Memory Motel

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"Memory Motel"
Song by The Rolling Stones from the album Black and Blue
Released 23 April 1976
Recorded March - April, October - December 1975
Genre Rock
Length 7:07
Label Rolling Stones/Virgin
Writer Jagger/Richards
Producer The Glimmer Twins
Black and Blue track listing

"Memory Motel" is a song from rock and roll band The Rolling Stones' 1976 album Black and Blue.

A ballad, the song is credited to singer Mick Jagger and guitarist Keith Richards (Richard at the time). It is a significant song as it is one of the few which feature both members sharing lead vocals. The song itself runs over seven minutes, one of the longest songs by the Rolling Stones.[1]

Jagger began writing the song before beginning the Stones' Tour of the Americas '75 while staying with Richards at Andy Warhol's house in Montauk, and finished it while on tour. This is reflected in the song's lyrics where Jagger describes having to leave for Baton Rouge, where the Stones played two warm up shows at Louisiana State University, and where he describes subsequent experiences on the road.

The title comes from an actual motel in Montauk, on Long Island. The lyrics to the song have long drawn speculation as to who the "Hannah baby" in the lyrics refer to. Carly Simon is often a name considered, due to Jagger's descriptions of the woman throughout the song; 'Hannah' was in reference to Annie Leibovitz, who was the Rolling Stones 1975 Tour of the Americas photographer. She spent time with the band during their rehearsals at Andy Warhol's complex near Montauk.

The lyrics talk of the fading love brought on by a one-night stand at said motel. The song describes the female subject as a strong, independent woman, comparable in many ways to the female subject of "Ruby Tuesday", with Richards repeated refrain:

Richards did not play guitar on this piece; Black and Blue has long been known as the album used to find a replacement for Mick Taylor, who left right before work was to begin on it. Harvey Mandel plays electric guitar while Wayne Perkins performs acoustic. Jagger, Richards, and Billy Preston play concert piano, electric piano, and string synthesizer on the song, respectively. Preston also contributes backing vocals along with Ron Wood, who would eventually become the Stones' lead guitarist. The song was recorded in Munich, Germany at Musicland Studios in March and April 1975. Overdubs and re-recordings were performed later in the year.

"Memory Motel" has long been a fan favourite from the Stones' canon of work. It is often overlooked, possibly due to its length and downbeat feel, much like the album it comes from. Motley Crue founder Nikki Sixx has frequently listed it as one of his favorite songs of all time. [1]. It was one of the highlights of the Stones' 1998 live album No Security, where Dave Matthews took up lead vocals with Jagger and Richards. The song has been featured on every tour since the 1994 Voodoo Lounge Tour.

For an episode of the 1990 TV music show Beyond The Groove by Jagger collaborator David A. Stewart, Jagger recorded a version of "Memory Motel" without Keith Richards.[2]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Janovitz, Bill. The Rolling Stones "Memory Motel". allmusic. 2007 (accessed 24 April 2007).
  2. ^ Beyond The Groove produced by David A. Stewart: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DzYzq4dkyGg

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