Jigsaw Puzzle (song)
"Jigsaw Puzzle," sometimes spelled "Jig-Saw Puzzle" is a song by rock and roll
Rock and roll
Rock and roll is a genre of popular music that originated and evolved in the United States during the late 1940s and early 1950s, primarily from a combination of African American blues, country, jazz, and gospel music...

 band the Rolling Stones
The Rolling Stones
The Rolling Stones are an English rock band, formed in London in April 1962 by Brian Jones , Ian Stewart , Mick Jagger , and Keith Richards . Bassist Bill Wyman and drummer Charlie Watts completed the early line-up...

 found on their 1968 album Beggars Banquet
Beggars Banquet
- Personnel :The Rolling Stones* Mick Jagger – lead and backing vocals, harmonica on "Parachute Woman"* Keith Richards – acoustic and electric guitar, bass guitar on "Sympathy for the Devil" and "Street Fighting Man", backing vocals, lead vocals on opening of "Salt of the Earth"* Brian...


Written by Mick Jagger
Mick Jagger
Sir Michael Philip "Mick" Jagger is an English musician, singer and songwriter, best known as the lead vocalist and a founding member of The Rolling Stones....

 and Keith Richards
Keith Richards
Keith Richards is an English musician, songwriter, and founding member of the Rolling Stones. Rolling Stone magazine said Richards had created "rock's greatest single body of riffs", and placed him as the "10th greatest guitarist of all time." Fourteen songs written by Richards and songwriting...

, "Jigsaw Puzzle" is one of the longer songs on the album. It comes in just ten seconds shorter than "Sympathy for the Devil
Sympathy for the Devil
"Sympathy for the Devil" is a song by The Rolling Stones which first appeared as the opening track on the band's 1968 album Beggars Banquet. It was written by Mick Jagger credited to Jagger/Richards...

" to which it is stylistically similar.

Recording began at Olympic Sound Studios on March 25, 1968. Parts of the recording sessions are available on the bootleg market, and on these recordings Mick Jagger is on acoustic guitar, Keith Richards on electric slide guitar, Charlie Watts
Charlie Watts
Charles Robert "Charlie" Watts is an English drummer, best known as a member of The Rolling Stones. He is also the leader of a jazz band, a record producer, commercial artist, and horse breeder.-Early life:...

 on drums, Bill Wyman
Bill Wyman
Bill Wyman is an English musician best known as the bass guitarist for the English rock and roll band the Rolling Stones from 1962 until 1992. Since 1997, he has recorded and toured with his own band, Bill Wyman's Rhythm Kings...

 on bass and Nicky Hopkins
Nicky Hopkins
Nicholas Christian "Nicky" Hopkins was an English pianist and organist.He recorded and performed on noted British and American popular music recordings of the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s as a session musician....

 on piano. Brian Jones is not present on these sessions. The released version has Richards on overdubbed acoustic guitar, and Brian Jones
Brian Jones
Lewis Brian Hopkins Jones , known as Brian Jones, was an English musician and a founding member of the Rolling Stones....

 added the distinctive "whine" at the end of the song with the mellotron. "Jigsaw Puzzle" has never been performed live by the Rolling Stones.

Critics' Opinions

Musical opinions have diverged widely on the merits of "Jigsaw Puzzle". Music journalist Steve Knopper quoted on Amazon considers it inexplicable that it never became a hit in its own right.. However, journalist Richie Unterberger
Richie Unterberger
Richie Unterberger is a US author and journalist whose focus is popular music and travel writing.-Life and writing:Having worked as a DJ at WXPN in Philadelphia, he started reviewing records for Op magazine in 1983...

 describes it unenthusiastically as a mere "album filler".

Unterberger draws comparisons to the mid-to-late 1960s work of Bob Dylan
Bob Dylan
Bob Dylan is an American singer-songwriter, musician, poet, film director and painter. He has been a major and profoundly influential figure in popular music and culture for five decades. Much of his most celebrated work dates from the 1960s when he was an informal chronicler and a seemingly...

. (Dylan's name appears among the graffiti on the album cover.) Unterberg writes "...the similarity to some of Dylan's long, wordy surreal songs of the mid-'60s is close enough that it's a little surprising 'Jigsaw Puzzle' hasn't been singled out by more listeners as being a Dylan imitation, particularly since it frankly sounds a little hackneyed in its approximation of Dylanesque weirdness." The lyrics depict the observations of the singer who finds himself surrounded by "misfits and weirdos";

Of the song, Unterberger concludes, " Like many of the tracks on that album, it drew on country blues for musical inspiration... The lyrics, however, are not the sort that would be heard on actual rural Delta blues records... More of a drawback to the song, however, is its lack of melodic development, just keeping on the same basic monotonous stock blues tune for a good six minutes or so. For album filler such as this, some other creative touches were needed to make it stand out more."

Others are not so harsh - the BBC concludes, "The self-referencing and mocking "Jigsaw Puzzle" is a treat" http://www.bbc.co.uk/music/reviews/jpzf, and PopMatters says, "Of the 19 songs on the two albums, there are two that stand out head and shoulders above anything else. And no, they aren’t the obvious ones most would think of. I’m talking about “Jigsaw Puzzle” and “Monkey Man. Unfortunately ignored on 40 Licks, both tunes capture the band’s blues rock at its finest. “Jigsaw Puzzle” starts a bit stilted before finding its legs by the second verse and definitely by the initial chorus. Defining the outcasts on the street before later going through the band one by one, the Glimmer Twins nailed Wyman’s persona almost as much as Wyman nailed his hundreds of groupies. 'And the bass player, he looks nervous, about the girls outside,' Jagger sings. And again the blues slide guitar is complemented by Nicky Hopkins’s piano touches at the end" http://www.popmatters.com/pm/review/rollingstones-letitbleedmft/.

External links

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