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"Almost Hear You Sigh"
StonesAlmostHearYouSigh.jpg
Single by The Rolling Stones
from the album Steel Wheels
B-side "Break the Spell"
Released 1990
Format CD, 7"
Recorded August 1987 – May 1988
March–June 1989
Genre Rock, pop rock
Length 4:37
Label Rolling Stones
Songwriter(s) Jagger/Richards/Jordan
Producer(s) Chris Kimsey and
The Glimmer Twins
The Rolling Stones singles chronology
"Rock and a Hard Place"
(1989)
"Almost Hear You Sigh"
(1990)
"Terrifying"
(1989)
"Rock and a Hard Place"
(1989)
"Almost Hear You Sigh"
(1989)
"Terrifying"
(1989)
Steel Wheels track listing
12 tracks
Side one
  1. "Sad Sad Sad"
  2. "Mixed Emotions"
  3. "Terrifying"
  4. "Hold On to Your Hat"
  5. "Hearts for Sale"
  6. "Blinded by Love"
Side two
  1. "Rock and a Hard Place"
  2. "Can't Be Seen"
  3. "Almost Hear You Sigh"
  4. "Continental Drift"
  5. "Break the Spell"
  6. "Slipping Away"

"Almost Hear You Sigh" is a Grammy-nominated song by The Rolling Stones from their 1989 album Steel Wheels, written by Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, and Steve Jordan. The song was originally a contender for inclusion on Richards' first solo album, Talk Is Cheap, but he decided to play it for Jagger and Chris Kimsey the next year during recording sessions in Montserrat for the Steel Wheels album. Wiith the exception of some lyrical alteration by Jagger, the single was left in its original form. The single, which was released in January 1990 and was the third single released from Steel Wheels, charted as number 50 on the Billboard Hot 100 (US), reaching the slightly higher position of 31 in the UK, and placed number 1 on the US Mainstream Rock Tracks chart for one week. Since its release, the song has been rarely performed live by the band. USA Today music critic Edna Gundersen praised the track, noting that the vocals of Jagger and Richards' guitar playing sounded the best on the slower tracks from the album, including "Almost Hear You Sigh."

Composition and recording[edit]

Written by Mick Jagger, Keith Richards and Steve Jordan, the song was first written and recorded for possible inclusion on Keith Richards' first solo album, Talk is Cheap. A year or so later Richards played the track for Chris Kimsey and Jagger while recording in Montserrat from March through June for the Steel Wheels sessions. Jordan's writing credit stems from his work with Richards in 1987 and 1988.

Jagger changed some of the lyrics, as evidenced in comparison to popular bootlegs of the Richards-Jordan collaboration, but the mood and melody of the song remain in the Rolling Stones track. Charlie Watts adds a thumping bass march to the later song where Richards' sharp, slashing, trademark rhythm guitar is the main percussion on the slightly slower, meandering jam that extended to ten minutes with uncredited piano playing.

Release and reception[edit]

Released as the album's third single in January 1990, "Almost Hear You Sigh" made it to number 50 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the US, going slightly higher in the UK, and number one for one week on the US Mainstream Rock Tracks chart. Given that the Rolling Stones' comeback 1989 North American tour had finished in December, the song got limited radio airplay. A music video was shot in black and white during the band's 1989 visit to Toronto, for two shows at the Skydome.[1]

USA Today music critic Edna Gundersen noted that Jagger's vocals and Richards' guitar playing sounded best on slower Steel Wheels tracks such as "Almost Hear You Sigh."[2] SF Weekly marks it as one of the Stones' best ballads recorded after 1971.[3] However, Parry Gettelman of the Orlando Sentinel marked the track's Grammy nomination as that of a relatively uninspiring song.[4]

The song has been performed rarely since its release, being featured only on the Urban Jungle Tour leg of the Steel Wheels/Urban Jungle Tour.

Charts[edit]

Chart (1989) Peak
position
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders)[5] 27
Germany (Official German Charts)[6] 58
Netherlands (Single Top 100)[7] 11
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[8] 31
US Billboard Hot 100[9] 50

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Stones rattle the Dome". The Toronto Star: p. A1. 4 December 1989.
  2. ^ Gundersen, Edna (28 August 1989). "New Stones LP: Paint it pretty good". USA Today: p. 1D.
  3. ^ Keresman, Mark (20 August 2003). "Joe Ely: Streets of Sin". SF Weekly.
  4. ^ Gettelman, Parry (17 February 1991). "Grammys? Try 'Blandies'". The Orlando Sentinel: p. F1.
  5. ^ "Ultratop.be – The Rolling Stones – Almost Hear You Sigh" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50. Retrieved 18 June 2016.
  6. ^ "Offiziellecharts.de – The Rolling Stones – Almost Hear You Sigh". GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved 18 June 2016.
  7. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – The Rolling Stones – Almost Hear You Sigh" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved 18 June 2016.
  8. ^ "Rolling Stones: Artist Chart History". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 18 June 2016.
  9. ^ "The Rolling Stones Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved 18 June 2016.

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