Scarlet

Album: Goats Head Soup (2020 Deluxe) (2020)

Songfacts®:

  • This blues-rock number is one of three previously unreleased tracks included on the 2020 multi-format release of Goats Head Soup. Led Zeppelin's Jimmy Page contributes guitar. Keith Richards remembered: "My recollection is we walked in at the end of a Zeppelin session. They were just leaving, and we were booked in next and I believe that Jimmy decided to stay. We weren't actually cutting it as a track, it was basically for a demo, a demonstration, you know, just to get the feel of it, but it came out well, with a line up like that, you know, we better use it."
  • The song stems from sessions at London's Island Studios in mid-October 1974, over a year after the release of Goats Head Soup. Also involved were pianist Ian Stewart, Blind Faith and Traffic bassist Ric Grech, and Joe Cocker drummer Bruce Rowland.

    "Keith kicked it off and I began to mold a riff around his guitar part to augment the arrangement," Page recalled. "It began to lock-in pretty soon with the musicians and we all got a successful take that evening."
  • Scarlet, why you wearing my heart, on your sleeve
    Where it ain't supposed to be
    Scarlet, why you tearing my heart, all to pieces, it ain't the way it's supposed to be


    "Scarlet" is thought to be named in honor of Page's three-year-old daughter.
  • Other Jimmy Page contributions to Rolling Stones music include adding guitar to their 1964 demo for "Heart Of Stone" and playing lead guitar on the 1986 Dirty Work track "One Hit (To The Body)." Page's contribution to the latter came about during a brief studio session between him and Ronnie Wood. He happened to be in the area because Led Zeppelin was playing Live-Aid.
  • A love letter to "Scarlet," the video was directed by the duo Us and filmed during a socially distanced shoot at London's Claridge hotel. The clip stars actor Paul Mescal, known for his lead role in the Hulu series Normal People. He portrays a lovelorn guy sending a video message apologizing to Scarlet.
  • The Rolling Stones dropped a remix by Adam Granduciel of the War on Drugs on August 14, 2020. The indie rocker adds tempo to the track alongside a selection of new instrumentation.

    "I just re-imagined the song as if I had Mick, Keith and Jimmy in the room with me," Granduciel said in a press release. "After messing with my Linn Drum for a bit, the song fell into this double time thing and I just went with it. I called my friend and bandmate, Dave Hartley, to fill out the bass on the new groove."

    "Then I figured if I had Jimmy Page in the room I'd probably ask him to plug into my favorite rack flanger," Granduciel added, "so that's what I did. My friend Anthony LaMarca added some last minute percussion. I'm so honored to have gotten to work on this especially since 'Angie' was probably the first 'rock' song that I asked to be played on repeat when I was really young."
  • The Rolling Stones teamed up with The Killers and electronic producer Jacques Lu Cont for a second "Scarlet." Jacques Lu Cont is the parodic French moniker of Stuart Price, who worked with The Killers on their 2008 Day & Age album.
  • The 2020 multi-format release of Goats Head Soup debuted on top of the UK albums chart. This made The Rolling Stones the first band to score a #1 album across six different decades in that territory.

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