Highwire (song)

"Highwire" is an anti-war song by the English rock band the Rolling Stones, featured on their 1991 live album, Flashpoint.[2] Written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, "Highwire" is one of the rare examples of the Stones taking on political issues—in this case, the fall-out from Persian Gulf War.

"Highwire"
Highwire.jpg
Single by the Rolling Stones
from the album Flashpoint
B-side"2000 Light Years from Home"
Released1 March 1991 (1991-03-01)[1]
RecordedJanuary 1991
GenreRock
Length3:41
LabelRolling Stones
Songwriter(s)Jagger/Richards
Producer(s)Chris Kimsey, The Glimmer Twins
The Rolling Stones singles chronology
"Terrifying"
(1990)
"Highwire"
(1991)
"Ruby Tuesday (live)"
(1991)

"Highwire" was released as Flashpoint's first single on 1 March 1991. It reached number four in Finland, Norway, and Portugal, number six in the Netherlands, number 10 in Canada, and number 57 in the United States. In the latter country, the single peaked at number one on the Billboard Album Rock Tracks chart for three weeks. An accompanying video directed by Julien Temple was released and depicts the Stones in an industrial set performing the song.

BackgroundEdit

On the song, Jagger said at the time of its release, "It's not about the war. It's about how it started."[3] Richards continued, saying, "This is not about the war. It's about how you build up some shaky dictator. You can't build them up, 'cause then you've got to slam them down."[3]

The song's lyrics deconstructs the build-up to the war and criticises the politics behind it:

We sell 'em missiles, We sell 'em tanks; We give 'em credit, You can call the bank; It's just a business, You can pay us in crude; You love these toys, just go play out your feuds; Got no pride, don't know whose boots to lick; We act so greedy, makes me sick sick sick.

We walk the highwire; Sending the men up to the front line; Hoping they don't catch the hell fire; With hot guns and cold, cold lies.

PersonnelEdit

  • Mick Jagger – vocals
  • Keith Richards – guitar
  • Ron Wood – guitar, pedal steel guitar
  • Bill Wyman – bass guitar
  • Charlie Watts – drums

ChartsEdit

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Highwire". Amazon. Retrieved 9 July 2021.
  2. ^ John Stewart Bowman Facts about the American wars -- 1998 p716 "But neither that nor another antiwar song, "Highwire," by the Rolling Stones, received much attention. Nor did "Die for Oil, Sucker," by Jello Biafra, formerly of the Dead Kennedys. "
  3. ^ a b "Highwire". Time Is On Our Side. Retrieved 18 July 2006.
  4. ^ Ryan, Gavin (2011). Australia's Music Charts 1988–2010. Mt. Martha, VIC, Australia: Moonlight Publishing.
  5. ^ "The Rolling Stones – Highwire" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40. Retrieved 18 June 2016.
  6. ^ "The Rolling Stones – Highwire" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50. Retrieved 18 June 2016.
  7. ^ "Top RPM Singles: Issue 1510." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 28 July 2019.
  8. ^ "Eurochart Hot 100 Singles" (PDF). Music & Media. Vol. 8 no. 18. 4 May 1991. p. 25. Retrieved 11 March 2020.
  9. ^ Nyman, Jake (2005). Suomi soi 4: Suuri suomalainen listakirja (in Finnish) (1st ed.). Helsinki: Tammi. ISBN 951-31-2503-3.
  10. ^ "The Rolling Stones – Highwire" (in French). Les classement single. Retrieved 18 June 2016.
  11. ^ "The Rolling Stones – Highwire" (in German). GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved 18 June 2016.
  12. ^ "The Irish Charts – Search Results – High Wire". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved 18 June 2016.
  13. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – week 16, 1991" (in Dutch). Dutch Top 40 Retrieved 28 July 2019.
  14. ^ "The Rolling Stones – Highwire" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved 18 June 2016.
  15. ^ "The Rolling Stones – Highwire". Top 40 Singles. Retrieved 18 June 2016.
  16. ^ "The Rolling Stones – Highwire". VG-lista. Retrieved 18 June 2016.
  17. ^ "Top 10 Sales in Europe" (PDF). Music & Media. Vol. 8 no. 18. 4 May 1991. p. 22. Retrieved 11 March 2020.
  18. ^ "The Rolling Stones – Highwire". Singles Top 100. Retrieved 18 June 2016.
  19. ^ "The Rolling Stones – Highwire". Swiss Singles Chart. Retrieved 18 June 2016.
  20. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 28 July 2019.
  21. ^ "The Rolling Stones Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved 18 June 2016.
  22. ^ "The Rolling Stones Chart History (Alternative Airplay)". Billboard. Retrieved 18 June 2016.
  23. ^ "The Rolling Stones Chart History (Mainstream Rock)". Billboard. Retrieved 18 June 2016.
  24. ^ "RPM 100 Hit Tracks of 1991". RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 23 November 2017.
  25. ^ "Top 100–Jaaroverzicht van 1991". Dutch Top 40. Retrieved 15 August 2021.
  26. ^ "Jaaroverzichten – Single 1991" (in Dutch). MegaCharts. Retrieved 28 July 2019.