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Sweet Black Angel

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Title: Sweet Black Angel  
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Subject: Tumbling Dice, Exile on Main St, Rocks Off, Shake Your Hips, Star Star
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Sweet Black Angel

"Sweet Black Angel"
Song by The Rolling Stones from the album Exile on Main St.
Released 14 April 1972
Recorded March - May 1970; December 1971 - March, 1972
Genre Rock, calypso
Length 2:58
Label Rolling Stones/Virgin
Writer Jagger/Richards
Producer Jimmy Miller
Exile on Main St. track listing

"Sweet Black Angel" (sometimes known as "Black Angel") is a song by The Rolling Stones, featured on their 1972 album Exile on Main St. It was also released on a single as the B-side to "Tumbling Dice" prior to the album.

Written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, "Sweet Black Angel" is one of the few outright political songs written by the Rolling Stones. A country-blues ballad, it was written about civil rights activist Angela Davis, who was facing murder charges at the time.[1] Steve Kurutz says in his review, "Having never heard of Angela Davis, a listener could easily overlook the political lyrics and get lost in the circular acoustic plucking or the washboard rhythm that propels the song so well. Yet, by knowing the case history one realizes how deft and clever Mick's lyrics could be, even if he hides behind his best backwoods diction and garbled annunciation [sic] obscure[s] the point."

Initial recording took place at Mick Jagger's home in England "Stargroves' in mid 1970 during the Sticky Fingers sessions with overdubs and final mixing being completed later at Sunset Sound Studios in Los Angeles between the months of December 1971 and March 1972. Jagger is on lead vocals and harmonica, Richards and Mick Taylor on guitars & backing vocals, Bill Wyman bass, and Charlie Watts drums. Richard "Didymus" Washington plays marimba while producer Jimmy Miller lends support percussion.[2]


  1. ^ Kurutz, Steve. "Sweet Black Angel". allmusic. Retrieved 2006-10-23. 
  2. ^ "Sweet Black Angel". Keno's Rolling Stones Lyrics. 2007 (accessed 21 September 2007).

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