Let's Spend the Night Together (3:36)

Cover of Forty Licks (disc 1)

From Forty Licks (disc 1) and 66 other releases

Released in the UK as a single in January 1967., ‘Let’s Spend the Night Together’ reached #3 on the UK Singles Chart. The song was included on the U.S. version of the Stones’ album “Between the Buttons”, and was also released there as a single. However, due to the then-controversial nature of the lyrics (proposing a sexual encounter) most radio stations opted to play the flip side ‘Ruby Tuesday’ instead. The two songs charted separately on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100, ‘Let’s Spend the Night Together’ stalling at #55 while ‘Ruby Tuesday’ became a #1 hit.

In one of the more famous examples of musical censorship, on The Ed Sullivan Show, the band was initially refused permission to perform the number. Sullivan himself told Jagger, “Either the song goes or you go”. A compromise was reached to substitute the words “let’s spend some time together” in place of “let’s spend the night together”; Jagger agreed to change the lyrics but ostentatiously rolled his eyes at the TV camera whilst singing them. In April 2006., for their first-ever performance in China, authorities prohibited the group from performing the song due to its “suggestive lyrics”.

It has been covered by various artists, most famously David Bowie in 1973.

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