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Rolling Stones songs: Let It Rock (live)
*Click for MORE ROLLING STONES SONGS 1962-PRESENT
Later in the evening when the sun is sinking low/ All day I been waiting for the whistle to blow…
*UK B-side of ‘Brown Sugar’
Written by: Anderson
Recorded: Live at Leeds University, Leeds, England, March 13 1971
Guest musicians: Bobby Keys (sax), Nicky Hopkins (piano), Jim Price (trumpet)
*Data taken from Martin Elliott’s book THE ROLLING STONES COMPLETE RECORDING SESSIONS 1962-2012
This song is sung from the perspective of a railroad worker in Alabama trying make a few bucks and get through the workday. At the end of the day, the workers are on the tracks playing dice when the foreman warns them that a train is coming. The words “Let It Rock” do not appear in the lyrics, but they indicate that the train coming through represents rock and roll.
Many of Berry’s songs relate to teenagers, who were a great market for him since they bought so many records, but this song has more adult themes and a blues feel. Some of the artists who were influenced by Berry recorded this song, including Eric Clapton, The Animals and The Rolling Stones.
The Rolling Stones cover first appeared on the UK single B-side of “Brown Sugar” in 1971. It was recorded live in March 1971 at University of Leeds in England. This and other B-sides that didn’t make it to albums were released on The Stones album Rarities 1971-2003.
From the The Rolling Stones – All the Songs book:
“Let It Rock” is a Chuck Berry hymn to the glory of rock ’n’ roll. The
guitar hero from St. Louis, Missouri, recorded this number on July 27, 1959
The closing song on the famous album Rockin’ at the Hops was
released as a single in 1960 and reached a modest number 64 on the US
Billboard chart before attaining sixth place in the British hit parade three
years later, on November 20, 1963. Musically, “Let It Rock” bears a close
resemblance to “Johnny B. Goode,” which dates from 1958. The main
character of the song is a railroad worker waiting impatiently for the end of
the day, until everyone is panicked by a runaway train. In France, the
Rolling Stones gave eighteen concerts in nine British cities between March
4 and 26, 1971. Organized by Marshall Chess, this was christened the
“Good-Bye Britain” tour. One of the stopping-off points was Leeds, on
March 13, 1971. There the Stones gave an invigorating version of “Let It
Rock,” which was selected as the B-side of the single “Brown Sugar.”
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Categories: Can You Hear the Music?