ON THIS DATE (34 YEARS AGO)
May 10, 1978 – The Rolling Stones: “Miss You” b/w “Far Away Eyes” (Rolling Stone RS-19307) 45 single is released in the US.
“Miss You” is a song written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards. It was released as a single by The Rolling Stones on Rolling Stones Records one month in advance of their album Some Girls, and peaked at number 1 on the Billboard Hot 100. It also reached number 3 in the United Kingdom. The song was originally nearly nine minutes long, but was edited to nearly five minutes for the album version, and to three-and-a-half minutes for the radio single. In order to properly edit the radio single without audible bumps and glitches, a separate mix was constructed and then edited for continuity. The b-side of the single was another album track, “Far Away Eyes,” a tongue-in-cheek country and western tune sung by Jagger in a pronounced drawl.
In 2010, Rolling Stone magazine rated “Miss You” number 498 in its list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.
In actuality, “Miss You” was written by Mick Jagger jamming with keyboardist Billy Preston during rehearsals for the March 1977 El Mocambo club gigs, recordings from which appeared on side three of Love You Live. Keith Richards is credited as co-writer as was the case for all Rolling Stones originals written by either partner or in tandem.
Jagger and Ronnie Wood insist that “Miss You” wasn’t conceived as a disco song, while Richards said, “…’Miss You’ was a damn good disco record; it was calculated to be one.” In any case, what was going on in discotheques did make it to the recording. Charlie Watts said, “A lot of those songs like ‘Miss You’ on ‘Some Girls’… were heavily influenced by going to the discos. You can hear it in a lot of those four-to-the-floor and the Philadelphia-style drumming.” For the bass part, Bill Wyman started from Preston’s bass guitar on the song demo. Chris Kimsey, who engineered the recording of the song, said Wyman went “…to quite a few clubs before he got that bass line sorted out.”, which Kimsey said “made that song.” Jagger sang a good part of the chorus using falsetto “ooh”s often in unison with harmonica, guitar and electric piano.
Unlike most of Some Girls, “Miss You” features several studio musicians. In addition to Sugar Blue, who according to Wood was found while busking on the streets of Paris, Ian McLagan played understated Wurlitzer electric piano, and Mel Collins provides the saxophone solo for the instrumental break.
The 12″ version of the song runs over eight minutes, and features additional instrumentation and solos, particularly on guitar. It was remixed by Bob Clearmountain, then an upcoming mixer and engineer. This song, the first edit the Stones did for a 12″ single, also contains tape repeats and an additional set of lyrics in the second verse, after the line “Hey, let’s go mess and fool around you know, like we used to.” The extended version can be found in edited form on the album Rarities 1971-2003.