Let's Spend the Night Together
|"Let's Spend the Night Together"|
UK single picture sleeve
|Single by the Rolling Stones|
|A-side||"Ruby Tuesday" (double A-side)|
|Studio||RCA, Hollywood, California|
|Producer(s)||Andrew Loog Oldham|
|The Rolling Stones singles chronology|
French single picture sleeve
"Let's Spend the Night Together" is a song written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, and originally released by the Rolling Stones as a double A-sided single together with "Ruby Tuesday" in January 1967. It also appears as the opening track on the American version of their album Between the Buttons. It has been covered by various artists, including David Bowie in 1973.
The song was recorded in December 1966 at the RCA Records studio in Hollywood, California, where the group recorded most of their 1965–1966 hits. Recording engineer Glyn Johns recounts that while mixing "Let's Spend the Night Together", Oldham was trying to get a certain sound by clicking his fingers. Two policemen showed up, stating that the front door was open and that they were checking to see if everything was all right. At first, Oldham asked them to hold his earphones while he snapped his fingers but then Johns said they needed a more wooden sound. The policemen suggested their truncheons and Mick Jagger took the truncheons into the studio to record the claves-like sound that can be heard during the quiet break at one minute 40 seconds into the song.
Released in the United Kingdom as a single on 13 January 1967, "Let's Spend the Night Together" reached number three on the UK Singles Chart, while the other side of the single, "Ruby Tuesday" was not listed. In the United States, the single was released in January and became the opening track of the American edition of the Stones' album Between the Buttons. Both songs entered the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart on 21 January. However, by 4 March, "Ruby Tuesday" reached number one, while "Let's Spend the Night Together" stalled at number 55. Due to the sexually charged nature of the lyrics, "Let's Spend the Night Together" received less airplay. In the Cash Box chart, which was based on sales only, the song reached number 28. In other countries worldwide, both sides of the single charted separately. In Ireland for example, "Ruby Tuesday" peaked at number six, while "Let's Spend The Night Together" charted separately at number 14, as Ireland's national broadcaster, RTÉ, considered "Ruby Tuesday" to be more suitable for radio airplay.
The song features piano by Rolling Stones contributor Jack Nitzsche, organ by Brian Jones, drums by Charlie Watts, piano, electric guitar and bass by Richards, lead vocals by Jagger and backing vocals from both Jagger and Richards. Usual bassist Bill Wyman does not appear on the recording.
On The Ed Sullivan Show, the band was initially refused permission to perform the number. Sullivan himself told Jagger, "Either the song goes or you go". A compromise was reached to substitute the words "let's spend some time together" in place of "let's spend the night together"; Jagger agreed to change the lyrics but ostentatiously rolled his eyes at the TV camera while singing them, as well as Bill Wyman. When the Rolling Stones, following their performance of the song, returned on stage, they were all dressed up in Nazi uniforms with swastikas, which caused Sullivan to angrily order them to return to their dressing rooms to change back into their performance clothes, at which they left the studio altogether. As a result of this incident, Sullivan announced that the Rolling Stones would be banned from performing on his show again. However, the Stones did appear on the show again and performed three songs on 23 November 1969. In April 2006, for their first-ever performance in China, authorities prohibited the group from performing the song due to its "suggestive lyrics".
- Mick Jagger – lead vocal, backing vocals, truncheons, percussion
- Keith Richards – electric guitars, bass, piano, backing vocals
- Brian Jones – organ, electric guitar
- Charlie Watts – drums
- Jack Nitzsche – piano
|Austria (Ö3 Austria Top 40)||3|
|Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders)||7|
|Germany (Official German Charts)||1|
|UK Singles (Official Charts Company)||3|
|US Billboard Hot 100||55|
|US Cash Box Top 100||28|
"Let's Spend the Night Together" was released on the US edition of the Stones' 1967 studio album Between the Buttons and on the following compilation albums:
- Flowers (1967)
- Through the Past, Darkly (Big Hits Vol. 2) (1969)
- Hot Rocks 1964–1971 (1971)
- Rolled Gold: The Very Best of the Rolling Stones (1975)
- 30 Greatest Hits (1977)
- Singles Collection: The London Years (1989)
- Forty Licks (2002)
- Singles 1965–1967 (2004)
- GRRR! (2012)
A live version appeared on Still Life (1982).
After performing the song on a 28-date European tour in spring 1967, it was not until 1976 that The Rolling Stones next played "Let's Spend the Night Together" live in concert regularly. A one-off performance of the song was played at the Knebworth Festival in 1976 and it also followed along and was played a few times in 1977. It was performed regularly on the 1981 and 1982 tours before being again retired for 15 years where it was played occasionally during the Bridges To Babylon Tour in 1997 and 1998. It was then absent during the No Security Tour 1999 and the Licks Tour 2002–2003. The song was occasionally played at most shows and became a minor mainstay of their live performances during their two-year A Bigger Bang Tour. The song has been played a few times during the band's 14 On Fire tour.
- 1967 European tour
- 1977 El Mocambo Club, Toronto
- 1981 American tour
- 1982 European tour
- 1997 North American tour
- 1998 Spring Tour (North America), European tour
- 2005–2006 US & Canada
- 2006 Asia & Australasia, Europe, US & Canada
- 2007 European tour
- 2014 European tour
- 2015 American tour
- 2016 Latin America Olé tour
David Bowie version
|"Let's Spend the Night Together"|
|Single by David Bowie|
|from the album Aladdin Sane|
|B-side||"Lady Grinning Soul"|
|Recorded||December 1972 or January 1973|
|Studio||RCA, New York City, or Trident, London|
|David Bowie singles chronology|
|Aladdin Sane track listing|
David Bowie recorded a glam rock cover version of "Let's Spend the Night Together" for his Aladdin Sane album, released in April 1973. It was also issued as a single by RCA Records in the US and Europe. It was a Dutch Top 40 hit, peaking at number 21.
Bowie's rendition featured pulsating synthesiser effects. The singer added his own words as part of the finale:
They said we were too young
Our kind of love was no fun
But our love comes from above
Let's make ... love
Author Nicholas Pegg describes the recording as "faster and raunchier" than the Stones' performance with "a fresh, futuristic sheen", while NME editors Roy Carr and Charles Shaar Murray considered Bowie to have performed "the unprecedented feat of beating the Stones on one of their own songs", remarking on the track's "polymorphous perversity" and "furious, coked-up drive". However, Rolling Stone's contemporary review found the Bowie version "campy, butch, brittle and unsatisfying", suggesting that "one of the most ostensibly heterosexual calls in rock is made into a bi-anthem".
- "Let's Spend the Night Together" (Mick Jagger, Keith Richards) – 3:03
- "Lady Grinning Soul" (David Bowie) – 3:46
The Italian release featured "Watch That Man" on the B-side.
- David Bowie – guitar, harmonica, vocals
- Mick Ronson – guitar, vocals
- Trevor Bolder – bass
- Mick "Woody" Woodmansey – drums
- Mike Garson – piano, synthesizers
- David Sanborn– saxophone
- A live version recorded by Bowie at the Hammersmith Odeon, London, on 3 July 1973 appears on the album Ziggy Stardust – The Motion Picture (1983).
In addition to its appearance on Aladdin Sane, Bowie's version of "Let's Spend the Night Together" was included on the following compilations:
- The Best of David Bowie (Japan 1974)
- The Best of 1969/1974 (1997)
- Gilliland, John (1969). "Show 46 – Sergeant Pepper at the Summit: The very best of a very good year. [Part 2]" (audio). Pop Chronicles. University of North Texas Libraries.
- Let's Spend the Night Together at AllMusic
- Eder, Bruce (1989). Singles Collection: The London Years (Boxed set booklet). The Rolling Stones. New York City: ABKCO Records. p. 71. 1218-2.
- Wilmer, Valerie (December 1968). "Recording the Stones". Hit Parader. Magna Publishing Group: 9–11. Retrieved 16 July 2012.
- Billboard (21 January 1967). "Hot 100". Billboard. 79 (3): 25. ISSN 0006-2510.
- Billboard (4 March 1967). "Hot 100". Billboard. 79 (9): 24. ISSN 0006-2510.
- Whitburn, Joel (2015). The Comparison Book. Menonomee Falls, Wisconsin: Record Research Inc. p. 299. ISBN 978-0-89820-213-7.
- Christopher Sandford (1993, 1999). Mick Jagger: Primitive Cool: p.97
- Dick Clark's 25 Years of Rock and Roll. 1981.
- "6 Ed Sullivan Shows Starring The Rolling Stones". Amazon.com. Retrieved 30 May 2012.
- "Stones tracks censored in China". BBC News. 7 April 2006. Retrieved 19 January 2008.
- "Official Website". The Rolling Stones. Retrieved 2014-05-24.
- "Austriancharts.at – The Rolling Stones – Let's Spend the Night Together" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40. Retrieved 17 June 2016.
- "Ultratop.be – The Rolling Stones – Let's Spend the Night Together" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50. Retrieved 17 June 2016.
- "Offiziellecharts.de – The Rolling Stones – Let's Spend the Night Together". GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved 17 June 2016.
- "The Irish Charts – Search Results – Let's Spend the Night Together". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved 18 June 2016.
- "Norwegiancharts.com – The Rolling Stones – Let's Spend the Night Together". VG-lista. Retrieved 17 June 2016.
- "Rolling Stones: Artist Chart History". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 17 June 2016.
- "The Rolling Stones Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved 17 June 2016.
- Cash Box Top 100 Singles, February 18, 1967
- Nicholas Pegg (2000). The Complete David Bowie: pp.124-125
- Roy Carr & Charles Shaar Murray (1981). Bowie: An Illustrated Record: p.55
- Gerson, Ben (19 July 1973). "Aladdin Sane". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 19 January 2008.