On this day in music history: June 11, 1966 – “Paint It Black” by The Rolling Stones hits #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for 2 weeks. Written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, it is the third US chart topper for the legendary British rock band fronted by lead singer Mick Jagger. Coming off of their most successful year to date, with The Rolling Stones scoring their first two US number one singles ((“I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” and “Get Off Of My Cloud”) and their first chart topping album (“Out Of Our Heads”), the band keep up their frenetic pace into 1966. When it is first written, “Paint It Black” is originally intended to be a “comedy track” with bassist Bill Wyman doing a parody of The Rolling Stones first manager Eric Easton, whose former job was working as a theater organist. Recorded at RCA Victor Studios in Hollywood, CA on March 6 – 9, 1966, it is cut during the sessions for the bands next album “Aftermath”. The song takes on a completely different tone when drummer Charlie Watts changes the basic rhythm and guitarist Brian Jones adds a sitar giving it its signature sound. Wyman also plays the bass pedals of an organ with his fists on the track. Released as a stand alone single in the UK (May 7, 1966 US, May 13, 1966 UK), the song is included on the US release of Aftermath (released on June 20, 1966), it becomes an immediate smash and one of the Stones best known songs. Entering the Hot 100 at #48 on May 14, 1966, it streaks to the top of the chart four weeks later. “Paint It Black” is certified Gold in the US by the RIAA.
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