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Track Talk: Paint It Black
Posted by: René ()
Date: October 14, 2013 11:02

Comments, input and alterations are very welcome!
________________________________________________________________________________

Paint It Black
(Mick Jagger / Keith Richards)

RCA Studios, Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, US, March 6 - 9, 1966

Mick Jagger - lead vocals, backing vocals, percussion
Keith Richards - acoustic guitar, electric guitar, backing vocals
Charlie Watts - drums
Bill Wyman - bass, organ
Brian Jones - acousic guitar, sitar
Jack Nitzsche - piano

I see a red door and I want it painted black
No colors anymore I want them to turn black
I see the girls walk by dressed in their summer clothes
I have to turn my head until my darkness goes

I see a line of cars and they're all painted black
With flowers and my love, both never to come back
I see people turn their heads and quickly look away
Like a newborn baby it just happens ev'ryday

I look inside myself and see my heart is black
I see my red door, I must have it painted black
Maybe then I'll fade away and not have to face the facts
It's not easy facing up when your whole world is black

No more will my green sea go turn a deeper blue
I could not foresee this thing happening to you
If I look hard enough into the setting sun
My love will laugh with me before the morning comes

I see a red door and I want it painted black
No colors anymore I want them to turn black
I see the girls walk by dressed in their summer clothes
I have to turn my head until my darkness goes

I wanna see it painted black, painted black, black as night, black as coal
I wanna see the sun, blotted out from the sky
I wanna see it painted, painted, painted, painted black, yeah

Produced by Andrew Loog Oldham

First released on:
The Rolling Stones - “Paint It Black / Stupid Girl” 7” single
(London 901) US, May 7, 1966



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2013-10-21 10:21 by René.

Re: Track Talk: Paint It Black
Posted by: muenke ()
Date: October 14, 2013 11:09

A true classic and one of my favorite songs at the time when i became a fan ... unfortunately i have listend this song to death years ago ... but nevertheless: this is a really big one, an all time classic rock song, although the sitar was swiped by another well known combo ...

Re: Track Talk: Paint It Black
Posted by: rootsman ()
Date: October 14, 2013 11:33

One of the best ever - simple as that!grinning smiley

Brian also plays acoustic guitar, btw.

Re: Track Talk: Paint It Black
Posted by: Come On ()
Date: October 14, 2013 11:39

Well now that's a classic to discuss! I will describe my feelings for this song the same way that many did with theirs for '19th nervous breakdown'....a good pop-song that didn't moved me too much ....


..she wouldn't say
I said something wrong
Now I long..

Re: Track Talk: Paint It Black
Posted by: howled ()
Date: October 14, 2013 12:07

A Stones classic.

Not as good as "Sex Drive" but was is? spinning smiley sticking its tongue out



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 2013-10-14 12:10 by howled.

Re: Track Talk: Paint It Black
Posted by: Silver Dagger ()
Date: October 14, 2013 12:20

Oh my God - a real seismic shift in songwriting prowess, sound, tone, lyrics that really is the beginning of the rock phase of this great band.

Many people see Jumping Jack Flash as the start of the Stones rock era but I'd argue that this incredible single was that moment - the band jumped ship from pop central to embrace an altogether darker place.

Paint It Black is so great on so many different levels.

Point One, it is the song which many people best remember Brian Jones, the flamboyant, colourful multi talented musician who could pick up any instrument and get a hit single out of it. Just watch him sit so charmingly on the floor while playing those incredible notes on a sitar and grinning like a Cheshire cat. How could you not love this guy?

Point Two - This song really marked the beginning of the Stones' flirtation with psychedelia - an era they embraced for a good two years and which resulted in some of their greatest ever singles - Have You Seen Your Mother Baby, Standing In The Shadows; We Love You; Ruby Tuesday/Let's Spend The Night Together and Jumping Jack Flash (yes! psychedelic rock!).

Point Three - Those 2 great dark Stones' classics Sympathy For The Devil and Gimme Shelter have their roots in Paint It Black. The clue is in the actual title, Black. The vibe is one of darkness and inescapable pain - almost chillingly foretelling the terrible event less than three years later of Brian Jones' own death and funeral.

Point Four - It's an upbeat lament, a really unusual melody to hear as a pop song, which makes it stand out so much. If you slow the song down it's a dirge - a droning dirge. But the Stones sped it up and it becomes something between a psychedelic polka and a traditional Jewish folk song like Hava Nagila, itself taken from the Bukovinian folk tradition of the Carpathians in eastern Europe.

Point Five - THAT video of the Stones doing the song on Ready Steady Go. Need I say more?







Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 2013-10-14 14:54 by Silver Dagger.

Re: Track Talk: Paint It Black
Posted by: Doxa ()
Date: October 14, 2013 13:18

Oh god... what is there left to say - that's always the problem with so Big Songs as "Paint It Black", just running out of words... If I recall right, I couldn't say anything of "Satisfaction", when that one was under discussion in Rene's (fabulous) track talk.

A milestone tune. If "Satisfaction" took the Stones in another level in greatness, this one was the one they really took the next step. "Get Off of My Cloud" and "19th Nervous Breakdown" were great by their own terms, but still musically just followers of "Satisfaction" with not such a huge impact. But here they artistically were finally able to show that there are more gears in their machine, and that they were not just a one trick (guitar riff) wonder. This was also the track by which they seriously took the challenge by the Beatles, and were able to show that they can follow the path shown by The FabFour and do it artistically convincingly. And still at the same time sound damn original.

Namely, "Paint It Black" expresses emotions and feel no any 'pop song' had before even dreamed of, and discusses themes no one dared of to touch upon. Also in that sense they took the next level from "Satisfaction". The frustration and dissatisfation is transformed to angst, pain and plain anger... Like in "Satisfaction", the whole music - especially Jagger's delivery - masterfully paints the lyrics in sounds, and that alone is genius, a mark of almost devine inspiration. One does not even know anything of English language, but one can hear what is all about. And like with "Satisfaction" the effect in universal, and haven't dated one bit.

The song to fulfill the hat trick the Stones mastered during the 60's and took rock and roll into new territory in darkness and danger, and all the passions involved there, is "Gimme Shelter", their next and last huge step in artistic development in putting the dark side of human existence into musical form. And there was so no way to go anywhere any longer from "Gimme Shelter"; the mission was completed there. Those three songs are their biggest unique artistic contribution in the history of popular music. Only they could have done it.

Whereas many Stones classics own to "Satisfaction" musically (for example, "Jumping Jack Flash"), or to own side of it, "Paint It Black" and "Gimme Shelter" are more like cousin songs. Both of them express suh deep and complex passions that are actually rather unique even in Stones repertuare. What is also typical both of them is that the prevailing threat in both of them is served with incredibly sophisticated and lyrical clothing. In "Gimme Shelter" that is done by Keith Richards's guitar, especially in the intro, but here in "Paint It Black" it is, of course, Brian Jones's sitar. Both of those contributions have a tremendous effect on the feel of the song. To say it other words, both express something that is rather far from the standard idea of "It's Only Rock and Roll, But I Like It" the Stones self-ironically later declared (and seemingly the idea many of their fans as non-fans take way too granted). It's not. It's much more than that.

That said, I think "Paint It Black" is a bit (historially) under-rated Stones classic among the die-hard Stones fanbase. But not by a bigger crowd, fortunately. It is one of those very rare Stones oldies that actually seem resonate with the taste of the youth of the day (empirical observation). It has that sort universal appeal that one does not to like the typical sound of The Rolling Stones to recognize its greatness.

- Doxa



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 2013-10-14 13:25 by Doxa.

Re: Track Talk: Paint It Black
Posted by: Doxa ()
Date: October 14, 2013 13:20

Silver Dagger, I guess we made about the same points simutanuosly...grinning smiley

- Doxa

Re: Track Talk: Paint It Black
Date: October 14, 2013 13:26

One hour and two minutes time difference? grinning smiley

I second what you both state here. A very important and defining (in many ways) crossover number. Stones fans on iTunes have it among the top 5 (even higher?) as well.

A brilliant track, where all the members of the band shine simultaneously thumbs up

Re: Track Talk: Paint It Black
Posted by: svt22 ()
Date: October 14, 2013 13:35

Amazing song, quite a musical statement and full of energy. Love it.

Re: Track Talk: Paint It Black
Posted by: Silver Dagger ()
Date: October 14, 2013 14:24

Quote
Doxa
Silver Dagger, I guess we made about the same points simutanuosly...grinning smiley

- Doxa

Good stuff Doxa. And I like your point about Paint It Black resonating with the youth of today. I heard so many younger fans - in their 20s and 30s - talking about that song before they came on at Glastonbury, hoping they would play it. But not only there, at parties in general - it's one of their most requested songs.

It think it's that crazed psychedelic, whirling dervish, intensity that appeals and that transcends the era when it was recorded. It's just a great song to hear on the dancefloor.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2013-10-14 14:26 by Silver Dagger.

Re: Track Talk: Paint It Black
Posted by: Mathijs ()
Date: October 14, 2013 14:36

Quote
rootsman

Brian also plays acoustic guitar, btw.

Nope, that's Richards.

Mathijs

Re: Track Talk: Paint It Black
Posted by: Doxa ()
Date: October 14, 2013 14:39

Quote
Silver Dagger

Point Three - Those 2 great dark Stones' classics Sympathy For The Devil and Gimme Shelter have their roots in Paint It Black. The clue is in the actual title, Black. The vibe is one of darkness and unescapable pain - almost chillingly foretelling the terrible event less than three years later of Brian Jones' own death and funeral.

I really like this point (well, the rest as well). I remarked above that "Satisfaction" kind of started this progression, by making The Stones as kind of medium of expressing inner negative passions (which in that song were basically based on frustration, not really on pain). There are many other Jagger/Rihahrd originals from the early days whih express 'negative' feelings, but most of them are 'just' reflections of girls... But "Satisfaction" takes that on more 'universal level', and starts to see that there is 'something wrong with the world today' more generally, and not having a specific one 'reason' in mind. Just a frustrated mindset. Of course, the theme of sex (or a lack of it) is the most obvious, and the band made a career of emphasizing that point, but there is much more there. It's much more reflective and impressive by discovering that subjective, existential level, than, for example, a way too obvious, simple finger-pointing "My Generation", which tries a bit too hard to write an anthem for the kids of the day. "Satisfaction" succeeds much better to express both musically and lyrically something of the of the prevailing feelings among the restless youth then (or probably always). The rebellion starts within your head.

But yeah, I agree with you that "Paint It Black" was the song that really made the 'dark side' explicit, and took everything to more dangerous waters. But still I tend to see that "Satisfaction" had opened that path to follow, and they just went further in "angst-land" in "Paint it Black". Surely, Dylan had opened the rooms to discuss whatever sentiments and things in a 'pop song', but I think the reason why The Stones were so damn convincing to express the more dark feelings derives from their 'blues training' (and I recall Jagger saying lately something to that effect when talking about the blues influence in his music). It's the expressed feel in the song that makes "Paint It Black" so distinguished. It somehow - I claim - still is so eternally recognizable in that song. Like listening to Robert Johnson's recordings. That the source of music melodically comes from a Gypsy music/Turkish music or whatever is secondary to that. (That they could to that - a delicated soup of odd materials - so damn convincingly is simply a masterful performance from the group. Surely one of their biggest creative sparks ever. Almost unbelievable.)

I's love to continue the story of 'dark songs', but I better stop here.grinning smiley

- Doxa



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 2013-10-14 14:49 by Doxa.

Re: Track Talk: Paint It Black
Posted by: drewmaster ()
Date: October 14, 2013 14:53

I dig Paint It Black a bit more than many of the lightweight ditties from this, their "pop" period. It has more edge, thanks to Brian's sitar and the dark lyrics. Still, when all is said and done, PIB is more of an historical curio than a song with lasting musical staying power. It's just a preliminary warm-up to the brilliant and truly dangerous blues-infused masterpieces that were just around the corner.

Besides, I've never been a big fan of Turkish-Carpathian-Bukovinian psychedelic-polka music.

Drew



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 2013-10-15 03:59 by drewmaster.

Re: Track Talk: Paint It Black
Posted by: Witness ()
Date: October 14, 2013 14:59

I would like to say, thank you, Silver Dagger and Doxa, for that mighty input.

I only want to remark: The one rather early Stones song I have thought about (die Angst involved has made be blind for seeing "Paint It, Black" in that light) as psychedelic (or having shades of psychedelia) is another. It is also a rather dark song, even if it has to do with "the woman factor", "Sad Day". I have always liked the feel of that song, which I got hold of much later than "Paint It Black" and AFTERMATH. If "Paint It Black" and "Gimme Shelter" are cousin songs, maybe "Sad Day" might be seen as their somewhat poorer second cousin.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2013-10-14 15:00 by Witness.

Re: Track Talk: Paint It Black
Date: October 14, 2013 15:04

Sad Day never gets really sad. The verse lines are rather cheerful, and the chorus somehow follows that mood smiling smiley

The psychedelic elements (for me) is within the music on PIB.

Re: Track Talk: Paint It Black
Posted by: Witness ()
Date: October 14, 2013 15:19

[In a parenthesis then, as that song is not a theme here: For my own part, I have never experienced "Sad Day" as having cheerful traits. It might be on the surface, but only on the surface.]



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2013-10-14 15:24 by Witness.

Re: Track Talk: Paint It Black
Posted by: Silver Dagger ()
Date: October 14, 2013 15:31

I think if there is an earlier cousin song to Paint It Black it might be Mother's Little Helper. Both songs use a similar ascending and descending riff that produce a slightly manic and crazed effect. It's that Eastern influence coming in.

Perhaps Mother's Little Helper was their first psychedelic song in that case.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2013-10-14 15:32 by Silver Dagger.

Re: Track Talk: Paint It Black
Posted by: Come On ()
Date: October 14, 2013 15:43

Quote
DandelionPowderman
Sad Day never gets really sad. The verse lines are rather cheerful, and the chorus somehow follows that mood smiling smiley

The psychedelic elements (for me) is within the music on PIB.

Paint it black was just a boring list song I thought while a song as Sad Day grabbed hold of with sensitive vocal from Mick. This is still my opinion almost 50 years later ...I'm guessing that most people call this a matter of taste, but I suggest that we need to have just good taste also...grinning smiley


..she wouldn't say
I said something wrong
Now I long..

Re: Track Talk: Paint It Black
Posted by: howled ()
Date: October 14, 2013 15:47

I think some are reading too much into it.

The song started off with Keith's riff and they were doing novelty joke like things with it in the studio according to Keith and they probably would have had no idea when they were first playing around with it that it would end up as a potential single.

For how the Stones play around with arrangements, see the Goddard Sympathy video where it goes from an Acoustic song to a Samba.

Anyway, they played around with what would become Paint It Black and I think Jack Nitzsche got the rhythm going in a certain way and the Sitar playing the riff spun it in a certain way and then Mick probably finished off the lyrics to suit it (maybe inspired by some things he's read) and that was Paint It Black.

It could have ended up as a Mothers Little Helper thing with a middle eastern riff and different lyrics to suit.

The lyrics are about someones funeral that the person has known and the after effects, and Eleanor Rigby was sort of similar and recorded a bit earlier and later then when Paint It Black hit the charts.

This was in the period where the Beatles had stopped singing about Love and just about any subject could theoretically be used for a pop song.

Satisfaction was Keith suggesting Satisfaction as the title and Mick just focused on how he couldn't get it in the lyrics, which just worked.



Edited 4 time(s). Last edit at 2013-10-14 15:55 by howled.

Re: Track Talk: Paint It Black
Date: October 14, 2013 15:49

Quote
Witness
[In a parenthesis then, as that song is not a theme here: For my own part, I have never experienced "Sad Day" as having cheerful traits. It might be on the surface, but only on the surface.]

The melody, Witness..

Re: Track Talk: Paint It Black
Date: October 14, 2013 15:51

Quote
howled
I think some are reading too much into it.

The song started off with Keith's riff and they were doing novelty joke like things with it in the studio according to Keith and they probably would have had no idea when they were first playing around with it that it would end up as a potential single.

For how the Stones play around with arrangements, see the Goddard Sympathy video where it goes from an Acoustic song to a Samba.

Anyway, they played around with what would become Paint It Black and I think Jack Nitzsche got the rhythm going in a certain way and then Mick probably finished off the lyrics to suit it (maybe inspired by some things he's read) and that was Paint It Black.

It could have ended up as a Mothers Little Helper thing with a middle eastern riff and different lyrics to suit.

The lyrics are about someones funeral that the person has known and the after effects, and Eleanor Rigby was sort of similar and recorded a bit earlier and later then when Paint It Black hit the charts.

This was in the period where the Beatles had stopped singing about Love and just about any subject could theoretically be used for a pop song.

Up till 1967 Keith was also the main lyricist in the band, according to Mick himself.

Re: Track Talk: Paint It Black
Posted by: Silver Dagger ()
Date: October 14, 2013 16:06

Quote
DandelionPowderman
Quote
howled
I think some are reading too much into it.

The song started off with Keith's riff and they were doing novelty joke like things with it in the studio according to Keith and they probably would have had no idea when they were first playing around with it that it would end up as a potential single.

For how the Stones play around with arrangements, see the Goddard Sympathy video where it goes from an Acoustic song to a Samba.

Anyway, they played around with what would become Paint It Black and I think Jack Nitzsche got the rhythm going in a certain way and then Mick probably finished off the lyrics to suit it (maybe inspired by some things he's read) and that was Paint It Black.

It could have ended up as a Mothers Little Helper thing with a middle eastern riff and different lyrics to suit.

The lyrics are about someones funeral that the person has known and the after effects, and Eleanor Rigby was sort of similar and recorded a bit earlier and later then when Paint It Black hit the charts.

This was in the period where the Beatles had stopped singing about Love and just about any subject could theoretically be used for a pop song.

Up till 1967 Keith was also the main lyricist in the band, according to Mick himself.

I've never heard this before.

Re: Track Talk: Paint It Black
Posted by: Witness ()
Date: October 14, 2013 16:07

Quote
DandelionPowderman
Quote
Witness
[In a parenthesis then, as that song is not a theme here: For my own part, I have never experienced "Sad Day" as having cheerful traits. It might be on the surface, but only on the surface.]

The melody, Witness..

Against it, the disconcerting guitar, for instance at the end (I have not got it here, it is a guitar?). At least it is disconcerting to me and for me.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2013-10-14 16:07 by Witness.

Re: Track Talk: Paint It Black
Date: October 14, 2013 16:22

Quote
Silver Dagger
Quote
DandelionPowderman
Quote
howled
I think some are reading too much into it.

The song started off with Keith's riff and they were doing novelty joke like things with it in the studio according to Keith and they probably would have had no idea when they were first playing around with it that it would end up as a potential single.

For how the Stones play around with arrangements, see the Goddard Sympathy video where it goes from an Acoustic song to a Samba.

Anyway, they played around with what would become Paint It Black and I think Jack Nitzsche got the rhythm going in a certain way and then Mick probably finished off the lyrics to suit it (maybe inspired by some things he's read) and that was Paint It Black.

It could have ended up as a Mothers Little Helper thing with a middle eastern riff and different lyrics to suit.

The lyrics are about someones funeral that the person has known and the after effects, and Eleanor Rigby was sort of similar and recorded a bit earlier and later then when Paint It Black hit the charts.

This was in the period where the Beatles had stopped singing about Love and just about any subject could theoretically be used for a pop song.

Up till 1967 Keith was also the main lyricist in the band, according to Mick himself.

I've never heard this before.

I was thinking about a Mick-quote I read recently, but I can't find it. Maybe I just dreamt it grinning smiley It sounds weird, I know...

Re: Track Talk: Paint It Black
Date: October 14, 2013 16:24

Quote
Witness
Quote
DandelionPowderman
Quote
Witness
[In a parenthesis then, as that song is not a theme here: For my own part, I have never experienced "Sad Day" as having cheerful traits. It might be on the surface, but only on the surface.]

The melody, Witness..

Against it, the disconcerting guitar, for instance at the end (I have not got it here, it is a guitar?). At least it is disconcerting to me and for me.

That is my point! They TRY to make that chorus sad, but it comes across as (almost) cheerful, with its naive humming-like melody smiling smiley

The ending is standard Stones-soul, isn't it?

Re: Track Talk: Paint It Black
Posted by: His Majesty ()
Date: October 14, 2013 16:24

Quote
Mathijs
Quote
rootsman

Brian also plays acoustic guitar, btw.

Nope, that's Richards.

Mathijs

There are two, Brian most likely plays the off beat rhythmic acoustic which is near enough exact to what he played live.

...

The Brian Jones Resource



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2013-10-14 16:38 by His Majesty.

Re: Track Talk: Paint It Black
Posted by: howled ()
Date: October 14, 2013 16:25

Mick read quite a bit, poetry etc.

Sympathy was one example of some of the lyrics and lyric ideas coming from Mick's reading.

Re: Track Talk: Paint It Black
Posted by: Witness ()
Date: October 14, 2013 16:42

Quote
DandelionPowderman
Quote
Witness
Quote
DandelionPowderman
Quote
Witness
[In a parenthesis then, as that song is not a theme here: For my own part, I have never experienced "Sad Day" as having cheerful traits. It might be on the surface, but only on the surface.]

The melody, Witness..

Against it, the disconcerting guitar, for instance at the end (I have not got it here, it is a guitar?). At least it is disconcerting to me and for me.

That is my point! They TRY to make that chorus sad, but it comes across as (almost) cheerful, with its naive humming-like melody smiling smiley

The ending is standard Stones-soul, isn't it?

It is double-edged, but the sad and disconcerting part is dominating. That is, it is to me. In the way some other Stones songs have double layers: [Completely different, and this will deviate from the theme here. In the manner that "Far Away Eyes" apparently is a humourous song only. But if you are really sad, what song does bring more genuine sympathy than the chorus there? Which is able to do so, without ending up as pathetic, by virtue of the humorous surface. Said not to discuss that song, but to speak about double layers. Which, of course, others might experience otherwise as to "Sad Day".]

Re: Track Talk: Paint It Black
Posted by: Mathijs ()
Date: October 14, 2013 17:01

Quote
His Majesty
Quote
Mathijs
Quote
rootsman

Brian also plays acoustic guitar, btw.

Nope, that's Richards.

Mathijs

There are two, Brian most likely plays the off beat rhythmic acoustic which is near enough exact to what he played live.

There are two? Never heard that.

Mathijs

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