Little By Little

Album: The Rolling Stones (1964)

Songfacts®:

  • This was an early Stones effort at the Blues. It was released as the B-side of "Not Fade Away."
  • Phil Spector produced this and played the maracas.
  • This is credited to Phil Spector and Nanker Phelge, which is a goofy name for a Jagger/Richards composition. "Nanker" was a wacky face they would make to amuse each other, "Phelge" was a roommate of Keith Richards whom he considered "The most disgusting person ever."
  • Gene Pitney played the piano. Says Pitney: "When I stopped in from Paris one time and Phil Spector was in London and Andrew Oldham called me from the hotel and told me he was having a terrible time because he was trying to do what was the follow up to I Wanna Be Your Man and all the boys hated each other that day and he had them in a little dinky studio in Denmark Street and he couldn't get them to do anything. I had 5 fifths of cognac that I was bringing home, so I took one fifth over to the studio and I told them it was a custom in my family that when anybody had a birthday, that everybody had a water glass of cognac until the bottle was empty. So, we ended up with a hell of a session and I played piano and Phil Spector played an empty cognac bottle with a half dollar, clicking it, and we played on the flip side which was Little By Little." >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Bertrand - Paris, France

Comments: 1

  • Alastair from Stranraer, United KingdomThe chord sequence is based on Jimmy Reed's 'Shame Shame Shame' . But the new lyrics speak to the Stones target audience. A great beat number.
see more comments

Editor's Picks

Rock Revenge SongsMusic Quiz

John Lennon, Paul Simon and Lynyrd Skynyrd are some of the artists who have written revenge songs. Do you know who they wrote them about?

Crystal WatersSongwriter Interviews

Waters tells the "Gypsy Woman" story, shares some of her songwriting insights, and explains how Dennis Rodman ended up on one of her songs.

A Monster Ate My Red Two: Sesame Street's Greatest Song SpoofsSong Writing

When singers started spoofing their own songs on Sesame Street, the results were both educational and hilarious - here are the best of them.

La La Brooks of The CrystalsSong Writing

The lead singer on "Da Doo Ron Ron" and "Then He Kissed Me," La La explains how and why Phil Spector replaced The Crystals with Darlene Love on "He's A Rebel."

Jules Shear - "All Through The Night"They're Playing My Song

Shears does very little promotion, which has kept him secluded from the spotlight. What changed when Cyndi Lauper had a hit with his song? Not much, really.

Brenda RussellSongwriter Interviews

Brenda talks about the inspiration that drove her to write hit songs like "Get Here" and "Piano in the Dark," and why a lack of formal music training can be a songwriter's best asset.