100 Greatest Rolling Stones Songs

11

"Honky Tonk Woman" (1969)

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Richards once described the sacred place that "Honky Tonk Women" had in the Rolling Stones' live set: "If they weren't dancing by then, you'd know you weren't getting it on." It gave the world a first taste of that Richards-Taylor twin-guitar raunch. For Taylor, the session "Honky Tonk Women" came out of was basically his audition to join the band. For Jones, the man Taylor replaced, it was the song that was released days after his death. Immediately after mixing it, Jagger, Richards and Watts drove directly from the studio to Jones' home and gave him his official walking papers. The Stones opted not to put "Honky Tonk Women" on 1969's Let It Bleed; instead, they included an acoustic-hoedown version retitled "Country Honk." But in any version, Jagger's nose and mind both get duly blown. As Richards later said, "It was a groove, no doubt about it, and it's one of those tracks that you knew was a Number One before you'd finished the motherfucker."

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