There Ain’t A Woman That Comes Close To You

The Rolling Stones were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1989 and the UK Music Hall of Fame in 2004.  Rolling Stone magazine ranked them fourth on the ‘100 Greatest Artists of All Time’ list and their estimated record sales are above 250 million.  They have released 30 studio albums, 23 live albums and numerous compilations.  The Rolling Stones were named after the Muddy Waters song ‘Rollin’ Stone’, and they have been dubbed the ‘World’s Greatest Rock and Roll Band’.  Mick Jagger is alive at the age of 75, guitarist Keith Richards is surprisingly still alive and he is 74, drummer Charlie Watts is 77, bassist Mick Taylor is only 69 and Ronnie Wood who didn’t join the band until 1975 is 71 years old.

This song ‘Angie’ was written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards.  Keith came up with the title of this song and he said it was not about any particular person.  Keith said that his girlfriend Anita Pallenberg was having his baby while he was recovering in a drug clinic and when he was finally able to pick up his guitar and he just went “Angie, Angie”.  Jagger said that the lyrics refer to his breakup with Marianne Faithfull, the singer and actress who had won his love and appeared to be the ‘have it all girl’ at the epicenter of the Swinging Sixties.  Jagger and Richards wrote a song for the 17-year-old schoolgirl to record, ‘As Tears Go By’ and a year later in 1965, she was hanging out with Bob Dylan.  Brian Jones was the first Rolling Stone to make a pass at her and Keith Richards was next in line.  Some really great Rolling Stones songs ‘Let’s Spend the Night Together’, ‘Wild Horses’ and ‘You Can’t Always Get What You Want’ were apparently written about Marianne’s relationship with Jagger.

In this age of the pill, free love and psychedelic drugs where women could sleep with as many men as they desired, without consequence, because sexual permissiveness liberated them, Marianne was with Jagger the shagger who always had an appetite for beautiful women.  She fell in love with Jagger at 18, and left her husband with whom she had a baby son.  Four years later she left Mick, saying that it was painful, because she still loved him and he her.  It became clear that she was driven by demons she could no longer tolerate, and it is well known that from this point Faithfull’s life spiraled downwards into drug addiction, living on the streets, suicide attempts and the loss of custody of her son.

Mary Angela Barnett, Angie who was David Bowie’s wife at the time, claims that this song was written for her.  Angie promised her father that she wouldn’t get pregnant while she was in college, so she had a lesbian affair which ended with her getting thrown out of a college in Connecticut.  She worked as a model and she was ready to embrace a stylishly androgynous bisexual lifestyle with Bowie when they met in 1969 while she was 18.  They married in 1970 and David Bowie became one of Mick Jagger’s best friends.  David and Angie actually almost ended up being late for their own wedding, because they were involved in a threesome with another man.  Angie said that Mick Jagger propositioned her in a Manhattan hotel room while he was still married to his first wife, Bianca.  This did not shock Angie as things like this were common place in rock circles, and she and Bowie had an open marriage.  In this rock star crazy world, David Bowie supposedly hooked up with both Bianca Jagger and Marianne Faithfull, no not at the same time.  Angie said that she once walked in on Bowie and Mick Jagger while they were naked in bed together, but Jagger denies that this ever happened.

This great Stones love song ‘Angie’ is about a man and a woman who love each other very much, but this is the end of their romance.  They are fighting a lot, they don’t have a lot of money and this prevents them from having a rewarding life.  The man feels that it’s better if they split up and go their separate ways even though deep inside they still love each other.  This couple doesn’t want to break up, but they are spending their nights crying.  All of their dreams have gone up in smoke, which causes them pain.  They are at a point in their relationship where a difficult choice must be made, so they need to have a conversation about what they are going through.  He feels that it is over, he doesn’t want this to be a day of denial again and he thinks that they should call it quits.  At the very least they need to discuss the alternative of continuing to remain miserable, or separating.  They are driving each other crazy being around each other so much.  Although her kisses still taste sweet, he sees a sadness in her eyes, there is no loving in their souls and neither one is satisfied.  He still loves her and he knows that it will be hard breaking up with her, because he sees her eyes everywhere he looks.  Their love has gone cold, not like they are living in the arctic, but they are wearing coats that don’t contain any money in the pockets.  He doesn’t think that he will ever find another woman like her and he wants her to stop crying.  He wants it to work, but he knows that they have passed the point of no return and he says, “ain’t it good to be alive?”  He feels like they have tried everything and they have nothing to be ashamed about because their relationship did not work out, thus at the end of this ballad he becomes flippant saying, “they can’t say we never tried”, meaning that they were never meant to be together.

‘Angie’ was the first single released from the Rolling Stones Goat’s Head Soup album which was released in 1973.  Being acoustic, it wasn’t typical of their sound, since most of the band’s material at the time was hard and aggressive.  Still, it was a huge hit, and their only ballad that hit #1 in the US.  ‘Angie’ charted #5 in the UK.  Mick Jagger achingly sings about a doomed love in this mournful ballad.  The minor-key strum of Keith Richard’s guitar starts the song off with a folksy flavor.  Then Mick Taylor playing acoustic joins in soon after Richard’s harmonic notes.  Charlie Watts adds his distinctive stops and starts on the drums, into which slips the soulful bass of Bill Wyman.  Nicky Hopkins played piano on this track.  He became part of the band’s inner circle after working on the 1966 Stones album Between The Buttons.  Other notable instrumentation includes the nonintrusive string arrangements of Nicky Harrison.

Angie, Angie
When will those dark clouds all disappear
Angie, Angie
Where will it lead us from here
With no lovin’ in our souls
And no money in our coats
You can’t say we’re satisfied
Angie, Angie

You can’t say we never tried
Angie, you’re beautiful
But ain’t it time we say goodbye
Angie, I still love you
Remember all those nights we cried
All the dreams were held so close
Seemed to all go up in smoke
Let me whisper in your ear
Angie, Angie

Where will it lead us from here
Oh, Angie, don’t you wish
Oh your kisses still taste sweet
I hate that sadness in your eyes
But Angie
Ain’t it time we said goodbye

With no lovin’ in our souls
And no money in our coats
You can’t say we’re satisfied
Angie, I still love you baby
Everywhere I look I see your eyes
There ain’t a woman that comes close to you
Come on baby dry your eyes
Angie, Angie ain’t good to be alive
Angie, Angie, we can’t say we never tried

Written for Daily Addictions prompt – Arctic, for FOWC with Fandango – Over, for November Writing Prompts – A day of denial and for Word of the Day Challenge Prompt – Flippant.

10 thoughts on “There Ain’t A Woman That Comes Close To You

      1. We already have Song Lyric Sunday, but I want to do something different, however I am not sure what that is yet. I do enjoy Hellen’s challenge, but her site is so slow as she is a non-paying member and all those adds slow everything down.

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      2. My comments got again deleted by WordPress goddammit….so my initial comment on the post was if you do go around creating a prompt do it in a way that has your stamp.. Jim my friend…

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