Time Waits For No One

Album: It's Only Rock 'N' Roll (1974)

Songfacts®:

  • This song, with a handy adage for a title, is a commentary on the value of time. Mick Jagger turned 30 the year it was released.
  • This was one of guitarist Mick Taylor's last appearances with The Stones. He left after It's Only Rock 'n' Roll because of differences with Keith Richards and frustration over not getting writing credits on this and other songs he helped compose. The only song he was credited on was "Ventilator Blues."
  • For percussion, Mick Jagger brought in Ray Cooper, known for his work with Elton John.
  • This wasn't released as a single, but it was recognized years later on The Rolling Stones "best of" compilation Sucking In The Seventies.
  • The Stones started working on this in 1971 during the Sticky Fingers sessions at Stargroves, the estate where Mick Jagger lived in Hampshire, England. It was the first song they recorded for It's Only Rock 'N' Roll.
  • Before getting together to record the album, the band members had some time off and went their separate ways. Mick Taylor went to Brazil, which he credits for the Latin influence in the song.
  • On the It's Only Rock 'N' Roll album, the "Glimmer Twins" get a production credit. This is a name for Mick Jagger and Keith Richards. The origin of the pseudonym: Jagger and Richards took a cruise in 1969 and found themselves at a table with an older English couple who vaguely recognized them. Jagger and Richards played coy, and the couple asked for a "glimmer," as in a little hint as to who they were.
  • Mick Taylor said in 2012: "My favorite [Stones song] in terms of my own guitar playing is 'Time Waits for No One.' I love that solo. I think it's probably the best thing I did with the Stones. It's not one of their hits; it was an album track. But it's quite lyrical and it's a bit different from a lot of other Stones songs. I'd done something that I'd never done. Because of the structure of the song. It pushed my guitar playing in a slightly different direction. It's more - I don't like to use the term Carlos Santana-esque because it sounds too pretentious, but I kind of played in a different mode. I was playing over a C maj 7 to an F maj 7, which aren't chords the Stones used that much. You know, they had their rock and roll songs and they had their ballads as well, and they were very different. And mostly the ballads were usually written by me." >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Bertrand - Paris, France, for above 2

Comments: 18

  • Steve W from Cambridge, MaStargroves was the name of Mick Jagger's country house, not their mobile studio. Of course they used their mobile recording truck to record there. They rented or loaned it to others as well; see the lyrics to Deep Purple's "Smoke on the Water".
  • Lorenzo from Houston, TxMy best died when I was 8. I have lived my life differently because of that.
    Live your life as if it were last day on earth.
    Tell your loved ones that you love them - you may not have tomorrow.
    Cherish your life, loved ones and friends.
  • Adrian from London, United KingdomTime can tear down a building or destroy a woman's face, hours are like diamonds don't let it waste!
  • Ny from Canberra, AustraliaAint that the truth, time waits for none of us. 'HOURS ARE LIKE DIAMONDS, DONT LET THEM WASTE..' we all need to be reminded of that from time to time.
  • James from Philadelphia, PaOne of my favorite Stones songs. Mick Taylor!
  • Bg from Brooksville, FlSomething both so sad and so earthy about this song that you never hear on the radio ! I guess I jsut found out why the Stones dont play it now, the magic of the soloist cannot be repeated or they dont want to
  • David from Woburn, MaTaylor's guitar solo at the end of the song reminds me of Santana's style of play. Absolutely beautiful song by the best band in the world.
  • Norm from Seattle, WaIn a recent Rolling Stone piece on the Stones Keith Richards was quoted as saying if it was up to him Mick Taylor "would still be in the band."
  • Christopher L. from Fort Worth, TxI saw the stones in 1981 @ the Cotton Bowl in Dallas,Tx it was my first and last time to see them and I remember waiting for them to sing this song but they didn't sing it. I was somewhat disappointed but the show was so damn good you couldn't help but forgive them!!!
  • Sam from Hipsville, CaI too think that Mick Taylor was a great asset to the Stones[Exile on Main St.]...need i say more?
  • Channing from Washingon, DcI think at this point this is my favorite Stones song. I agree that it is completely underrated. To me this is a Mick Taylor/Mick Jagger cut and illustrates how both the Stones and Mick Taylor lost out when the Stones lost Taylor, as far as I can tell due to ill-treatment and jealously of Richards. If the Sones want to prove me wrong, they can perform it in concert, which they never have! Jagger and Taylor had real chemistry and synergy, and it was a very long time, perhaps never, before the Stones recaptured this level of quality. Not that I do not love Ron Wood. He certainly is core to the current Stones line-up. Not that I do not love Richards, too.
  • Toe from C Town, OhThe best Stones song nobody ever talks about. Severely underrated.
  • Craig from Melbourne, AustraliaAmazing song. Extremely well crafted. The Taylor influence is very noticeable on IORR - his last album.
  • Robert from Queens, NyContrary to believe, Mick Taylor wrote most of this song and was extremely displeased over this. One of the reasons why he left the band in 1974.
  • Karl Middleton from Melbourne, AustraliaI was 16 when this song came out on Its Only Rock and Roll. It could transport me to another plane then, and it still does now. The message is clear. Time is precious and is the only thing you can not recover if you spend it. Use it wisely. As Napoleon once said, he know the true value of five minutes. Time waits for no one.
  • Bill from Louiville, CoThis song lifts the spirit and brings a tear joy, even now, 33 years later. Another great: Santana, "Song of the wind". circa 1972. Bill, louisville,co.
  • Stacey from Houston, TxI cannot believe there are so few postings on this song. This song and "Tops" are two absolute favorites of mine....both are very spacy and surreal. Love it!!!
    -Stacey "Seven" Madding, Houston
  • Mike from Warwick, RiMick is now 60 and reminds us everytime he takes the stage that time waits for no one. I suspect they will still be touring and selling out retirement homes in another 20 years.
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