The Last Time (The Rolling Stones song)
"The Last Time" is a song by the English rock band The Rolling Stones. This was The Rolling Stones' first British single written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, although Keith Richards admitted in the 2003 book According to the Rolling Stones that 'we came up with "The Last Time", which was basically re-adapting a traditional gospel song that had been sung by The Staple Singers, but luckily the song itself goes back into the mists of time.' It was the band's third UK single to reach No. 1 in the UK Singles Chart, spending three weeks at the top in March and early April 1965. It reached No.2 in the Irish Singles Chart in March 1965. "The Last Time" was recorded at RCA Studios in Hollywood, California in January 1965.
Footage still exists of a number of performances of this song by the Rolling Stones in 1965: from the popular BBC-TV music show Top of the Pops, the 1965 New Musical Express Poll Winners Concert and American TV shows including The Ed Sullivan Show, Shindig! and The Hollywood Palace. A full live performance is also prominently featured in the 2012 re-edit of the 1965 documentary Charlie Is My Darling. The footage establishes that the distinctive guitar riff was played by Brian Jones, while the chords and guitar solo were played by Keith Richards.
A fan favourite and popular song in the Stones' canon, it was regularly performed in concert during the band's 1965, 1966 and 1967 tours. It was then left off their concert set lists until 1997-98, when it reappeared on the Bridges to Babylon Tour. It would later appear on some of the band's setlists in 2012-13 on the 50 & Counting tour.
Although the song is credited to Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, Richards has mentioned that it was based on a traditional gospel song called "This May Be The Last Time", recorded by The Staple Singers in 1955.
- Mick Jagger - Lead vocals and percussion
- Brian Jones - Guitar
- Keith Richards - Guitar (solo) and backing vocals
- Bill Wyman - backing vocals, Bass guitar
- Charlie Watts - Drums
In 1993, the Grateful Dead covered it multiple times during the 1990s. In particular, at a concert on 6/26/1993 at RFK Stadium during the second set after Space. GD also covered it on 4-2-1995 Memphis, TN at the Pyramid Arena, only the second time they had played in Memphis. The song also appears on the Spring 1990: So Glad You Made It live album released in September 2012.
In May 1965, French singer Ronnie Bird released a French-language adaptation, "Elle m'attend" ("She's Waiting for Me")
In 1966, American girl group Candy & The Kisses recorded the song and released it as a single.
In 1967, The Who covered it and released it as a single, with 'Under My Thumb' as the B-Side. (This was as a gesture of support to Jagger and Richards, and protest against the harsh sentences that had recently been imposed against them, following their drug bust.)
In 1978, American country singer Bobby Bare covered the song on his album Sleeper Wherever I Fall.
In 1997, country music group The Tractors covered the song on the album Stone Country: Country Artists Perform the Songs of the Rolling Stones. Their version peaked at number 75 on the Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks chart.
In 1997, former Rolling Stones business manager Allen Klein, whose company ABKCO Records owns the rights to all Rolling Stones material from the 1960s, sued English rock band The Verve for using a sample of The Andrew Oldham Orchestra recording of "The Last Time" in their hit song "Bitter Sweet Symphony". The Verve had obtained a licence to use the sample, but Klein successfully argued that the band used more than the licence covered. The Verve were required to relinquish their royalties to ABKCO and the songwriting credit was changed to Jagger/Richards. This led to Andrew Loog Oldham, who owns the copyright on the orchestral rendition that was sampled, also suing The Verve. In spite of all of this, the Oldham recording and its distinctive passage for strings was written and arranged by David Whitaker.
The German singer Nena recorded a version on her 2007 album Cover Me.
The same hook was sampled in several other subsequent recordings by other artists, most notably in "Number 1" by Tinchy Stryder featuring N-Dubz, which reached number one in the UK Singles Chart, in the week of its official release on 20 April 2009.
Mick Jagger performed a version of the song with Arcade Fire on an episode of Saturday Night Live that aired on 19 May 2012. The song began with a gospel intro, paying homage to the song's inspiration, The Staple Singers' "This May Be the Last Time".