Suggest a Songfact / Artistfact
Album: Exile on Main St.Released: 1972
Mick Jagger originally wrote the lyrics for Stones guitarist Brian Jones in 1968. The original lyrics were about Jones' drug addiction which was slowly detaching him from the rest of the band, and the song was called "Get A Line On You," but it was never released. After Jones' death, Jagger rewrote some of the lyrics and it was released in 1972 as "Shine A Light."
Venetta Field (incorrectly credited on the album as "Vanetta") sang backup on this. She is an R&B singer who also worked with B. B. King, Al Kooper, Billy Preston, Joe Cocker, Pink Floyd, and Blondie Chaplin.
Billy Preston played piano and organ on this track. Preston was a frequent guest musician for both The Rolling Stones and The Beatles.
Shine A Light
is the name of the 2008 Martin Scorsese concert film documenting 2 shows The Rolling Stones played in New York shows in 2006. Buddy Guy, Christina Aguilera and Jack White all appear in the film.
In an interview with The Sun newspaper May 21, 2010, Mick Jagger chose this as his favorite Exile song. He explained: "It was quite an early one from Olympic Studios London, with Billy Preston. Once it was finished, we never played it on stage for years and years. Then it became this favorite after we recorded it for the Stripped album. So 'Shine A Light' was this funny thing that started off as something you did once at that time and never went back to."