This is a reggae-influenced song. Most of their previous album, Goats Head Soup, was recorded in Jamaica.
Keith Richards got the idea for this from a song that came on the radio while he was driving in Munich.
The lyrics tell the tale of a poor laborer working long hours while his boss at the oil refinery gets rich.
The CD version contains an extra 30 seconds which was left off the original.
Ray Cooper played percussion on this track. A British session musician, he played on most of Elton John's albums in the '70s, and has also recorded with Paul McCartney, Eric Clapton, and Roger Waters.
Mike from Framingham, MaThis riff and the whole truthful story did and still does blow my mind. Shows the uniqueness of the Stones and always lifts my spirits. I love their aggressive, funky, rocking sound and this song ecapsulates it perfectly just like Jumping Jack Flash and Beast of Burden IMO.
Johnny from Los Angeles, CaI thought it was about a wife, but right now is the first time I heard it.
"Islands in the Stream" was originally written by The Bee Gees as an R&B song. It was originally written by the brothers for Marvin Gaye, however it was recorded instead as a duet by Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton with the Gibb Brothers also contributing vocals.