Mustang Sally (song)

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"Mustang Sally"
Single by Wilson Pickett
from the album The Wicked Pickett
B-side "Three Time Loser"
Released 1966
Genre R&B
Length 3:08
Label Atlantic
Writer(s) Mack Rice
Wilson Pickett singles chronology
"Land of a Thousand Dances"
(1966)
"Mustang Sally"
(1966)
"Everybody Needs Somebody to Love"
(1967)

"Mustang Sally" is a rhythm and blues (R&B) song written and first recorded by Mack Rice in 1965.[1] It was released on the Blue Rock label (4014) in May 1965 with "Sir Mack Rice" as the artist.[2] The song uses an AAB layout with a 24-bar structure.[3]

It gained greater popularity when Wilson Pickett covered it the following year on a single, a version that was also released on the 1966 album, The Wicked Pickett.[4] Also in 1966, John Lee Hooker recorded an entirely different song with a similar title — "Mustang Sally & GTO".

History[edit]

According to music historian Tom Shannon the song started as a joke when singer Della Reese wanted a new Ford Mustang. Rice called the early version "Mustang Mama" but changed the title after Aretha Franklin suggested "Mustang Sally".[5]

In the liner notes for The Rascals Anthology, Felix Cavaliere states that The Young Rascals recorded "Mustang Sally" and "Land of a Thousand Dances" before Pickett and that Atlantic Records "copped those two songs from them and gave them to Pickett" to record.

Popular versions[edit]

Rice's version made it to #15 on the U.S. R&B charts in 1965. Pickett's version climbed to #6 on the R&B charts and #23 on the Pop charts in 1966, #4 in Canada on the (RPM) charts, and #28[6] in the UK Singles Chart on its original release and #62, when it was released again in 1987.[7]

In 2004, Rolling Stone ranked Wilson Pickett's recording of the song at #434 on a list of Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.[8] The song dropped seven spots to #441, when the magazine published its 2010 update of the list.[9]

Popular culture and covers[edit]

The Young Rascals covered the song in 1966, changing the year of the "brand new Mustang" from 1965 to 1966.

The chorus of the song includes the lyrics "ride, Sally, ride" — a phrase that became fodder for newspaper headlines in 1983, when astronaut Sally Ride became the first American woman in space. The Lou Reed song "Ride Sally Ride", which quotes these lyrics throughout, is the first track on his 1974 album Sally Can't Dance. The same lyric is found in "Dance to the Music" by Sly and the Family Stone in 1968 and in the children's song "Sally the Camel".

The song featured prominently in the 1991 film The Commitments and appears on the film's soundtrack album, sung by Andrew Strong.[10] It was released as a single from the album and reached #63 in the UK Singles Chart, #43 on the Australian charts and #17 on the New Zealand charts.[11] Also in 1991 Chicago blues legend Buddy Guy teamed with English guitarist Jeff Beck for a version of the song on Guy’s album "Damn Right I’ve Got The Blues".

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Sir Mack Rice Discography". Melingo.com. Retrieved 2016-09-29. 
  2. ^ Singles reviews Spotlights. Billboard Mar 27, 1965 page 65
  3. ^ "AAB Song Form — Songstuff". Songstuff.com. Retrieved 2016-09-29. 
  4. ^ "The Wicked Pickett by Wilson Pickett on Apple Music". Itunes.apple.com. 1941-03-18. Retrieved 2016-09-29. 
  5. ^ "'Mustang Sally' by Wilson Pickett". Songfacts.com. Retrieved 2016-09-29. 
  6. ^ [1][dead link]
  7. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. pp. 434/6. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 
  8. ^ "The RS 500 Greatest Songs of All Time". Rolling Stone. 2004-12-09. Retrieved 2008-04-10. 
  9. ^ "'Rolling Stone' Updates '500 Greatest Songs' List". (June, 2010). CBS. Retrieved 2010-5-29
  10. ^ Commitments. "The Commitments - The Commitments: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack". Amazon.com. Retrieved 2016-09-29. 
  11. ^ "australian-charts.com - The Commitments - Mustang Sally". Australian-charts.com. Retrieved 26 August 2015.