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Home > Hits Menu > Hits List > "AS TEARS GO BY" by MARYANNE FITHFULL > Summary
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Song Author: Jagger/Richards/Oldham
Year Recorded: 1965
Record Label: London
Label Number: 45-LON9808
As Tears Go By (song)

Single by The Rolling Stones
from the album December's Children (And Everybody's)
B-side "Gotta Get Away"
Released 18 December 1965 (US)
Format 7"
Recorded 26 October 1965, IBC Studios, London
Genre Baroque pop
Length 2:45
Label London 45-LON9808
Writer(s) Jagger/Richards/Oldham
Producer Andrew Loog Oldham; engineer: Glyn Johns

"As Tears Go By" is a song written by The Rolling Stones singer Mick Jagger, guitarist Keith Richards, and their manager Andrew Loog Oldham, and was a popular hit for both British singer Marianne Faithfull in 1964 and The Rolling Stones in 1965.

"As Tears Go By" was one of the first original compositions by Jagger and Richards, as until that point The Rolling Stones had chiefly been performing blues standards.

The myth surrounding the song's genesis has it that Rolling Stones manager Andrew Loog Oldham locked Jagger and Richards in a kitchen forcing them to write a song together, even suggesting what type of song he wanted: “I want a song with brick walls all around it, high windows and no sex.”

The result was initially named “As Time Goes By”, the title of the song Dooley Wilson sings in the film Casablanca. It was Oldham who changed “Time” for “Tears".

Oldham subsequently gave the ballad (a format that the Stones were not yet known for) to Faithfull, then 17, for her to record as a B-side.

The success of the recording caused the record company, Decca, to switch the song to an A-side, where it became a very popular single.

The demo had Mick Jagger singing and Big Jim Sullivan playing 12-string guitar. It reached # 9 in the British charts and launched Faithfull's career as a major singer.

The song entered the Billboard Hot 100 in America the week ending November 28, 1964, where it stayed for nine weeks peaking at # 22. Faithfull also performed the song on the television show Hullabaloo, in the segment presented by Beatles manager Brian Epstein from London.

Another myth is that the song was written as an answer to The Beatles' "Yesterday," a strings-driven ballad that became one of the band's biggest hits in 1965. However, this is false; "As Tears Go By" was written at least one year before "Yesterday"'s parent album, Help!, was even released (although Paul McCartney had written and played the song for many people in 1964 before finally releasing it on the album Help!).