Back Of My Hand

Composers: Mick Jagger & Keith Richards
Recording date:
November-December 2004, March-April & June 2005
Recording locations:
La Fourchette, Posť sur Cisse, France & Ocean Way Recording Studios, Los Angeles, USA
Producers: Don Was
& The Glimmer Twins     Chief engineer: Krish Sharma
Krish Sharma          Performed onstage: 2005-06


Drums: Charlie Watts
Bass: Mick Jagger
Electric guitar: Keith Richards
Slide electric guitar: Mick Jagger
Vocals: Mick Jagger
Harmonica: Mick Jagger
Shaker: Mick Jagger

I hear a preacher on the corner
Ranting like a crazy man
He says there's trouble, trouble's a-coming
I can read it like the back of my hand

Mm-mm-mm mm-mm mm-mm mm

I see love, I see misery
Jamming side by side on the stand
In the wind some mournful melody
I can read it like the back of my hand

Mm-mm-mm mm-mm mm-mm mm
Ah -
the back of my hand

Oh yeah

Oh yeah

I see dreams, I see visions
Images I don't understand
I see Goyas, paranoias
I can read it like the back of my hand

Read it like the ah-ah-ah-ah
Well, read it like the back of my hand

Oh yeah, oh yeah
Mm-mm-mm mm-mm mm-mm mm

Oh yeah, mm-mm
Read it like the back of my hand



(Waiting for Charlie to get better) made Mick and I play together more, on that basic level of putting songs together. For the blues Back Of My Hand, we just went, Let's start with where we started. It was a beauty to play.

- Keith Richards, July 2005

I sleep downstairs and the studio is upstairs. One night, I thought I was hearing this old Muddy Waters track I didn't know, but it turned out to be Mick working on a slide part for Back of My Hand. He's always been a good, smooth acoustic player, but the electric seemed like an untamed beast for him until this year. I thought: My God! The boy's finally got it.

- Keith Richards, August 2005

Mick came up with that. He started to play it one day on acoustic guitar and I started thinking, prison songs... We were just casting ideas about. To me, it's a classic sort of Muddy Waters thing, or even earlier. And as we were getting it going, I went, Jesus Christ, we could have cut this at Chess, baby. You are what you listen to, in a way, and I never stopped listening to the blues. Even if I go off on other tangents, there's always that basic diet, thank God.

- Keith Richards, July 2005

With the blues Back of My Hand, we just went, Let's start with where we started. It's easy to pass off a blues. But what's the point of that? This was original but right at the roots. You could feel the ghosts coming back. You could feel Muddy Waters and Little Walter in the room. You felt you were among friends as you played it.

- Keith Richards, July 2005

I have this ancient Silverstone guitar, a mail order one from Sears, I think. I bought it for 50 bucks at a local shop. It makes a really good slide noise. I just stood up and played that song out of nowehere. Everyone said, Hmmm. That's interesting, Mick. Never heard you do that before. People tell me it sounds like an old Stones record. Well, not to my knowledge. Because I never played slide guitar before!

- Mick Jagger, August 2005

If we keep going down this (political) track, we're not going to get back. The same feeling (that is in Sweet Neo Con and Rain Fall Down) is in Back of My Hand: that we'll go too far, get away from our original values, and this overreaching imperialism will take us to a place where we eventually collapse.

- Mick Jagger, July 2005

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