Bitch (Rolling Stones song)

"Bitch" is a song recorded by the English rock band the Rolling Stones. Written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, "Bitch" is a "hard-bitten rocker" featuring Jagger on vocals and a powerful horn line. It was released as the B-side to the advance single, "Brown Sugar", from their ninth British and eleventh American studio album, Sticky Fingers.[1] It was originally released one week before the album. Despite not being used as an official single by itself, the tune has garnered major airplay from AOR radio stations. The song was recorded in October 1970 at London's Olympic Studios, and at Stargroves using the Rolling Stones Mobile studio.[2]

Single by The Rolling Stones
from the album Sticky Fingers
A-side"Brown Sugar"
Released16 April 1971 (1971-04-16)
RecordedOctober 1970
GenreHard rock
LabelRolling Stones
Producer(s)Jimmy Miller

Music and lyrics

"Bitch" was written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, colloquially known as Jagger–Richards. The song was recorded over many takes[3] at London's Olympic Studios and at Stargroves using the Rolling Stones Mobile studio.[2] Musically, "Bitch" is a hard rock song that incorporates a "pulse quickening" horn arrangement.[3][4]


"Bitch" was conceived during the Sticky Fingers sessions in October 1970. Richards was late that day, but when he arrived he transformed a loose jam into the trademark riff found on the released take. Andy Johns claimed:

When we were doing "Bitch," Keith was very late. Jagger and Mick Taylor had been playing the song without him and it didn't sound very good. I walked out of the kitchen and he was sitting on the floor with no shoes, eating a bowl of cereal. Suddenly he said, Oi, Andy! Give me that guitar. I handed him his clear Dan Armstrong Plexiglass guitar, he put it on, kicked the song up in tempo, and just put the vibe right on it. Instantly, it went from being this laconic mess into a real groove. And I thought, Wow. THAT'S what he does.[5]

The song is also notable for its heavy brass section that punctuates the guitar riff after the choruses. Mick Jagger said:

The brass for me is great, especially on like "Bitch." I mean as long as it's used sort of tastefully. I'm not saying I'd like to work with a band with sort of five or six brass. But I wouldn't mind a band with sort of 5 saxophones.[5]

Critical reception

"Bitch" was referred to as a "hard-bitten rocker" by the BBC in its 2007 retrospective review.[6] Rolling Stone ranked the song as the seventy-sixth best song for the band. Comparing it to other seventies songs with similar titles, Rolling Stone stated that "none bitched harder or louder than this one".[3]


Other releases


  1. Unterberger, Richie. "Bitch – The Rolling Stones : Listen, Appearances, Song Review". AllMusic. Retrieved 27 October 2012.
  2. "The Complete Works of the Rolling Stones – Database". Retrieved 27 October 2012.
  3. "100 Greatest Rolling Stones Songs". Rolling Stone. 2013-10-15. Retrieved 2020-12-24.
  4. Marchese, David (2017-05-05). "Ranking All 374 Rolling Stones Songs". Vulture. Retrieved 2020-12-24.
  5. "Bitch". Retrieved 2015-09-13.
  6. Jones, Chris. "BBC - Music - Review of The Rolling Stones - Sticky Fingers". BBC. Retrieved 2020-12-24.