The whole music industry hasn’t always known how to be the healthiest of places. Songwriters are on the hunt for blood in this field, and it’s usually every man for himself when it comes to who gets to star. When you’ve reached a certain level as a songwriter, sometimes you have too many good songs for everyone.
Looking to break out of their usual wheelhouse, these are the rare times artists have tried to write a song with a different person in mind. Whether it was a collaboration they wanted to do or just to grow as songwriters, these were the kind of songs that were meant to be a change of pace from the norm that these people have settled down. Again, not all of these musicians were able to get their versions of songs to the artist in question.
Did that stop them? Surely not. By choosing to record them on their own, these songs have either become hits on their own or deep album tracks that are among the biggest fan favorites in the band’s catalog. Just because you sound like someone else doesn’t mean it’s a bad idea. Every group needs a shake-up from time to time, and this is the kind of exercise that lets you know what you’re capable of.
Nobody in their right mind looked to someone like the Rolling Stones in the 60s for wholesome content. At the same time as The Beatles brought the British Invasion Abroad, the Keith Richards and Mick Jagger caricature was the model of the dangerous boy no mother would have approved of. Every rocker has a sensitive side though, and the Stones actually had their ballads at the start of As Tears Go By.
Around the time they were just beginning to write their original material, Jagger and Richards were also tasked with writing for other artists on the side. Since Mick’s girlfriend, Marianne Faithfull, was also a terrific singer in her own right, you can tell she was on his mind when he was writing this track, having that delicate sound that Faithfull was perfect for in her prime. .
They didn’t even bother to give the track much breathing space either, with Marianne’s version being released almost the same time the Stones released their version. Admittedly, the Faithfull original is probably remembered a bit more, if only for the fact that her voice really fits into this song a lot more than Mick’s signature growl. Still, it’s the kind of track that serves as a good deep dive for Stones fans and a lesson for anyone who despises rock and rollers. Sure, they might look menacing, but the real ones also have a heart underneath.