Rolling Stones songs: Neighbours
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Neighbours do unto strangers/ Do onto neighbours what you do to yourself…
Written by: Jagger/Richards
Recorded: EMI Pathe-Marconi Studios, Paris, France, Oct. 11-Nov. 12 1980; Electric Ladyland Studios, NYC, USA, Apr-June 1981
Guest musicians: Sonny Rollins (sax)
*Data taken from Martin Elliott’s book THE ROLLING STONES COMPLETE RECORDING SESSIONS 1962-2012
This is a tale of neighbors from hell inspired by real events in the life of Keith Richards. He was always getting complaints for playing his music too loud, and was evicted from his New York apartment in 1981.
The Rolling Stones kept the British spelling of the title, rendering it “Neighbours” on the Tattoo You track list, even in America.
Jazz great Sonny Rollins played the sax solo. He also appears on the tracks “Slave” and “Waiting On A Friend.”
Tattoo You was put together using outtakes of songs from earlier albums. They started working on “Neighbours” in 1979, hoping to use it on their 1980 album Emotional Rescue.
“Neighbours” wasn’t released as a single, but it did get a music video. The Tattoo You album was released around the same time MTV went on the air in 1981, and The Rolling Stones had a huge presence on the network that year. They enlisted Michael Lindsay-Hogg, who had been making promotional films with them since the ’60s, to direct the videos for the album. “Start Me Up” and “Hang Fire” just show the band performing in a studio, but “Neighbours” had a ready-made concept, showing Mick Jagger screaming out a window and shots of private moments in various apartments. It’s an idea lifted from the Alfred Hitchcock film Rear Window.
From the The Rolling Stones – All the Songs book:
“Neighbours” is one of the two songs on Tattoo You not to have been
written or recorded for an earlier album. In it, Mick Jagger, who wrote the
lyrics, describes the difficult relations between his friend Keith and his
neighbors in the New York City apartment the Stones guitarist was sharing
with his new companion, Patti Hansen. Keith: “And these people come up
to our door saying, ‘We can’t even hear Bugs Bunny on our TV, your
music’s so loud! Turn the kettledrums down!’” And again: “‘Neighbours’ is
the first song I think Mick’s ever really written for me. It’s one I wish I’d
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Categories: Can You Hear the Music?