The Rolling Stones (with Sonny Rollins): Waiting On A Friend
Waiting On A Friend
The Rolling Stones
Tattoo You (7243-8-39521-2-0)
Nicky Hopkins (piano).
Composed by Mick Jagger & Keith Richards.
Recorded: Kingston, Jamaica, late 1972-early 1973 and April 1981
Rating: 89/100 (learn more)
"Waiting On A Friend" was a meeting of an all-time top-three rock 'n' roll band and an all-time top-three tenor saxophonist. This laid-back, breezy tune, which became a Top 15 hit for the Stones in 1981, was uncharacteristic for them in that it contained none of the nastiness and frazzled blues edges that defined the band. Jagger later wrote lyrics to the original demos that matched the friendly melody with a rare openness and sincerity about the virtues of true friendship.
There's still not that much jazzy about this song, but bringing in Sonny Rollins to supply some sax to it made sense. After all, the originator of "St. Thomas" wasn't going to be such a bad fit for a song that possesses a mild calypso flavor. Rollins's effortless expression and reedy tone blended with Jagger's "ooo's" and "yeahs" as naturally as did Hopkins's light piano or the rich rhythm guitars.
The Rolling Stones and Sonny Rollins met in a musically neutral location for a song that doesn't represent a high point for either side, but is nonetheless a pleasant diversion by both.
Reviewer: S. Victor Aaron
Tags: tenor sax