Rolling Stones songs: Who’s Been Sleeping Here?
*Click for MORE ROLLING STONES SONGS 1962-PRESENT
Who’s been eating, eating off my plate/ Who will tell me, who’ll investigate…
Written by: Jagger/Richard
Recorded: RCA Studios, Hollywood, USA, Aug. 3-7 1966; Olympic Sound Studios, London, England, Nov. 9-Dec. 6 1966
Guest musicians: Jack Nitzsche (piano)
*Data taken from Martin Elliott’s book THE ROLLING STONES COMPLETE RECORDING SESSIONS 1962-2012
From the The Rolling Stones – All the Songs book:
Upon returning home from a (business?) trip, the narrator has the decidedly
unpleasant impression that someone has been visiting his girl during his
absence: Who’s been eating off my plate? and, infinitely worse, Who’s been
sleeping here? His loved one seems reluctant to tell him, leaving the
unfortunate soul to imagine that the most improbable types have been there,
from the baker to the laughing cavalier.
If there is one song that reveals the influence of Bob Dylan on the
Rolling Stones during the second half of the sixties, it is “Who’s Been
Sleeping Here?” with its cast of characters worthy of the American
songwriter’s imagination: in addition to the aforementioned laughing
cavalier, a butler, a sailor, the three musketeers, and the cruel old grenadier,
recalling Highway 61 Revisited and Blonde on Blonde. There is even an
attack on the media in the figure of the noseless old newsboy. The music, in
turn, is very much in the folk-rock spirit, again following the example of the
songs on these two Dylan albums.
From the very first bars, the die is cast: in this song the Stones are venturing
into Duluth territory, home of the heir to Woody Guthrie. Keith plays a very
good intro on his Gibson Hummingbird. It is probably Brian on the harp,
playing in a style closely copied from Dylan. The allusion is clear. Mick
retains this identity, giving an excellent performance without any overdub
or backing vocals to support him. Is this so that he can get closer to the
folksinger? The rhythm section of Charlie and Bill inevitably recalls
Highway 61 Revisited; indeed, one almost expects to hear Mike Bloomfield
come in on guitar. Keith plays lead, delivering a number of well-executed
solo phrases, while Brian plays rhythm on his Gibson Firebird VII. Finally,
the very good piano part seems to have been played by Nicky Hopkins, in a
style simultaneously rock and romantic. The only instrumental color that
defies the folk-rock label is the guitar effect heard in the first verse, which
may have been created on distorted slide guitar drowned in reverb with a
volume pedal, or else a guitar recorded normally and then reversed. “Who’s
Been Sleeping Here?” is a very good song that at the same time pays tribute
to Robert Zimmerman.
(Ref. who’s been sleeping here)
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Categories: Can You Hear the Music?
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