Rolling Stones songs: Mixed Emotions
*Click for MORE ROLLING STONES SONGS 1962-PRESENT
So button your lip/ And button your coat/ Let’s go out dancing/ Let’s rock’n’roll…
Written by: Jagger/Richards
Recorded: Air Studios, Montserrat, March 29-April 1989; Olympic Sound Studios, London, England, May 15-June 29 1989
Guest musicians: Chuck Leavell (piano), Luis Jardin (percussion), Sarah Dash, Lisa Fischer and Bernard Fowler (backing vocals), The Kick Horns (brass)
*Data taken from Martin Elliott’s book THE ROLLING STONES COMPLETE RECORDING SESSIONS 1962-2012
This is believed to be Mick Jagger’s response to Keith Richards’ solo track “You Don’t Move Me,” which was a dig on Mick. Jagger claims this is about a girl and has nothing to do with Richards.
Richards referred to this as “Mick’s Emotions,” believing it was about his feud with Jagger.
Keith Richards: “I think we cut that in Montserrat, an island that no longer exists. That smoldering heap of volcanic eruptions. And we were the last guys to cut there. That was the last record anybody cut there. It’s what happens when you work with The Stones. They got a hurricane and then it erupted. It was a pretty island once. With “Mixed Emotions” I think I had the music and I went to Mick and said, bring your bit to it. Because it’s a two-way street a lot of the time. I mean there was a time when Mick and I used to write face-to-face all the time. But we were on the road then…
…Now we can bring ideas to each other and sometimes it’s strange – we hadn’t seen each other for maybe five or six months and we get together and funny enough, we’d each have written a piece of music that actually fits together even though we haven’t been in communication with each other.”
The B-side of the single is “Fancyman Blues,” a track recorded during sessions for a hurricane relief effort.
The Stones went on tour for the first time in eight years to support the album. The Steel Wheels tour ushered in a new era of concerts for big, established bands. On that tour, The Stones arranged for corporate sponsorship, TV deals, and various other marketing opportunities. They also bypassed local promoters, using a tour manager to serve their purpose. This allowed the band to make a great deal of money on the tour. There was speculation that this tour would be the last for The Stones, but they have done several others since.
The Rolling Stones performed “Mixed Emotions” for the first time when they played a secret show at a 700-capacity club called Toad’s Place in New Haven on August 12, 1989 as a warm up for their tour. “This is the first time we’ve played it in public, please be kind,” Mick Jagger told the crowd.
From the The Rolling Stones – All the Songs book:
Let’s bury the hatchet/Wipe out the past… Contrary to what the words seem
to be saying, Mick Jagger has always maintained that “Mixed Emotions”
had nothing to do with his quarrel with Keith Richards, and that it was in no
way a response to “You Don’t Move Me” (on Talk Is Cheap, Keith’s first
solo album, released in 1988) in which his “twin” accuses him of having
lost the feeling, and of being not so appealing. The Stones singer claims to
have been thinking of a girl he used to know when writing this song (but
takes care not to mention by name). Hence the refrain, which does indeed
seem to be addressed to a former lover: You’re not the only one with mixed
emotions/You’re not the only ship adrift on this ocean. For his part, Keith
Richards has always believed that “Mixed Emotions” contained a reference
to the Glimmer Twins’ tempestuous relationship. Others have knowingly
and humorously misheard the title as “Mick’s Emotions” or even “Mick’s
“Mixed Emotions” was released on August 17, 1989, as the A-side (with
“Fancyman Blues” on the B-side) of the first single to be taken from Steel
Wheels. Although stalling at number 36 on the British charts on September
16, a week later it had risen to number 5 on the Billboard pop chart and
number 1 on the Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks on September 2
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