Rolling Stones - Paint It Black

About "Paint It Black"

"Paint It Black" is a song recorded in 1966 by the English rock band the Rolling Stones. A product of the songwriting partnership of Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, it is a raga rock song with Indian, Middle Eastern and Eastern European influences and lyrics about grief and loss. London Records released the song as a single on 7 May 1966 in the United States, and Decca Records released it on 13 May in the United Kingdom. Two months later, London Records included it as the opening track on the American version of the band's 1966 studio album Aftermath, though it is not on the original UK release.

Originating from a series of improvisational melodies played by Brian Jones on the sitar, the song features all five members of the band contributing to the final arrangement although only Jagger and Richards were credited as songwriters. In contrast to previous Rolling Stones singles with straightforward rock arrangements, "Paint It Black" has unconventional instrumentation, including a prominent sitar, the Hammond organ and castanets. This instrumental experimentation matches other songs on Aftermath. The song was influential to the burgeoning psychedelic genre as the first chart-topping single to feature the sitar, and widened the instrument's audience. Reviews of the song at the time were mixed, and some music critics believed its use of the sitar was an attempt to copy the Beatles, while others criticised its experimental style and doubted its commercial potential.

"Paint It Black" was a major chart success for the Rolling Stones, remaining 11 weeks (including two at number one) on the US Billboard Hot 100, and 10 weeks (including one atop the chart) on the Record Retailer chart in the UK. Upon a reissue in 2007, it reentered the UK Singles Chart for 11 weeks. It was the band's third number-one single in the US and sixth in the UK. The song also topped charts in Canada and the Netherlands. It received a platinum certification in the UK from the British Phonographic Industry (BPI) and from Italy's Federazione Industria Musicale Italiana (FIMI).

"Paint It Black" was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2018, and Rolling Stone magazine ranked the song number 213 on their list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. In 2011, the song was added to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's list of "The Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll". Many artists have covered "Paint It Black" since its initial release. It has been included on many of the band's compilation albums and several film soundtracks. It has been played on a number of Rolling Stones tours.

Top songs by Rolling Stones

Albums by Rolling Stones

12 X 5 (1964)
England's Newest Hit Makers (1964)
Out of Our Heads (1965)
December's Children (And Everybody's)  (1965)
The Rolling Stones No. 2 (1965)
The Rolling Stones, Now! (1965)
Aftermath (1966)
Got Live If You Want It! (1966)
Between the Buttons (1967)
Their Satanic Majesties Request (1967)
Beggars Banquet (1968)
Let It Bleed (1969)
Get Yer Ya-Ya's Out! The Rolling Stones in Concert (1970)
Sticky Fingers (1971)
Exile on Main St. (1972)
Goats Head Soup (1973)
It's Only Rock 'n Roll (1974)
Black and Blue (1976)
Love You Live (1977)
Some Girls (1978)
Emotional Rescue (1980)
Tattoo You (1981)
Still Life (1982)
Undercover (1983)
Dirty Work (1986)
Steel Wheels (1989)
Flashpoint (1991)
Voodoo Lounge (1994)
Stripped (1995)
The Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus (1996)
Bridges to Babylon (1997)
No Security (1998)
Live Licks (2004)
A Bigger Bang (2005)
Shine a Light (2008)
Blue & Lonesome (2016)
On Air (2017)
El Mocambo 1977 (2022)
Grrr Live! (2023)

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