Happy (Rolling Stones song)

"Happy" is the tenth track on the Rolling Stones' 1972 album Exile on Main St. and features Keith Richards on lead vocals. Released as the second single from the album in July 1972, "Happy" entered the Billboard Hot 100 at No. 69 on 15 July 1972 and reached No. 22 on 19 August 1972.[1]

Single by The Rolling Stones
from the album Exile on Main St.
B-side"All Down the Line"
ReleasedJuly 15, 1972 (1972-07-15)
Format7-inch single
RecordedJuly–November 1971
StudioVilla Nellcôte, France
LabelRolling Stones Records
Producer(s)Jimmy Miller
The Rolling Stones singles chronology
"Tumbling Dice"
Alternative cover
Japanese picture sleeve for "Happy"
Japanese picture sleeve for "Happy"


Credited to Jagger/Richards, "Happy" was written primarily by Keith Richards during the summer of 1971, at the villa Nellcôte in southern France, over the course of a single afternoon. According to Richards, "We did that in an afternoon, in only four hours, cut and done. At noon it had never existed. At four o'clock it was on tape."[2] The basic tracks were recorded in the Nellcôte basement, using the Rolling Stones Mobile Studio, with Richards on bass, guitar and vocals, producer Jimmy Miller on drums, and saxophonist Bobby Keys on maracas.[3] Piano by Nicky Hopkins was added later, as were Jim Price's trumpet, Keys' saxophone, and the final vocal tracks, including Mick Jagger's backing vocals.[4]

"Happy" was the only single by the band to chart on the Hot 100 on which Richards sang lead.[5]

In concertEdit

Since 1972, Richards has often sung "Happy" in concert and it has become one of his signature tunes.[3] Performances of the song through 1978 also featured Jagger's vocals during the chorus.

Concert renditions of the song appear on the albums Love You Live and Live Licks; the studio track has been released on the compilation albums Made in the Shade, Forty Licks and GRRR![6] The song also features on concert films and DVD box sets: Ladies and Gentlemen: The Rolling Stones (1974), Stones at the Max (1992), Four Flicks (2004), The Biggest Bang (2007), Some Girls: Live in Texas '78 (2011), Sweet Summer Sun: Hyde Park Live (2013) and L.A. Forum – Live In 1975 (2014).


Cover versionsEdit


  1. ^ Elliott, Martin (2002). The Rolling Stones: Complete Recording Sessions 1962-2002. Cherry Red Books. p. 189. ISBN 1-901447-04-9.
  2. ^ Richards, Keith (2011). "Chapter 7". Life. Little, Brown and Company.
  3. ^ a b Appleford, Steve (2000). The Rolling Stones: Rip This Joint: The Story Behind Every Song. Thunder's Mouth Press. p. 119. ISBN 1-56025-281-2.
  4. ^ McPherson, Ian. "Track Talk: Happy". Retrieved 2008-03-05.
  5. ^ John Hugar (2014-12-18). "10 Things You Might Not Know About Keith Richards". uproxx. Retrieved 2018-02-02.
  6. ^ Zentgraf, Nico. "The Complete Works of the Rolling Stones 1962-2008". Retrieved 2008-02-23.
  7. ^ [1]
  8. ^ Black Crowes covering the Rolling Stones Happy, Fillmore Auditorium, San Francisco, CA, USA, 10.08.2005
  9. ^ Elvis Costello & The Sugarcanes "Happy" Woodinville, WA. 8/23/09
  10. ^ Lucinda Williams Wedding encore Rolling Stones' "Happy" First Avenue 9-18-09

External linksEdit