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Album: Let It BleedReleased: 1969
Keith Richards' fingers began to bleed as he played acoustic guitar for hours while Mick Jagger worked with an engineer on the drum track. The title came from Keith's desire to record his track. At least that's the story the band tells. Here's an alternate meaning: The phrase "Let It Bleed" is intravenous drug user slang for successfully finding a vein. The syringe plunger is pulled back and if blood appears, is called letting it bleed.
This was the first Stones song to also be the album title.
Ian Stewart, often considered "The sixth Stone," played the piano. This was his only appearance on Let It Bleed.
There are many references to sex and drugs in the lyrics to this track - an example of the Stones writing about what they knew.
This was recorded around the same time as The Beatles Let It Be, but the similar titles were just a coincidence.
The Stones recorded this after the death of Brian Jones, and Mick Taylor had yet to join the band. As a result, Keith Richards played both acoustic and slide electric guitar, and Bill Wyman played bass and autoharp. Autoharp is a string instrument with a series of chord bars attached to dampers which, when pressed, mute all but the desired chord. An autoharp is not really a harp - it's a zither.
The English TV cook and author Delia Smith baked the cake on the album sleeve before she became famous. She got the gig through being a friend of the photographer, Don McAllester. In 1971, two years after the release of Let It Bleed
, Delia Smith's first cookery book, How To Cheat at Cooking
, was launched and by the end of the decade she'd become the UK's best known TV cook.