The Rolling Stones song Keith Richards struggled to record

Keith Richards

Keith Richards seems to take The Rolling Stones’ music in every aspect for granted. Richards may have begun by imitating musicians like Buddy Guy and Muddy Waters, but his unique guitar style was all about taking the fundamentals of rock and roll and making them sound wicked, as heard on songs like “Gimme Shelter” and “Satisfaction.” Richards’ friendly attitude to every Stones record wasn’t something that just happened; even though it wasn’t very showy.

The group’s back catalog contains the majority of their well-known songs. This catalog features recordings from each member experimenting with different approaches to the rock formula. Richards often found his voice, as evidenced by the peculiar fusion of acoustic and electric guitars in “Jumpin Jack Flash.” They sometimes stole a few tricks from their rivals, The Beatles.

Richards was more than happy to assume the identity of the mysterious guitar hero. When the situation demanded it, he would also take the mic stand. After a few duels with Mick Jagger on songs like “Something Happened To Me Yesterday,” Richards felt more at ease handling his material in the group’s later years. He composed songs like “Salt of the Earth” and “Happy” on his own with little help from Jagger.

As the 1970s came to an end, the band realized they needed to break away from their standard formula. While the electric blues sound would always be in vogue, The Stones’ next phase saw them incorporating elements of contemporary dance music. From the disco-tinged “Miss You” to the punk intensity of “Respectable,” each song on the Some Girls album felt like a unique work of art.

“Before They Make Me Run,” which appears halfway through the album, displays Richards at his weakest. He talks about not giving in to peer pressure and never backing down from a challenge. He may sing with conviction in the song, but in the studio at the time it was hard to find the same extent.

Richards remembers how hard it was to get the finished song recorded when addressing the song’s tracking. He said, “I was in the studio, without leaving, for five days.” One of the engineers, Dave Jordan, would fall asleep under the desk for a few hours. I would then replace him with the other engineer and carry on. By the time it was over, our eyes were all black. I think that was the longest I’ve ever done. “Before They Make Me Run” was the marathon, but there have been others that were close, like “Can’t Be Seen.”

Keith Richards developed one of his best solo songs in The Stones‘ songs. He put a rock twist on his signature sound despite the lengthy hours it took to complete the song. It’s easier to believe the lyrics when they come from Richards’s mouth. Jagger could have turned “Before They Make Me Run” into a great song.















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