Writers: Mick Jagger and Keith Richards
Producer: Jimmy Miller
Recorded: 1972 at Dynamic Sound Studios, Kingston, Jamaica
Released: August 20, 1973
|Players:||Mick Jagger – vocals, guitar, harmonica, piano
Keith Richards – guitar, bass, vocals
Mick Taylor –guitar, bass, vocals
Charlie Watts – drums
Bill Wyman – bass
Nicky Harrison – string arrangements
Nicky Hopkins – piano
|Album:||Goats Head Soup (Rolling Stones, 1973)|
“Angie” hit Number One in 1973, though critics at the time panned the Goats Head Soup album as one of the Rolling Stones‘ softest efforts.
Guitarist Mick Taylor was reportedly a co-composer of the song but was never credited.
The song’s plaintive lyrics are generally considered to be about Angie Bowie, ex-wife of singer David Bowie. But in her memoir Backstage Passes, Angie writes the song off as “just the latest example of the legendary acumen of the Jagger-Richards songwriting and publishing team. Those boys used every trick in the book when it came to getting their songs noticed, and I’m sure they weren’t above using my name for the sole and simple purpose of causing Stones fans, gossip columnists and inquiring minds everywhere to wonder, just as I did: ‘What’s this? Is Mick in love with David Bowie’s wife?’”
Despite that, Angie Bowie requested permission to use the lyrics for “Angie” in Backstage Passes, but EMI Publishing turned her down.
Angie Bowie has said that Mick Jagger did make a pass at her once in New York. The encounter ended when a girlfriend of Angie’s walked in on them. But the “Angie” line “you can’t say we never tried” led her to ask “Did our brief, unconsummated encounter mean more to him than I’d ever imagined?”
Of course, it was Angie Bowie who spread word about a consummated affair between Jagger and her husband. During the fall of 1973 she said she found the two men sleeping in bed together at the Bowie home in London. “I felt absolutely dead certain that they’d been screwing,” she writes. “It was so obvious, in fact, that I never even considered the possibility that they hadn’t been screwing.”
Jagger biographer Christopher Andersen passes on this observation from Bowie backup singer Ava Cherry: “Mick and David were really sexually obsessed with each other. Even though I was in bed with them many times I ended up just watching them have sex. They became very close and practically lived together for several months.”