In early 1978, the Rolling Stones were faced with a double whammy — the rise and rise of both punk and disco. There were some, especially those in the media, who were ready to write off The Stones after a decade and a half at the top. Their previous single, “Fool to Cry,” which came out almost two years earlier from the Black and Blue album, had peaked at No. 10 in the US.
However, as we’ve come to learn, you dismiss The Rolling Stones at your peril; Mick and Keith had the perfect response with their own brand of disco sass. “Miss You” is the opening track and the debut single from the album Some Girls and it made No.1 in the US in August 1978.
“Miss You” was recorded at Pathé Marconi Studios in Paris and mixed and edited in New York by Bob Clearmountain at Power Station Studios. Clearmountain also mixed an extended eight-minute 36 second 12” disco mix of “Miss You.” This remix was the first official Rolling Stones 12” single, with some copies even issued on pink vinyl.
Ask almost anyone to tell you the first thing they notice about “Miss You” and they will probably say, “Mick’s sassy vocals” or “Bill’s great bassline.” According to Bill Wyman, in his book Rolling with The Stones, “The idea for the [bass] lines came from Billy Preston. We’d cut a rough demo a year or so earlier after a recording session. I’d already gone home, and Billy picked up my old bass when they started running through that song. So when we finally came to do the tune, the boys said, ‘Why don’t you work around Billy’s idea?’ So I listened to it once and heard that basic run and took it from there. It took some changing and polishing, but the basic idea was Billy’s.”
“Miss You” was released at the end of May 1978, just before The Rolling Stones started a massive US tour that kicked off on June 10 at Lakeland Civic Center in Orlando, Florida in front of 10,000 fans. It was the first time that “Miss You” was played live on stage, but a long way from the last. Besides entering the US chart on May 27 (where it peaked at No. 1 on 5 August), it also went to No. 1 in France, it made No. 2 in Germany and Holland, No. 11 in Australia and No. 3 in the UK.