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Angie by The Rolling Stones

Album: Goat's Head SoupReleased: 1973Charted:
1
5
  • The big rumor about this song is that it was written about David Bowie's wife, Angela, who wrote in her autobiography that she once walked in on Bowie and Mick Jagger in bed together - a story Jagger denies. According to the rumor, Jagger wrote this song to appease her, but it was Jagger's bandmate Keith Richards who wrote most of the song. Jagger had this to say about it: "People began to say that song was written about David Bowie's wife but the truth is that Keith wrote the title. He said, 'Angie,' and I think it was to do with his daughter. She's called Angela. And then I just wrote the rest of it."

    There was also speculation that Richards' girlfriend Anita Pallenberg inspired this song, but Keith cleared it up in his 2010 autobiography Life, where he wrote: "While I was in the [Vevey drug] clinic (in March-April 1972), Anita was down the road having our daughter, Angela. Once I came out of the usual trauma, I had a guitar with me and I wrote 'Angie' in an afternoon, sitting in bed, because I could finally move my fingers and put them in the right place again, and I didn't feel like I had to s--t the bed or climb the walls or feel manic anymore. I just went, 'Angie, Angie.' It was not about any particular person; it was a name, like ohhh, Diana. I didn't know Angela was going to be called Angela when I wrote 'Angie.' In those days you didn't know what sex the thing was going to be until it popped out." (thanks, Bertrand - Paris, France)
  • A rare ballad for The Stones, this was the first single released from Goat's Head Soup. It wasn't typical of their sound, since most of the band's material at the time was hard and aggressive. Still, it was a huge hit, and their only ballad that hit #1 in the US.
  • This is one of the few Rolling Stones songs that is acoustic.
  • Keith Richards wrote this song in Switzerland after the Exile on Main St. album had been approved by the record company, but before it was released. "Angie" was one of the first songs The Stones recorded for Goat's Head Soup, which they first attempted in Jamaica at the Dynamic Sounds studio in Kingston. They got very little done at these sessions, arriving nightly with armed escort and locking the doors until they were done for the day. Much of the album was done at sessions in Los Angeles and London under more hospitable conditions.
  • The Angela Bowie rumor picked up steam in 1990, when she went on The Joan Rivers Show and claimed she once walked in on David Bowie and Mick Jagger in bed together naked. What's even more shocking is that Rivers had her own talk show. She was quickly replaced by Arsenio Hall.
  • Nicky Hopkins played piano on this track. He became part of the band's inner circle after working on the 1966 Stones album Between The Buttons. (thanks, Bertrand - Paris, France)
  • In 2005 German chancellor Angela Merkel appropriated this acoustic ballad for her Christian Democratic Union Party. "We're surprised that permission wasn't requested," said a Stones spokesman of Merkel's choice of song. "If it had been, we would have said no."
  • The line from this song, "Ain't it time we said goodbye," was used as the title to Robert Greenfield's 2014 book, which chronicles his time covering the Stones' 1971 British tour and their Exile on Main St. sessions for Rolling Stone magazine. Greenfield is not a fan of the song, however, calling it "soppy and far too sweet for my taste."
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Comments: 77

There could be a duel meaning to this song, maybe. I have heard this song live and the line, " but ain't it time we said goodbye" was changed to, "but ain't it great to be alive." So, I believe it was about them kicking heroin. That makes the most sense to this guy. If you have ever been addicted to that stuff, this song has a whole lot of meaning. I think the line that they changed is the answer here. Just saying......Tom - Springfield, Ma
It's such a beautiful and sad song, I'd hate for it to be about saying goodby to heroin, but knowing Keith Richards...Zero - Nowhere, Nj
it might not have been about anyone in particular. I find it funny that Angie couldnt just as well be Jane Doe, because most people have had to break up with someone they loved.Peter - Bcc, Az
Here's what Wikipedia has to say about this song and it's meaning: "Contrary to popular belief, the song was not about David Bowie's first wife Angela or about actress Angie Dickinson; Richards' daughter Dandelion Angela had just been born, and the name was one of Richards' contributions to the lyrics.[2] This song was written almost entirely both lyrically and musically by Keith Richards. The name Angie has no reference whatsoever to any of the people it has been typically attributed to. Keith Richards wrote in his biography that Angie is basically heroin and his attempt while detoxing in Switzerland to once and for all "say good by"."Eric - Philadelphia, Pa
I recently learned to play this on guitar.A great song and a great introBrian - Boston, Ma
I listened and cried to this song 24/7 for DAYS when I was 18 and my boyfriend broke up with me. What a torturous song! I love it, it's my favorite Rolling Stones song!Janice - Amesbury, Ma
Hey, any stones fans that could help me with this? I heard a great song in a bar--I know it was Jagger's voice. The beat was great--a bit "bluesy" and very retro stones. The only lyrics I could pick out amid the loud noise from the bar was "New York City." I wanted to listen intently but there was just too many distractions. Anyone might know the tune? If I hear it again, I'll know it for sure.
- Erika, Shelby Twp Mich, MI

Hi Erika, not sure when you posted the above comment as there doesn't seem to be any dates on this page. The song you are talking about is
"Honky Tonk Woman". Great song! Susan from Rayleigh, Essex, England. 04.11.10.
Susan - Rayleigh, United Kingdom
Erika- the song may have been 'Shattered'.
Anyways, this is one of the prettiest songs I've ever heard!
Abby - London, United Kingdom
Mick never sings "Andy".. he sings "angie" consistantly and continually...Budoshi - Sandnessjøen, Norway
i read in Keith Richard's biography that Keith wrote this song for Anita Pallenberg, substituting the name Anita for Angie.Madelyn - New York, Ny
Dude I just learned to play this on guitar. Very nice song.Brian - Boston, Ma
if you listen closely you can hear a woman crying in the background.
Rick, Alamo, TX
Rick - Alamo, Tx
Hey, any stones fans that could help me with this? I heard a great song in a bar--I know it was Jagger's voice. The beat was great--a bit "bluesy" and very retro stones. The only lyrics I could pick out amid the loud noise from the bar was "New York City." I wanted to listen intently but there was just too many distractions. Anyone might know the tune? If I hear it again, I'll know it for sure.Erika - Shelby Twp Mich, Mi
I had to actually teach my husband who Mick Jagger was when we went to the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame. I scolded him for quite some time saying that he must have been in a coma or something to be that ignorant about music. We're working on the 70's rock n roll collection now. He still is resistant to even listen to one Pink Floyd album. Drives me crazy!Erika - Shelby Twp Mich, Mi
O.K. Ready for this? Years ago a hippie friend of mine told me that this song was mostly about or to Mick Taylor because Jagger and Taylor "had a thing" and Taylor was leaving the band. If you listen with headphones, notice that he says 'Angie' at first and then he starts to say 'Andy' from then on out. Regardless of weather it is about Taylor or not, Jagger was brilliant in 'cross-gendering' the song. I now many 'gays' that were/are huge fans from back in the day and I'm sure many picked up on this. Listen again and count how many times he says Angie/ Andy.John - New Orleans, La
This is such a beautiful song about love and letting go. It has resonated throughout my life and relationships. And I'm an Angie, too!Angie - Martinez, Ga
this song was written by mick for angela bowie!!!Demian - Buenos Aires, Argentina
I think it's about me.Angie - Schnecksville, Pa
LOVE LOVE LOVE this song :)
I like the fact that no one knows exactly who this song was written for, except of course for mick and keith. It kind of adds to the whole allure of it, since no one knows for sure then it can apply to anyone you want and that's beautiful.
Stephanie - Los Angeles, Ca
Here's the definitive answer of the song's meaning.
It written about all of our Angie!
I'm sure many of you had an Angie in your life, perhaps her name was not Angie, but the words, the feelings are there regardless what her name was!
This song is dedicated to all the "Angies" out there!
Demetris - Skoutari, Greece
Here's the definitive answer of the song's meaning.
It written about all of our Angie!
I'm sure many of you had an Angie in your life, perhaps her name was not Angie, but the words, the feelings are there regardless what her name was!
This song is dedicated to all the "Angies" out there!
Demetris - Skoutari, Greece
Dandelion Richard was barely out of the womb when this song would have been written/composed, so I'm guessing it is about Marianne with a little bit of Anita thrown in. Per earler comment, there is no doubt "Wild Horses" is re Marianne... Just look at Mick's expression when the song is played in the Gimme Shelter film!Denise - Cali, Switzerland
Angie..the song is about ANITA pALLENBURGChris - Niagara Falls, Ny
my little sister was named after this song!Rosario - Naples, Fl
Why all the concern about who Angie is. I'm perfectly willing to accept Keith Richard's daughter as the inspiration for the title. Can you imagine if it was "Debbie" or "Kathy", etc. How would that sound? It is a great lyrical word for Jagger to expand on. When you consider the Stones' roots as found in songs they have covered (especially Love in Vain, as the best example) from US southern blues musicians, it fits right in. SPECULATING on the nuances of a song without any real info is the sign of a mindless fan, or not a real fan at all. Remember the Beatles' "A Day in the Life" when everyone thought Paul had died? Now he is still going, one of only two left.Alan - Somewhere, Nc
Seriously, though, this song is the most haunting I think I've ever heard come out of a radio in over 40 years. It starts with two people, and deconstructs them, limb by limb -- their emotions for one another, their financial means, their beauty in each others' eyes, their dreams, their mutual touch, kisses, their mental images of each other, until, at the end, we're asked rhetorically, "Hey, ain't it good to be alive?" -- finally taking away all reason for living. Only song I can think of that even barely approaches it in soul-wrenching quality is "No Regrets" and the associated acoustic guitar instrumental solo tune whose name I've forgotten, both by Tom Rush.Fred - Laurel, Md
Hey, gang, as long as we're postulating outlandishly about the subject of this song, how about this? Those clouds in the opening aren't referring to Carly Simon's 'clouds in my coffee,' but to Joni Mitchell's 'clouds that only block the sun' in "Both Sides Now." And then the 'no money in our coats' refers to "Marcie in a coat of flowers," the opening line of her song, "Marcie" (about the girl after a breakup!--well, really more of an abandonment, but...). Then 'all those nights...dreams going up in smoke'--are from "Night in the City" and 'dreams' from "Both Sides Now" and "Circle Game." So Angie is really Joni! OK, now I'm trying to work out how Angie is really Los Angeles. Didn't the Stones have a harrowing time in LA during their 1965 U.S. tour, prompting them to write "19th Nervous Breakdown"? Just read the lyrics again, with that picture in mind, and see how well that fits! OK, now that you're all convinced of that, here's how it really refers to Angela Cartwright, the little girl on The Danny Thomas Show...OK, would you believe Angela Lansbury, who was already famous by then in the title role in the Broadway musical, "Mame"?...Fred - Laurel, Md
I was surprised by all the attention Angie Bowie received for saying in 1990 on the THE JOAN RIVERS SHOW that she caught Mick and David in bed together, purely because I'd read the same exact information ten years before in an article Angie Bowie wrote for "Us Magazine" in 1981! I saw that JOAN RIVERS SHOW episode in 1990, and the only reason Angie was on that show was that she claimed she had FOR THE FIRST TIME the legal right to talk about her marriage with David, and so she was going to reveal some NEW gossip. So when she told the Mick-and-David story, I thought, "But she told that story almost ten years ago! Wouldn't the legal ban have applied in 1981?" I was disappointed because it was not new news to me! but it seemed to be new to everyone else! I guess that's just the power of TV over print.Susan - Toronto, Canada
i was named after this song. my dad loves the rolling stones and david bowie.Angie - Whiteriver, Az
I really love the stones and have from the first time I heard them. Paint It Black drives me crazy. I don't exagerate, I've listened to that song more than 1,000 times. This song ANGIE has always made me get emotional when I heard it. Ever since 1973 when I first heard this track from Goat's Head Soup, I have wanted to attach an immage to the song. I just met my real 'Angie' and found my stairway to heaven. And yes I do think it's the best Stones song, but folks, it doesn't ven come close to "STAIRWAY TO HEAVEN". That's the best ballad in any language ever!Jim - San Dego, Ca
I was named after this song. My legal name IS Angie, NOT Angela. I love the fact I'm named after the song, except my life (relationships) is exactly like the lyrics. It's like a curse. Oh well, I still like it and I'm proud to be named after it...oh and I really had no idea about the David Bowie stuff until I read this and what a coincidence--my dad (who chose my name) has been told he looks like Bowie!Angie - Largo, Fl
I was told that this is a John Lennon's song and he gave it to Jagger has a giftYogui - San Luis Potosi, Mexico
The Bowie/Jagger in the sheets writing rumor was started by Angie Bowie on the Joan Rivers show. After her divorce from Bowie she was not allowed to publically speak about their marriage or their break-up. She was on Rivers' show along with Howard Stern. Stern was the one who pulled the Mick and Dave in bed writing story out of her. She claimed she was out all night and came home and found them in the sack. They said they were writing songs. One of them was Angie. Like a good English housewife she then served them breakfast. It was shocking. The most surprised of all was Keith Richards. He wrote the song about Himself and Anita Pallenberg. Golden Years was another song Angie claimed was written about her. Bowie wrote for Elvis Presley.Lou - Scranton, Pa
The guy from WA who thinks the song is about Carly Simon.....NO, Just because they mention "clouds" means nothing. I agree the title is Keiths daughter.Phylis - New York, Ny
Fact or fiction? I have been told that the song Angie by the Rolling Stones was not written by Keith nor Mick. It was actually written by a man who wrote the song about his wife and sold it to studio musicians who then innovated and changed the song slightly to make it more marketable. Also I would like to nullify any suspicion of the song being written about Angela Richards. The lyrics simply do not make sense if you look at it that way.Andy - Kitchener, Canada
shows what I know - I thought it was about Angie Dickinson!

~Jillian from Cincinnati
Jillian - Cincinnati, Oh
I Love This Song!!!!! In the video Mick is wearing yellow nail polish it's kind of weird, but I still think he's hot!! Love the song!!!!!!Shannan - Wilmington, De
makes me sry every time *sniffle*
just brings up too many memories.
Lexie - Haifa, Israel
DAVID BOWIE!!!! IS ANGIE!!! DANCIN' IN THE SHEETS!!!Desdemona - London, England
As a kid I remember wondering if the song was about me......ha. Anywho, it's beautiful. I try to strum it once in awhile on my sons acoustic.Angie - Ocean Springs, Ms
This song has some magical effect; very good one! perhaps a lot of repeat in the melody, as the Stones often do, but at this one it's not disturbing, but very good actuallyBram - Zoetermeer, Netherlands
I love it.. was named for it.Yes, I'm the child of ex-hippies! Angela Sunshine. Now tell me dose it get any better? Hell no! I've alway been a big fan for some reason??Angela - Mobile, Al
Best song ever done by the Stones. If it were not for this song I would not have a name. I was named after this song, and my name is not Angela it is Angie.Angie - Brooklyn Park, Mn
During one of The Stones' tours when people were talking about how old they were (which people have been doing since the 80's; I don't remember exactly when this was), I saw a cartoon that showed two versions of Mick: on the left side he was above a caption that said "THEN" sensually singing "ANGIE!"; on the right he was above a caption that said "NOW" holding his heart and screaming "ANGINA!!"Fyodor - Denver, Co
One of the few Rolling Stones love ballads.Homero - Monterrey , Mexico
Hey Steve from Washington, as you may know, Mick actually sings backup on Carly Simon's "Your So Vain." I think if he were her mystery man, he would've picked up on it....and since Mick is indeed so vain...surely would've told the world "the song is about me!"Rick - Atlanta, Ga
Angie was written aimed to hit the US market , in fact it was the first n1
The music wasn`t even written by `Jagger/Richards` , at the time they worked with two talented session musicians, a piano player called Nicky Hopkins and a guitar player
See the credits in `goats Head soup`, mentions
`string arrangements` by Nicky Harrison.
Angie is a piano song, Jagger and Richards
don`t have the musicianship to write such piece,
it was the typical case when the industry forces musicians to put a n1 hit . It happens all the time in the industry.
They might have written the lyrics or sort of cooperated,
Needless to say, the stones always hated the song, at the time of the acoustic hype of MTV unplugged the started to play it again live.
( no trying to offend stonians, I love the stones , if people only knew the cases where songs are written by session musicians, well, it won`t be a big business...today they don`t even appear on the credits, anyway
Diane warren writes for many mega artists , and she is known, she also has a website )
Juanduran - Rio, Brazil
wot a beautiful song, maybe not one of the stones best, but one of their most meaningful, anyone who has had to let someone they love go can surely relate to this songDavid - Merseyside, England
I heard it was supposed to be about Anita Pallenberg. Like "anita-i-need-ya" or something weird like that.Angela - London, Europe
Great song. Very slow and different then a lot of other stuff the Stones do.Jim - Philadelphia, Pa
I think this song is Mick's answer to "You're So Vain" by Carly Simon. Remember she keeps talking about clouds in her coffee? This song starts out "when will those clouds all disappear?" Therefore you're so vain is about Mick. Angie is Carley Mystery solved.Steve - Graham, Wa
Yeah. I don't have any Stones albums except for Exile on Main Street, but I have listened to them enough to know that they did plenty of acoustic songs.Stefanie - Rock Hill, Sc
Are you people deaf??? Put on some headphones and listen to Mick carefully. For the first minute of the song he sings Angie. But from about 1:15 till the end of the song he signs Andy about half the time. This song is Mick's way of telling Andy Warhol goodbye. Andy used to do some of the Stones album covers, but not after this song. Now that you know who the song is about listen to the words again. "There ain't a woman that comes close to you..." "Everywhere I look I see your eyes..."Tom - National Parks, United States
This is my favorite song of all times! It almost makes you want to cry. It's a very mellow slow song that is great to listen to when you're depressed over a love that went bad.Brittany - Richmond, Ky
One of the uppper comments states that this is one of the few acoustic Stones songs. WRONG! The Stones were very acoustic, both before and after writing this song. i.e. Street Fighting Man, Jumping Jack Flash, As Tears Go By, Paint It Black, Wild Horses, Sister Morphine, Moonlight Mile; Waiting on a Friend, It's Only Rock 'n' Roll, Til the Next Goodbye, and almost the entire album/CD of Exile on Mainstreet! The person who said the Stones have few acoustic songs obviously doesn't really know the Stones.Robert - Milwaukee, Wi
To whoever said they have a connection to Keith Richard's daughter that's wicked cool. I was just wondering if you ever met Keith Richard himself because that would be awesome beyond compare. Anyways this song is great and the Rolling Stones are great.Toby - Burlington, Va
This Song was used at the German Elections 2005! The conservative party (CDU) used it on their events... because the title was similiar to their female candidat "Angela Merkel"... really funny, because "Angie" is not a happy song :D ... well... i didnt voted for them, but they unfortunatly made it into the gouvernment :/Marius - Lüneburg, Germany
In a Rolling Stone Magazine interview with Mick, he said he didn't know what the song was about, just a made up name by Keith.Tom - Brisbane
He does not say inject at all, i think your injecting!Jeremy - Warren , Ri
Actually alot of the early Stones material was acoustic. Keith Richards liked the raw sound he got when he stuck the little microphones from the tape recorders in the soundhole of his acoustic because it would overdrive the recorder to get that raw sound. Example Street Fighting Man.Chris - Apex, Nc
what the hell kind of fact is "This is one of the few Rolling Stones songs that is acoustic"?? One of the few, except for all the acoustic numbers from Beggar's Banquet through Exile on Main StreetKevin - Carteret, Nj
listen to the song!!!! he's not saying "angie, angie", he's saying "i inject, i inject". the rest of the song makes perfect sense!!Lyzette - Moorpark, Ca
This song is about Angie Bowie like Wild horses was written about Mr. Ed! Stones,Fenway here I come!!Jeremy - Warren , Ri
I read that Jagger told Angie Bowie that if she continued to say the song was written about her he would sue her.Robert - Rotorua, New Zealand
I love this song...definitely one of my favoritesShea - Laguna Hills, Ca
I have met Angela Richards a few times as she is a friend of a friend. she is a very nice girl and not how you might expect her to of turned out given the reputation of her parents. I asked her this very question and she told me that it was written for her.Adrian - London, England
"Angie" is a symptom of The Rolling Stones' greatness, as it demonstrates their ability to turn out great songs in many different ways, not just the hard-edged style that they are best known for. Diverse styles is a good sign of a great artist/band (This applies to many other greats: Bowie, Beatles, Madonna, U2...)Eric - Cincinnati, Oh
After Exile, great Stones' songs were few and far-between, but this is definitely the Stones' best ballad, and maybe their last GREAT song.Jake - Toronto, Canada
All this speculation on the meaning of the song, and everyone leaves out the one that is correct: Keith Richards wrote most of the lyrics, the song is about Anita Pallenberg, as was Wild Horses, another acoustic Stones song.Tom - Newark, De
perfect breakup song.Melissa - Mission Viejo, Ca
i was sure, i was positive, that the lyrics went angel, angel, where will it lead us from here? and that the song was named angel. and i loved it. but then i'd always here people talking about some song named "angie" and i'd be like: whats that? until finally i learned the truth, the name of the song is angie! well it should have been angel!Charlie - Thomaston, Ct
Just when I thought I had The Stones figured out, they wrote this beautiful, heartfelt ballad. My friend friend,Angie, used to listen to this song over, and over, and over again...Paula - Houston, Tx
Don is right, most Stones songs have at least an acoustic base underlying them. Just a few more examples: "Sweet Virginia", "Jumpin' Jack Flash", "You Can't Always Get What You Want", "Prodigal Son" and "Paint It Black" were all acoustic based songs. He started using acoustic more when he started messing around with open tunings around 1968.
The overdriven sound was actually achieved by taking the wired microphone of a cheap cassette recorder and dropping it in the soundhole of his Gibson Hummingbird acoustic guitar, then overloading the recorder's input stage. (Information from Guitar World Acoustic, #58, with Keith Richards on the cover)
Logan - Abilene, Tx
To hear this song Live was worth the $120 ticket ticket!Myrene - Papakura, New Zealand
One of the best songs ever, definitely the best by the StonesVictor - Vienna, Va
I have to take offense at the "fact", "One of the few Rolling Stones songs that is acoustic". Here is a SHORT list of acoustic Stones songs. "Wild Horses", "As Tears Go By", "Dead Flowers", "Sweet Black Angel", and, beleive it or not, "Street Fighting Man" (the guitar part is an acoustic with a pick up attached and then plugged directly into the mixing board to get that overdriven sound. Pete Townsend did the same thing on "Pinball Wizard").Don - Rapid City, Sd
Was NOT entirely written by Jagger. Keith wrote all the music, and added the title, which was inspired by his newly born daughter Angela. The strings gave this tune a very uncharacteristic Stonessound.Chelsea - Nyc, Or