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Album: Between The ButtonsReleased: 1967Charted:
The fourth US #1 hit for the Rolling Stones, this ballad is about a groupie. It may have been inspired by Linda Keith, who was Keith Richards' girlfriend. Richards said in According to the Rolling Stones
: "It was probably written about Linda Keith not being there (laughs). I don't know, she had pissed off somewhere. It was very mournful, very, VERY Ruby Tuesday and it was a Tuesday."
Richards: "That's one of those things - some chick you've broken up with. And all you've got left is the piano and the guitar and a pair of panties. And it's goodbye you know. And so it just comes out of that. And after that you just build on it. It's one of those songs that are easiest to write because you're really right there and you really sort of mean it. And for a songwriter, hey break his heart and he'll come up with a good song."
Originally, this was called "Title B."
Keith Richards and Brian Jones wrote most of this, but in keeping with Stones tradition, it was credited to Mick Jagger and Keith Richards.
Brian Jones plays the recorder (it sounds like a flute) in this song. He was their lead guitarist until he died in 1969, and could play just about any instrument.
A large double-bass was used. Bill Wyman plucked the notes while Richards played it with a bow.
This was not on the English version of Between The Buttons because it was already released as a single there, and it was customary not to put singles on albums.
This was supposed to be the B-side of "Let's Spend the Night Together," but many radio stations shied away from the sexual implications of that song, so they played this instead and made it a hit.
Jagger: "Ruby Tuesday is good. I think that's a wonderful song. It's just a nice melody, really. And a lovely lyric. Neither of which I wrote, but I always enjoy singing it."
The singer Melanie, who had a #1 hit with "Brand New Key
" in 1971, released a cover of "Ruby Tuesday" in 1970 that went to #9 in the UK and #52 in the US. Rod Stewart also released a popular cover that was accompanied by a video. His version made #11 in the UK in 1993.