Let's Spend the Night Together

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For the 1982 Rolling Stones concert film, see Let's Spend the Night Together (film).
"Let's Spend the Night Together"
Single by The Rolling Stones
from the album Flowers
A-side "Ruby Tuesday"
(Double A-side)
Released 13 January 1967 (UK)
14 January 1967 (US)
Format 7" single
Recorded 3–11 August and
8–26 November 1966
Genre Rock and roll, psychedelic pop
Length 3:36
Label Decca F.12546 (UK)
London 45.904 (US)
Writer(s) Jagger/Richards
Producer(s) Andrew Loog Oldham
The Rolling Stones singles chronology
"Have You Seen Your Mother, Baby, Standing in the Shadow?"
(1966)
"Ruby Tuesday/Let's Spend the Night Together"
(1967)
"We Love You/Dandelion"
(1967)
Alternative cover
French 7-inch single cover

"Let's Spend the Night Together" is a song written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, and originally released by The Rolling Stones as a double A-sided single together with "Ruby Tuesday" in 1967.[1] It also appeared as the opening track on the American version of their album Between the Buttons.

It has been covered by various artists, most famously David Bowie in 1973.[2]

Recording[edit]

The song was recorded at Olympic Sound Studios by producer Andrew Oldham and sound engineer Glyn Johns in November, 1966.[3] In the December 1968 issue of Hit Parader, Glyn Johns is interviewed about his work with the band in an article entitled "Recording The Stones".[4] Johns recounts that while mixing "Let's Spend the Night Together", Oldham was trying to get a certain sound by clicking his fingers. Two policemen showed up, stating that the front door was open and that they were checking to see if everything was all right. At first, Oldham asked them to hold his earphones while he snapped his fingers but then Johns said they needed a more wooden sound. The policemen suggested their truncheons and Mick Jagger took the truncheons into the studio to record the claves-like sound that can be heard during the quiet break at 1 minute 40 seconds into the song.

Original release[edit]

Released in the United Kingdom as a single in January 1967, "Let's Spend the Night Together" reached No. 3 on the UK Singles Chart. The song was included on the American version of the Stones' album Between the Buttons, and was also released there as a single. However, due to the then-controversial nature of the lyrics (with its suggestion of sex) most radio stations opted to play the flip side "Ruby Tuesday" instead.[2] The two songs charted separately on the US Billboard Hot 100, "Let's Spend the Night Together" stalling at No. 55 while "Ruby Tuesday" became a No. 1 hit. "Let's Spend the Night Together" features piano by Rolling Stones contributor Jack Nitzsche, organ by Jones, Drums from Charlie Watts, piano, electric guitar and bass by Richards, lead vocals by Mick Jagger and backing vocals from both Jagger and Richards. Bassist Bill Wyman does not appear on this track.

On The Ed Sullivan Show, the band was initially refused permission to perform the number. Sullivan himself told Jagger, "Either the song goes or you go".[5] A compromise was reached to substitute the words "let's spend some time together" in place of "let's spend the night together"; Jagger agreed to change the lyrics but ostentatiously rolled his eyes at the TV camera while singing them, as well as Bill Wyman. When the Rolling Stones, following their performance of the song, returned on stage, they were all dressed up in Nazi uniforms with swastikas, which caused Sullivan to angrily order them to return to their dressing rooms to change back into their performance clothes, at which they left the studio altogether.[6] As a result of this incident, Sullivan announced that the Rolling Stones would be banned from performing on his show again.[6] However, the Stones did appear on the show again and performed three songs on 23 November 1969.[7] Ironically, the group's "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction" had been performed uncensored in 1966.

In April 2006, for their first-ever performance in China, authorities prohibited the group from performing the song due to its "suggestive lyrics".[8]

Personnel[edit]

[9]

Other releases[edit]

"Let's Spend the Night Together" was released on the US edition of the Stones' 1967 studio album Between the Buttons and on the following compilation albums:

A live version appeared on "Still Life" (American Concert 1981) (1982).

Live performances[edit]

After performing the song on a 28-date European tour in spring 1967, it was not until 1976 that The Rolling Stones next played "Let's Spend the Night Together" live in concert regularly. A one-off performance of the song was played at the Knebworth Festival in 1976 and it also followed along and was played a few times in 1977. It was performed regularly on the 1981 and 1982 tours before being again retired for 15 years where it was played occasionally during the Bridges To Babylon Tour in 1997 and 1998. It was then absent during the No Security Tour 1999 and the Licks Tour 2002-2003. The song was occasionally played at most shows and became a minor mainstay of their live performances during their two-year A Bigger Bang Tour. The song has been played a few times during the bands current 14 On Fire tour.

  • 1967 European Tour
  • 1977 El Mocambo Club, Toronto
  • 1981 American Tour
  • 1982 European Tour
  • 1997 North American Tour
  • 1998 Spring Tour (North America), European Tour
  • 2005-2006 USA & Canada
  • 2006 Asia & Australasia, Europe, US & Canada
  • 2007 European Tour
  • 2014 European Tour

David Bowie version[edit]

"Let's Spend the Night Together"
Single by David Bowie
from the album Aladdin Sane
B-side "Lady Grinning Soul"
Released July 1973
Format 7" single
Recorded RCA Studios, New York
Trident Studios, London
9 December 1972 -
24 January 1973
Genre Glam rock
Length 3:03
Label RCA
Producer(s) Ken Scott, David Bowie
David Bowie singles chronology
"Time"
(1973)
"Let's Spend the Night Together"
(1973)
"Life on Mars?"
(1973)
Aladdin Sane track listing
"The Prettiest Star"
(7)
"Let's Spend the Night Together"
(8)
"The Jean Genie"
(9)

David Bowie recorded a glam rock cover of "Let's Spend the Night Together" for his Aladdin Sane album, released in April 1973. It was also issued as a single by RCA Records in the US and Europe. It was a Dutch Top 40 hit, peaking at No. 21.

Bowie's rendition featured pulsating synthesiser effects. The singer added his own words as part of the finale:

They said we were too young
Our kind of love was no fun
But our love comes from above
Let's make... love

Author Nicholas Pegg describes the recording as "faster and raunchier" than the Stones' performance with "a fresh, futuristic sheen",[10] while NME editors Roy Carr and Charles Shaar Murray considered Bowie to have performed "the unprecedented feat of beating the Stones on one of their own songs", remarking on the track's "polymorphous perversity" and "furious, coked-up drive".[11] However, Rolling Stone's contemporary review found the Bowie version "campy, butch, brittle and unsatisfying", suggesting that "one of the most ostensibly heterosexual calls in rock is made into a bi-anthem".[12]

Track listing[edit]

  1. "Let's Spend the Night Together" (Mick Jagger, Keith Richards) – 3:03
  2. "Lady Grinning Soul" (David Bowie) – 3:46

The Italian release featured "Watch That Man" on the B-side.

Personnel[edit]

Live versions[edit]

Other releases[edit]

In addition to its appearance on Aladdin Sane, Bowie's version of "Let's Spend the Night Together" was included on the following compilations:

Other versions[edit]

The song has also been recorded by the following: