Rolling Stones songs: I Am Waiting
*Click for MORE ROLLING STONES SONGS 1962-PRESENT
Waiting for someone to come out of somewhere/ See it come along and/ Don’t know where it’s from/ Oh, yes you will find out…
Written by: Jagger/Richard
Recorded: RCA Studios, Hollywood, USA, March 6-9 1966
*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 lyrics Mick Jagger wrote for this song are somewhat enigmatic, and
inevitably recall the Dylan of Highway 61 Revisited and Blonde on Blonde.
The narrator is Waiting for someone to come out of somewhere, and then
evokes escalation fears. This waiting, this thing much feared, could refer to
death, which can strike at any moment and whose existence human beings
try to banish from their thoughts.
The musical atmosphere of “I Am Waiting” is comparable to that of
“Lady Jane,” due mainly to Brian Jones’s use of the dulcimer. It also hints
at an imminent plunge into psychedelic rock,
“I Am Waiting” is without a doubt one of the Rolling Stones’
underestimated gems—of the kind that pepper the discographies of great
artists. After a superb intro with half-folk, half-Baroque sonorities, played
by Keith Richards on his Hummingbird acoustic, Brian Jones comes in on
the dulcimer, contributing a unique character all his own, a character that is,
moreover, far removed from the usual color of this instrument. Bill Wyman
would rightly claim that “It was Brian’s musical abilities that make those
recordings sound so much better than they might otherwise have done.”
And this is certainly true. But his bandmates were not exactly idle: Bill
plays (with pick) a very good, highly melodic bass line with a perfectly
rounded, precise tone, almost certainly on his Vox Wyman bass (see Ready,
Steady Go!), Charlie Watts provides a sober accompaniment to the verses,
playing his toms gently, before letting go on his Ludwig kit during the
choruses, Jack Nitzsche is apparently on tambourine (which gets slightly
out of time between 0:55 and 1:00), and Mick Jagger gives a nuanced
delivery of the words, thereby accentuating the mystery in which they are
shrouded. He also, apparently, harmonizes with his own voice by means of
overdub. “I Am Waiting” is one of the triumphs of the album. It featured in
the Wes Anderson movie Rushmore, which came out in 1998, enabling it to
be discovered by a new audience.
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Categories: Can You Hear the Music?
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