When Keith Richards Named The Song Only Mick Jagger Could Sing
The Rolling Stones’ members gained fame and commercial success thanks to their hit records and groundbreaking live performances. The band is defined as one of the most prominent and milestone rock bands in the music industry. Although all band members experienced worldwide fame, the band’s frontman Mick Jagger and lead guitarist Keith Richards became more popular than the others.
The main reason behind Jagger and Richards’ popularity might be their songwriting collaboration which was as famous as John Lennon and Paul McCartney’s. The duo has been pursuing a very successful partnership for sixty years. However, they went through some hard times because of personal and creative differences, and although they often persevered, one of them almost ended the band’s career.
When The Problems Between Richards And Jagger Almost Ended The Rolling Stones
Most people who know Jagger and Richards and their fans mostly describe their friendship as a love/hate relationship that has been very turbulent over the years. The musicians have known each other for a very long time and achieved great fame and success together. However, things got too tense to continue working in harmony during the ’80s, and it was like ‘World War III’ for The Rolling Stones members.
While the band was working on their 18th British and 20th American studio album ‘Dirty Work’ released on March 24, 1986, their frontman Mick Jagger was absent because he was too focused on his solo career. Jagger signing a solo record deal with CBS Records without asking his bandmates’ opinions made Richards very angry as they were in the middle of an album’s creation and recording process. It caused a great crisis between the two musicians, and both of them decided to work on their solo albums.
During these tumultuous times, Jagger dropped his solo records ‘She’s the Boss’ and ‘Primitive Cool,’ while Keith Richards released his first solo album named ‘Talk Is Cheap.‘ Around that time, Richards realized a crucial fact about his career when he wrote songs for himself and understood the meaning of writing works with and for Mick Jagger. Let’s check out one of the songs written only for The Rolling Stones’ lead singer.
The Song That Only Mick Jagger Could Perform
The Rolling Stones released their 8th British and 10th American studio album ‘Let It Bleed’ on November 28, 1969, and the band’s return to their blues roots was appreciated by their fans a lot. The musicians combined various genres such as gospel, country blues, and country rock. Its tracks, ‘Gimme Shelter,’ ‘Midnight Rambler,’ and ‘You Can’t Always Get What You Want,’ were listened to worldwide.
However, there’s no doubt that ‘Midnight Rambler’ has a very different background story than the other songs in the album, which made it very special and odd at the same time. The song’s based on Boston Strangler Albert DeSalvo, who murdered thirteen women in Boston. Keith Richards and Mick Jagger wrote it while they were on vacation in Italy and wished to write a dark song in such a beautiful place.
In one of the interviews he participated in, Keith Richards stated that Mick Jagger is the only person who could sing ‘Midnight Rambler,’ which was written for him. Richards emphasized that it’s hard to write for someone else after all of those years of working with Jagger. Thus, during their time apart, Keith Richards seems to have realized that having started his career with Mick Jagger made it hard for him to continue without him.
In Richards’ words, he said:
“In retrospect, it’s proved very interesting for myself since everything I’d done up to then was… I mean, I write songs for Mick to be able to sing. Obviously, they are not tailormade because I’m not that good a tailor. But, for example, ‘Midnight Rambler,’ ain’t nobody else could sing that except Mick and I wrote it for him.“
You can check out the video and song below.