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The Story Behind The Rolling Stones’ ‘Angie’

It was in October 1973 that the Rolling Stones secured their 7th US No.1 when ‘Angie’ made the top of the Billboard chart.

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Rolling Stones Angie

It was on 20 October 1973 that the Rolling Stones secured their 7th US No.1 when ‘Angie’ made the top of the Billboard chart. It was their 24th US single (18th in Britain) and over the years many have speculated that it was inspired by Angie, David Bowie’s wife, or even Keith’s daughter. Keith, who wrote the majority of the song’s music and lyrics said in his autobiography that the name Angie came to him while in Switzerland detoxing from his heroin addiction. “I wrote ‘Angie’ in an afternoon, sitting in bed, because I could finally move my fingers and get them in the right place again…It was not about any particular person, it was a name, like “Ohhh, Diana”

The recording of the song began in late November 1972 at Dynamic Sound Studios in Kingston, Jamaica with Jimmy Miller producing and Andy Johns engineering what was an early version of the song; this version can be heard on the soundtrack to the band’s documentary, Crossfire Hurricane. While Nicky Hopkins is there playing piano, as he is on the final version, there are no strings. These were added in May/June 1973 at Island Studio in London. This is the final version that became the single and was included on the album, Goats Head Soup that came out on 31 August.

Backed by ‘Silver Train’ the single was released on 20 August in the UK and a week later in the US and entered the Billboard charts on 8 September at No.75, the highest new entry of the week (ahead of the Osmonds’, ‘Let Me In’ and Ike and Tina Turner’s ‘Nutbush City Limits’). The Stones were replaced at No.1 by Gladys Knight and The Pips’ version of ‘Midnight Train To Georgia’, which had been the previous week’s highest chart entry.

In the UK ‘Angie’ made No.5 on the charts. The Stones’ debuted the single on the first date of their 1973 European tour in Vienna, Austria; it went on to make No.8 on the Austrian chart. Elsewhere it topped the charts in Australia, Canada, Holland, Norway and Switzerland.

Follow the official Rolling Stones Best Of playlist for more classic Stones hits.

22 Comments

22 Comments

  1. Adalberto garcia

    October 20, 2015 at 1:02 pm

    It’s only Rock n Roll. ..
    …but I like it! !!…for me it’s Angie Stone. But everybody like it! .

  2. Sven Hansen

    October 20, 2015 at 1:38 pm

    Another dickhead reviewer…..making a dickhead comment on one of R&R’s great ballads….just goes to show how often reviewers ar head and heartless cunts that didn’t make it themselves…..

    Some time back I did an occasion song (a very danish tradition where one takes a well know or traditional song and write it as a hymn to celebrate someones birthday, wedding or basically any other occasion) based on Angie…..the lady was named Annie so it was kinda’ an obvious choise, but it made me fall in love with the original once again 😉

  3. Craigus

    October 20, 2015 at 1:58 pm

    Best ballad is: Almost hear you sigh. Is off the Steel Wheels album.

  4. Genaro García

    October 20, 2015 at 4:21 pm

    Dead flowers track from the album sticky fingers l love it this album

  5. Jaime

    October 20, 2015 at 5:08 pm

    Me gusta Angie pero la que mas me gusta es Emotional Rescue

  6. Marc

    October 20, 2015 at 6:16 pm

    Definitely, Ruby Tuesday because of Brian Jones talent ( flute). Wild Horses, Love in vain and No expectations are not too far behind.

  7. Pat

    October 20, 2015 at 6:49 pm

    For me N°1 Love in vain, N°2 I got the blues, N°3 Moonlight Mile , N°4Angie

  8. wild

    October 20, 2015 at 9:55 pm

    Angie is a great one, anyway I prefer “You got the silver”

  9. Dan gan

    October 20, 2015 at 11:45 pm

    Angie is the name of my ex girl friend..hhh

  10. Charles spirou

    October 21, 2015 at 12:08 am

    There’s another heart sung song by mick and it’s called wild horses

  11. Michiela

    October 21, 2015 at 12:43 am

    I named my daughter after this song … Angela … Angie … love it

    • RBarone

      October 22, 2015 at 8:28 pm

      Me to! Haha

  12. Diane

    October 21, 2015 at 11:00 am

    I cannot pick a favourite … as I love them ALL ! 🙂

  13. Elena

    October 21, 2015 at 2:17 pm

    Critics. Pfft. I’m my own critic. Nick Kent you have something in your mouth….bad taste. I love Angie and so don’t MILLIONS of other people. You probably think EOMS or Sticky Fingers stinks too. Rock on Stones.

  14. peter defriend

    September 8, 2016 at 11:49 am

    Great track spent many a night out on the pull and dance to this song

  15. peter defriend

    September 8, 2016 at 11:51 am

    Great track what do critics know

  16. Baziz

    September 8, 2016 at 3:23 pm

    Angie is only one song
    I want to said thank you for the Stones have exist all time during my life
    Nice to hear you many times again
    Kisses
    Baz

  17. Roddy

    September 8, 2016 at 10:42 pm

    Angie brings tears to my eyes.
    Just beautiful haunting melody and lyrics.
    And Mick put a lot of his soul in it.
    A classic on my book.

  18. angelica

    September 8, 2016 at 11:25 pm

    Like “Angie” I do have sad eyes…I felt that that song was describing ME, funny, it could be but, really what a coincidence! I love the Stones, I love their music, I love “Angie”, Hey! It just a song!

  19. RJ Muni

    September 9, 2016 at 3:10 am

    Stray cat blues, Some Girls, Let it Bleed, Sweet Black Angel & Love in Vain, Sister Morphine .. r

  20. John

    September 10, 2016 at 12:40 am

    TOTAL BILL SHOT. KEITH WROTE, IN HIS BIOGRAPHY, THAT THE SONG IS ABOUT HIS DAUGHTER, ANGIE. TELL YOUR VERY POOR REVIEWER TO GET HIS EFFING FACTS RIGHT BEFORE WRITING UTTER BS

    • Mike

      September 10, 2018 at 1:31 am

      Try again. Keith makes it clear it was NOT written about his daughter who hadn’t been born yet. He states that back then the gender of a baby wasn’t known until it ‘popped out’. This is on page 290 in my Nook version of ‘Life’.

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