100 Greatest Rolling Stones Songs

34

"Waiting On a Friend" (1981)

The Rolling Stones
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Speaking of waiting, the Stones kept this song in the vaults for almost a decade before releasing it as the grand finale on Tattoo You. They originally cut it in Kingston, Jamaica, during the 1972 sessions for Goats Head Soup, with Nicky Hopkins playing graceful piano runs against Richards' fragile strumming. Jagger went back years later, finished up the lyrics and delivered one of his masterfully soulful vocal performances, ruminating over a case of grown-up loneliness. "The lyric I added was very gentle and loving," Jagger said years later. "About friendships in the band." The Stones invited one of their all-time heroes to do the sax solo, jazz legend Sonny Rollins. As Jagger recalled, "I said, 'Would you like me to stay out there in the studio?' He said, 'Yeah, you tell me where you want me to play and dance the part out.'" So Jagger danced, Rollins translated the moves into sax glory and "Waiting On a Friend" closes out Tattoo You in style. The famous video features Jagger and Richards hanging out with some buddies (including reggae great Peter Tosh) on a stoop on New York's St. Mark's Place – in front of the same building Led Zeppelin put on the cover of Physical Graffiti.

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