The first number one hit featuring a sitar…. 14



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Today in 1966, this iconic song by The Rolling Stones hit number one.

‘Paint It Black’ is the third number one single released by the English rock band, and the first ever number one to feature the sitar.

Known for its interesting sound and inspired by the sitar-playing of George Harrison and Harihar Rao, ‘Paint It Black’ was the opening track of the Stones’ 1966 album Aftermath and was a worldwide smash.

The bleak lyrics are about a funeral and Jagger says they were inspired by James Joyce’s book Ulysses.

‘Paint It Black’ stayed at the top of the Billboard Hot 100 for 11 weeks and was originally released as ‘Paint It, Black’ which was changed before it was grammatically incorrect and seemed racist.

Tell us, do you remember this song from your younger years?

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  1. I have this song both on vinyl, CD and USB. I have also seen the Rolling Stones play Paint It Black at the ANZ Stadium in Brisbane on 12th April 1995. The ‘Stones have been my favourite group since I heard them first way back when they were first on air.

  2. yeah great song I have it on Lp, cd and ipod. Saw them in London 1973 and Auckland a few years ago. Still good as ever !!

  3. Love the Stones early music. All of it really. Under the Boardwalk one favourite.

    1 REPLY
    • Saw Beatles live but not The Stones. In the 60’s with Brian Jones and Bill Wyman The Stones were a real wake-up group, but sadly for me not from the 70’s onwards.

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