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"Black Limousine"
Song by The Rolling Stones from the album Tattoo You
Released 24 August 1981
Recorded January–March 1978, June–October 1979, April–June 1981
Genre Blues rock, hard rock
Length 3:31
Label Rolling Stones/Virgin
Writer Jagger/Richards/Ronnie Wood
Producer The Glimmer Twins
Tattoo You track listing

"Black Limousine" is a song by The Rolling Stones featured on their 1981 album Tattoo You.

The song[edit]

"Black Limousine" is one of the few credited to Mick Jagger, Keith Richards and Ronnie Wood (though incidentally one of two featured on Tattoo You). "Black Limousine" is a hard blues number (described as "fast mid-tempo blues of no specific nature"[1] by Jagger) which heavily hearkens back to the Rolling Stones' earliest recordings from their ABCKO/London albums. Using a heavy bellow, Jagger delivers his lines and spells out the growing rifts in an aging romance:

We used to shine, shine, shine, shine, Say what a pair, say what a team/We used to ride, ride, ride, ride, In a long black limousine/Those dreams are gone baby, Locked away and never seen/Well now look at your face now baby, Look at you and look at me.

On the lyrics, Richards said in 1981, "That song does have a more generous view of relationships with women... I guess, because the women in our lives at the moment have made a change in our attitudes toward it. I guess because everything that comes out from the Stones is just as it comes out... That's how we used to feel about it, and that's how we feel about it now. This is purely a guess... but it seems logical that the people you're with are the ones who are gonna influence you most, whether you intend it or not. Mick might intend to sit down and write a real Stones song - you know, 'Blechhh! You cruddy piece of shit, you dirty old scrub box!' But obviously, that's not the way he's feeling now. It's not the way I'm feeling now."[1]

On the music, Wood said in 2003, "'Black Limousine' came about from a slide guitar riff that was inspired in part by some Hop Wilson licks from a record that I once owned... And there was another guy called Big Moose, who I've never heard of before or since... He was an old slide guitar guy who had one particular lick that he would bring in every now and again. I thought, 'That's really good, I'm going to apply that' - and so subconsciously I wrote the whole song around that one little lick, building on it, resolving it and taking it round again... That was something that clicked musically straight away with the guitars and drums and Mick, and then we immediately got into sparring about the lyrics for it, since it was obviously crying out for some words... Mick's got his own style and that's why I let him interpret it in his own way..."[2]

Recording and aftermath[edit]

Recording began in January and ran through March 1978 during the band's sessions at Paris' Pathé Marconi Studios for the album Some Girls. "Black Limousine" would again be brought out to be worked on by the band during the 1979 sessions for Emotional Rescue. However it would again return to the vault before again re-emerging during the Tattoo You sessions in mid-1981. With Jagger on vocals and shrieking harmonica, Richards and Wood performing the song's electric guitars, with Wood providing the solo. Ian Stewart performs the song's piano. Charlie Watts and Bill Wyman perform the song's drums and bass, respectively.[1]

On his rare credit, Wood continued, saying, "I fought until I was blue in the face to get the credit, going on and on: 'I wrote that, I wrote that.' One of the lessons I had to learn was that if you want to get a credit, it has to happen there and then in the studio, as you're recording it."[2]

"Black Limousine" was performed heavily by the band during their American Tour 1981/European Tour 1982. It was also performed during the 1995 leg of the Voodoo Lounge Tour.[1] A recording was featured as a bonus track on the Japanese release of 1995's Stripped, as well as being the b-side to the album's lead single "Like a Rolling Stone".


  1. ^ a b c d "Black Limousine". timeisonourside.com. Retrieved 2006-08-06. 
  2. ^ a b According to The Rolling Stones. Chronicle Books. ISBN 0-8118-4060-3. 

External links[edit]

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Limousine — Please support Wikipedia.
This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia. A portion of the proceeds from advertising on Digplanet goes to supporting Wikipedia.

18 news items

antiMUSIC.com (blog)
Tue, 08 Jul 2014 05:17:54 -0700

I wrote a song for my comedy/dance band "The Funky Knights" in the 90s called "Black Limousine". It was, like lots of our songs, raunchy, sexy and funny. The chorus always sounded like a hit to me, so after that band went on sabbatical, I considered if ...
The Monthly (subscription)
Thu, 24 Jul 2014 22:00:30 -0700

A jet-black limousine ploughs its way along the driveway that leads from Jean Sibelius' house. In the half-light of a Helsinki winter, the branches of the... Image from 'The Last Diggers' by Ross Coulthart. Courtesy of HarperCollins. Why do Australians ...

Rochester City Newspaper

Rochester City Newspaper
Tue, 22 Jul 2014 22:15:00 -0700

The big black Limousine rolled up slow and ominous on Foro Sol Stadium in Mexico City. Sitting in the back, dressed in black and sporting Luchador masks, was instrumental surf rock band Los Straitjackets — the furthest thing from Mexican wrestlers as ...
Baltimore City Paper
Tue, 22 Jul 2014 12:44:25 -0700

To my left, Johnny Winter, a portrait of woe in white in the back of a black limousine, too bereaved to get out and join others mourning the man he loved and from whom he learned. “That was just too sad,” Winter said by phone from his tour bus a few ...


Sun, 20 Jul 2014 18:30:00 -0700

He recalls a big black limousine showing up at his house, and a man in a black suit getting out to speak to his mother, Katherine. His father, Ed, had gone overseas in 1939, about a year after Ken was born. The young Stahl didn't hear the conversation.
Jamaica Observer
Sat, 19 Jul 2014 23:56:15 -0700

I remember a black limousine threading its way cautiously through long lines of spectators in 1955. We waved to a pale, thin and scared-looking face in the back seat, none other than Her Royal Highness, the young Princess Margaret. It was at Denbigh ...

Irish Times

Irish Times
Wed, 16 Jul 2014 08:49:47 -0700

More than 1,000 people were invited to the inauguration ceremony, with Assad arriving at the palace in a black limousine and being welcomed on a red carpet by a military band. He swore the oath of office on a copy of the Qur'an, vowing to “respect the ...
Tue, 08 Jul 2014 19:37:17 -0700

... dress and sombrero added a Latin touch to the parade before Darth Vader and a Sith, epitome's of America's successful film empire, strutted down the street with candy occasionally making an unexpected gleeful appearance from a black limousine.

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