Rolling Stones songs: Rough Justice
*Click for MORE ROLLING STONES SONGS 1962-PRESENT
The first time I saw you, baby/ You were springing like a young gazelle…
Written by: Jagger/Richards
Recorded: Studio France, West Indies, Nov- 2004; Henson Recording Studios, Los Angeles, USA, March 7-9 & June 6-28 2005
Guest musicians: Darryl Jones (bass), Chuck Leavell (piano)
*Data taken from Martin Elliott’s book THE ROLLING STONES COMPLETE RECORDING SESSIONS 1962-2012
Recorded in France, this was the first single off A Bigger Bang the song is about a love affair that isn’t easy.
There is a coy oral sex reference in the second verse: “So put your lips to my hips, baby.”
The Stones featured this song on their A Bigger Bang Tour and played it during the halftime show for Super Bowl XL.
From the The Rolling Stones – All the Songs book:
In an interview in 2005, Keith Richards recalled how “Rough Justice” had
come into being: “That came to me in my sleep. It’s almost like
‘Satisfaction,’ Yeah, I almost sort of woke up and said, ‘Where’s my
guitar?’ Sometimes you do dream a riff, you know? I had to get up, and it’s
really hard to get me up. Once I go down, I go down, you know?” And it
is clearly a very Stones-sounding riff (even if Ron Wood was to detect a
certain Faces influence in it).
The words rough justice are addressed to a former girlfriend or wife,
who, within the space of a few years, has developed from the status of
caring and considerate lover into a woman of voracious appetites: One time
you were my baby chicken/Now you’ve grown into a fox. In spite of
everything, the narrator wishes to remain magnanimous: But you know I’ll
never break your heart, sings Mick Jagger in the refrain.
The opening song on the album was recorded at La Fourchette, Mick
Jagger’s château at Pocé-sur-Cisse, France, before being mixed at the
Village Recorder in Los Angeles. It was chosen as one of the two A-sides
(the other being “Streets of Love”) of a single released on August 22, 2005,
that climbed to number 15 in the United Kingdom and, in the United States,
to number 25 on the Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks chart.
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