rolling stones cherry oh baby 1976Can You Hear the Music?


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Rolling Stones songs: Cherry Oh Baby
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You say you love me madly/ Then why do you treat me badly…

Written by: Eric Donaldson
Recorded: Musicland Studios, Munich, Germany, Dec. 12 1974-March 25-Apr. 4 1975; Casino, Montreux, Switzerland, Oct.-Nov. 1975
Guest musicians: Nicky Hopkins (organ)
*Data taken from Martin Elliott’s book THE ROLLING STONES COMPLETE RECORDING SESSIONS 1962-2012

From Songfacts:
This is cover of Eric Donaldson’s 1971 reggae song. The Stones recorded Goats Head Soup three years earlier in Jamaica, but this is the most they got into reggae.

This was the first time Ron Wood appeared on a Stones album. They were auditioning lead guitarists during Black And Blue, and while Wood only played on this and “Hey Negrita,” he was named to the band before it was released and appeared on the cover.

The reggae group from England UB40 also covered this. It’s on their 1983 album Labour Of Love.

Charlie Watts (from According to the Rolling Stones): “The reggae influence on the songs on Black And Blue came primarily from Keith… Mick was certainly into reggae. I had all those (reggae) records in France with me when we moved there and when we were recording tracks for Exile on Main St. at Keith’s house. Mick used to have them as well. I’d play him ‘Cherry Oh Baby’ or he’d play one to me. And The Harder They Come was an album Keith listened to a lot.”

From the Rolling Stones – All the Songs, The Story Behind Every Track book:
A native of Jamaica, where he was born in 1947, Eric Donaldson was a pioneering figure in the music scene of the Caribbean island. He formed a vocal group and recorded his first songs in 1964 at Kingston’s Studio One. A few years later, he left to pursue a solo career and scored an enormous hit with “Cherry Oh Baby,” which he performed at the Festival Song Competition in 1971. It was apparently in the South of France that Jagger discovered Donaldson’s album, possibly at the instigation of Charlie Watts, who would later explain that he had had that kind of record with him during their stay in France, or else at Keith’s, who, again according to Charlie, listened to “The Harder They Come” during the recording of Exile on Main St. Four years later, the Stones tried out the song for their own amusement and decided to use it: “… we just did it one day for a laugh and kept it on the album,” explains Jagger. It is with this version of “Cherry Oh Baby” that the band made its first real incursion into reggae.