'Harlem Shuffle' was released as a 7" single in the UK on February 28, 1986, where it peaked at #13.
Its US counterpart, released at the same time, reached #5.
'Harlem Shuffle' is an R&B song written and originally recorded by the duo Bob & Earl in 1963.
The Rolling Stones' cover version, with Bobby Womack on backing vocals, appeared on their 1986 album 'Dirty Work'.
Keith Richards had been looking for songs to possibly include on the album and had been working up songs with Ronnie Wood and Womack while waiting for Jagger to return to the studio in Paris after doing promo work on his solo album. To Richards surprise, Jagger liked the feel and cut the vocals quickly. It became the first cover song the Stones had released as an opening single off a new studio album since 1964.
The band produced an accom... [+]
About the songs
Nearly 80 songs recorded by the Rolling Stones entered either the UK or US charts since 1963, twelve of them peaking at #1 ['Satisfaction', 'Get Off Of My Cloud', 'Paint It, Black' and 'Honky Tonk Women' were #1 in both countries].
The early years also were the most prolific and, whereas most titles were not yet penned by the Jagger-Richards tandem, record labels Decca [in the UK] and London [in the US] would issue singles at a frantic pace, building the band's reputation as the Beatles' most serious threat.
However, no global marketing strategy would emerge before the 70's, and both countries cultivated their differences in their respective discographies, as would their affiliates in other parts of the world.
The richness and diversity of the Rolling Stones singles discography is mainly due to the fact that, during the 60's, Decca would consider singles an independent market from the LPs' one, whereas London would use this format as a 'lift' for album sales. Therefore, British singles would offer non-album tracks [except for compilations], and Decca England would pass on a few US releases, while the US would opt for different B-sides and be a little more productive.
US exclusive couplings and singles would however often be released on Decca in Europe, notably in Scandinavia for which UK would exclusively press 'export' singles [Scandinavian countries also pressed their own records and imported regular UK releases, see the Danish, Swedish and Norwegian discographies].
Each song from the charts offer comprehensive details on its:
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