As Tears Go By (song)  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

"As Tears Go By" is a song written by The Rolling Stones frontman Mick Jagger, guitarist Keith Richards, and their manager Andrew Loog Oldham and most popularly recorded by British singer Marianne Faithfull in 1964.

The song is considered to be the first original composition by Jagger and Richards. Up until that point they had been performing covers of blues standards. The myth surrounding the song's genesis has it that Rolling Stones manager Andrew Loog Oldham locked Jagger and Richards in a kitchen forcing them to write a song together, even suggesting what type of song he wanted: “I want a song with brick walls all around it, high windows and no sex.” The result was initially named “As Time Goes By” the title of the song Dooley Wilson sings in the film Casablanca. It was Oldham who changed “Time” for “Tears.” Oldham subsequently gave the ballad (a format that the Stones were not yet known for) to Faithfull, then 17, for her to record as a B-side. The success of the recording caused the record company, Decca, to switch the song to an A-side, where it became a very popular single. It reached # 4 in the British charts and launched Faithfull's career as a major singer. The song entered the Billboard Hot 100 in America the week ending November 28, 1964, where it stayed for nine weeks peaking at # 22.

The Stones recorded their own version in 1965. It appeared as the B-side to "19th Nervous Breakdown" in the U.K. This recording is notable for its heavy string arrangement by Mike Leander. It was one of the three songs ( "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction" and "19th Nervous Breakdown" being the other two ) the band performed live during their third appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show. It was released as a single by their American record label, London Records, due to popular demand after radio DJ's across the country started playing the song from their recently released compilation album December's Children (And Everybody's). The song peaked at # 6 on the Billboard charts in America for the Stones. The song had great success on the Billboard Easy Listening chart (#10 peak) years before the seemingly more wholesome Beatles would see their first entry.

It was performed live on tour for the first time in November 2005 on the Stones' A Bigger Bang Tour. A performance from the 2006 leg of the tour was captured for the 2008 live release Shine a Light.

Other live versions include a rendition by French pop star Vanessa Paradis and Marianne Faithfull accompanied by guitarist Johnny Marr during a tribute concert to Linda McCartney at the Royal Albert Hall in April 1999.

It was covered by British bubblegummers The Primitives on the 12" of Sick of It and as a regular part of their live show. It has also been recorded (in Catalan) by the Mallorquina singer Maria del Mar Bonet.

It was also covered by Nancy Sinatra in 1966 on her album "Boots" and PP Arnold in 1970, once again produced by Andrew Loog Oldham.

The song appears as bonus track on the 1984 Psychic TV album of demo recordings "Pagan Day."

The song was translated in Italian ("Con le mie lacrime") and released in 1965 as a bonus track in "As Tears Go By" Single album in Italy. It was also performed, live, in the last Bigger Bang tour in Milan, on July 2006.



Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "As Tears Go By (song)" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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