I apologize for the lack of posts this week; due to a family medical emergency, the regular schedule here at Rule Forty-Two HQ may be disrupted for some time to come.
I did want to mention, in a followup to last week’s post about how various songwriting partnerships work, that in an effort to plumb the depths of the Jagger-Richards collaboration, I read the Stones’ 2003 coffee-table book According to the Rolling Stones. It’s an oral history as told by the four current Stones; it’s far from comprehensive, but it’s often amusing (Jagger is charmingly bewildered as to why people like Exile so much) and surprisingly candid about some subjects. For example, Ron Wood is very blunt about the Jagger-Richards penchant for swiping song credits from junior collaborators. “It’s Only Rock ‘ N Roll (But I Like It),” for example, was actually a Jagger-Wood composition. Wood on the song “Black Limousine”: “I fought until I was blue in the face to get the credit, going on and on, ‘I wrote that, I wrote that.’ One of the lessons I had to learn was that if you want to get a credit, it has to happen there and then in the studio, as you’re recording it.”
At any rate, Jagger says that he only started seriously writing songs by himself at the end of the 60s; before then, most Stones songs were true collaborations. Songs that were apparently solo Jagger compositions: “You Can’t Always Get What You Want,” “Yesterday’s Papers,” “Brown Sugar.” Song that was apparently a solo Richards composition: “Beast of Burden.”