This song deals with depression, and not being able to enjoy the simple pleasures in life.
Suggestion credit: Bertrand - Paris, France
This was the first song recorded at Stargroves, a mobile recording studio built for The Rolling Stones outside Mick Jagger's house in England. Led Zeppelin would use this studio for much of their work.
Paul Buckmaster, known for his work with Elton John, arranged the strings.
Mick Jagger played the rhythm electric guitar on this track.
Suggestion credit: Bertrand - Paris, France
Pete Townshend from The Who, singer Billy Nichols, and Ronnie Lane from Small Faces all sang background vocals. Pete Townshend would appear on background vocals again in 1981 on "Slave," from Tattoo You.
Suggestion credit: Eli Rosen - Melrose Park, PA
This song is appreciated among Stones fans notably for its distinctive outro, which features a solo guitar that was played by Mick Taylor and complemented with a string section. Taylor explained: "I added my solo to 'Sway,' but it's very much Mick (Jagger)'s song. I don't think Keith's on it. It had a great, loose feel. Mick played rhythm guitar on that. He's a great rhythm player. My theory is he has a natural feel and that's also why he's such a great dancer."
Mac from Evanston, IlMick Taylor's guitar solo on the outro perhaps the best in rock and roll history; a travesty that they faded it out. Jagger played the rhythm guitar on the track; keef provided backing vocal. This is not only my favorite song on "SF" but perhaps my favorite Stones song (they've always been my favorite band) and perhaps my favorite rock song of all time.
Bob from Colorado Springs, CoDictionary.com has the meaning of "sway" verb: as to cause (the mind, emotions, etc., or a person) to incline or turn in a specified way; influence. That has always had me hearing the lyric "it's just that evil eye has got you in its sway". "Sway" being under a spell or in a hypnotic trance thus the eye is the more obvious culprit. I have never heard "demon life" but every lyric page on the 'Net contains the same lyrics and how this happens I do not know. I find wrong lyrics all the time. I have been a musician since the 1960's and learning lyrics from a recording can be difficult especially Jagger. Someone who has never heard the song can usually pick up on a lyric I cannot hear correctly since a perception becomes a reality. Hear it wrong once and it takes root. "Evil eye" makes much more sense. The "demon" I think is there only because the Stones reputation as "devil worshipers" is too ingrained although erroneous. "Evil eye" is and has been a common expression in our language for many years. "Demon life"? Never heard it before now.
Deethewriter from Saint Petersburg, Russia FederationTaken from Original Rolling Stone Review [June 10, 1971]: "Vaguely reminiscent of "Stray Cat Blues" but not nearly so powerful. The sound is characteristic Rolling Stones messiness enhanced by the unusual degree of separation in the mix. Charlie Watts bashes away with the smirking abandon that made him such a delight on songs like "Get Off My Cloud" and "All Sold Out." But unlike early Stones messiness, "Sway" lacks intensity. It never reaches a goal because it doesn't seem to have one. Rather, it remains a series of riffs whose lack of content is obscured by prolonged and indifferent guitar semi-solos and a fine string arrangement that suddenly enters towards the end."
Butch from Strongsville, OhAndrew from NYC, I hate to burst your bubble, but I can remember sliding in two bits and selecting 5 tunes, back in the 60's. On another note, I've listened to a lot of guitar in my time and Mick Taylor's solo on this cut is the best I have ever heard. Gary Duncan's solo(live) on "Fresh Air" for the Fillmore: The Last Days album a close second and David Gilmour's licks in "Comfortably Numb" a close third.
John from New Orleans, LaI'm pretty god damned sure Mick Taylor came up with the idea for the music but the lyrics seem like a keef idea. People don't realize how many of the stones song ideas and titles come from keith. Case in point; Wild Horses was mostly keef music and words.; Street fighting man is another.
Twig from River Falls, WiI listen to the first four notes over and over and over and over, not kidding, i just keep hitting re-start over and over and over. It is the greatest four notes ever written. This song moves me in a way NO other song does... every time I listen to it.
Dolly from Duncan, BcI was curious what the "Someone that broke me up with a corner of her smile, yeah" lyric means?
I love this song, sad and beautiful.
Peter Griffin from Quahog, RiThis just might be my favorite Rolling Stones song.
Susan from Toronto, CanadaA VERY different, alternate version of SWAY was the B-side to the 1971 WILD HORSES single. It differs greatly from the "Sticky Fingers" version of SWAY and is worth tracking down.
Michael from Sydney, AustraliaMakes me cry every time i listen to it.
Craig from New Braunfels, TxThis one of my all time favorites. I love that it is on the BEST side one on any 'Stones album, Stickey Fingers. You can't beat this track listing: "Brown Sugar", "Sway", "Wild Horses", "Can't You Hear Me Knocking" and "You Gotta Move".
Connie from Moncton, CanadaThis is my all-time favourite song! i love the real emotion of it and the lyrics.
Ozzi from Brookhaven, Paaww man i love this song, its so good. Yes very underrated. Its such an addicting tune. It also has awesome guitar input not just in the solo, the whole song.
Craig from Melbourne, AustraliaThis song encompasses every thing that makes the Stones the greatest band in history. Charlie;s drumming is perfectly sloppy. At any minute, you sense he could lose it, but of course, he doesnt. The slightly out of time backing vocals. Jagger's intense wail. I loved his voice when it was "whiny". Jaggers loose, but effective, distorted guitar. The brilliant lyrics. And, most of all, the 2 stunning solos by Taylor. The final cherry on this incredible track is the subtle use of the strings. It took the Stones until their current tour to perform this live. Rumour has it members of the Stones themselves logged into fan chat sites (like Rocks Off) to see what songs fans wanted them to perform. Sway has long been a "dream live song" for many hardcore fans.
Mad Dog from Atlanta, Ga"Destroyed your notion of circular time" doesn't get any better than that for R&R lyrics Mad Dog
Clovis from Rio De Janeiro, BrazilDoes anybody know if there`s any uncutted version of Mick Taylor`s solo in Sway? - Clovis, Brazil
Kayla from Bloomington, InI've just now heard this song from the Stones' MySpace page, and it's absolutely beautiful. I love it.
Paul from Cincinnati, OhFirst heard this song on the "Jelly Pudding" program on 92.5 WOFX in Cincinnati. On that same particular day, they played Joni Mitchell's "A Case Of You," Jeff Buckley's "Hallelujah," and David Bowie's "TVC 15." Needless to say a great program. I was actually surprised that a Stones album track would be so good- and also not absurdly raunchy like many of their other songs.
Andrew from New York, United StatesAhhh. Love this one. In my drinking days, back in the 80's, I used to occasionally visit a dive of a bar on 6th Ave. in NYC, between 13th & 14th streets, for the sole reason that they had the "Wild Horses" single on the jukebox-- with its flip-side, "Sway". I would annoy the few patrons by pumping in 5$ worth of quarters and playing "Sway" 19 times, with "Wild Horses" once... Jukeboxes were cheap then, 25 cents a song...
Robert from Queens, NyI always thought this song was about drug use because of the line "It's just that demon life has got you in it's sway."
Angie from Willow Grove, PaMy favorite song off of Sticky Fingers. I could listen to it all day.
Tyler from Tustin, CaIt should also be noted that "Sway" only features the guitar of Mick Taylor. Keith Richards was late to the studio and by the time he had arrived their was nothing he could possibly add.
Bill from Erie, PaI saw them perform this live (the first time they did it, ever) at Columbus, OH, September 24, 2005.
Maya from Cal, United Statesyeah cool song, but under rated aerosmith uses the intro riff for cryin' except faster and with more distortion
Spencer from Fixing A HoleI got Sticky Fingers for "Brown Sugar" "Wild Horses" "Bitch" and "Can't You Hear Me Knockin'?", but this has really turned out to be my favorite song on the album. It's played with real emotion, and Taylor's guitar part at the end is simply awesome. Great song, very underrated.
Johnny from New York City, NyA legendary bar in Downtown New York City is named after this song. The BlackBook List Nightlife Manual New York 2005 Says: "Named after track 2 on "Sticky Fingers". A shell of it's former self, it still has game on certain nights and a little flavor on the weekends. Moroccan-themed, killer booths and supersized Buds. Used to be the best place to do drugs with a celebrity at 7am, and we wait the return of those days." Apparently the 80's were the wild days here (and many other places!).
Ian from San Jose, CaI'm listening to this song right now. I've always loved Sticky Fingers, but didn't really notice "Sway" till this past weekend when my friend lent me a copy of the remastered CD.
"Sway" is my new addiction. It's everything I've ever wanted to hear in a song.
Matt from Russell Springs, KyMick Taylor's solo in the outro is incredible.
Justin from New York, NyThis song seems to be a commentary on the rigors of life as a rocker in the late 60s/early 70s. "It's just that demon life has got you in it's sway." It may have possibly been a commentary on young rocker deaths of the era - Brian Jones ring a bell?
Jason from Monterrey, Mexicoone of the stones most underrated-classic perfect pecie of all times.