She's a Rainbow
|"She's a Rainbow"|
|Single by The Rolling Stones|
|from the album Their Satanic Majesties Request|
|B-side||"2000 Light Years from Home"|
|Released||23 December 1967 (US only)|
|Recorded||18 May 1967|
|Writer(s)||Mick Jagger/Keith Richards|
|Producer(s)||The Rolling Stones|
|The Rolling Stones singles chronology|
It has been called "the prettiest and most uncharacteristic song" that Mick Jagger and Keith Richards wrote for the Stones, although somewhat ambiguous in intention. It features rich lyricism, vibrant piano by Nicky Hopkins and Brian Jones' use of the Mellotron. The second verse goes:
Have you seen her all in gold,
Like a queen in days of old?
She shoots colours all around
like a sunset going down.
Have you seen a lady fairer?
John Paul Jones, later of Led Zeppelin, arranged the strings of this song during his session days. Backing vocals were provided by the entire band except for Charlie Watts. The lyrics in the chorus share the phrase "she comes in colours" with the song of that title by Love, released in December 1966.
The song begins with the piano playing an ascending scale, which returns throughout the song as a recurring motif. This motif is developed by the celesta and strings in the middle 8. Humorous and ambiguous devices are used, such as when the strings play out-of-tune and off-key towards the end of the song, and when the other Stones sing their "La La's" like little children. The song ends on an unusual sour electric guitar chord combined with bassoon (most likely performed on the Mellotron by Brian Jones).
Release and appearances
"She's a Rainbow" was released as a single in December 1967 and went to No. 25 in the US. It has regularly featured on Stones' hits compilations, including Through the Past, Darkly (Big Hits Vol. 2) (1969), More Hot Rocks (Big Hits & Fazed Cookies) (1972), 30 Greatest Hits (1977), Singles Collection: The London Years (1989), Forty Licks (2002), and GRRR! (2012). It was performed occasionally on the 1997–98 Bridges to Babylon Tour. Apple Inc. used this song in an advertisement for the iMac G3. Later Sony used the song in an advert for BRAVIA.
In the 2011/12 season finale of Saturday Night Live, host Mick Jagger was in a "graduation" skit where the band Arcade Fire and the SNL cast performed "She's a Rainbow" as a tribute to departing cast member Kristen Wiig. In the sketch, Wiig is a student who was held back and is finally graduating after seven years to leave SNL to become a nun. Although Jagger does not sing "She's a Rainbow", he returns at the end of the skit, along with a number of SNL alumni, to join in the song "Ruby Tuesday".
A cover version was released by indie band World of Twist in 1992 and another by Cub in 1997.
The Stones also played the song by public request in Santiago, Chile and São Paulo, Brazil during their América Latina Olé Tour 2016 in February 2016.
The song is also used in the movie Nothing Left Unsaid: Gloria Vanderbilt & Anderson Cooper (2016), and in the pilot episode of Legion in 2017.
- Mick Jagger – vocals, percussion
- Keith Richards – acoustic guitar, backing vocals
- Brian Jones – Mellotron, electric guitar, percussion, backing vocals
- Bill Wyman – bass guitar, backing vocals
- Charlie Watts – drums
- Additional personnel
|Austria (Ö3 Austria Top 40)||8|
|Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders)||13|
|Canada Top Singles (RPM)||9|
|Netherlands (Single Top 100)||2|
|Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)||3|
|US Billboard Hot 100||25|
|Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)||91|
- Philippe Margotin; Jean-Michel Guesdon (25 October 2016). Rolling Stones All the Songs: The Story Behind Every Track. Hachette Books. p. 433. ISBN 978-0-316-31773-3.
- Nigel Williamson (2008). The Rough Guide to the Best Music You've Never Heard. Rough Guides. p. 181. ISBN 978-1-84836-003-7.
- John Gilliland (narrator). "Show 46: Sergeant Pepper at the Summit - The very best of a very good year (part 2, segment 5)". Pop Chronicles. Pasadena, CA. KRLA. via the Digital Library of the University of North Texas. Retrieved 23 August 2012.
- Eder, Bruce. The Rolling Stones "She's A Rainbow". AllMusic. 2007 (accessed 31 October 2008).
- The Database "She's a Rainbow". Time Is On Our Side. 2007 (accessed 31 October 2008).
- Pierce, Tony (4 August 2006). "R.I.P. Arthur Lee - thanks for all the Love". LAist. Retrieved 23 August 2012.
'Da Capo' also includes Love's biggest hit '7&7 Is' which some regard as the first punk tune, as well as 'She Comes in Colors' which was clearly an inspiration for the Rolling Stones hit 'She's A Rainbow'.
- "Austriancharts.at – The Rolling Stones – She's a Rainbow" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40. Retrieved 17 June 2016.
- "Ultratop.be – The Rolling Stones – She's a Rainbow" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50. Retrieved 17 June 2016.
- "Top RPM Singles: Issue 100169." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 17 June 2016.
- "Dutchcharts.nl – The Rolling Stones – We Love You" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved 17 June 2016.
- "Swisscharts.com – The Rolling Stones – She's a Rainbow". Swiss Singles Chart. Retrieved 17 June 2016.
- "The Rolling Stones – Chart history" Billboard Hot 100 for The Rolling Stones. Retrieved 17 June 2016.
- "Danishcharts.com – The Rolling Stones – She's a Rainbow". Tracklisten. Retrieved 17 June 2016.