Moonlight Mile (song)
|Song by The Rolling Stones from the album Sticky Fingers|
|Released||April 23, 1971|
|Writer||Jagger/Richards, Mick Taylor (uncredited)|
|Sticky Fingers track listing|
Credited to Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, "Moonlight Mile" is widely considered to be one of the Rolling Stones' most underappreciated ballads. Recording took place in October 1970 at Stargroves. The song was the product of an all-night session between Jagger and guitarist Mick Taylor. Taylor had taken a short guitar piece recorded by Richards (entitled "Japanese Thing") and reworked it for the session. Jagger performs the song's prominent acoustic guitar riff. Jagger felt it easier to extemporize with Taylor, as Richards was not present. It was Taylor's idea to add a string arrangement by Paul Buckmaster to the song. Piano is played by regular Rolling Stones trumpet player Jim Price. Taylor claims he was promised some songwriting credit, but found himself surprised that he did not when the song was released on Sticky Fingers. Richards and Jagger took credit for the song.
The lyrics are elliptical and mysterious, but touch on the alienation of life on the road.
|“||The sound of strangers sending nothing to my mind; Just another mad mad day on the road; I am just living to be lying by your side, But I'm just about a moonlight mile on down the road||”|
In his review of the song, Bill Janovitz says, "Though the song still referenced drugs and the road life of a pop-music celebrity, it really is a rare example of Jagger letting go of his public persona, offering a behind-the-scenes glimpse of the weariness that accompanies the pressures of keeping up appearances as a sex-drugs-and-rock & roll star." Rock critic Robert Christgau said the song, "re-created all the paradoxical distances inherent in erotic love with a power worthy of Yeats, yet could also be interpreted as a cocaine song." This is a reference to the first stanza, which reads, "When the wind blows and the rain feels cold, With a head full of snow..." . It was meant to be about coming down from a cocaine high.
The track was used extensively during the final episode of the first part of the HBO series The Sopranos' sixth season, "Kaisha", as well as giving its title to and being used in the 2002 motion picture Moonlight Mile. The song has been covered live by The Flaming Lips and on The 5th Dimension album, Earthbound. American hard rock supergroup Saints of the Underground covered this song for their only album Love the Sin, Hate the Sinner. Southern soul artist Lee Fields covered this song on his 2012 album Faithful Man.
- Mick Jagger - vocals, acoustic guitar
- Mick Taylor - lead guitar
- Bill Wyman - bass guitar
- Charlie Watts - drums
- Jim Price - piano
- Paul Buckmaster – string arrangement
- Janovitz, Bill. "Moonlight Mile". allmusic. Retrieved 2006-06-28.
- "Moonlight Mile". reviews of "Moonlight Mile"; quote from Life Magazine. Rolling Stones Mobile Unit, Mick Jagger's home, Newbury, England & Olympic Sound Studios, London. 19 March 2000. Retrieved 9 August 2013.
- Christgau, Robert. "The Rolling Stones". Rolling Stone. 2007 (accessed 28 June 2007).