"Ruby Tuesday" is a song recorded by The Rolling Stones in 1966, released in January 1967. The song, coupled with "Let's Spend the Night Together", was a number-one hit in the United States and reached number three in the United Kingdom.
Music and inspiration
Multi-instrumentalist Brian Jones played recorder and piano, and the double bass was played jointly by bassist Bill Wyman (pressing the strings against the fingerboard) and Keith Richards (bowing the strings). According to Keith Richards in a 1971 Rolling Stone interview, he wrote the song in a Los Angeles hotel room in early 1966 about a groupie he knew; he has also stated that it was about Linda Keith, his girlfriend in the mid-1960s. The song's lyrics concern an apparently free-spirited woman, with Jagger singing, "Who could hang a name on you?/When you change with every new day/Still I'm gonna miss you."
"That's a wonderful song," Mick Jagger told Jann Wenner in 1995. "It's just a nice melody, really. And a lovely lyric. Neither of which I wrote, but I always enjoy singing it." Bill Wyman states in Rolling with the Stones that the lyrics were completely written by Keith Richards with help from Brian Jones on the musical composition.[page needed] However, Marianne Faithfull recalls it differently; according to her, Brian Jones presented an early version of this melody to the rest of the Rolling Stones. According to Victor Bockris, Richards came up with the basic track and the words and finished the song with Jones in the studio.
According to Richards's autobiography, Life, the song was written about his girlfriend Linda Keith. Linda had taken up with Jimi Hendrix, and had got involved with drugs. She left Richards, and he tried to get her back. He eventually went to her parents and told them she was going down a dark path. Linda's father went to New York to collect her, and by order of court she was grounded. Richards reports that Linda regarded this as a betrayal, and they did not speak again for many years. According to Richards's autobiography, Linda Keith survived, brought up a family, and now lives in New Orleans.
The song was released on two consecutively released US albums: Between the Buttons and Flowers. The 2002 ABKCO reissues of the song is missing a vocal overdub in the chorus, but this appears to be an error, as the version on 2007's Rolled Gold+, 2012's GRRR! and the 2013 iTunes remasters contain the overdub.
A concert rendition of the song from the Rolling Stones' Steel Wheels/Urban Jungle Tour was released on the band's 1991 concert album Flashpoint. A July 2013 live performance is featured on Sweet Summer Sun: Hyde Park Live.
- Mick Jagger - lead vocals, backing vocals, tambourine
- Keith Richards - double bass (bowing strings), 12 string acoustic guitar, backing vocals
- Brian Jones - piano, recorder
- Bill Wyman - double bass (fingers on fingerboard), bass guitar
- Charlie Watts - drums
Notable cover versions
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- 1967: Richard Anthony recorded a French version called "fille sauvage"
- 1967: Rotary Connection's rendition, with Minnie Riperton on vocals, appeared on their album Rotary Connection.
- 1969: Oliver released a version of the song on his album Good Morning Starshine.
- 1970: Melanie Safka released a version of the song on her album Candles in the Rain; her version was a UK Top Ten hit that year. She recorded a second cover version on her 1978 album Ballroom Streets.
- 1979: Pozo-Seco Singers featuring Don Williams released a version of the song on their album Spend Some Time With Me.
- 1984: Nazareth released a version of the song on their album The Catch.
- 1989: Julian Lennon released a version of the song on the compilation album entitled The Wonder Years: Music from the Emmy Award-Winning Show & Its Era, a soundtrack for The Wonder Years TV series.
- 1989: "Weird Al" Yankovic recorded this song and 11 other Rolling Stones songs in his polka medley, "The Hot Rocks Polka".
- 1993: Rod Stewart recorded a version of the song that was included on his 1993 compilation album Lead Vocalist.
- 1994: Marianne Faithfull released a version of the song on the album Symphonic Music of The Rolling Stones by the London Symphony Orchestra.
- 1999: Franco Battiato released a version of the song on his album Fleurs and it was prominently featured in the 2006 film Children of Men.
- 2002: The Corrs recorded a version of the song with Ronnie Wood on their album VH1 Live in Dublin and also included it on their 2006 greatest hits albumDreams: The Ultimate Corrs Collection.
- 2002: Gotthard released a version of the song on their album One Life One Soul.
- 2007: Sylvie Vartan released a version of the song on her album Nouvelle Vague.
- 2007: Declan Galbraith released a cover version of the song in his third album You and Me.
- 2011: Scorpions released a version of the song on their album Comeblack.
- 2011: Yanokami released a version of the song on their album Tohku wa Chikai.
- A snippet of the song is often sung by Bono along with "Sympathy for the Devil" during performances of "Bad" at U2 concerts. An example of this is in the U2 documentary/concert footage film Rattle and Hum from 1988.
- Katey Sagal, who portrays Gemma Teller Morrow on the FX drama Sons of Anarchy, recorded a cover of the song for the show's second EP, Shelter.
- Lacey Brown covered the song during the ninth season of American Idol during the The Rolling Stones theme week. Her full-length recording of the song was available for purchase as "Ruby Tuesday (American Idol Studio Version) - Single" on the iTunes Store during the season's run.
- Carter The Unstoppable Sex Machine make significant reference to the song in their 1991 single "After The Watershed".
- Crosby, Stills, & Nash performed a cover of "Ruby Tuesday" on 31 August 2010, during their performance at the Bethel Woods Center for the Arts (The original Woodstock site in Sullivan County, New York).
- Mick Jagger performed it with Win Butler and Regine Chassagne of Arcade Fire in a medley with "She's a Rainbow" on the May 19, 2012 episode of Saturday Night Live as longtime cast member Kristen Wiig bid farewell to the show.