ON THIS DATE (26 YEARS AGO)
May 9, 1986 – The Rolling Stones: “One Hit (To The Body)” b/w “Fight” (Rolling Stone 38-05906) 45 single is released in the US.
“One Hit (To the Body)” is the opening track to The Rolling Stones’ 1986 album Dirty Work. “One Hit (To the Body)” was released as Dirty Work’s second single on May 16 in the United Kingdom and May 9 in the United States with album mate “Fight” as its B-side. The single reached the top 30 in the US but is notable for being the first single by the band to miss the UK Top 75. One of the song’s most memorable features was the music video produced in support, directed by Russell Mulcahy. Featuring the Stones in a large warehouse set, the song’s title is taken literally and both Jagger and Richards are seen trading mock blows whilst archive footage of actual boxing matches is cut in. Dirty Work has long been known as the album produced at the height of Jagger and Richards’ feud during the 1980s. A remix of the song, called the “London Mix” (clocking at 7:00), was done by Steve Lillywhite and then released on the 12″ single.
Credited to lead singer Mick Jagger, guitarist Keith Richards and guitarist Ron Wood, “One Hit (To the Body)” was largely the work of Richards and Wood. Both guitarists contributed heavily to Dirty Work overall, with Wood receiving credit alongside Jagger and Richards on another three songs. A sign of Wood’s heavy contribution is the song’s distinctive opening of an acoustic piece. Wood used Richards’ own 1967 Martin D-18 to perform the jam in an attempt to come up with a proper electric riff, but the acoustic version remained. The band is known for their use of acoustic guitars to “shadow” their electric guitars; “Brown Sugar” being a prime example. Both Richards and Wood played electric, but the solo was provided by ex-Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page. Page’s contribution was the result of a short studio session between him and Wood after Page’s request to hear what the band was working on. Drummer Charlie Watts provides the song’s driving beat as well as its notable cymbal opening, while Bill Wyman performs bass.
Backing vocals on the song were provided by Richards, Wood, Bobby Womack, Patti Scialfa, Don Covay, and producer Steve Lillywhite’s wife Kirsty MacColl. Recording and re-recording lasted throughout much of 1985. Two locations used were the Pathé Marconi Studios in Paris and New York City’s RPM Studios.