Play With Fire

Album: Out Of Our Heads (1965)
Charted: 96
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  • This started out as an up-tempo song called "A Mess Of Fire." It's a "don't mess with me" song, with Mick Jagger addressing a well-heeled woman to let her know he's not intimidated by her riches.
  • Mick Jagger and Keith Richards are the only Stones to play on this. The other Stones went to sleep after a long session while producer Phil Spector filled in on bass and his assistant, Jack Nitzsche, played harpsichord. They left to tour Australia the next day.

    Nitzsche was a prolific producer who also scored many movies, including The Exorcist and One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest. He died in 2000 at age 63.
  • Mick Jagger (1995): "It's a very in-your-face kind of sound and very clearly done. You can hear all the vocal stuff on it. And I'm playing the tambourine, the vocal line. You know, it's very pretty. Keith and me (wrote that). I mean, it just came out. It was just kind of rich girls' families - society as you saw it. It's painted in this naive way in these songs. I don't know if it was daring. It just hadn't been done." >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Bertrand - Paris, France
  • A janitor at the studio sang backup. At the end of an all-night session Jagger and Richards were the only Stones still awake, and they were desperate for another voice.
  • This was released as the B-side of "The Last Time," and does not appear on the English version of Out Of Our Heads. In England it was customary to not include single releases on albums.
  • This was featured in the 2007 movie The Darjeeling Limited. It's a rare instance of an entire song being used in a film.
  • Ron Wood, who joined the band on guitar in 1975, loves this song and lobbied to get it in their setlists. He got his wish when the band started playing it on their 2018 tour for the first time since their 1989 Steel Wheels tour.

Comments: 16

  • Paul English from DublinHi, I'm curious about the comment that the janitor sang backup on the song. In my innocence, I can only hear Jagger's vocal. Am I missing something? Fantastic song. 2 Stones with Phil, Jack & the janitor - if only they made an album like this!
  • Baden Chapman from Queensland, Australia I thought the song was about Princess Margaret also.
  • Suzie Tafoya from Sacramento, CaliforniaI Myself believe 'Play With Fire' is a song about Princess Margaret.
  • Fox Red Lab from Ig3 9rd I think this song is about Marianne faithfull
  • AnonymousI took it as a daughter with drug addiction. “me” is the drug. She recovers but faces the possibility of relapse.
  • K from St. Augustine, Flwho was the janitor that sang backup? Does anyone know?
  • Esskayess from Dallas, TxAlso used in the jarring movie 'Shoot the Moon.'
  • Leelee from Stockton, CaOne of there best songs. The topic of the song is more along the lines of the view of the Father. The mother wasnt faithfull so mr bigshot kicked her to the curb. After clarifying that he lets his daughter know that she can have diamonds and other things, or go live with your mother..
  • Carlos from Santa Rita,As already written, this music is about a warning.
  • Tim from Shaftesbury, Englandi agree with R in montreal...considering the time 1965 when rock and roll was still considered
    to be "an evil" by alot of society especially the USA..."bad girls" could rebel by showing their approval (genuinely too)..especially those with money who could probably access people like mick....and jagger is saying..i know where you come from (you probably even get an allowance from daddy ) and you can get burned being seen with me...i dont play by the same're playing with fire. (and you might lose your allowance, amongst other things)
  • R from Montreal, Qc, CanadaMy idea about the lyrics:
    It's about a girl whose parents are rich are well known in society; and the guy is just saying: if you think that I'm only interesting because I'm popular, you are playing with fire and you better go back to your mother. Cause I'm not a quiet and aristocrat guy; don't play with me, I can put you in fire...
  • Stefanie from Rock Hill, ScDoes anyone have any thoughts on what this song is about?
  • Stefanie from Rock Hill, ScGreat song. I think it says in the songfacts that Mick played tamberine.
  • Kelly from San Jose, CaI love the song, I'd like to see the critics do better!
  • Bernhard from Mannheim, Germanythe tambourine on this track wasn´t played by an expert, it changes it´s downbeat all the time. looks like the player didn´t even watch what he was playing...
  • Kelly from Los Angeles, CaMucho excellente. Classic. I love it.
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