rolling stones scarlet 1974Can You Hear the Music?


If you like this please consider supporting the site. Your donation helps to do what I do. Thank you!  *Donate here

Rolling Stones songs: Scarlet

*Click for 

Scarlet, why you tearing my heart, all to pieces/ It ain’t the way it’s supposed to be…

Written by: Jagger/Richard
Recorded: The Wick, Ronnie Wood’s basement, Rchmond, England, Oct. 4 1974 / Overdubs: Mick Jagger’s home studio, Pocé-sur-Cisse, France, Apr. 2020
Guest musicians: Jimmy Page (guitar)/Rick Grech (bass)/ Bruce Rowland (drums)

ABOUT ‘SCARLET’ (by Martin Elliott)

From Songfacts:
This blues-rock number is one of three previously unreleased tracks included on the 2020 multi-format release of Goats Head Soup. Led Zeppelin’s Jimmy Page contributes guitar. Keith Richards remembered: “My recollection is we walked in at the end of a Zeppelin session. They were just leaving, and we were booked in next and I believe that Jimmy decided to stay. We weren’t actually cutting it as a track, it was basically for a demo, a demonstration, you know, just to get the feel of it, but it came out well, with a line up like that, you know, we better use it.”

The song stems from sessions at London’s Island Studios in mid-October 1974, over a year after the release of Goats Head Soup. Also involved were pianist Ian Stewart, Blind Faith and Traffic bassist Ric Grech, and Joe Cocker drummer Bruce Rowland.

“Keith kicked it off and I began to mold a riff around his guitar part to augment the arrangement,” Page recalled. “It began to lock-in pretty soon with the musicians and we all got a successful take that evening.”

“Scarlet” is thought to be named in honor of Page’s three-year-old daughter.
Other Jimmy Page contributions to Rolling Stones music include adding guitar to their 1964 demo for “Heart Of Stone” and playing lead guitar on the 1986 Dirty Work track “One Hit (To The Body).” Page’s contribution to the latter came about during a brief studio session between him and Ronnie Wood. He happened to be in the area because Led Zeppelin was playing Live-Aid.

A love letter to “Scarlet,” the video was directed by the duo Us and filmed during a socially distanced shoot at London’s Claridge hotel. The clip stars actor Paul Mescal, known for his lead role in the Hulu series Normal People. He portrays a lovelorn guy sending a video message apologizing to Scarlet.

The Rolling Stones dropped a remix by Adam Granduciel of the War on Drugs on August 14, 2020. The indie rocker adds tempo to the track alongside a selection of new instrumentation.

“I just re-imagined the song as if I had Mick, Keith and Jimmy in the room with me,” Granduciel said in a press release. “After messing with my Linn Drum for a bit, the song fell into this double time thing and I just went with it. I called my friend and bandmate, Dave Hartley, to fill out the bass on the new groove.”

“Then I figured if I had Jimmy Page in the room I’d probably ask him to plug into my favorite rack flanger,” Granduciel added, “so that’s what I did. My friend Anthony LaMarca added some last minute percussion. I’m so honored to have gotten to work on this especially since ‘Angie’ was probably the first ‘rock’ song that I asked to be played on repeat when I was really young.”

The Rolling Stones teamed up with The Killers and electronic producer Jacques Lu Cont for a second “Scarlet.” Jacques Lu Cont is the parodic French moniker of Stuart Price, who worked with The Killers on their 2008 Day & Age album.

The 2020 multi-format release of Goats Head Soup debuted on top of the UK albums chart. This made The Rolling Stones the first band to score a #1 album across six different decades in that territory.

From the The Rolling Stones – All the Songs, The Story Behind Every Track book:
“Scarlet” was recorded almost half a century ago, and memories of how the song came about vary. As Keith Richards describes it in Rolling Stone (September 6, 2020): “My feeling is that we walked in as Led Zeppelin had finished [a session]… or at least Jimmy and Rick Grech. I think our session was after theirs, and they stuck around.” Jimmy Page described being invited to a Rolling Stones session in Ron Wood’s studio in Richmond. It seems most likely, in fact, that the recording took place in October 1974 at the Island Studios in London, where the Stones had recorded some of “It’s Only Rock ’n’ Roll.”

Mick Jagger and Keith Richards were the only members of the group present but were supported by the ever-faithful Ian Stewart, Jimmy Page, Rick Grech (one-time member of Blind Faith and Traffic, and who took part in the Beggars Banquet sessions), and Bruce Rowland (drummer for Joe Cocker’s group the Grease Band and then for Fairport Convention) The friendship between Jimmy Page and the Rolling Stones dates from the early 1960s, when the guitarist joined the group in sessions for “Heart of Stone” (July 1964). The two guitarists got on famously, their playing here blending perfectly. In the lyrics of the song, Mick Jagger describes how the woman he loves is driving him mad: Baby you excite me / But you talk too much… Scarlet, why you tearing my heart all to pieces?

“Scarlet” was issued as a single in July 2020, going to number 10 in the United States (digital rock), but only to number 99 in the United Kingdom. In the video, made by Chris Barrett and Luke Taylor, we see the Irish actor Paul Mescal (seen in the TV series Normal People and in Benjamin Millepied’s Carmen) “socially distanced” in Claridge’s Hotel in London.

If you like this please consider supporting the site. Your donation helps to do what I do. Thank you! *Donate here