Too Much Blood
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|"Too Much Blood"|
12" single cover
|Single by The Rolling Stones|
|from the album Undercover|
|Recorded||November–December 1982, August 1983|
|Genre||Rock, post-disco, new wave, hip hop|
|Length||6:14 (Album Version); 12:33 (Dance Version)|
|Producer(s)||The Glimmer Twins and Chris Kimsey|
|Undercover track listing|
Credited to Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, "Too Much Blood" is largely a Jagger composition. The song is a reflection of the many influences the Stones would have during their career in the mid-1980s. Jagger said at the time of its release, "I had made out a very honest burden of mind before everyone had arrived one night. It was just Charlie [Watts] and Bill [Wyman]. And one of our roadies called Jim Barber, he was playing guitar on it too. And I just started playing this riff I had, with this middle part, I didn't have any words to it and then I just suddenly started rapping out these words which are the ones you hear." ("Mick asked me if I could do an 'Andy Summers' on the track" - Jim Barber)
The song itself deals with the growing depictions of violence in the media at the time and the case of Issei Sagawa, with Jagger saying, "Well there was this scandalous, murderous story in France - it was a true story - about this Japanese guy who murdered this girl and it sort of captured the imagination of the French public, and the Japanese. The Russians wanted to make a movie out of it. So that was the first bit and then I started becoming more light-hearted about it, movies and all. ...it came out as a sort of anti-gratuitous cinema of violence. And it's a kind of anti-violent thing."
|“||Did you ever see "The Texas Chain Saw Massacre"? Horrible, wasn't it. You know, people ask me "is it really true where you live in Texas, is that really true what they do around there, people?" I say, "yea, every time I drive through the crossroads I get scared, there's a bloke running round with a fucking chain saw. Oh! Oh! oh No, he's gonna cut off, Oh no. Don't saw off me leg, don't saw off me arm."||”|
Jagger uses a half-hearted rap delivery for some lines, saying at the time, "I'm not a great rapper... It's just made up on the spot as well. It's completely extemporized, as well, most of it. A couple words I cleaned up. I don't mean clean up, just made better sounds. That was just rap off the top of my head. I didn't write it down, even."
Recording took place at Paris' Pathé Marconi Studios and New York City's Hit Factory between November and December 1982, with final touch-ups in August 1983. With Jagger on lead vocals, he also performs electric guitars with Barber and Wood. Horns are provided by Chops and percussion by Sly Dunbar.
A dance version of "Too Much Blood," remixed by Arthur Baker, was released as a twelve-inch single on December 1984. A music video, directed by Julien Temple, was produced in support showing the band performing the song as well as Richards and guitarist Ron Wood chasing Jagger with chainsaws. The trio also appear, without chainsaws but still in character, on the record sleeve for the single. The video opens with an excerpt from the first movement of the String Quartet Number 3 by Béla Bartók. "Too Much Blood" has never been performed live by the Stones and appears on no compilations albums.