Rolling Stones

The Rolling Stones Complete
Recording Sessions 1962 - 2012


Rolling Stones

427. DOWNTOWN SUZIE (Wyman) 3.53
AKA: Downtown Lucy, Lisle Street Lucie

23-25 February, 15 March - 23 April 1969: Place: Olympic Sound Studios, London, England.
Rolling Stones with Ry Cooder, Jimmy Miller.

Producer: Jimmy Miller.
Engineer: Glyn Johns.
UK Compilation LP METAMORPHOSIS: 6 June 1975: No. 45 - 1 week
USA Compilation LP METAMORPHOSIS: 6 June 1975: No. 8 - 8 weeks

The good fortune of having his composition included on the SATANIC MAJESTIES album made Bill Wyman determined to write further songs. He knew the musical quality had to be maintained and he admitted that Downtown Suzie did not warrant inclusion on LET IT BLEED or earlier on BEGGARS BANQUET. How did the street working girl Lucy mentioned in the lyrics become Suzie in the song title?

Brian Jones did not respond quite so objectively to the Jagger/Richard dominance. Keith Richards indicates that Brian never actually came up with a finished product and, therefore, this part of his insecurity was mostly self-inflicted. The music on Suzie is good-time boogie with a portion of acoustic blues and open tuned slide guitar by Ry Cooder. The humorous lyrics pertain to the original working title - “Have you ever been had? Got a dose from Lisle Street Lucy.” Also, “I heard the ringing of the bell. It’s Lucy with the clientele” and “Oh Lucy kicked me in the hall - yeah yeah yeah. A tennis worth of aching balls.” Lisle Street is in Chinatown, Soho, in London and was well-known for “walk-ups”.

An out-take is available on bootleg which has the same vocal style but less instrumentation (* a - 3.45), the original being overdubbed in April 1969 and eventually
appearing on the mid-70s Decca compilation, METAMORPHOSIS, making it only the second Wyman composition to feature on a Rolling Stones’ album.

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