Paint It Black (3:22)

Cover of Paint It Black

From Paint It Black and 37 other releases

“Paint It Black” is a song recorded by The Rolling Stones in 1966. It reached number one in both the U.S. and the UK charts in 1966. It was released as a single and included on the U.S. version of the album Aftermath. In 2004 it was ranked #174 on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.

The song began with Wyman playing organ at a recording session, in parody of the group’s former co-manager Eric Easton, who had been an organist. Charlie Watts accompanied the organ by playing a vaguely Middle Eastern drum part; Watts’ drum pattern became the basis for the final song. Brian Jones contributed the song’s signature sitar riff (having taught himself to play after a visit with George Harrison) and acoustic guitar, and Jagger contributed the lyrics, seemingly about a man mourning his dead girlfriend. The lead electric guitar and the background vocals are provided by Richards. The piano is played by Jack Nitzsche, unfortunately not in any way related to Friedrich Nietzsche, the famous German philosopher.

The bass was also overdubbed by Bill Wyman playing on the bass pedals of a Hammond B3 organ.

Richards has stated in an interview that the song was not intended to have a comma in its title, and that this was added by the record label.


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  • davidbowiegirl

    I don't really like the band that much but this song is magical.

    9 Jun 6:06pm Reply
  • splitandrelease

    To me this is probably the greatest song ever recorded, I have loved it nearly my whole life and have heard it infinite times... I've also heard tracks like Bohemian Rhapsody infinite times but hate them because of it, this is about the only song that truly never gets old and I could jam out to this another infinite times!!!

    9 Jun 5:44am Reply
  • robveiga

    I'm fan inconditional of this band

    13 May 5:55pm Reply
  • MegaDave89

    Awesome song.

    25 Apr 2:34pm Reply
  • atearmstoholdya

    The sitar is what makes this song what it is. I have heard a version without the sitar and it falls very flat. I have heard that Mick and Keith were in the process of pushing Brian out and they tried to keep him out of the studio. Supposedly Brian came to the studio in the middle of the night and recorded the sitar part and it couldn't be least that is what I've heard. "Paint It, Black. Paint It, devil!"

    18 Apr 4:03am Reply
  • TheSuperCrasher

    It's 'Paint It, Black', dammit.

    13 Apr 4:55pm Reply
  • StokesAA

    Ending of "Full Metal Jacket" <3

    29 Mar 8:41pm Reply
  • pure_emotion

    great ! ........... ♥

    6 Feb 11:50pm Reply

    Maybe the coolest song ever?

    14 Dec 2014 Reply
  • HayleighRayment

    on the exercise phone

    12 Dec 2014 Reply
  • marjo47

    Good song and band, ofcourse!

    4 Dec 2014 Reply
  • wiseblood-

    One of the greatest songs of ALL TIMES!

    30 Nov 2014 Reply
  • Druid66

    So, Brian picked up the unfamiliar sitar, and mastered it in an afternoon...? He was an amazing talent, as this track demonstrates.

    14 Nov 2014 Reply
  • ElectricChinas


    6 Nov 2014 Reply
  • Blumenmann63

    super song!!!

    2 Nov 2014 Reply
  • vinman76

    Paint it Black Mick ..I will bring my paint brush!

    30 Oct 2014 Reply
  • iam_the_enemy

    This song is everything

    27 Oct 2014 Reply
  • haadeus

    the Earth Crisis cover is worth a gander for those with a bit more taste for a metallic edge.

    21 Oct 2014 Reply
  • Lsm1995

    My first song of The Rolling Stones

    19 Oct 2014 Reply
  • Assedor

    The ROCK does not accept any concepts. Here are only our own impressions, emotions and experiences. . It needs to listen to and not talk about.

    11 Oct 2014 Reply
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