The phrase “sex, drugs, and rock ‘n’ roll” comes to mind when thinking of The Rolling Stones. With their dramatic concerts, which featured Keith Richards’ blistering guitar riffs and Mick Jagger’s well-known dancing skills, they raised the bar for intensity and excitement on stage. They also incorporated elements of blues, R&B, and other genres into their music, creating a unique sound that inspired countless other bands.
The Rolling Stones were known for their rebellious image and controversial lyrics, which challenged social norms and pushed boundaries. They paved the way for future generations of rock musicians to express themselves freely and authentically, both in their music and in their public personas. Over the years, the band’s many members have all contributed to this infamous mythos, but the frontman Mick Jagger, the lead guitarist Keith Richards, and the late multi-instrumentalist Brian Jones deserve special recognition.
Its notoriety has occasionally threatened to eclipse the band’s undeniable musical accomplishments. The foreboding song “Paint It Black,” which Jagger famously described as the beginning of “miserable psychedelia,” is one of the band’s most significant creative works.
One of the best songs is “Paint It Black” due to its distinctive sound, an eerie tune, and alluring lyrics. Brian Jones’ characteristic sitar riff is present in the song and works well with Mick Jagger’s forceful vocals. Many listeners may find this song to be emotionally resonant and sympathetic because the lyrics discuss grief, loss, and depression. Due to its inclusion in popular songs by The Kinks, “See My Friends,” and most notably, The Beatles, “Norwegian Wood,” around this time the Indian instrument had begun to earn recognition in Western popular music.
The song’s popularity has endured over the years and has been covered by numerous artists. Its inclusion in films, TV shows, and commercials has also helped to cement its place in music history. Jones was renowned for his rapid sitar improvisational skills. Harihar Rao, a student of the greatest sitarist in the world, Ravi Shankar, instructed him in the use of the instrument. After speaking with George Harrison of The Beatles, who had used the sitar on their song “Norwegian Wood” the year before, Jones started putting increasingly intricate melodies together and attempting to incorporate them into the band’s music.
Due to the genre’s innate debt to the music and scales of the East, the sitar lends the song its strongly hallucinogenic atmosphere. Also, it gave a new perspective to Jagger’s melancholy lyrics, which seem to be about a lover who has departed away. When Jagger was asked why he wrote a song about death, he replied, “I don’t know. It’s been done before. It’s not an original thought by any means. It all depends on how you do it.”
Mick Jagger mentioned the song’s psychedelic sound and the significant drug influence in other places. He called it “miserable psychedelia,” which might be interpreted as a more emotional rendition of the genre than the openly happy one it spawned.