Mick Jagger isolated vocals on Rolling Stones’ “Sympathy For the Devil”

One of the most well-known Rolling Stones songs, “Sympathy For The Devil,” has Mick Jagger singing in the first person as Lucifer. The song, which was released in 1968, is from the eighth album by the British group, Beggars Banquet.

The strength of Jagger’s interpretation of turning into the devil himself is demonstrated by the song’s lone vocals. In an interview, guitarist Keith Richards of the group gave the following explanation of the song’s beginnings: “Before, we were just innocent kids out for a good time.”

He added, “They’re saying, ‘They’re evil, they’re evil.’ Oh, I’m evil, really? So that makes you start thinking about evil… What is evil?… There are black magicians who think we are acting as unknown agents of Lucifer and others who think we are Lucifer. Everybody’s Lucifer.”

Mick Jagger said he took the inspiration for the lyrics in Baudelaire books, saying “But I could be wrong. Sometimes when I look at my Baudelaire books, I can’t see it in there. But it was an idea I got from French writing. And I just took a couple of lines and expanded on it.

About the song influence on satanic metal bands, the Rolling Stones singer said:

“I thought it was a really odd thing, because it was only one song, after all. It wasn’t like it was a whole album, with lots of occult signs on the back. People seemed to embrace the image so readily, [and] it has carried all the way over into heavy metal bands today.”

The song was recorded by:

  • Mick Jagger (lead vocals, bongos)
  • Keith Richards (Electric guitar, bass guitar, backing vocals)
  • Brian Jones (Acoustic guitar, bongos, backing vocals)
  • Bill Wyman (Shekere, backing vocals)
  • Charlie Watts (Drums, cowbell, backing vocals)
  • Nicky Hopkins (Piano, backing vocals)
  • Rocky Dzidzornu (Congas)
  • Anita Pallenberg, Marianne Faithfull, Jimmy Miller (Backing vocals)

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