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  • Keith Richards said he and Mick Jagger wrote a dance song with elements of The Rolling Stones’ “Miss You.”
  • Richards said it was good for The Rolling Stones to have “continuity” between their songs.
  • “Miss You” became a huge hit.
The Rolling Stones' Mick Jagger and Keith Richards in front of a building
The Rolling Stones’ Mick Jagger and Keith Richards | Keystone/Getty Images

The Rolling Stones‘ “Miss You” is one of the most famous disco songs of the 1970s. Subsequently, Keith Richards and Mick Jagger wrote another dance song for The Rolling Stones. Richards felt the newer song had some similarities to “Miss You.”

Keith Richards said 1 of The Rolling Stones’ songs was inspired by North African music

According to the book Keith Richards on Keith Richards: Interviews & Encounters, Richards discussed one of his band’s tracks in 1989. “‘Continental Drift’ started off when Mick had this synthesizer organ sound that had a very North African riff, but the beat behind it was very Western,” he said.

“I thought that tribal drums or pipes would be good with it, which he thought was funny because he’d just had a letter from the Joujouka people,” Richards continued. For context, The Master Musicians of Joujouka were a Morrocan musical group. “Sometimes you wonder, you’re just there and when a song decides to come together, it provides all the ingredients for you.”

Why Keith Richards liked putting elements of The Rolling Stones’ ‘Miss You’ in ‘Continental Drift’

Richards revealed Jagger’s role in creating “Continental Drift.” “‘Continental Drift’ was actually Mick’s song and we just let him roll with it,” Richards said. “I was just the guitar player who suggested the riff and the changes in the middle.”

The guitarist said “Continental Drift” had “continuity” with The Rolling Stones’ earlier songs. “In a way, it’s dance music and has nice echoes of ‘Miss You’ in there,” he opined. “I don’t mind tying things up. I like continuity, at least if it’s done properly without trying to parody yourself. There’s always a fine line there.”


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How ‘Miss You’ and ‘Continental Drift’ performed on the charts in the United States

“Miss You” became a huge hit for The Rolling Stones. The track topped the Billboard Hot 100 for one week, staying on the chart for 20 weeks in total. The Rolling Stones included “Miss You” on the album Some Girls. The album was No. 1 on the Billboard 200 for two weeks, remaining on the charts for 88 weeks altogether.

“Continental Drift” was not a single and it did not chart on the Billboard Hot 100. The Rolling Stones included the track on the album Steel Wheels. The album hit No. 3 on the Billboard 200 and remained on the chart for 36 weeks.

“Continental Drift” wasn’t a hit but it has an interesting connection to one of The Rolling Stones’ most famous songs.