Angie (song)

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For the Davey Graham song, see Anji (instrumental).
Single by The Rolling Stones
from the album Goats Head Soup
B-side "Silver Train"
Released 20 August 1973
Format 7"
Recorded November–December 1972
Genre Soft rock
Length 4:33
Label Rolling Stones
Writer(s) Jagger/Richards
Producer(s) Jimmy Miller
Certification BPI (UK) Silver 1 October 1973[1]
The Rolling Stones singles chronology
"Doo Doo Doo Doo Doo (Heartbreaker)"
Goats Head Soup track listing
Alternative covers
Cover of German Release

"Angie" is a song by the rock band The Rolling Stones, featured on their 1973 album Goats Head Soup.

Written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards and recorded in November and December 1972, "Angie" is an acoustic-guitar-driven ballad which tells of the end of a romance. The song's distinctive piano accompaniment was played by Nicky Hopkins, a Rolling Stones recording-session regular. The strings on the piece (as well as on another song, "Winter") were arranged by Nicky Harrison.[2] An unusual feature of the original recording is that singer Mick Jagger's vocal guide track (made before the final vocals were performed) is faintly audible throughout the song (an effect sometimes called a "ghost vocal").[3]

Released as a single in August 1973, "Angie" went straight to the top of the US Billboard Hot 100 and reached No. 5 on the UK singles chart. The song was also a No. 1 hit in both Canada and Australia for five weeks each and topped the charts in many countries throughout Europe and the rest of the world.

Because of the song's length, some radio stations made edits to shorten it to 3 minutes, omitting the longer coda and the second instrumental section of the song.

There was speculation that the song was about David Bowie's first wife Angela,[4][5][6] the actress Angie Dickinson,[7] Keith Richards' newborn daughter Dandelion Angela,[7][8] and others.[7] In 1993, in an interview for the liner notes to the Rolling Stones' compilation album Jump Back: The Best of The Rolling Stones, Richards said that the title was inspired by his baby daughter.[9] However, in his 2010 memoir Life, Richards said that he had chosen the name at random when writing the song — before he knew that his baby would be named Angela or even knew that his baby would be a girl — and that the song "was not about any particular person."[10] According to NME, Jagger's contributions to the lyrics referred to his breakup with Marianne Faithfull.[5]

The Rolling Stones have frequently performed the song in concert; it was included in set lists on their 1973, 1975, and 1976 tours, and they have performed it on every tour since their 1982 European tour.[11] Concert renditions were released on the albums Stripped and Live Licks.

In the documentary Protagonist, the former German terrorist Hans-Joachim Klein remarks that the song inspired him to adopt "Angie" as the moniker he used during his militant activities in the 1970s.[12] In 2005, the German political party CDU used the song in its election campaign for Angela Merkel, although the Rolling Stones had not given them permission to do so.[13]

Music video[edit]

Two music videos were shot to promote the song.

Chart performance[edit]

Chart (1972/1973) Peak
Australian Singles Chart 1
Austrian Singles Chart 8
Canadian Singles Chart 1
Danish Singles Chart 4
Finnish Singles Chart 16
French Singles Chart 1
German Single Chart 2
Irish Singles Chart 9
Dutch Top 40 1
Norwegian Singles Chart 1
Swiss Singles Chart 1
UK Singles Chart 5
US Billboard Hot 100 1


  1. ^ "Certified Awards Search". BPI. Retrieved 2012-10-12. 
  2. ^ "Nick Harrison Biography"
  3. ^ Janovitz, Bill. "Angie". Retrieved 2009-09-01. 
  4. ^ Schragis, Steven (August 1987). "Love Was a Many-Splendored Thing". Spy (New York City: Thomas L. Phillips, Jr.). p. 20. Retrieved 2016-01-26. Jagger, it was rumored, had earlier written 'Angie' (Goats Head Soup, 1973) for David Bowie's wife, Angela. 
  5. ^ a b "Revealed - The Stories Behind The Rolling Stones' Classic Songs: 'Angie'". NME (London). 2010-10-12. Retrieved 2016-01-26. Rumored to be inspired by Angie Bowie, it was actually inspired by Marianne Faithful after her relationship with Jagger collapsed. 
  6. ^ Brown, Adam Tod (2008-06-26). "6 Famous Songs That Don't Mean What You Think". Demand Media. Retrieved 2016-01-26. 
  7. ^ a b c Fornatale, Pete (2013). 50 Licks: Myths and Stories from Half a Century of the Rolling Stones. New York City: Bloomsbury Publishing. pp. 167–168. ISBN 978-1408833827. 
  8. ^ McPherson, Ian. "Track Talk: Angie". Archived from the original on 2009-02-09. Retrieved 2016-01-26. 
  9. ^ Richards, Keith; Sandall, Robert (1993). Interview, Jump Back: The Best of The Rolling Stones (Liner notes). Hollywood, California: Virgin Records. 72438-64682-2-2. "The basic melody and the title were mine...I'd recently had my daughter born, whose name was Angela, and the name was starting to ring around the house. But I'm into writing about my babies. Angie just fitted. I mean, you couldn't sing 'Maureen'... 
  10. ^ Richards, Keith; Fox, James (2010). Life. New York City: Back Bay. p. 323. ISBN 978-0316034418. While I was in the [Vevey drug] clinic, Anita was down the road having our daughter, Angela. Once I came out of the usual trauma, I had a guitar with me and I wrote Angie in an afternoon, sitting in bed, because I could finally move my fingers and put them in the right place again...I just went, 'Angie, Angie'. It was not about any particular person; it was a name, like 'ohhh, Diana'. I didn't know Angela was going to be called Angela when I wrote 'Angie'. In those days you didn't know what sex the thing was going to be until it popped out. 
  11. ^ Zentgraf, Nico. "The Complete Works of the Rolling Stones 1962–2008". Archived from the original on 5 January 2009. Retrieved 2009-01-01. 
  12. ^ Protagonist, 2007
  13. ^ "Stones' "Angie" in German poll row – 22 August 2005". Retrieved 14 January 2012. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
"Half-Breed" by Cher
US Billboard Hot 100 number one single
20 October 1973 (one week)
Succeeded by
"Midnight Train to Georgia" by Gladys Knight & the Pips
Preceded by
"Half-Breed" by Cher
Canadian RPM 100 number-one single
13 October 1973 (five weeks)
Succeeded by
"Could You Ever Love Me Again" by Gary and Dave