Neighbours

Album: Tattoo You (1981)
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Songfacts®:

  • This is a tale of neighbors from hell inspired by real events in the life of Keith Richards. He was always getting complaints for playing his music too loud, and was evicted from his New York apartment in 1981.
  • The Rolling Stones kept the British spelling of the title, rendering it "Neighbours" on the Tattoo You track list, even in America.
  • Jazz great Sonny Rollins played the sax solo. He also appears on the tracks "Slave" and "Waiting On A Friend."
  • Tattoo You was put together using outtakes of songs from earlier albums. They started working on "Neighbours" in 1979, hoping to use it on their 1980 album Emotional Rescue.
  • "Neighbours" wasn't released as a single, but it did get a music video. The Tattoo You album was released around the same time MTV went on the air in 1981, and The Rolling Stones had a huge presence on the network that year. They enlisted Michael Lindsay-Hogg, who had been making promotional films with them since the '60s, to direct the videos for the album. "Start Me Up" and "Hang Fire" just show the band performing in a studio, but "Neighbours" had a ready-made concept, showing Mick Jagger screaming out a window and shots of private moments in various apartments. It's an idea lifted from the Alfred Hitchcock film Rear Window.

Comments: 6

  • Michael from Delafield, WiKevin, the song about being lazy is "Hang Fire". I love this verse:

    "You know marrying money is a full time job
    I don't need the aggravation
    I'm a lazy slob
    I hang fire, I hang fire
    Hang fire, put it on the wire "

    Great!
  • M from Psl, FlA rolling stone gathers no moss!
  • Danny from Your Town, IaI think one of the earlier ones Mick wrote about Keith would be "Let It Loose."
  • Kevin from Reading , PaI always thought this song was the Stones being lazy, just not trying too hard. It's kind of an obnoxious song, with Mick yelling "neighbors" over and over against a beating snare drum. Not one of the album's highlights.
  • Steve from Culver City, CaHaving been written in 1981, I doubt if it was the "first" song Jagger wrote about Keith Richards. How about "Let it Bleed" or "Dead Flowers"?
  • Johnny from Los Angeles, CaFirst song Mick wrote about Keith? Really?
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