Thief in the Night

Composers: Mick Jagger, Keith Richards & Pierre de Beauport
Recording date: March-July 1997
Recording location: Ocean Way Recording Studios, Los Angeles, USA
Producers: Don Was & The Glimmer Twins
Chief engineers: Rob Fraboni & Dan Bosworth
Mixers: Rob Fraboni & Pierre de Beauport           Performed onstage: 1998-99, 2003


Drums: Charlie Watts
Bass: Darryl Jones
Acoustic guitar: Keith Richards
Electric guitars: Keith Richards, Ron Wood & Waddy Wachtel
Lead vocal: Keith Richards
Background vocals: Bernard Fowler & Blondie Chaplin
Piano: Keith Richards
Electric piano: Pierre de Beauport
Wurlitzer piano: Pierre de Beauport
Saxophone: Joe Sublett
Trumpet: Darrell Leonard
Tambourine: Blondie Chaplin
Percussion: Jim Keltner

All the way, all the way
I miss your touch baby, yeah

Like a thief in the night

It can't be right    (Like a thief)
I know where your place is, yeah, yeah
And it's not with him
I'm the one who's out here, baby

Out here, just looking in
He ain't going to like it at all, no, no - that's good
I know the feeling
(Just you wait there in the dark) In the dark, baby

Yeah, how his dog can bark

Like a thief in the night
(Like a thief in the night)
Like a thief in the night

You're going to steal what's mine

Ah, I'm going break the laws   (Ooh, ooh-ooh)
Oh but I'll get through your door   (Ooh, ooh-ooh)
But you wait and see   (Ooh, ooh-ooh)
Yeah, I'm going to get you, get you free   (Ooh, ooh-ooh)  (Set you free)

(Like a thief)

I found out where he keeps you, mm-mm
I've even been inside
You check under your pillow, baby

Yeah, you'll get the message
If I see you at your window, mm-mm
Well then I'll know    (No one)
Can separate us - separate us   (Separate us, separate us)

Like a thief in the night
(Like a thief in the night)
Like a thief in the night

Yeah, you can set me up   (Ooh, ooh-ooh)
You can turn me in or burn me, baby   (Ooh, ooh-ooh)
Well but you are in my skin   (Ooh, ooh-ooh)
The only reason I'm breaking in - I'm coming in, yeah, I'm breaking in   (Ooh, ooh-ooh)  (Breaking in)

(Like a thief)
Like a thief in the night
Come on - yeah, oh yeah   (Come on)
Like a thief in the night    (Come on, come on)
Oh baby, you know what I'm talking about

(Come on)  Come on
(Like a thief now)
  You can call the police on me, baby
Set me up and bust me
(Like a thief)  Come on
(Come on, come on)  I dare you, baby, come on, come on - I'm going to take the drop for you
(Like a thief now)  Ooh soften the blow
(Come on, come on) Yeah
(Like a thief)  Baby, baby, baby, baby

(Come on, come on) Baby, you know what I mean
(Like a thief now) 
Nothing I can do
(Come on, come on)  About it
(Like a thief) 

(Come on, come on)
(Like a thief now) 
It's the power of it
(Come on, come on)  Come on
(Like a thief) 
Like a thief
(Come on, come on)
(Like a thief now) 

(Come on, come on)
(Like a thief) 



That was a riff that Pierre (de Beauport, Keith's guitar technician) had for a while. He was playing it with Charlie in the studio and Keith came and said - Hey, what's that? And Pierre said, Oh, it's something that I've been working on... Keith added a lot of stuff to it. But that basic riff came from Pierre, which is great, and it's nice that he got credit for it.
- Rob Fraboni, 1997

I got the title from the Bible, which I read quite often; some very good phrases in there. It's a song about several women and actually starts when I was a teenager. I knew where she lived and I knew where her boyfriend lived, and I would stand outside a semi-detached house in Dartford. Basically the story goes on from there. Then it was about Ronnie Spector, then it was about Patti and it was also about Anita.
- Keith Richards, Life (2010)

I worked a lot on (Thief in the Night and How Can I Stop) with Bernard Fowler and Blondie Chaplin, building the backing vocals from the ground up so they were an integral part and not just wedged in.
- Keith Richards, September 1997

Mick put a vocal on the song, but he couldn't feel it, he couldn't get it, and the track sounded terrible. Rob couldn't mix it with this vocal, so we tried to fix it one night with Blondie and Bernard, barely able to stand from fatigue, snatching sleep in turns. We came back and found the tape had been sabotaged in the meantime. All kinds of skulduggery went on. Eventually Rob and I had to steal the two-inch master tapes of the half mixes of Thief in the Night from Ocean Way studios in LA, where we'd recorded it, and fly them to the East Coast, where I had now returned homewards to Connecticut. Pierre found a studio in the north shore of Long Island where we mixed it to my liking for two days and two nights, with my vocal.
- Keith Richards, Life (2010)

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