A. ANGIE. A rare ballad for The Stones, this was the first single released from Goat’s Head Soup. It wasn’t typical of their sound, since most of the band’s material at the time was hard and aggressive. Still, it was a huge hit, and their only ballad that hit #1 in the US.
The big rumor about this song is that it was written about David Bowie’s wife, Angela, who wrote in her autobiography that she once walked in on Bowie and Mick Jagger in bed together – a story Jagger denies. According to the rumor, Jagger wrote this song to appease her, but it was Jagger’s bandmate Keith Richards who wrote most of the song. Jagger had this to say about it: “People began to say that song was written about David Bowie’s wife but the truth is that Keith wrote the title. He said, ‘Angie,’ and I think it was to do with his daughter. She’s called Angela. And then I just wrote the rest of it.”
There was also speculation that Richards’ girlfriend Anita Pallenberg inspired this song, but Keith cleared it up in his 2010 autobiography Life, where he wrote: “While I was in the [Vevey drug] clinic (in March-April 1972), Anita was down the road having our daughter, Angela. Once I came out of the usual trauma, I had a guitar with me and I wrote ‘Angie’ in an afternoon, sitting in bed, because I could finally move my fingers and put them in the right place again, and I didn’t feel like I had to s–t the bed or climb the walls or feel manic anymore. I just went, ‘Angie, Angie.’ It was not about any particular person; it was a name, like ohhh, Diana. I didn’t know Angela was going to be called Angela when I wrote ‘Angie.’ In those days you didn’t know what sex the thing was going to be until it popped out.”