Rolling Stones songs: Ride On Baby
*Click for MORE ROLLING STONES SONGS 1962-PRESENT
By the time you’re thirty gonna look sixty-five/ You won’t look pretty and your friends will have kissed you goodbye…
Written by: Jagger/Richard
Recorded: RCA Studios, Hollywood, USA, Dec. 3-8 1965
*Data taken from Martin Elliott’s book THE ROLLING STONES COMPLETE RECORDING SESSIONS 1962-2012
From the The Rolling Stones – All the Songs book:
Any feminists who thought that Mick Jagger and Keith Richards had
softened their stance, would have had their illusions shattered by “Ride On,
Baby.” The song is effectively a new attack on women: those who play their
cards close to the vest and take a certain pleasure in making their partner
suffer; those who possess a dream physique but are not very bright. You
walk up to me/And try to look shy/The red round your eyes/Says that you
ain’t a child… Well I’ve seen your face in a trashy magazine/You know
where you’re going but I don’t like the places you’ve been: Mick Jagger is
not exactly subtle, least of all when he throws out the line: By the time
you’re thirty gonna look sixty-five.
“Ride On, Baby” was recorded at the RCA Studios in Hollywood during
the Aftermath sessions of December 3–10, 1965, during which the Stones
also cut the numbers “Mother’s Little Helper,” “Doncha Bother Me,” and
“Goin’ Home.” It did not feature in the final track listing of the band’s
fourth album, appearing for the first time on the compilation Flowers.
“Ride On, Baby” is first and foremost a very good pop-rock song that bears
a distant resemblance to Pachelbel’s famous canon. The use of the
harpsichord, thought to be played here by Brian, is therefore not out of
place. Brian gave a further demonstration of his talent as a multiinstrumentalist
by introducing an excellent marimba part, as he would again
on “Under My Thumb” in March 1966. He is also said to be playing the
koto on this track, but in all truth this Japanese instrument is completely
inaudible. Instead, Keith is the innovative one with his autoharp, a chorded
zither of German origin that was very popular in Appalachian music.
According to Andy Babiuk, this instrument was given to Keith as a
present by Charlie. Keith also plays lead guitar, leaving the arpeggiated
rhythm guitar with reasonably emphatic vibrato to Brian. Charlie, who
introduces the track with a tom roll, is excellent, and is supported by some
very good bass playing (with pick) from Bill Wyman on his Framus.
Charlie also seems to be playing the bongos, but not very convincingly
(around 1:21). Jack Nitzsche is apparently on piano, and Mick Jagger excels
with a performance dipped in vitriol.
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