Rolling Stones songs: Long Long While
*Click for MORE ROLLING STONES SONGS 1962-PRESENT
Oh baby, baby, won’t you change your mind/ Won’t you change your mind?…
Written by: Jagger/Richard
Recorded: RCA Studios, Hollywood, USA, March 6-9 1966
Guest musicians: Jack Nitzsche (percussion)
*Data taken from Martin Elliott’s book THE ROLLING STONES COMPLETE RECORDING SESSIONS 1962-2012
Originally issued as the British B-side to “Paint It Black” in 1966, “Long Long While” didn’t come out in the U.S. until it appeared on the More Hot Rocks compilation in 1972. Unlike some of the early Rolling Stones B-sides, it was a pretty good song — better not just than the average Stones B-side, but also better than some of the early originals they used as album filler. Perhaps it didn’t make it onto an album such as Aftermath (or even the patchwork U.S. comp Flowers) because its tone was considerably different than most of the songs Mick Jagger and Keith Richards were writing at the time, which tended toward the snide and rebellious side.
“Long Long While,” in contrast, was a slow romantic heartbreak ballad, showing a heavy influence from the kind of Otis Redding soul dramas the Stones admired (and sometimes covered, like “I’ve Been Loving You Too Long” and “That’s How Strong My Love Is”). There’s a gospel-blues feel as well, the gospel being in Ian Stewart’s piano and organ, the blues in the interjection of Keith Richards guitar licks. Mick Jagger starts the verses in a lower, more benign voice than usual, the melody suddenly rising and stuttering as he affects actual contrition and admits the woman was right, something he wasn’t often wont to do. The tempo increases slightly and the pleading becomes more dramatic in the brief bridge, when Jagger determines to apologize. Done with great dignity, restraint, and a consummate soul music lover’s taste, “Long Long While” is a highlight for those discovering rarely discussed or aired tracks from the Rolling Stones’ back catalog.
From the The Rolling Stones – All the Songs, The Story Behind Every Track book:
The theme of this song is sufficiently rare in the Mick Jagger canon to be worth drawing attention to: in “Long Long While” the male half of a couple acknowledges the error of his ways (even if it has taken him a long time to get around to it). He wants to be forgiven at all costs, and hopes to get the one he still loves to change her mind. This is all said without any ulterior motive, and Mick Jagger delivers his lyrics with all the passion of the eternal… romantic. Or rather of the soul singer, for “Long Long While” is a ballad in that heartbreaking style—by which we mean the songs of Otis Redding, Wilson Pickett, and Solomon Burke. This number was a logical choice as the B-side for the single “Paint It Black,” released in the United Kingdom on May 13, 1966.
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Categories: Can You Hear the Music?
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