"19th Nervous Breakdown" is a song by the English rock band The Rolling Stones.
The song was written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards during their 1965 tour of the United States. The song was recorded during the Aftermath sessions between 3 and 8 December 1965 at RCA Recording Studios in Hollywood, California, at the conclusion of their fourth North American tour. The song talks of a difficult, spoiled girl who cannot appreciate life. Mick Jagger says he came up with the title first, and then wrote the lyrics around the title. It was released as a single on 4 February 1966 and reached No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the United States, and in the United Kingdom Record Retailer chart. However, it hit No. 1 in the NME chart and the BBC's Pick of the Pops chart, both of which were more widely recognised in Britain at the time.
The opening riff and lead guitar are played by Keith Richards. The hypnotic riff Brian Jones is playing during the verses pays tribute to Bo Diddley's song "Diddley Daddy", Diddley being a major influence on the Rolling Stones' style. The song is also well known for Bill Wyman's so-called "dive-bombing" bassline at the end of the song.
Like many early Rolling Stones recordings, "19th Nervous Breakdown" has been officially released only in mono sound. A stereo mix of the song has turned up in private and bootleg collections. One version of the stereo mix features a radically different vocal from Jagger, who alternates between mellow on the verses and rawer on the chorus.
On a season 10 episode of the sketch comedy Saturday Night Live, Martin Short (then a cast member on the show) portrayed Jagger in a skit, singing "19th Nervous Breakdown" with Gary Kroeger (who was portraying Julio Iglesias).
The song was used as the opening theme for the short-lived TV drama Miami Medical.
In the 2000 Warner Bros film Red Planet, directed by Antony Hoffman, Gallacher (Val Kilmer) is heard singing the refrain to himself on two separate occasions.
The Vampire Weekend track "Ya Hey" mentions this song in a poetic interlude.
- Mick Jagger – lead vocals
- Keith Richards – electric guitar, background vocals
- Brian Jones – electric guitar
- Bill Wyman – bass guitar
- Charlie Watts – drums
|United Kingdom (Record Retailer)||2|
|United Kingdom (NME)||1|
|United States (Billboard Hot 100)||2|
|United States (Billboard R&B Singles Chart)||32|