scarlet’ are still prevalent, let’s take a look at why Mick Jagger and Jimmy Page had a disagreement over the song.

Why Did Mick Jagger Disagree With Jimmy Page?

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After the song was shelved away from an official release, Jimmy Page mentioned it in an interview he did with Rolling Stone in 1975. Page was answering questions about a potential solo album when he recalled a piece called ‘Scarlet.’ He revealed that he and Keith Richards had played a few songs and one of them was ‘Scarlet.’ The Zeppelin icon then explained that Richards had taken the tapes to Switzerland, and after the tapes’ discovery, Richards had joked that they were from Page’s solo album.

Jimmy Page dodged the bullet as he added that he had no intentions of making a solo record. The song was rarely mentioned after that until its release in 2020. When interviewed by Rolling Stone magazine in the same year, Mick Jagger opened up about the song and recalled a dispute between him and Page. While the duo spoke about the recording sessions, they couldn’t decide where it was recorded. While Zeppelin’s guitarist was quite sure it was recorded at Ronnie Wood’s house, Mick was determined they did ‘Scarlet’ at Olympic.

Mick Jagger said the following:

“I spoke to him Page the other day. I said, ‘I’m sure we did that ‘Scarlet’ at Olympic.’ He said, ‘No, no I remember it really well. We did it in Ronnie Wood’s basement.’ And I said, ‘Well, that’s weird, why isn’t Ronnie on it, then?’ Ronnie’s not a shy guitarist or bass player or anything. He said, ‘No, we definitely did it in Ronnie Wood’s basement.’ He remembered it really well. So that’s me, Keith, and Jimmy…”

You can listen to ‘Scarlet’ below.