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“No colours any more, I want them to turn black”

#28 Paint It, Black The Rolling Stones

[215] Writers: Mick Jagger & Keith Richard. Producer: Andrew Loog Oldham
19 May 66 – 10 weeks on chart – 1 week at #1; 26 May 1966

Oooh, with minutes to spare, David got it - well done! Looks like I fooled everyone else with yesterday’s cryptic clue. Kick yourselves now!

Rewind six months from yesterday’s #1 and we’re with the Stones. Mick could see a red door and he wanted it painted black. Not green though, hence yesterday’s reference to Shakin’ Stevens. Geddit?!

The Rolling Stones’ previous single had failed to reach the top after a straight run of five number ones. ‘19th Nervous Breakdown’ had stalled at #2 in February, so the Stones had something to prove. But prove it they did, as ‘Paint It, Black’ entered at #5, jumping to #1 the next week and being deposed seven days later by Frank Sinatra’s ‘Strangers In The Night’. It was the third of those six Stones #1s to only spend a week at the top.#.

Often referred to as a ‘death disc’, ‘Paint It, Black’ is a million miles away from some of the other songs given that tag in the early sixties. Most of them were banned by the BBC, and were rather more sickening and sentimental than the Stones’ song. It was also unique in being a death disc with a sitar on it, but this only led to accusations that the Stones were merely copying the influences of the Beatles.

Some other sixties death discs:
Teen Angel, Mark Dinning, Mar 60, #37
Tell Laura I Love Her, Ricky Valance, Aug 60, #1
Terry, Twinkle, Nov 64, #4
Leader Of The Pack, The Shangri-Las, Jan 65, #11

As with yesterday’s song, this was a peak for the Stones, coming before a decline related to drugs.
Jones, Richard and Jagger were prosecuted for possession and the band had to wait another two years for their next #1, ‘Jumpin’ Jack Flash’.

The Rolling Stones are the seventeenth most successful UK chart act of all time. They have made more money from touring than any other group. They had already clocked up more top ten albums in the UK than any other band, even before the current one, ‘Forty Licks’, and hold the same record in the USA too.

On a personal note, ‘Paint It, Black’ was the first new number one after I was born. It also made #1 in the States. It was reissued in 1990, where it made #61 in the UK and went to #1 again in the Netherlands! Mike F, Matthew C and Matt E all had this in their top tens.

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