100 Greatest Rolling Stones Songs

Gijsbert Hanekroot/Redferns38/100

38. "Memory Motel" (1976)

When the Stones decided to have a bash at mega-sincerity, they really went all the way – like in this extravagantly sentimental road ballad, which they stretch out to seven minutes. "Memory Motel" is unique both in its heart-on-sleeve tenderness and its Seventies yacht-soul keyboard sound. Jagger and Richards trade off lead vocals in the tale of a guitar-toting hippie girl named Hannah with hazel eyes, curved teeth and a pickup truck who meets Jagger at a cheap motel on Long Island and leaves him drunk and crying – "a real, independent American girl," Jagger said in 1978.

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