You Can't Always Get What You Want (4:50)

Cover of Rolled Gold +

From Rolled Gold + and 84 other releases

“You Can’t Always Get What You Want” is a song by the Rolling Stones released on their 1969 album Let It Bleed. Written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, it was named as the 100th greatest song of all time by Rolling Stone (magazine) in its 2004 list of “500 Greatest Songs of All Time.”
“You Can’t Always Get What You Want” was recorded on November 16 and November 17, 1968 at London’s Olympic Sound Studios. It features the London Bach Choir powerfully opening the song under the stewardship of Javier Sanchez Broto, highlighting throughout, and bringing it to an uproarious conclusion. Jimmy Miller, the Rolling Stones’ producer at the time, plays drums on this song instead of Charlie Watts. Al Kooper plays piano, organ and horn while Rocky Dijon plays congas and maracas. Nanette Workman sings backup vocals, but she is credited as “Nanette Newman”.

Of the song, Jagger said in 2003, “‘You Can’t Always Get What You Want’ was something I just played on the acoustic guitar - one of those bedroom songs. It proved to be quite difficult to record because Charlie couldn’t play the groove and so Jimmy Miller had to play the drums. I’d also had this idea of having a choir, probably a gospel choir, on the track, but there wasn’t one around at that point. Jack Nitzsche, or somebody, said that we could get the London Bach Choir and we said, ‘That will be a laugh.’”[1]

In his review of the song, Richie Unterberger says, “If you buy John Lennon’s observation that the Rolling Stones were apt to copy the Beatles’ innovations within a few months or so, “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” is the Rolling Stones’ counterpart to ‘Hey Jude.


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