This was the first Mick Jagger/Keith Richards composition. They wrote it when their manager, Andrew Oldham, locked them in his kitchen and told them to write some songs. At the time, The Stones were content to interpret songs written by other artists. This helped give Mick and Keith the confidence that they could be songwriters as well as performers.
A Pop ballad, this was a big departure from the Blues songs The Stones were covering at the time.
This was released as a single only in the US. It was their first Top 40 hit in America.
Keith Richards (1971): "Tell Me, which was pulled out as a single in America, was a dub. Half those records were dubs on that first album, that Mick and I and Charlie and I'd put a bass on or maybe Bill was there and he'd put a bass on Let's put it down while we remember it and the next thing we know is, Oh look, track 8 is that dub we did a couple months ago. That's how little control we had."
Mick Jagger (1995): "Keith was playing 12-string and singing harmonies into the same microphone as the 12-string. We recorded it in this tiny studio in the West End of London called Regent Sound, which was a demo studio. I think the whole of that album was recorded in there. But it's very different from doing those R&B covers or Marvin Gaye covers and all that. There's a definite feel about it. It's a very POP song, as opposed to all the blues covers and the Motown covers, which everyone did at the time."
Suggestion credit: Bertrand - Paris, France, for above 2
Marty from Cleveland, OhI like everything about this song. It's gritty and unpolished, just like the Stones were then.
Barry, also in '64, "Tell Me Why" by the Beatles was released as part of the "A Hard Day's Night" album, which obviously topped the album charts.
Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn June 28th 1964, "Tell Me (You're Coming Back)" by the Rolling Stones entered Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart at position #81; and August 2nd, 1964 it peaked at #24 (for 2 weeks) and spent 10 weeks on the Top 100... It reached #11 in the Netherlands... Also in 1964, three other songs with 'Tell Me' in their titles made the Top 100; "Tell Me Why" by Bobby Vinton (#13), "Tell Me Baby" by Garnet Mimms (#69), and "Tell Me Mamma" (#85).
Roxy from Cheshire, United KingdomI love this song the words are fantastic. It gives one a true feeling as though it's just happening now, no one can write words like this any more. No worder the '60s were the best years for groups, songs and fashion. It was a fabulous time then - thanks Rolling Stones.
Sam from Hipsville, CaKathy, AL------I kind of know what you mean, but by the same token, the rough, rawness of it is the thing that makes it a good song. it was actually one of my early faves of theirs for a long time.
Anne from York , EnglandThis is the first song they ever wrote that they recorded and it would have been better off done by the Beatles it's more their style.
Kathy from Jasper, AlThis song is so off key, it's pitiful, mainly the chorus!