3 of Brian Jones’ Best Musical Contributions to the Rolling Stones

Though Brian Jones’ time in the Rolling Stones was relatively short-lived, he had many major moments. From sitar lines to recorder ad-libs, find three of Jones’ best musical contributions to the Rolling Stones, below.

Videos by American Songwriter

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1. “Paint It Black”

The sitar typically has a lighter connotation than what we hear from Jones in “Paint It, Black.” Jones evoked a haunting sound from the instrument, giving the song its famous riff. Though an electric guitar likely could’ve created a similar sound, it wouldn’t have had the same texture that Jones pulled off here.

I see a red door
And I want it painted black
No colors anymore
I want them to turn black

I see the girls walk by
Dressed in their summer clothes
I have to turn my head
Until my darkness goes

2. “Ruby Tuesday”

Jones was known for his ability to compose on several instruments–many of which were odd and not conventional to rock and roll. The woodwind trill that can be heard on “Ruby Tuesday” comes courtesy of Jones. For this song, he opted for a recorder–the thrill of every young music student wanting to get their hands on any sort of plaything. Jones proved the simple instrument has practical applications as well.

She would never say where she came from
Yesterday don’t matter if it’s gone
While the sun is bright
Or in the darkest night
No one knows, she comes and goes

3. “She’s a Rainbow”

The Mellotron was the saving grace of musicians in the ’60s who were looking for a more robust catalog of instruments. Jones made use of the keyboard in “She’s a Rainbow,” creating a false brass section for this colorful tune.

She comes in colours everywhere
She combs her hair
She’s like a rainbow
Coming, colours in the air
Oh, everywhere
She comes in colours

(Photo by David Redfern/Redferns)

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