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October 21, 2015

10 Super Song Facts About "Angie" by The Rolling Stones You Probably Didn't Know

"Angie" is a song by The Rolling Stones, featured on their 1973 album Goats Head Soup. Written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards and recorded in November and December 1972, "Angie" is an acoustic-guitar-driven ballad which tells of the end of a romance.

1. The big rumor about this song is that it was written about David Bowie's wife, Angela, who wrote in her autobiography that she once walked in on Bowie and Mick Jagger in bed together - a story Jagger denies. According to the rumor, Jagger wrote this song to appease her, but it was Jagger's bandmate Keith Richards who wrote most of the song. Jagger had this to say about it: "People began to say that song was written about David Bowie's wife but the truth is that Keith wrote the title. He said, 'Angie,' and I think it was to do with his daughter. She's called Angela. And then I just wrote the rest of it."

David Bowie and Angie

2. There was also speculation that Richards' girlfriend Anita Pallenberg inspired this song, but Keith cleared it up in his 2010 autobiography Life, where he wrote: "While I was in the [Vevey drug] clinic (in March-April 1972), Anita was down the road having our daughter, Angela. Once I came out of the usual trauma, I had a guitar with me and I wrote 'Angie' in an afternoon, sitting in bed, because I could finally move my fingers and put them in the right place again, and I didn't feel like I had to s--t the bed or climb the walls or feel manic anymore. I just went, 'Angie, Angie.' It was not about any particular person; it was a name, like ohhh, Diana. I didn't know Angela was going to be called Angela when I wrote 'Angie.' In those days you didn't know what sex the thing was going to be until it popped out."

Anita Pallenberg and Richards

3. A rare ballad for The Stones, this was the first single released from Goat's Head Soup. It wasn't typical of their sound, since most of the band's material at the time was hard and aggressive. Still, it was a huge hit. "Angie" went straight to the top of the US Billboard Hot 100 and reached No. 5 on the UK singles chart. The song was also a No. 1 hit in both Canada and Australia for five weeks each and topped the charts in many countries throughout Europe and the rest of the world.

Goat's Head Soup cover

4. This is one of the few Rolling Stones songs that is acoustic.

The Rolling Stones playing "Angie"

5. Because of the song's length, some radio stations made edits to shorten it to 3 minutes, omitting the longer coda and the second instrumental section of the song.

Album cover art of The Rolling Stones' "Angie"

6. Keith Richards wrote this song in Switzerland after the Exile on Main St. album had been approved by the record company, but before it was released. "Angie" was one of the first songs The Stones recorded for Goat's Head Soup, which they first attempted in Jamaica at the Dynamic Sounds studio in Kingston. They got very little done at these sessions, arriving nightly with armed escort and locking the doors until they were done for the day. Much of the album was done at sessions in Los Angeles and London under more hospitable conditions.

Mick Jagger and Keith Richards

7. The Angela Bowie rumor picked up steam in 1990, when she went on The Joan Rivers Show and claimed she once walked in on David Bowie and Mick Jagger in bed together naked. What's even more shocking is that Rivers had her own talk show. She was quickly replaced by Arsenio Hall.

Angela Bowie posed in Amsterdam, Netherlands on 5th April 1993.

8. Nicky Hopkins played piano on this track. He became part of the band's inner circle after working on the 1966 Stones album Between The Buttons.

The Rolling Stones. Bobby Keys. Nicky Hopkins. 1972 Tour rehearsals.

9. In 2005 German chancellor Angela Merkel appropriated this acoustic ballad for her Christian Democratic Union Party. "We're surprised that permission wasn't requested," said a Stones spokesman of Merkel's choice of song. "If it had been, we would have said no."

Angela Merkel

10. The line from this song, "Ain't it time we said goodbye," was used as the title to Robert Greenfield's 2014 book, which chronicles his time covering the Stones' 1971 British tour and their Exile on Main St. sessions for Rolling Stone magazine. Greenfield is not a fan of the song, however, calling it "soppy and far too sweet for my taste."

Book cover of Ain't It Time We Said Goodbye: The Rolling Stones on the Road to Exile.

(via Songfacts)


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