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Rolling Stones songs: Get Off of My Cloud
*Click for MORE ROLLING STONES SONGS 1962-PRESENT
The telephone is ringing I say, “Hi, it’s me. Who is it there on the line?”/ A voice says, “Hi, hello, how are you, well, I guess I’m doin’ fine”…
Written by: Jagger/Richard
Recorded: RCA Studios, Hollywood, USA, July 2-12, Sept. 6-7 1965
*Data taken from Martin Elliott’s book THE ROLLING STONES COMPLETE RECORDING SESSIONS 1962-2012
This followed “Satisfaction” as The Stones second #1 hit in the US. Keith Richards said of the song: “‘Get Off My Cloud’ was basically a response to people knocking on our door asking us for the follow up to ‘Satisfaction,’ which was such an enormous hit worldwide. This, to us, was mind-blowing. I mean not only was it a #1 record but, boom! We thought, ‘At last. We can sit back and maybe think about events.’
Suddenly there’s the knock at the door and of course what came out of that was ‘Get Off Of My Cloud.’ Because within three weeks, in those days hey, they want another single. And we weren’t quite ready for that. So it was our response to the knock at the door: Get off of my cloud. And I’m surprised that it did so well. I mean it has a certain charm but I really remember it as a knee-jerk reaction. And it came out better than I thought.”
Mick Jagger (1995): “That was Keith’s melody and my lyrics. It’s a stop-bugging-me, post-teenage-alienation song. The grown-up world was a very ordered society in the ’60s, and I was coming out of it. America was even more ordered than anywhere else. I found it was a very restrictive society in thought and behavior and dress.”
There was a bit of controversy over this song, as it sounded like it could be about drugs. Some radio stations shied away from the song.
Ian Stewart played piano on this track. Keith Richards explained: “That was just one of those things you could do in those days – shadow a guitar with a piano. As long as you didn’t make it obvious, it would add some different air to a track.”
The B-side of this single was “I’m Free,” which remained obscure until it was revived by The Soup Dragons in 1990.
In 1973 The Dramatics scored an R&B hit with “Hey You! Get Off My Mountain,” which also contained the chorus lyrics, “Hey You! Get Off My Cloud.”
From the The Rolling Stones – All the Songs book:
“(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” was still on the charts and still being given
plenty of airtime when Andrew Oldham asked the Rolling Stones where
their next single was. The five had not exactly been idle since the release of
their worldwide hit. They had appeared on one television program after
another in the United Kingdom (Ready, Steady Go!, Live, Scene at 6.30, and
Thank Your Lucky Stars) and had performed in Dublin and Belfast on
September 3 and 4. In short there was no let-up in the pace of their lives…
And this was to be the subject of their new song.
With words by Mick Jagger and music by Keith Richards, “Get Off of
My Cloud” is a raw, energetic reflection on what it is to be a rock star, a life
that is not without its good side, but which can also be a living hell. Keith
Richards would later describe it as “basically a response to people knocking
on our door asking us for the follow-up to ‘Satisfaction.’”9 By “people,” the
musician means not just fans but also professionals in the recording
industry including, of course, Oldham himself.
“Get Off of My Cloud” is a song about alienation and not, as some
people would have it, drugs, a claim that led some radio stations to ban the
song. In fact, it is a song about alienation that Mick Jagger, the lyricist,
would turn into a protest song against Middle America: “The grown-up
world was a very ordered society in the early ’60s, and I was coming out of
it. America was even more ordered than anywhere else. I found it was a
very restrictive society in thought and behavior and dress.”19 The singer
added: “… New York was wonderful and so on, and L.A. was also kind of
interesting. But outside of that we found it the most repressive society, very
prejudiced in every way. There was still segregation. And the attitudes were
fantastically old-fashioned. Americans shocked me by their behavior and
their narrow-mindedness.” Jagger was laying into a narrow-minded
United States that had exalted advertising to the status of supreme value,
and was shouting a warning: Get off of my cloud. This warning would
become number 1 in the United States and the United Kingdom on
November 6 and October 28, respectively.
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