rolling stones hate to see you go 2016Can You Hear the Music?


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Rolling Stones songs: Hate to See You Go
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The way you left me/ You just don’t know/ Heard some bad talk/ Somethin’ that you said…

Written by: Marion Walter Jacobs
Recorded: British Grove Studios, London, England, Dec. 11, 14–15 2015
Guest musicians: Chuck Leavell and Matt Clifford (keyboards)
*Data taken from Martin Elliott’s book THE ROLLING STONES COMPLETE RECORDING SESSIONS 1962-2012

From the Rolling Stones – All the Songs, The Story Behind Every Track book:
During their first session on December 11, 2015, the Rolling Stones recorded five blues numbers, three of which were composed by Little Walter. The harmonica player had recorded “Hate to See You Go” for the Checker label in August 1955 for the B-side of “Too Late.” Performing with him was the cream of the Chess studios: Robert Lockwood Jr. and David Miles on guitars, Willie Dixon on double bass, and Fred Below on drums. “Hate to See You Go” was used as the title for a compilation issued in 1969, and then was included in another collection of the “best of” from 1986, Boss Blues Harmonica.

These two albums introduced this musician’s exceptional talent to new generations. The story of the song is a simple one: A lover is despairing because the woman he loves is leaving, perhaps because she had heard some bad things about him. But in this number, with its blues shuffle rhythm, the narrator’s grievances take on a whole new dimension.

“Hate to See You Go” is one of the best numbers on the album. Aware of this, the Stones picked it for an official video. In the video, we can see the group working on the song in the studio. Ron Wood kicks off the song’s riff on his 1955 Stratocaster. This riff, which he keeps going throughout the length of the song, is almost identical to the version by Little Walter, a version that the group sticks to closely. Jagger once again gives an assured performance, both singing and playing the harmonica. Although the Stones could never, by definition, reach the heights of one of the original masters of Chicago blues, the result is nevertheless brilliant.

Keith Richards maintains a rhythm that is discreet but effective. In the video, we can also see that he uses several different guitars, particularly his Fender Esquire, his Gibson ES-355, and his Gibson ES-330. Jagger has said that he had brought this song along to a rehearsal many years before and that Charlie Watts had been fascinated by the drum part played by Fred Below. Undoubtedly, this hypnotic rhythm, a blues shuffle, represents the essence of the piece; Charlie crowns himself with glory here. This time, Matt Clifford on the B3 is clearly audible. Lastly, it will be noticed that some harmonica sections have been added in as overdubs, two distinct parts being audible at the end of the piece (from 3:03).