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WCSX Classic Cuts : Start Me Up

WCSX Classic Cuts

The Rolling Stones: "Start Me Up"

The Hook: They recorded it many times as a reggae song, but it never really worked. Years later, they used the one rock and roll take they did as the basis for the version that became the hit.

Album: Tattoo You

Year:
1981

Writers:
Mick Jagger and Keith Richards

Stats:
Peaked at number-two on the Billboard Hot 100.

Background:
The Rolling Stones did multiple takes of "Start Me Up" during the sessions for Some Girls in 1977 and '78. Keith Richards tells how a few years later the one take that stood out from the rest became the version we know and love.

Keith Richards on “Start Me Up.” OC:…just buried. :29

“I was convinced and I think Mick was, too, that it was definitely a reggae song and we did about 38 takes with ‘Start me up…’ [sings and speaks in Jamaican accent] And it didn’t make it. And somewhere in the middle of a break, just to break the tension, Charlie and I did the rock ‘n roll version. Five years later, when somebody sifted all the way through, after doing about 70 takes of ‘Star Me Up’, we found that one in the middle. It was just buried.”

The Rolling Stones - Start Me Up - Official Promo

The official promo video for the Rolling Stones' 'Start Me Up', directed by Michael Lindsay-Hogg. Released in 1981, the song was a number one hit and the lead single from Tattoo You. The song was written by Jagger/ Richards, produced by the Glimmer Twins and features Mick Jagger on lead vocals, Keith Richards and Ronnie Wood on guitars, Charlie Watts on drums and Bill Wyman on bass.