Credited to usual Stones scribes Mick Jagger and Richards, "Little T&A" was largely a Richards composition. He originally began writing the song in the early months of 1979 with the intention of having the song featured on 1980's Emotional Rescue. Left off that album it re-emerged for Tattoo You two years later. The band began reworking the track in mid-1981.
The song is a straight forward rocker, although Richards claims to have been influenced by rockabilly in his guitar performance. The song opens with a trademark riff from Richards, who performs bass and electric guitars along with Ronnie Wood. Ian Stewart performs piano for the song and Jagger provides backing vocals along with Richards and Wood. Charlie Watts performs drums.
The lyrics of "Little T&A" were described by Richards at the time as being about, "...every good time I've had with somebody I'd met for a night or two and never seen again. And also about the shit that sometimes goes down when you just sort of bump into people unknowingly, and not knowing the scene you're walking in on, you know? You pick up a chick and end up spending the night in the tank, you know?" The lyrics see Richards bemoan that lifestyle:
The heat's raiding, the tracks is fading/Joint's rocking, could be anytime at all/But the bitch keep bitching, the snitcher keeps snitching/Dropping names and telephone numbers and all, well.
The song has a distinctive ending featuring a breakdown of song's riff and beat. While the title of the song is never sung, a frequently repeated chorus: "She's my little rock & roll/My tits and ass with soul, baby" is featured throughout.
Performed throughout American Tour 1981, Richards reinstated it to the band's setlist during the 2006 leg of the Stones' A Bigger Bang Tour, when it was played frequently. A live performance captured for the documentary Shine a Light was included on the soundtrack of the same name. As evident on many bootleg recordings, the song was played frequently on Richards' 1988 and 1992 tours with the X-Pensive Winos in support of Talk Is Cheap and Main Offender records. The song played on the soundtrack of the 2012 movie "Argo" which won the Academy Award for Best Picture in 2013. The inclusion of the track was in error in that the movie was set in 1979-1980 which predates the recording of this track.