Midnight Rambler (9:04)

Cover of Rolled Gold +

From Rolled Gold + and 44 other releases

“Midnight Rambler” is a song by British rock band the Rolling Stones, released on their 1969 album Let It Bleed.

The lyrics take the point of view of a roaming rapist/murderer; some of the words are reportedly quotes from Albert DeSalvo’s confession to the Boston Strangler’s crimes. Keith Richards has called the number “a blues opera”.

On the composing of the song, Mick Jagger said in a 1995 interview with Rolling Stone, “That’s a song Keith and I really wrote together. We were on a holiday in Italy. In this very beautiful hill town, Positano, for a few nights. Why we should write such a dark song in this beautiful, sunny place, I really don’t know. We wrote everything there — the tempo changes, everything. And I’m playing the harmonica in these little cafes, and there’s Keith with the guitar.” When asked about the song in a 1971 interview with Rolling Stone, Richards said: “Usually when you write, you just kick Mick off on something and let him fly on it, just let it roll out and listen to it and start to pick up on certain words that are coming through, and it’s built up on that. A lot of people still complain they can’t hear the voice properly. If the words come through its fine, if they don’t, that’s all right too, because anyway that can mean a thousand different things to anybody.”

The studio version of the track (which runs six minutes and fifty-three seconds) was recorded in early 1969 at London’s Olympic Sound Studios. Jagger performs vocals and harmonica, while Richards plays all the guitars on the track, using standard tuning for the main guitars and open-E tuning for the slide.


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Albums featuring this track (45)

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  • KingNoCrown

    blows me every time I listen to it. what a song [2]

    3 Jul 9:21pm Reply
  • trashcity_

    Sublime indeed

    16 Dec 2013 Reply
  • Tag1955

    It has everything You Need to Convince People of The Stones' Greatness and Some.Sublime!

    7 Dec 2013 Reply
  • c16r52s


    8 Sep 2013 Reply
  • Fellipee

    blows me every time I listen to it. what a song

    20 Apr 2013 Reply
  • AndoDoug

    The 15 min L.A. Friday version is epic - talk about throwing the new guy in the deep end on that version

    5 Apr 2013 Reply
  • EscObAR_1_2_3

    Brussels Affair version is fanatstic

    16 Mar 2013 Reply
  • Schwedenfan22

    heute vor 50 Jahren war der 1. Bühnenauftritt der Stones.....12.Juli 1962.... Die Musik ist Kult !!! Wer hätte das gedacht, das die bei dieser Lebensführung noch immer aktiv sind !!! Sie haben doch irgendwie die " Steine ins Rollen gebracht".

    12 Jul 2012 Reply
  • xtwntraphq

    THIS the reason there is only ONE Rolling Stones !!

    3 Jul 2012 Reply
  • oldiesfanjohn

    Agreed and the frenetic pace still blows me away!!!

    21 May 2012 Reply
  • prismism

    Love the way that Watts just locks it in the pocket during the last third of the song.

    18 May 2012 Reply
  • mynameisjoehann

    So dark, fuckin love this song! \,,/

    15 May 2012 Reply
  • ofnoconsequence

    so glad that us less-than-hardcore stones fans are now able to enjoy the incredible 15 minute version from the L.A. Friday live bootleg series album. beats ya-yas for this kid!

    18 Apr 2012 Reply
  • Estranged_Ann


    16 Mar 2012 Reply
  • pablo323

    greatest blues rock song ever

    8 Mar 2012 Reply
  • oldiesfanjohn

    Hot Rocks!!!...wore that 8-Track out(many times,buy re-buy)-------> dating himself !

    20 Feb 2012 Reply
  • gdcman

    8 tracks rule bradleybee

    24 Jan 2012 Reply
  • -S4m-

    the live version from Ladies & Gentlemen / Hofheinz Pavilion in Houston, Texas on June 25th 1972 has to be, like, the best thing ever. absolutely stunning.

    23 Sep 2011 Reply
  • dluuu

    stones ROCK !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!111111111!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    18 Sep 2011 Reply
  • BombaKazik

    best version is on get yer ya ya's out {5}

    11 Aug 2011 Reply
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