rolling stones citadel 1967Can You Hear the Music?


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Rolling Stones songs: Citadel
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Screaming people fly so fast/ In their shiny metal cars…

Written by: Jagger/Richard
Recorded: Olympic Sound Studios, London, England, June 9 & July 7-22 1967
Guest musicians: Nicky Hopkins (piano)
*Data taken from Martin Elliott’s book THE ROLLING STONES COMPLETE RECORDING SESSIONS 1962-2012

From the The Rolling Stones – All the Songs book:
The great minds of rock music think alike. Mick Jagger wrote the lyrics of
“Citadel” in September 1967, that is to say a month before Bob Dylan
recorded “All Along the Watchtower” for the album John Wesley Harding.
Men are armed shout who goes there?/We have journeyed far from here,
armed with bibles make us swear.

How should this song be interpreted? The citadel of the title may be
intended as the symbol of a megalopolis—and more specifically of the
frantic, oppressive, decadent life of the big city—a metaphor suggesting
that the Stones’ lyricist had been inspired by Fritz Lang’s Metropolis (1927)
and the heroic fantasy tales of Robert E. Howard. If so, the citadel may well
represent New York, a city in which money is king, where Flags are flying
dollar bills/Round the heights of concrete hills. No doubt there is also a
reference here to the Warholian world of the Factory. Moreover, one of the
characters goes by the name of Candy, perhaps a reference to Warhol
actress Candy Darling, whom Mick Jagger had met a short time before.

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