No Expectations

Album: Beggars Banquet (1968)

Songfacts®:

  • When Rolling Stones founder Brian Jones died in 1969, this song took on new meaning, as lyrics like "Our love is like our music, it's here and then it's gone" made it a fitting elegy. Jones' slide guitar on the song was one of his last meaningful contributions to the group; after years of drug addiction and squabbles with the band, he was fired from the group in June 1969 and died less than a month later.

    Mick Jagger explained: "That's Brian playing steel guitar. We were sitting around in a circle on the floor, singing and playing, recording with open mikes. That was the last time I remember Brian really being totally involved in something that was really worth doing. He was there with everyone else. It's funny how you remember - but that was the last moment I remember him doing that, because he had just lost interest in everything." >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Bertrand - Paris, France
  • The Stones performed this on Rock and Roll Circus, a British TV special The Stones taped in 1968, but never aired. Brian Jones played this with a passion he was clearly losing as drugs took over his life. Rock and Roll Circus was released on video in 1995.
  • Nicky Hopkins, who also played with The Who and The Beatles, played piano on this.
  • Lenny Kravitz opened several shows for The Rolling Stones in 1994, and was invited onstage to jam with them at a Cleveland show. Kravitz helped out Mick Jagger in 2001, co-writing, performing on, and producing his song "God Gave Me Everything." >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Bertrand - Paris, France, for above 2
  • This song was featured in the 1978 ant-war film Coming Home, with Jane Fonda and John Voight. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Michael - LA, CA

Comments: 8

  • Dewayne from Huntsville AlKravitz also teamed with Jagger on a cover of Bill Withers' "Use Me" on Jagger's solo Wandering Spirit.
  • Tanya from La Verne, CaThis song is so heartbreaking. You can feel the downtrodden nature of the subject's life/love. Add the history with Brian Jones. Oh man, I need a Kleenex.
  • Zero from Nowhere, NjI think the line, "Our love is like our music, it's here and then it's gone," refers to Brain's slowly dying passion for music. Kinda sad.
  • Wayne from Salem, VaA very good Rolling Stones song from a very good album. A slow bluesy compassionate tune.During their 1989 Steel Wheels Tour. They showed a concert on T.V. with Eric Clapton playing on "Little Red Rooster". And Axl Rose and Gilby Clarke did this song with The Stones. Axl had requested to do this. Guns-n-Roses opened up for The Stones on a few of their "Steel Wheels" tour dates. Anyway,after they finished doing "No Expectations" on T.V.---Mick Jagger said "That's the first time we've ever done that number on stage,I'll tell you that much".


  • Shannan from Wilmington, DeThis is a wonderful song, but it is really sad how Brian isn't playing with the same musical passion as before. He was a great person and I really miss his music and him. R.I.P. Brian. He made one of the best rock bands ever and never had enough credit for it. I'm glad that the Stones continued and made more great music. The Rolling Stones forever!!!
  • Andrew from New York, United StatesYes, the slide part is Open-E, based mainly around the 12th and 5th frets, and a lot of fun to play. I also love Keith's rhythm part, based around an open C chord, fingered without the index (1st) finger, then slid up to the 5th fret, where it becomes an E chord- barre the first 3 strings behind, at the 4th fret. For the following A9 chord, you just move your 3rd & 4th fingers one string higher, and don't pick the 6th string. VERY cool, and so typically Keith -- sounds great, but not difficult to pull off.
  • Steve from New York City, NySuch an amazing song. Great slide.
  • Emmett from Milwaukee, WiOpen E tuning, E B E G# B E. Great slide tune, and one of the stones' best songs, the progression to the piano at the end is perfect.
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