100 Greatest Rolling Stones Songs

Estate Of Keith Morris/Redferns32/100

32. "Let It Bleed" (1969)

The Stones worked on the title track to Let It Bleed for so long that Richards' fingers literally started bleeding from playing its acoustic-guitar riff over and over. Yet the finished product has an intimate raggedness, with Ian Stewart's roadhouse piano and Taylor's country-tinged leads perfectly complementing Jagger's evocations of degradation and salvation, "coke and sympathy." And what about that titular similarity to the Beatles' "Let It Be"? "Not a thing," Richards told Rolling Stone in 1971. "'Let it bleed' was just one line in that song Mick wrote."

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