Mick Jagger co-wrote, recorded and performed this poignant, atmospheric song as the theme tune for the Apple Original series Slow Horses.
The thriller series is about a group of spies exiled to Slough House because of their career-ending mistakes. There, the service rejects are doomed to spend their remaining years enduring dull, paper-pushing tasks. "Strange Game" highlights the show's narrative of yearning "to get back in that game" and "dance with the big boys again."
Jagger co-wrote the song film composer Daniel Pemberton (Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse, The Trial Of The Chicago 7, Oceans 8 and Yesterday). Pemberton also composed the Slow Horses score.
Mick Jagger wrote "Strange Game" after reading the Mick Herron book on which Slow Horses is based. After Pemberton sent him the track, Jagger penned a few pages of notes of what he thought it was about, then did the lyrics. "I just recorded it on my iPhone and sent it to him, and he loved it," he told Variety. "And then we had to do a bit of crafting, trying to get a chorus, calling it 'Strange Game' and trying to get the verses from the point of view of the main character."
Pemberton and Jagger collaborated on the project over Zoom calls, e-mails and text messages. "I played him the track on guitar," said Pemberton. "I'm not even a good guitarist. That was very weird, playing guitar for Mick Jagger on the Zoom line."