The Last Time – The Rolling Stones

THIS DAY IN MUSIC……………………………….on March 16th of 1965 The Rolling Stones were at #1 on the UK singles chart with “The Last Time”, the band’s third UK #1. This was inspired by a 1955 gospel song called “This May Be The Last Time” by The Staple Singers. The Stones changed the meaning of the song, making it into a stern message to a girl. The Staples version had a more uplifting message and was much more spiritual. Many Gospel fans felt The Stones ripped it off, since The Staple Singers never got any royalties from it. Since it is a traditional song (meaning no one owns the rights to it), many artists have recorded it, but The Stones were a very high-profile band that had success reworking songs by black artists into hits. Many people believe The Stones should have compensated The Staple Singers because it was based on their version of the song. This song did have some clear antecedents in black American music, in particular the 1964 James Brown single “Maybe the Last Time,” which was itself based on ideas found in a traditional gospel song that had been recorded, but not written, by the Staple Singers. The Stones recorded this in Los Angeles on a one day tour stopover on their way to Australia. The Stones were on a grueling American tour, but in order to capitalize on their success they wanted to keep cranking out singles, especially in England because they were not there. As a result, they frequently recorded in between American shows. The opening guitar riff by Brian Jones repeats throughout the song. This was an innovative device for a pop song at the time. This was the first song Mick Jagger and Keith Richards wrote that was an A-side single. The Stones played a lot of covers before they learned to write songs. The song reached #9 in the US.