Any song by The Rolling Stones really isn’t a lost classic but Memory Motel comes close since it doesn’t get the radio play that all the other great “Stones” songs get. “Memory Motel” is off of the album Black and Blue that came out in 1976. A couple other big named tunes off of the album are “Hot Stuff” and “Fool to Cry” which peaked at number 10 on the Billboard Hot 100. This album is the first that would have Ronnie Wood on it doing mostly background vocals but he did play guitar on a few on the tunes however he did not play guitar on this one.
Memory Motel is mostly known as written by Mick Jagger but Keith Richards is also credited as being a writer on it. Maybe one of the reasons Motel doesn’t get the air play that other Stones songs get is because it is one of the longest songs The Rolling Stones ever did coming in at over 7 minutes long. Instead of going into all the details about the tune here (most readers I’m sure already know it) you can read it here.
Recorded in Munich, Germany at Musicland Studios (where many classic bands recorded back in the day) in 1975 with legendary musicians Harvey Mandel on electric guitar, Wayne Perkins on acoustic guitar, Billy Preston playing acoustic piano, electric piano, and string synthesizer and the other two famous Stones musicians Charlie Watts and Bill Wyman. Preston and Woods also contributed background vocals to the song. “Memory Motel” is a classic that gives us both Mick Jagger and Keith Richards sharing the vocal lead. The mellow tone gives it a true “love song” appeal and as you listen to it you can almost feel the pain that comes with a simple night at a Motel then the long, grinding and never ending travel on the road thinking about that “one night” and hoping that someday it might happen again. Seven minute love song masterpieces don’t come along very often and this lost classic belongs on your Stones playlist if it isn’t already there. Enjoy!!!
On our next post (around Nov 7th) we will showcase blues music prodigy Justin Johnson. Here is a sample of Justin playing the three string shovel guitar that will just blow you away. If you are interested in purchasing one of these beauties for yourself after watching the video here is a link on his web site.