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Miss You by The Rolling Stones

Album: Some GirlsReleased: 1978Charted:
1
3
  • The lyrics were seemingly inspired by Mick Jagger's deteriorating relationship with his wife, Bianca. Jagger, has claimed otherwise, saying: "'Miss You' is an emotion, it's not really about a girl. To me, the feeling of longing is what the song is."
  • Session musicians included Sugar Blue (James Whiting) on harmonica, Mel Collins on sax and Ian MacLagan on electric piano. Collins had played with King Crimson, MacLagan had been in the band Faces with Stones guitarist Ron Wood. Sugar Blue was from Harlem, but was playing in the Paris metro (their subway) when someone from The Stones record company heard him and brought him to the sessions.
  • The bassline, horns and drums gave this a disco sound. It alienated many of their fans, but also propelled it to the top of the charts. The Stones thought of it as more R&B than Disco.
    Drummer Charlie Watts explained: "A lot of those songs like 'Miss You' were heavily influenced by going to the discos. You can hear it in a lot of those four on the floor rhythms and the Philadelphia-style drumming. Mick and I used to go to discos a lot... It was a great period. I remember being in Munich and coming back from a club with Mick singing one of the Village People songs - 'Y.M.C.A.', I think it was - and Keith went mad, but it sounded great on the dance floor." (thanks, Bertrand - Paris, France)
  • The first single released from Some Girls. Jagger took a lead role on the album, mainly because Keith Richards had been arrested for drug possession in Toronto the previous year, and it was unclear what his sentence would be. Facing a maximum of life in prison, Keith had other things to worry about besides making an album. After this was released, the Canadian judge sentenced Richards to continue his addiction treatment and play a benefit concert for the blind.
  • Jagger and Billy Preston came up with the basic track while touring Europe in 1976. Stones bassist Bill Wyman said: "The idea for those bass lines came from Billy Preston. We'd cut a rough demo a year or so earlier after a recording session. I'd already gone home, and Billy picked up my old bass when they started running through that song. He started doing that bit because it seemed to be the style of his left hand. So when we finally came to do the tune, the boys said, Why don't you work around Billy's idea? So I listened to it once and heard that basic run and took it from there. It took some changing and polishing, but the basic idea was Billy's." (thanks, Bertrand - Paris, France)
  • The same day they recorded this, The Stones came up with the idea for "Start Me Up."
  • This is a rare Stones song with a dominant bassline. Many of their songs were driven by the rhythm guitar of Keith Richards.
  • This was the first song The Stones released as a 12-inch single. It was an extended dance mix that ran 8:36 and was released on pink vinyl. This version is not available on CD.
  • This was the last #1 hit for The Rolling Stones. (thanks, Ali - San Francisco, CA)
  • In the book Playboy Interviews with John Lennon & Yoko Ono (the book version has sections that were edited out of the official interview published in the magazine), Lennon is quoted as saying: "'Bless You' is again about Yoko. I think Mick Jagger took 'Bless You' and turned it into 'Miss You'... The engineer kept wanting me to speed that up--he said, 'This is a hit song if you'd just do it fast.' He was right. 'Cause as 'Miss You' it turned into a hit. I like Mick's record better. I have no ill feelings about it. I think it's a GREAT Stones track, and I really love it. But I do hear that lick in it." (thanks, Susan - Toronto, Canada)
  • Blues legend Etta James covered this on her year 2000 album Matriarch Of The Blues. It was usually the other way around for The Stones, as they covered many Blues songs in their early years.
  • Van Halen used the bassline to this on their 1981 song "Push Comes To Shove."
  • Mick Jagger and Keith Richards performed this at the 2001 "Concert For New York," which helped victims of the attacks on The World Trade Center.
  • In 2002, Dr. Dre re-mixed this for the Austin Powers In: Goldmember soundtrack. (thanks, Greg - Calgary, United States)
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Comments: 24

The missing lyrics referencing girls and streetcars may have been edited (butchered) by radio programmers. The lyrics are on all of my copies, both vinyl and CD. This is not the first time that political correctness has reared its ugly head and edited the art of the singer. Who Are You...by The Who has also been edited by radio stations recently. I am flabbergasted that censorship has gotten to this level. We really have gone NUTS here in the good ole US of A!Glenn - New Paltz, Ny
[the book Jagger Unauthorized by chistopher anderson says this song is was inspired by micks studio 54 nights with jerry hall pg 336- Iceman, South Glastonbury, CT]
Nonsense, Anderson was a hack. It's most likely about Bianca. The song was written before he began his affair with Jerry Hall, and recorded while he was living with Hall, separated from Bianca. The song is about loss, the pain of separation - that's what gave/gives it resonance. In an interview before his death, Lennon, talking about the song, said, 'It's sad, but at least Mick got a song out of his divorce from Bianca.'
Diva1 - Pasadena, Tx
The opening line of this song always sounded to me like "I've been haulin' ass so long". I knew that I was hearing wrong because I don't think you can say that on the radio, but I could never figure out what the actual words were.Jay - Brooklyn, Ny
Molly Roseburg, OR
Wow! I can't believe someone actually heard the same line in "Miss You" as I did ~ "girls will come and go, they're just like streetcars." Thank you Molly, I thought I was crazy. Thank you, I can finally get some "satisfaction".
W. Emerson
Walda - Clearwater, Fl
Sugar Blue's harp makes this good song great.Russell - Chicago, Il
The "disco version" extended lyrics are as follows:

Yeah, we gonna do up this town
We gonna mess and fool around
Hey Man! What's with you?
Yeah, you been strung out for too long
You know girls will come and go
They're just like streetcars!
I said, I been standing here too long
You know something, I feel abandoned!
Woo Baby!
Lee - Atlanta, Ga
I agree, the bass line makes this song. One of my favorite Stone's song. Keith has said many times that he initially hated this song and that Mick was up to his ass in the disco/ cub scene, which Keith wanted to keep it rock.Danny - Your Town, Ia
The song is amazing...the 8:30 minute cut is sweetChris - Niagara Falls, Ny
This is one of the alltime jams in the history of music. Makes me get funkyMick - Manchester, England
The disco beat sounds really exciting. In the '70s the disco beat became really common with the Rolling Stones, didn't it? I've been a Rolling Stones fan for a long time now. If you Stones continue, I wish you guys the best of luck!Andrew - Birmingham, United States
In 1987 Prince performed onstage with the Stones in London. He told them that he wished he'd written the song, "Miss You". If you know Prince at all you know this is an ultimate compliment.Linda - Ocean Park, Wa
The 12" version has extra lyrics, including the "girls will come and go" part.

The song was written AFTER Start me up. Start me up, as a reggae song, was 1st conceived in 1973.

This was NOT the Stones last #1 single. Start me up was.

Mick & Keith performed this at the 9-11 show, as well as Salt of the Earth. But, the announcer didnt realise Keith was in the band, and said "Ladies and Gentlemen, please thank Mick Jagger". Mick looked over at Keith and the two of them laughed their heads off at the error.
Craig - Melbourne, Australia
this tune always gets stuck in my headEric - Hastings, Mn
RE: Molly's comment. I too remember the line. I don't know what happened to it.Rick - Grapevine, Tx
MISS YOU,BY THE ROLLING STONES,SEEMS,TO HAVE CHANGED LYRICS,FROM THE ORIGINAL,MISS YOU,WRITEEN BY CHARLES TOBIAS,IN 1929,AND IM GETTING PAID,FOR THAT SONG TODAY.JOHN LENNON,ACCUSED,MICK JAGGER,IN 1980,OF USING HIS SONG,MISS YOU,AND CHANGING THE LYRICS.IT SOUNDS,THE LYRICS WERE CHANGE,BY THE 1929,VERSION,BY CHARLES TOBIAS,BY THE ROLLING STONES.Jeffrey Tobias - Portland, Or
When "Miss You" first came out, I swear there were more words, right after the lines about bringing a case of wine and messing and fooling around like we used to. The words said something like, "girls will come and go, they're just like streetcars." I can't be the only one who remembers this! Did the single get edited so as not to offend feminists or something?Molly - Roseburg, Or
Sugar Blue contributed more than harmonica on Miss You. He co-wrote the music. Unfortunately, as in almost all cases of somebody outside of Keith collaborating, he received no credit. An original of the sheet music exsists with Sugar Blue's name on it.
The Some Girls Sessions yielded 6 songs featuring Sugar Blue on four albums. "Miss You" "Some Girls" "Down in the Hole" "Send it to Me" "Everything is Turning to Gold" "Black Limousine"
Steve - Culver City, Ca
the book Jagger Unauthorized by chistopher anderson says this song is was inspired by micks studio 54 nights with jerry hall pg 336Iceman - South Glastonbury, Ct
My favorite Stones song, and yep, the bass on this song is great!Amy - Dallas, Tx
Yes, that's true Joey. Why don't more people comment? Jeez, this is one of the stones best songs! People who think it's disco should listen to Emotional Rescue, which is a piece of crap. Sry stones, but c'mon. Good thing they rebounded with tatoo you a year later.Johnny - Los Angeles, Ca
Bill Wyman's bass playing on this is incredible. Most people pay attention to the harmonica riff, but the bass is also what drives the song.Joey - Boston, Ma
i once heard that the "Miss You" riff was written by Rory Gallagher and stolen by Keith Richards... i dont know if it's completely true, but i believe i read it in an interview with Gallagher's bass player Gerry McAvoyTy - Canal Fulton, Oh
Mick Jagger told John Lennon that if he speeded up "Scared" it would be a hit.

John told him "You do it" and thats how Miss you came about
Marc - Philadelphia, Pa
John Lennon said in one of his final interviews in 1980 that he suspected "Miss You" was a direct rip-off of his 1974 song "Scared", changing the lyrics and speeding up his song.Dana - Louisville, Ky