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No Expectations

"No Expectations"
Song by The Rolling Stones from the album Beggars Banquet
Released 6 December 1968
Recorded May–June 1968
Genre Blues rock, country rock
Length 3:55
Writer Jagger/Richards
Producer Jimmy Miller
Beggars Banquet track listing
Template:Beggars Banquet tracks

"No Expectations" is a song by the British rock and roll band The Rolling Stones featured on their 1968 album Beggars Banquet. It was first released as the B-side of the "Street Fighting Man" single in August 1968. Brian Jones's acoustic slide guitar on the recording represents one of his last major contributions before leaving the band.

Inspiration and recording

The slow ballad was written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards. Bill Janovitz says, "The loneliness expressed in the song is palpable; all about being left behind, the song is certainly a tribute in musical and lyrical tone to such Robert Johnson blues songs as "Love in Vain"—a favourite cover of the Rolling Stones—referencing such images as a train leaving the station."[1]

Jagger said in a 1995 interview in Rolling Stone, "That's Brian playing [the slide guitar]. We were sitting around in a circle on the floor, singing and playing, recording with open mikes. That was the last time I remember Brian really being totally involved in something that was really worth doing".[2] Accompanying Jones is Richards on acoustic rhythm guitar. Janovitz remarked that Richards, "play[s] the same open-tuned rhythm he would later use on 'You Can't Always Get What You Want', also contributing to that lonely ambience." The song is also noted for its simple claves-kept beat by Charlie Watts and Nicky Hopkins's "building single-chord organ" and ornamental turns on piano.



The song's first live performance was filmed for The Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus, which documents Jones's last live performance with the band. The band has since rarely played the song live. The second, and most notable performance, was at the Hyde Park free concert on July 5, 1969, which was held as a memorial to Jones, who died two days before. The third live performance was at the January 18, 1973, benefit concert at the Los Angeles Forum for victims of the December 23, 1972, earthquake in Nicaragua. The Stones would not play it live again until August 28, 1994, in Cleveland, Ohio. On the 2002/2003 "Licks" tour, they played it 11 times in total, and most recently they played it on their 50th anniversary tour in San Jose, California, on May 8, 2013, with Ronnie Wood playing the slide guitar. Former Stones guitarist Mick Taylor, who replaced Brian Jones in the band, has also covered the song during his concerts, including his 2012 performances at New York City's Iridium Jazz Club.

"No Expectations" is also included on the 1972 Stones compilation album More Hot Rocks (Big Hits & Fazed Cookies). The single version is available on Singles Collection: The London Years.

Several WERS Music For The Independent Mind Volume 7".

Beck also started playing this song in his concerts just after the release of Sea Change. During his first tour after going on hiatus from the Black Crowes in 2002, singer Chris Robinson played the song as an acoustic duo with Paul Stacey. Jam bands Yonder Mountain String Band and Flatlander also often cover this song at their shows.


External links

  • Template:MetroLyrics song
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