rolling stones you don't have to mean it 1997Can You Hear the Music?


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Rolling Stones songs: You Don’t Have to Mean It
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Oh baby you know it/ You know what I want to hear/ Dripping from your lips…

Written by: Jagger/Richards
Recorded: Ocean Way Recording Studios, Hollywood, USA, March 13-July 1997
Guest musicians: Darryl Jones (bass), Jim Keltner (percussion), Clinton Clifford (piano and organ), Darrell Leonard (trumpet), Joe Sublett (saxophone), Bernard Fowler and Blondie Chaplin (background vocals)
*Data taken from Martin Elliott’s book THE ROLLING STONES COMPLETE RECORDING SESSIONS 1962-2012

About ‘You Don’t Have to Mean It’ by The Rolling Stones (from the The Rolling Stones – All the Songs book): book:

Keith Richards had the idea for “You Don’t Have to Mean It” after renting a room for the night in an old brothel in Jamaica. After engaging in conversation with two residents (handpicked by the proprietor), he ends up asking them what they generally say to their clients. The girls’ answer? “Anything—don’t have to mean it.” Based on this experience, Keith comes up with a story as old as time: a man asks his girlfriend to tell him not what she thinks, but what he wants to hear, even if she does not mean a word of it!

After listening to the definitive version of this song, with the exception of the melody, perhaps, it is difficult to believe that it was originally a Buddy Holly–style rock ’n’ roll number. Little by little, the song developed more exotic rhythms and took on a Tex-Mex vibe tinged with reggae, a genre Keith Richards, in particular, has liked since the seventies. And it is Keith who sings the lead vocal, supported by the voices of Bernard Fowler and Blondie Chaplin. Although Mick Jagger had worked up “You Don’t Have to Mean It” on the drums with Keith on guitar, he had no hand in the recording.