Like It Love It

The Rolling Stones song ‘It’s Only Rock ‘N’ Roll (But I Like It) was written by Keith Richards and Mick Jagger and recorded in two parts with the first part recorded on a Tuesday July 24 in 1973.  This may not be the greatest Stones song ever written, but I like it.  Jagger said this song was written because some people thought the Stones might be past their prime, their glorious peak from 1968 to 1972 and he got tired of people criticizing his music and saying things like “this is not as good as your last song.”  Mick said this song was his answer to everyone who took what he or the band did too seriously.  Future Rolling Stones guitarist Ronnie Wood from the Faces collaborated with Jagger on ‘It’s Only Rock ‘N’ Roll’ on the original track, which was recorded one night in a studio at Ron Wood’s house.  David Bowie was backing singer to Jagger’s lead, and Willie Weeks an in-demand session musician who was in the Doobie Brothers, played bass with Kenney Jones who was in the groups Small Faces, Faces, and the Who was on drums.  The Stones went into the studio later and tried to recreate that song, and the song on the album is similar to that of original recording, because their solution was to keep several tracks from the original recording.  In April 1974, the basic track that was recorded at Ronnie’s house was used to finish the song, at this time Ian Stewart also from the Faces added his distinctive piano to the track.  ‘It’s Only Rock ‘N’ Roll (But I Like It)’ was released in July 1974, and it reached number sixteen in the United States and number ten on the UK Singles Chart.

The song was promoted by an excellent quality music video which was directed by Michael Lindsay-Hogg, and it featured the Stones dressed as sailors.  This was longer than most of the Stones recorded singles, clocking in at just over five minutes, however their live songs are typically much longer.  About 3 minutes into the video the tent that they are playing in starts to fill up with bubbles.  The froth was detergent and the reason they wore the sailor suits was because they were cheap and none of them wanted to ruin their own clothes.  According to Keith, “Poor old Charlie nearly drowned… because we forgot he was sitting down.”  This stunning video was one of Mick Taylor’s last appearances as a member of the band, having been effectively replaced when Ronnie Wood, who does not appear in the video, played acoustic guitar on the recording, alongside Keith Richardson on electric guitar.

Some of the lyrics were inspired by David Bowie’s song ‘Rock ‘n’ Roll Suicide’, which is about the collapse of Bowie’s persona, Ziggy Stardust and this song closes The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars.  The part about ‘suicide on stage’ is probably about glam rockers like Marc Bolan and Alice Cooper who did a suicide bit as part of their stage theatrics.  Marc Bolan was the leader of T. Rex and during a 1971 appearance on the British television show Top of the Pops, Bolan had placed glitter under his eyes.  The band’s appearance and Bolan’s glitter was the first major performance of the glam rock era.  Shock Rock star Alice Cooper was faking his own death on an almost nightly basis for decades using everything from a noose to a guillotine to an electric chair usually as a chilling finale to his morbid hit ‘Dead Babies’.  But on April 7, 1988, Cooper almost ended up hanging for real when his onstage gimmick went horribly wrong.

If I could stick my pen in my heart
And spill it all over the stage
Would it satisfy ya, would it slide on by ya
Would you think the boy is strange?
Ain’t he strange?

If I could win ya, if I could sing ya
A love song so divine
Would it be enough for your cheating heart
If I broke down and cried?
If I cried?

I said I know it’s only rock ‘n’ roll but I like it
I know it’s only rock ‘n’ roll but I like it, like it, yes, I do
Oh, well, I like it, I like it, I like it
I said can’t you see that this old boy has been a lonely?

If I could stick a knife in my heart
Suicide right on stage
Would it be enough for your teenage lust
Would it help to ease the pain?
Ease your brain?

If I could dig down deep in my heart
Feelings would flood on the page
Would it satisfy ya, would it slide on by ya
Would ya think the boy’s insane?
He’s insane

I said I know it’s only rock ‘n’ roll but I like it
I said I know it’s only rock’n roll but I like it, like it, yes, I do
Oh, well, I like it, yeah, I like it, I like it
I said can’t you see that this old boy has been a lonely?

And do ya think that you’re the only girl around?
I bet you think that you’re the only woman in town, ah, ooh yeah

I said I know it’s only rock ‘n’ roll but I like it
I said I know it’s only rock ‘n’ roll but I like it
I know it’s only rock ‘n’ roll but I like it, yeah
I know it’s only rock ‘n’ roll but I like it, like it, yes, I do
Oh, well, I like it, I like it, I like it, I like it
I like it, I like it, I like it (only rock ‘n roll’) but I like it
(It’s only rock ‘n’ roll) but I like it (only rock ‘n’ roll) but I like it
(Only rock ‘n’ roll) but I like it (only rock ‘n’ roll) but I like it
(Only rock ‘n’ roll) but I like it (only rock ‘n’ roll) but I like it
(Only rock ‘n’ roll) but I like it (only rock ‘n’ roll) but I like it
(Only rock ‘n’ roll) but I like it (only rock ‘n’ roll) but I like it
(Only rock ‘n’ roll) but I like it, yeah, but I like it
Oh and I like it, ooh yeah I like it

Written for Daily Addictions prompt – Solution, for FOWC with Fandango – Cheap, for Ragtag Community – Fall and for Word of the Day Challenge Prompt – Stunning.

7 thoughts on “Like It Love It

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