The Rolling Stones gave their fans a big surprise last Thursday by bringing releasing a new track, “Living in a Ghost Town.”
The 4-minute song, written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, finds the rock band expressing how it feels to be in self-isolation or quarantine amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
“I’m a ghost, livin’ in a ghost town/ You can look for me, but I can’t be found/ You can search for me, I had to go underground/ Life was so beautiful, then we all got locked down/ Feel like a ghost, livin’ in a ghost town,” Jagger sings to the accompaniment of a steady drumbeat and electric guitar line.
“I’m going nowhere/Shut up all alone/So much time to lose/Just staring at my phone,” the song goes on.
Jagger said in a new interview with Zane Lowe of Apple Music that the song was written over a year ago.
“It was written about being in a place which was full of life but is now bereft of life so to speak…I was just jamming on the guitar and wrote it really quickly in like 10 minutes,” he said.
“It’s sort of eerie when suddenly it’s coming to life,” said Richards. “I mean the ghost comes to life… I had said to Don [Was] about a month or so ago, ‘Hey, this is a time for the ghost town track.’ And then Mick called me and said the same thing and that great minds think alike.”
“But I said, ‘Well I’ve got to rewrite it.’ Some of it is not going to work and some of it was a bit weird and a bit too dark. So I slightly rewrote it. I didn’t have to rewrite very much, to be honest. It’s very much how I originally did it,” said Mick.
The song is the band’s first studio single since the 2016 cover album Blue and Lonesome. That album featured some classics including, Buddy Johnson and His Orchestra‘s 1953 hit “Just Your Fool,” Little Walter‘s “Hate to See You Go” and Bukka White‘s “Shake ‘Em On Down.”
With regard to original compositions, “Living in a Ghost Town” is the band’s first since “Doom and Gloom” and “One More Shot,” from their compilation album GRRR! in 2012.
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