Rolling Stones songs: No Expectations
*Click for MORE ROLLING STONES SONGS 1962-PRESENT
Once I was a rich man/ And now I am so poor/ But never in my sweet short life/ Have I felt like this before…
Written by: Jagger/Richard
Recorded: RG Jones Studios, Morden, England, March 1-14 1968; Olympic Sound Studios, London, England, June 4-10 1968
Guest musicians: Nicky Hopkins (piano)
*Data taken from Martin Elliott’s book THE ROLLING STONES COMPLETE RECORDING SESSIONS 1962-2012
When Rolling Stones founder Brian Jones died in 1969, this song took on new meaning, as lyrics like “Our love is like our music, it’s here and then it’s gone” made it a fitting elegy. Jones’ slide guitar on the song was one of his last meaningful contributions to the group; after years of drug addiction and squabbles with the band, he was fired from the group in June 1969 and died less than a month later.
Mick Jagger explained: “That’s Brian playing steel guitar. We were sitting around in a circle on the floor, singing and playing, recording with open mikes. That was the last time I remember Brian really being totally involved in something that was really worth doing. He was there with everyone else. It’s funny how you remember – but that was the last moment I remember him doing that, because he had just lost interest in everything.”
The Stones performed this on Rock and Roll Circus, a British TV special The Stones taped in 1968, but never aired. Brian Jones played this with a passion he was clearly losing as drugs took over his life. Rock and Roll Circus was released on video in 1995.
Nicky Hopkins, who also played with The Who and The Beatles, played piano on this.
Lenny Kravitz opened several shows for The Rolling Stones in 1994, and was invited onstage to jam with them at a Cleveland show. Kravitz helped out Mick Jagger in 2001, co-writing, performing on, and producing his song “God Gave Me Everything.”
This song was featured in the 1978 ant-war film Coming Home, with Jane Fonda and John Voight.
From the The Rolling Stones – All the Songs book:
Initially called “Slide Doodles,” “No Expectations” is a bluesy ballad that is
one of the most nostalgic of all Jagger-Richards songs, a return to their
roots, in a sense. The narrator is in despair because he no longer has either
love or money. In this song, the train, and then the plane, symbolize not a
new departure but rather a break with the past. Our love is like our
music/It’s here and then it’s gone, sings Mick in a soul-stirring voice, words
that would assume tragic connotations a few months later when Brian Jones
died. Moreover, it was the founder of the Rolling Stones who imparts this
nostalgic feel to “No Expectations” with his slide guitar: “We were sitting
around in a circle on the floor, singing and playing, recording with open
mikes,” explains Mick. “That was the last time I remember Brian really
being totally involved in something that was really worth doing. He was
there with everyone else. It’s funny how you remember—but that was the
last moment I remember him doing that, because he had just lost interest in
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Categories: Can You Hear the Music?
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