The Rolling Stones and k.d. lang make very different music, however, their careers crossed paths in an interesting way. lang has a songwriting credit on one of The Rolling Stones’ songs even though she had no direct involvement in its creation. Here’s why The Rolling Stones gave her the songwriting credit — and how her co-writer reacted to receiving this credit.
How Keith Richards’ daughter unintentionally helped k.d. lang get a songwriting credit on a song by The Rolling Stones
In 1997, The Rolling Stones released their album Bridges to Babylon. The lead single from that album is “Anybody Seen My Baby?” “Anybody Seen My Baby?” arguably has some melodic similarities to lang’s song “Constant Craving.” The Rolling Stones certainly thought so.
During an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Keith Richards discussed the creation of “Anybody Seen My Baby?” “Mick [Jagger] had written this really nice song, and Bernard Fowler and myself were doing backup vocals, and we just had a feeling about something,” he recalled. “There was something familiar, y’know. And then we forgot about it.” It would be awhile before the band realized why “Anybody Seen My Baby?” sounded familiar.
“About a month ago I was in England with a test pressing,” Richards added. “I was playing it in the front room, and my daughter arrived with her friend in the kitchen, and they were starving. And in between mouthfuls they started singing ‘Constantly Craving’ [sic] over the hook. I went, ‘Ohhh!’ Nobody had any idea about that. You can inadvertently put in things without ever realizing.”
How k.d. lang’s co-writer felt about getting a co-writing credit on a song by The Rolling Stones
In The Guardian, lang’s co-writer Ben Mink discussed how he felt about receiving a writing credit for ‘Constant Craving” alongside lang. “They were real gentlemen about the similarity and gave us songwriting credits,” he said. “When I was a kid in garage bands playing Stones songs, we used to joke: ‘One day The Stones will cover one of ours.’ So to have a credit reading Jagger/Richards/Lang/Mink is a childhood dream that I still can’t believe actually happened.”
How the world reacted to k.d. lang’s ‘Constant Craving’ and The Rolling Stones’ ‘Anybody Seen My Baby?’
The connection between “Constant Craving and “Anybody Seen My Baby?” raises the question: Which song was more successful? Constant Craving reached No. 38 on the Billboard Hot 100. It’s lang’s highest-charting hit. In fact, it’s her only song to hit the Billboard Hot 100 beside her 2010 cover of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah.”
On the other hand, “Anybody Seen My Baby?” did not reach the Billboard Hot 100. However, it became a hit elsewhere. The Official Charts Company reports the song reached No. 22 in the United Kingdom. The public seemed to respond to lang and Mink’s work –whether in one of Lang’s songs or one of The Rolling Stones’ songs.