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|Song by The Rolling Stones from the album Exile on Main St.|
|Released||12 May 1972|
|Recorded||December 1971–March 1972
Sunset Sound Recorders, Los Angeles, USA
|Exile on Main St. track listing|
An early version of this song, with a completely different piano intro, was recorded between April and July 1969 at Olympic Sound Studios in London, during the Let It Bleed sessions. (This version of the song—or at least part of it, spliced with another outtake—was released in 2010 on the deluxe remastered release of Exile on Main St.)
Recording of the version of "Loving Cup" that appears on Exile on Main St. started in December 1971 at Los Angeles' Sunset Sound Studios and lasted until March 1972. Mick Jagger performs lead and backing vocals with Keith Richards. Richards also performs the song's guitars. Bass and drums are provided by Bill Wyman and Charlie Watts, respectively. Piano is provided by Stones' recording veteran Nicky Hopkins. Saxophone is by Bobby Keys and both trumpet and trombone are by Jim Price. The album's producer, Jimmy Miller, provides the maracas. It is not known who plays the steel drum.
After the release of Exile on Main St., Allen Klein sued the Rolling Stones for breach of settlement because "Loving Cup" and four other songs on the album were composed while Jagger and Richards were under contract with his company, ABKCO. ABKCO acquired publishing rights to the songs, giving it a share of the royalties from Exile on Main St., and was able to publish another album of previously released Rolling Stones songs, More Hot Rocks (Big Hits & Fazed Cookies).
"Loving Cup" has been performed sporadically by the Stones since its introduction to their catalogue. It was performed at the Stones' concert in Hyde Park on 5 July 1969, was heard during the 1972 tour of America, and was re-introduced to setlists during the 2002-2003 Licks Tour. It was also performed with Jack White during the 2006 leg of the A Bigger Bang Tour, with this version featured in the Martin Scorsese 2008 documentary film Shine a Light and on the soundtrack album.