Mick Jagger Releases New Song “Strange Game” for Gary Oldman Series

Videos by American Songwriter

Videos by American Songwriter

Mick Jagger released a new song “Strange Game,” which will be the featured theme song for the upcoming Apple Original series Slow Horses, starring Gary Oldman.

The song, co-written with Oscar-nominated film composer Daniel Pemberton (“The Trial of the Chicago 7”), plays like a shadowy, cabaret song filled with Jagger’s iconic swagger. “It’s quite irreverent, but the Gary Oldman character is irreverent,” said Jagger in an interview. “It’s also slightly eerie, so it combines those two things. You don’t want to make it too serious.”

Debuting April 1, Slow Horses is a spy thriller based on the books by Mick Herron for Apple TV+ and See-Saw Films. Jagger wrote the lyrics to the theme song since he was already a fan of Herron’s books.

“It’s a quite popular series of books, so I knew what it was about,” added Jagger. “I knew the vibe really well, so as soon as [Daniel Pemberton] sent the track to me, I just dashed off a few pages of notes of what I thought it was about. It came very, very quickly, which is always a good sign.”

Music supervisor Catherine Grieves and director James Hawes first approached Jagger because they wanted a song with the same “gravitas and swagger” as Oldman’s lead character Jackson Lamb.

“‘Slow Horses is a resoundingly British show in a very confident British genre, which had to find a flavor of its own,” said Hawes. “Right from the get-go, I thought that we could use a song in the opening to help us set the tone,” he continued. “Particularly with the first show, which has a very dynamic, perhaps more conventional action opening.”

In the series, also starring Jonathan Pryce, Kristin Scott Thomas, Olivia Cooke, and Jack Lowden, Lamb runs Slough House, home to MI5s who are trying to redeem themselves as agents.

Though they didn’t meet in person, Pemberton and Jagger collaborated on the song via Zoom, text messages, and emails. “I played him the track on guitar,” said Pemberton. “I’m not even a good guitarist. That was very weird, playing guitar for Mick Jagger on the Zoom line.”

Photo: Kevin Mazur

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