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Track Talk: If You Really Want To Be My Friend
Posted by: René ()
Date: August 28, 2011 21:25

Comments, input and alterations are very welcome!
________________________________________________________________________________

If You Really Want To Be My Friend
(Mick Jagger / Keith Richards)

Musicland Studios, Munich, West-Germany, January 14 - 28, 1974,
Rolling Stones Mobile Recording Unit, Stargroves, Newbury, Berkshire, UK,
April 10 - 15, 1974 and Island Recording Studios, London, UK, May 20 - 25, 1974

Mick Jagger - lead vocals
Keith Richards - electric guitar, acoustic guitar, harmony vocals
Charlie Watts - drums
Bill Wyman - bass
Mick Taylor - electric guitar
Nicky Hopkins - piano
Blue Magic - backing vocals

If you really want to be my friend, let me live it up like I used to do
If you really want to understand me, there's some giving up we got to do
I know ev'rybody wants to be your man
I don't want to tie you up, go ahead, you're free
And I never want to scar you with my brand, we could live it up, just you and me
If you really want to understand a man, let him off the leash some time, set him free
If you really, really want to be my friend, give me the look of love, not jealousy
I know you think that life is a thriller, you play the vamp, I play the killer
Now baby, what's the use of fighting, by the last we will be cryin’, cryin’, cryin’, yeah
If you really want to be my man, get your nails out of my back, stop using me
You know, I really, really want to be your friend, but just a little faith is all we need
I don't want no dog eat dog world for you and me
Get your nails out, stop bleeding me
You know, people tell me you are a vulture, say you're a sore in a cancer culture
But you got a little charm around you
I'll be there when they finally hound you, hound you, hound you, oh yeah
If you really want to be my friend, and I really want to understand you, baby

If you really want to be my friend, if you really want to understand me
I really want to be your man
I want to try to give you a helping hand, live it up, yes I do, oh yeah, oh yeah
I really want to be your friend
I want to push you when you're up and pull you when you're down
If you really want to understand me
If feel so, that love, that love can't thrive on jealousy, oh no, oh no
I really want to understand you
Really try to understand you baby, yes I do
I really want to be your man
Cause understanding is something ev'rybody needs, oh yeah
I really want to be your friend, and I love you, love you, yes, I do

Produced by The Glimmer Twins

First released on: The Rolling Stones - “It’s Only Rock ‘n Roll” LP
(Rolling Stones Records COC 79101) US, October 15, 1974



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2011-08-31 10:44 by René.

Re: Track Talk: If You Really Want To Be My Friend
Posted by: keefbajaga ()
Date: August 28, 2011 21:57

This song is very underestimated, I love it

Re: Track Talk: If You Really Want To Be My Friend
Posted by: Silver Dagger ()
Date: August 28, 2011 22:04

It was a completely new sound for the Stones and revealed a new sweetness in Mick's lyric-writing. I guess it's blue-eyed soul, the kind of music that Hall & Oates and Bee Gees went on to do so successfully. But it's tougher than that too. Some great harmony vocals from Keith and a wondrous solo from Mick Taylor. Love his Lesley sound too.

And beautiful piano from man of the moment Nicky Hopkins. Great song.

Re: Track Talk: If You Really Want To Be My Friend
Posted by: microvibe ()
Date: August 28, 2011 22:07

great song!great solo from m.taylor

Re: Track Talk: If You Really Want To Be My Friend
Posted by: Rev. Robert W. ()
Date: August 28, 2011 22:07

A minor gem. I was always taken with the Blue Magic vocals. Does any of their own stuff stand up?

Re: Track Talk: If You Really Want To Be My Friend
Posted by: Anonymous User ()
Date: August 28, 2011 22:28

Great lyrics and vocals, hats off to all band members, a warm overall sound.

The only Stones song opening with an augmented chord as far as I know. Funny detail: the upper +5 tone in the intro played by one single guitar only.
A beautiful Taylor solo and sound, the finishing touch of this song. It brings in an extra dimension cause Taylor launches on a VI scale degree instead of the I, and ends on a 9, which creates a strong melodic and harmonic tension...genius.


One of the best -if not their best and most inspired ballad imo.

Re: Track Talk: If You Really Want To Be My Friend
Posted by: hedegaard ()
Date: August 28, 2011 22:46

Quote
microvibe
great song!great solo from m.taylor



yep! thumbs upsmileys with beer>grinning smiley<

Re: Track Talk: If You Really Want To Be My Friend
Posted by: drewmaster ()
Date: August 28, 2011 22:52

Sorry, but to me this is a clunker... one of the weakest tracks on a spotty album. I wouldn't let my dog listen to this one.

Drew

Re: Track Talk: If You Really Want To Be My Friend
Posted by: Elmo Lewis ()
Date: August 29, 2011 04:16

Always dug this. Came out the same time my first real girlfriend broke up with me.

Re: Track Talk: If You Really Want To Be My Friend
Posted by: stones78 ()
Date: August 29, 2011 06:59

I love Mick Taylor's solo and Keith's backing vocals before that, but it takes this song sooo long to get to that part.

Re: Track Talk: If You Really Want To Be My Friend
Posted by: Come On ()
Date: August 29, 2011 08:10

This is a good one, especially Jaggers singing (as always but maybe more on this one)...always makes me to sing along....

2 1 2 0

Re: Track Talk: If You Really Want To Be My Friend
Posted by: Doxa ()
Date: August 29, 2011 09:14

I have never been a big fan of this song. Even though there is some experiment - The Stones reaching new musical landscapes (soft soul) - I don't find it inspiring at all. Sounds a typical IORR number in that sense: a bit bored performance with no clear direction. I don't like Jagger's vocal delivery either. There is just something so cheesy in it. It is a typical IORR number also in that sense that even though you could analyzise it to all its parts, and find each of them alright by their own means, the wholeness lacks something essential to make it a distinctive and memorable Stones track. The lack of Stones "X factor"...

Could be it that IORR mosly shows the affect of Keith's dopeville days of somehow killing the band's creative heart. Keith pulls Taylor back - I come to think IORR more "Keith's album"; GOATS HEAD SOUP was very much a 'two Micks' colloboration, and a huge melodic Taylor flavor in it. But by the time of making IORR Keith didn't have the EXILE magic in his hands any longer, and Jagger couldn't reach the album alone to the greatness.

- Doxa



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2011-08-29 09:32 by Doxa.

Re: Track Talk: If You Really Want To Be My Friend
Posted by: with sssoul ()
Date: August 29, 2011 09:25

"let him off the leash sometimes", isn't it?

i am always charmed when the Glimmer Twins sing love songs to one another

Re: Track Talk: If You Really Want To Be My Friend
Posted by: marcovandereijk ()
Date: August 29, 2011 10:11

Quote
with sssoul
i am always charmed when the Glimmer Twins sing love songs to one another

So true. This song gains so much more dimension if one considers the state of their relationship
at the time.

Just as long as the guitar plays, let it steal your heart away

Re: Track Talk: If You Really Want To Be My Friend
Posted by: Mathijs ()
Date: August 29, 2011 13:03

The song never worked for me up to the part where keith's harmony vocals come in and Taylor enters with the leslie driven part. The solo always sounded a bit too screamy for me ('Mick, we need a loud solo here!"), but the little fills he plays at the end are really, really nice.

And I agree with Doxa -the album just sounds very forced to my ears. With each song they tried to write and record a classic, but the sum of the parts never seem to really work. Time Waits is fantastic though, as is Fingerprint File.

Mathijs

Re: Track Talk: If You Really Want To Be My Friend
Posted by: marcovandereijk ()
Date: August 29, 2011 13:44

I'd never realized that it's these guys who do the backing vocals:





Just as long as the guitar plays, let it steal your heart away

Re: Track Talk: If You Really Want To Be My Friend
Posted by: LeonidP ()
Date: August 29, 2011 21:34

These were the days of the great ballads, imo. Far superior to Streets of Love and/or Following the River. I always loved this one, great build-up vocally, with the background singers, well done!

Re: Track Talk: If You Really Want To Be My Friend
Posted by: stupidguy2 ()
Date: August 29, 2011 22:19

Always loved it. Its Jagger broadening his musical scope.....the background vocals, the organ, leslie-style effect on guitar.

Re: Track Talk: If You Really Want To Be My Friend
Posted by: Doxa ()
Date: August 29, 2011 23:09

Quote
stupidguy2
Always loved it. Its Jagger broadening his musical scope.....the background vocals, the organ, leslie-style effect on guitar.

Yeah, true that Jagger is there broadaning his musical scope, which is a value of is own, but at the same time - maybe first time since SATANIC MAJESTIES - the results are not so convincing; Jagger just can't naturally adopt the latest trends to his own unique use. There is something forced in it.

- Doxa

Re: Track Talk: If You Really Want To Be My Friend
Posted by: Doxa ()
Date: August 29, 2011 23:21

Quote
LeonidP
These were the days of the great ballads, imo. Far superior to Streets of Love and/or Following the River. I always loved this one, great build-up vocally, with the background singers, well done!

Yeah, those albums from GOATS HEAD SOAP to BLACK&BLUE contain many reflective ballads that are quite unique in the Stones catalog. Lyricwise Jagger is touching there grounds that show maturity and even deepness and sincerity that very mmuch vanished during the SOME GIRLS sessions. Think of "100 Years Ago", "Angie", "Winter", "Time Waits For No one", "If You Really Want To Be My Friend", "'Till The Next Time We Say Goodbye", "Through The Lonely Nights", "Memory Motel", "Fool to Cry"... not to forget "Waitin' On A Friend", "Worried About You" and "Tops".

I think ever since only in PRIMITIVE COOL that kind of Jagger showed his head again. Any cliche-full and generic post-STEEL WHEELS stuff is a far cry from those mid-70's ballads.

- Doxa



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2011-08-29 23:25 by Doxa.

Re: Track Talk: If You Really Want To Be My Friend
Posted by: kovach ()
Date: August 30, 2011 00:13

Always liked it. Put it in the same category as Through the Lonely Nights and Ain't No Use in Crying.

Re: Track Talk: If You Really Want To Be My Friend
Date: August 30, 2011 00:40

Love, love this song.
Love how it slides into the bridge "I know you think life is a thriller..", and then later the second bridge, that kind of ends with Jagger going "Now you got a little charm around ya". That one line always grabs me like the magical lines in "Winter".
Like someone said - these were the days of the great soul ballads.
The ending with Jagger building it up in between the Blue Magic vocals is classic. IMO this is the essence of Jagger's singing. The way he took it higher in "Let it Loose"; these ad libs to build and close out a song.
had they included "Through the Lonely Nights" and "Drift Away" instead of maybe "Short and Curlies"; done "Luxury" a little better - whew. Amazing how strong, and how close to a classic even the weaker albums are.

Re: Track Talk: If You Really Want To Be My Friend
Posted by: big4 ()
Date: August 30, 2011 03:04

It's not a bad song and is a well-crafted soul ballad, but that's what also brings it down. The mid-70s Stones created a lot of smooth, nicely produced soul/r&b ballads. But compared to "Let It Loose" for example or "Winter" and they sound somewhat plastic-a lot style, some substance but the gritty textures of the earlier music was gone, and so was that edge in Jagger's vocal delivery. IORR always seemed like a compromise album between the Glimmer's. As if Jagger want to continue in the softer sounding experimentation of GHS while Keith wanted to return to the a more stripped down, straight ahead sound. But for some reason I've always thought IYRWTBMF was a real collaboration between Mick/Keith. Some of the lyrics sound like Keith writing about Anita, and there's a vocal interplay that I don't think usually occurs in songs written solely by Jagger (Sway of course an obvious exception). I agree that "Drift Away" and "Through the Loney Nights" would've raised the quality of IORR up a notch. Wasn't one or both dropped shortly before release because of the time constraints of vinyl? I thought I read that somewhere.


Quote
Palace Revolution 2000
Love, love this song.
Love how it slides into the bridge "I know you think life is a thriller..", and then later the second bridge, that kind of ends with Jagger going "Now you got a little charm around ya". That one line always grabs me like the magical lines in "Winter".
Like someone said - these were the days of the great soul ballads.
The ending with Jagger building it up in between the Blue Magic vocals is classic. IMO this is the essence of Jagger's singing. The way he took it higher in "Let it Loose"; these ad libs to build and close out a song.
had they included "Through the Lonely Nights" and "Drift Away" instead of maybe "Short and Curlies"; done "Luxury" a little better - whew. Amazing how strong, and how close to a classic even the weaker albums are.

Re: Track Talk: If You Really Want To Be My Friend
Posted by: stupidguy2 ()
Date: August 30, 2011 03:32

Quote
Doxa
Quote
LeonidP
These were the days of the great ballads, imo. Far superior to Streets of Love and/or Following the River. I always loved this one, great build-up vocally, with the background singers, well done!

Yeah, those albums from GOATS HEAD SOAP to BLACK&BLUE contain many reflective ballads that are quite unique in the Stones catalog. Lyricwise Jagger is touching there grounds that show maturity and even deepness and sincerity that very mmuch vanished during the SOME GIRLS sessions. Think of "100 Years Ago", "Angie", "Winter", "Time Waits For No one", "If You Really Want To Be My Friend", "'Till The Next Time We Say Goodbye", "Through The Lonely Nights", "Memory Motel", "Fool to Cry"... not to forget "Waitin' On A Friend", "Worried About You" and "Tops".

I think ever since only in PRIMITIVE COOL that kind of Jagger showed his head again. Any cliche-full and generic post-STEEL WHEELS stuff is a far cry from those mid-70's ballads.

- Doxa

This period was so different from any other and one of the reasons was songs like the ones you mentioned. They seem to be a precursor to Jagger's solo work....in a good way, but Jagger's voice had become more mannered by 84....
Big4 mentioned that IYRWTBMF sounds like a Mick/Keith collaboration, I disagree, sounds like all Mick/Mick/Preston etc....
This is what Mick sounded like without Keith, IMO. Jagger seemed to be liberating himself from the expectations of the 'rockin stones' and seemed to be relishing it.
By this point, I don't know if Keith was barely there.
I remember reading in some old music mag from the early 70s about Jagger's solo album possibilities. He had been playing with Lennon, Dr. John etc and hinted at a solo album....Never happened. But I always imagined songs like this would have been the final product. It's not "Let It Loose", but its human.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2011-08-30 03:34 by stupidguy2.

Re: Track Talk: If You Really Want To Be My Friend
Posted by: Rip This ()
Date: August 30, 2011 04:33

...buried tune on a pretty much buried album which is unfortunate. There are several great songs on this record .....If You Really Want To Be My Friend is one of them...they should play more cuts from this record live.....

Re: Track Talk: If You Really Want To Be My Friend
Posted by: big4 ()
Date: August 30, 2011 04:48

Quote
stupidguy2
Quote
Doxa
Quote
LeonidP
These were the days of the great ballads, imo. Far superior to Streets of Love and/or Following the River. I always loved this one, great build-up vocally, with the background singers, well done!

Yeah, those albums from GOATS HEAD SOAP to BLACK&BLUE contain many reflective ballads that are quite unique in the Stones catalog. Lyricwise Jagger is touching there grounds that show maturity and even deepness and sincerity that very mmuch vanished during the SOME GIRLS sessions. Think of "100 Years Ago", "Angie", "Winter", "Time Waits For No one", "If You Really Want To Be My Friend", "'Till The Next Time We Say Goodbye", "Through The Lonely Nights", "Memory Motel", "Fool to Cry"... not to forget "Waitin' On A Friend", "Worried About You" and "Tops".

I think ever since only in PRIMITIVE COOL that kind of Jagger showed his head again. Any cliche-full and generic post-STEEL WHEELS stuff is a far cry from those mid-70's ballads.

- Doxa

This period was so different from any other and one of the reasons was songs like the ones you mentioned. They seem to be a precursor to Jagger's solo work....in a good way, but Jagger's voice had become more mannered by 84....
Big4 mentioned that IYRWTBMF sounds like a Mick/Keith collaboration, I disagree, sounds like all Mick/Mick/Preston etc....
This is what Mick sounded like without Keith, IMO. Jagger seemed to be liberating himself from the expectations of the 'rockin stones' and seemed to be relishing it.
By this point, I don't know if Keith was barely there.
I remember reading in some old music mag from the early 70s about Jagger's solo album possibilities. He had been playing with Lennon, Dr. John etc and hinted at a solo album....Never happened. But I always imagined songs like this would have been the final product. It's not "Let It Loose", but its human.

I don't think it's a Mick/Mick/Preston collaboration though because according to credits and the Complete Works site Preston isn't on it (which is kind of surprising considering it's style) and didn't Taylor miss the Jan. '74 recording sessions due to illness?
I think as on Let It Loose the guitar through Leslie is probably keith and maybe that was the foundation of the song and everything else added is built upon that.

Re: Track Talk: If You Really Want To Be My Friend
Date: August 30, 2011 11:07

Doxa, we got to get a thread going about "Primitive Cool" place in the canon.
A Point/Counterpoint kind of thing, winking smiley)

Re: Track Talk: If You Really Want To Be My Friend
Posted by: Mathijs ()
Date: August 30, 2011 12:13

Quote
big4

I think as on Let It Loose the guitar through Leslie is probably keith and maybe that was the foundation of the song and everything else added is built upon that.

Just listened to the track for the first time in ages, and it is actually prettier than I remember, especially the guitar parts. To my ears, the intro is two guitars –a Leslie drenched guitar, and a clean accompanying guitar, both Richards. The Leslie guitar then drives the song with some real soulful playing; I forgot how nice that playing actually is. Keith might have had some drug problems, he still could play. Some licks are very reminiscent of Let it Loose indeed. The acoustic is nice as well, also Keith. Then a third, fuzzy, electric guitar enters at parts, also Keith. Taylor enters with the solo, also using a Leslie and I think a bit of tape delay. The last two notes of the solo sounds like a punch-in to me, there seems to be an edit. Taylor then continues with very nice counter licks to Richards’ guitar. Just to note: Bill Wyman does an excellent job on this track as well!

Mathijs

Re: Track Talk: If You Really Want To Be My Friend
Posted by: drewmaster ()
Date: August 30, 2011 14:49

Quote
Doxa
I don't like Jagger's vocal delivery either. There is just something so cheesy in it.

There IS a very cheesy quality about this song, but I think the cheesiness comes from Blue Magic. They reek of Las Vegas. I can just picture them on stage in shiny suits doing a little cheesy dance routine. To me, this is not a Stones track featuring Blue Magic, this is a Blue Magic song with some input from the Stones.

Drew

Re: Track Talk: If You Really Want To Be My Friend
Posted by: leteyer ()
Date: August 30, 2011 17:15

One of my all time favourites...Just love this song.

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