Heart of Stone (The Rolling Stones song)

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"Heart of Stone"
Single by The Rolling Stones
from the album Out of Our Heads (UK)/The Rolling Stones, Now! (U.S.)
B-side"What a Shame"
Released19 December 1964 (U.S.)
Recorded2 November 1964
StudioRCA, Hollywood, California
GenreBlues rock, rhythm and blues
LabelLondon 45LON9725 (U.S. and Canada)
Producer(s)Andrew Loog Oldham
The Rolling Stones singles chronology
"Little Red Rooster"
"Heart of Stone"
"The Last Time"

"Heart of Stone" is a song by the English rock band The Rolling Stones, released as a single in 1964 in the United States, and on an extended-play single in Europe (pictured). It was not released in the United Kingdom until featuring on the Out of Our Heads UK album released September 1965.


Written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, "Heart of Stone" was scheduled as a single release in the United States. In the United Kingdom it appeared as a track on the UK album Out of Our Heads and in many European countries on an EP with a subsequent single. In the Netherlands the EP reached No. 6 in the singles charts.[1]

Richie Unterberger says, "'Heart of Stone' [is] a slow and soulful, dramatic ballad with the kind of vaguely discordant, droning guitars heard on many an early Rolling Stones slow number. What was impressive was how the Jagger/Richards song, though similar in some respect to American soul ballads of the period...was not explicitly derivative of any one blues or soul song that they were covering on their mid-60s records. The lilt of the verses owed something to country music and the mournful harmonies heard on the latter part of the verses added to the overall feeling of melancholy moodiness."[2]

The song sees the singer discuss his life as a womanizer, and how one girl in particular won't break his heart;

There've been so many girls that I've known; I've made so many cry and still I wonder why; Here comes the little girl; I see her walking down the street; She's all by herself, I try and knock her off her feet; But she'll never break, never break, never break, never break, This heart of stone

Recording and release[edit]

Recording began on 2 November 1964 at Los Angeles' RCA Studios with Jagger singing, Keith Richards and Brian Jones on guitars, Bill Wyman on bass, and Charlie Watts on drums. Jack Nitzsche performs tambourine and piano.

"Heart of Stone" was initially released in December 1964 as a single in the US where it became their second Top 20 US hit, reaching #19. The song was included on the US album The Rolling Stones, Now! the following February. In 1966, it was included on the collection Big Hits (High Tide and Green Grass); it later appeared on compilation albums including Hot Rocks 1964-1971 (1971), 30 Greatest Hits (1977), Singles Collection: The London Years (1989), and GRRR! (2012).

A longer version appeared in 1975 on the album Metamorphosis. This had been recorded on 21–23 July 1964 with Jimmy Page on guitar and Clem Cattini on drums, probably as a demo.



Chart (1965) Peak
Canada Top Singles (RPM)[3] 15
Netherlands (Single Top 100)[4] 8
US Billboard Hot 100[5] 19

Cover versions[edit]

The British post-punk group The Mekons covered the song on their 1988 album So Good It Hurts, twisting the song's impact with female vocals provided by Sally Timms. The Allman Brothers Band covered the song on their 2003 album Hittin' the Note, their first release with slide guitar player Derek Trucks. The Texas, USA band The Outcasts covered the song in 1965. Sonic's Rendezvous Band has also played the song.


External links[edit]