File:Jagger and Richards with the Rolling Stones 2013.jpg
Jagger (front) and Richards (rear, with guitar) performing with The Rolling Stones on their 50 & Counting Tour in Boston, Mass. 12 June 2013

The songwriting partnership of Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, known as Jagger/Richards (and occasionally Richards/Jagger), is a musical collaboration whose output has produced the majority of the catalogue of The Rolling Stones. It is one of the most successful songwriting partnerships in history.

In addition to Jagger and Richards's songwriting partnership, they have also produced or co-produced numerous Rolling Stones albums under the pseudonym The Glimmer Twins.


Jagger, left, with Richards 1972

Jagger and Richards have different recollections about their first songwriting endeavours but both credit manager Andrew Loog Oldham as the catalyst for their collaboration. Richards agrees that it was Oldham who pressed the pair to write songs after the duo had first emphasized other people's material; Oldham noted that there weren't that many obscure great songs out there for the band to cover.[1] According to him:

Jagger's version is:

According to John Lennon, he and Paul McCartney might have been instrumental in inspiring Jagger and Richards to start writing their own material. In 1963 Lennon and McCartney gave the Stones one of their compositions, "I Wanna Be Your Man." In a Playboy interview in 1980, Lennon recalled:

The first original Jagger/Richards song to be released as the A-side of a Rolling Stones single was "Tell Me (You're Coming Back)", from their debut album. Released as a single in the US only, peaked at number 24 on the charts there. The earlier "Good Times, Bad Times" had been released as the B-side to their cover of Bobby and Shirley Womack's "It's All Over Now". The band's first UK single featuring an a-side Jagger/Richards original was "The Last Time"; released in February 1965, it went to number 1 in the UK and number 9 in the US.[5]

Although most Jagger/Richards compositions have been collaborations, some of the songs credited to the famous partnership have been most frequently solo songwriting from either Jagger, whose examples include "Sympathy for the Devil" and "Brown Sugar", or Richards, whose examples include "Happy", "Ruby Tuesday", and "Little T&A". This is comparable to the Lennon–McCartney partnership, who also adhered to a tradition of joint credits even on numbers that were written by just one of the pair. As Mick Jagger stated in his comprehensive 1995 interview with Jann Wenner of Rolling Stone magazine, "I think in the end it all balances out."[6]

One of the patterns that the Jagger/Richards collaboration initially followed has been that Jagger wrote most of the lyrics while Richards focused on the music. Jagger discussed this in the same 1995 interview with Wenner, whereby he explained how songs like "Get Off of My Cloud", "As Tears Go By", "Wild Horses", "Tumbling Dice" and "Beast of Burden" were created.[6] Jagger has also pointed out that this pattern was more prevalent in the early 1960s, while in their later collaborations their roles have overlapped more, with both of them contributing lyrics and music.[2]

On 26 June 2013, the duo's songwriting credits were handed over to BMG, marking the first time they would be managed by an outside company in over 40 years.[7]


Jagger and Richards have shared credits with very few others. Among them are:

Co-Writer Song Notes
Andrew Loog Oldham "As Tears Go By"
Marianne Faithfull "Sister Morphine"
Mick Taylor "Ventilator Blues" Stones guitarist from 1969–1974. Taylor has stated that he left the Rolling Stones partly because he was not given co-writing credits on material he felt he should have received credit, including "Sway" and "Moonlight Mile," which he wrote with Jagger in Richards' absence.[8][9]
Ronnie Wood "Dance (Pt. 1)", "If I Was A Dancer (Dance Pt. 2)", "Everything Is Turning to Gold", "Black Limousine", "No Use in Crying", "Pretty Beat Up", "One Hit (To the Body)", "Fight", "Dirty Work", "Had It With You" and "When You're Gone" Rolling Stones guitarist since 1976. He is credited as "Inspiration by Ronnie Wood" on "It's Only Rock 'n Roll (But I Like It)" and "Hey Negrita"
Billy Preston Preston is credited as "Inspiration by Billy Preston" on "Melody"
Chuck Leavell "Back to Zero" Leavell has performed as a keyboardist with the Rolling Stones since 1982
Steve Jordan "Almost Hear You Sigh" "One more shot" (new song on the GRRR! album) Jordan, a popular drummer and producer has appeared with the Rolling Stones solo projects, perhaps most visible as a member of the John Mayer Trio or that of Keith Richards and the X-pensive Winos.
k.d. lang and Ben Mink "Anybody Seen My Baby?" Lang and Mink were not involved with the composition of "Anybody Seen My Baby?"; they were given co-writing credits when prior to the song's release, one of Keith Richards' daughters pointed out a similarity to "Constant Craving", a hit from Lang's 1992 Ingénue album.
Pierre de Beauport "Thief in the Night"

Jagger/Richards compositions released only by other artists

Some Jagger/Richards compositions have been released only by artists other than The Rolling Stones include:[10]

List of Rolling Stones singles credited to Jagger/Richards

These are the Jagger/Richards songs that have been released as Rolling Stones singles (both A-side and B-sides), and promos, as credited to Jagger/Richards:

Production as the Glimmer Twins and origin of the name

Jagger and Richards adopted the nickname "The Glimmer Twins" after a vacation cruise they took to Brazil in December 1968/January 1969 with their then-girlfriends, Marianne Faithfull and Anita Pallenberg. An older English couple on the ship kept asking Richards and Jagger who they were. When they refused to reveal their identities, the woman reportedly kept asking, "just give us a glimmer" (as in "give us a hint about who you are"), which amused Jagger and Richards.[14]

Jagger and Richards began to produce the Stones' albums under the pseudonym "The Glimmer Twins" starting with It's Only Rock 'n' Roll (released in 1974). The Glimmer Twins were the sole credited producers for the band's studio and live albums from that point through "Still Life" (American Concert 1981) (released in 1982). Starting with Undercover (released in 1983), the Glimmer Twins have shared production credit for the Rolling Stones albums with other producers, most frequently Don Was (five times) and Chris Kimsey (three times).

Besides their production work for the Rolling Stones, Jagger and Richards also used the Glimmer Twins for their co-production credit on Peter Tosh's album Bush Doctor, released in 1978. A rare exception to Jagger and Richards's use of the Glimmer Twins name for production credits appeared on John Phillips's Pay, Pack and Follow album, recorded 1973–1979 and released in 2001, for which Jagger and Richards were credited as producers under their own names.

See also


  1. ^ "Howlin' Wolf 1964 + Rolling Stones". Video of Chess Records and Chicago Blues History Fair Documentary. Retrieved 17 May 2010. 
  2. ^ a b McPherson, Ian. "Jagger/Richards: Songwriters Part I". Retrieved 2008-02-25. 
  3. ^ Jagger, Mick; Richards, Keith; Watts, Charlie; Wood, Ronnie (2003). According to the Rolling Stones. Chronicle Books. p. 84. ISBN 0-8118-4060-3. 
  4. ^ Sheff, David. "Playboy Interview with John Lennon and Yoko Ono". Retrieved 2012-02-15. 
  5. ^ Elliott, Martin (2002). The Rolling Stones: Complete Recording Sessions 1962–2002. Cherry Red Books. pp. 59–60. ISBN 1-901447-04-9. 
  6. ^ a b Wenner, Jann (14 December 1995). "Jagger Remembers: The Rolling Stone Interview". Rolling Stone (723). 
  7. ^ Sweney, Mark (26 June 2013). "Rolling Stones' Mick Jagger and Keith Richards sign BMG publishing deal". The Guardian. Guardian Media Group. Retrieved 26 June 2013. 
  8. ^ James, Gary. "Gary James' Interview With Mick Taylor of the Rolling Stones". Retrieved 2008-02-21. 
  9. ^ Graham, Bob (13 September 2009). "The Rolling Stone who's stony broke". Mail Online. Retrieved 2009-09-13. 
  10. ^ Zentgraf, Nico. "The Complete Works of the Rolling Stones 1962–2008". Retrieved 2008-02-19. 
  11. ^ "All I Want Is My Baby" at
  12. ^ released as a benefit single to aid victims of Hurricane Katrina
  13. ^ actually a Jagger/Wood or Jagger/Richards/Wood composition, but attributed to Jagger/Richards – see According to the Rolling Stones (Jagger, Richards, Watts and Wood 2003, pp. 162–164)
  14. ^ Blake, John. His Satanic Majesty: Mick Jagger. New York: Holt, 1985.

External links

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