'Paint It, Black' - The Rolling Stones


Writers: Mick Jagger and Keith Richards

Producer: Andrew Oldham

Recorded: March 1966 at RCA Studios, Hollywood, California

Released: April 1966 (U.S.), May 1966 (U.K.)

Players: Mick Jagger -- vocals
Keith Richards -- guitar
Brian Jones -- acoustic guitar, sitar
Bill Wyman -- bass, organ pedals
Charlie Watts -- drums
Jack Nitzsche -- piano
Album: Aftermath (London, 1966)

"Paint It, Black" was recorded at the same March 1966 sessions that produced "Mother's Little Helper," "Lady Jane," and other songs.

"Paint It, Black" was a Number One hit in both the U.S. and the U.K.

There were more than 300,000 orders for the single before its release in the U.K.

The song is marked by guitarist Brian Jones's sitar, one of the exotic Indian and Eastern instruments he began introducing into the Rolling Stones' music in the mid-'60s.

The Aftermath album was originally titled Could You Walk On The Water, but was rejected by Decca Records, the Stones' U.K. label, for what it felt was an irreverent biblical reference.

The Stones had trouble recording "Paint It, Black" until bassist Bill Wyman adopted a rhythm pattern that imitated Eric Easton, an organist who had become a talent agent. That gave the song its direction. In his memoir Stone Alone, Wyman remembers: "I lay on the floor under the organ and played a second bass riff on the pedals, at double-time."

When asked what the song's title meant, lead singer Mick Jagger said, "It means, 'Paint it, black.' 'I can't get no satisfaction' means 'I can't get no satisfaction.'" Thanks, Mick.

"Paint It, Black" was recorded as the group was beginning to have problems with Jones, whose drug use was getting out of hand. According to Wyman, Jones had graduated from drinking to using amyl nitrate and other drugs.

Aftermath is considered the Stones' most ambitious album to this point, with great experimentation with arrangements and instrumentation.