Credited to Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, recording on "Till the Next Goodbye" began at Munich's Musicland Studios in November 1973. The song is a traditional ballad from the Stones' middle period, with slight country music influences. It opens with an acoustic guitar which leads into Jagger's performance. The lyrics deal with the "illicit meetings between two lovers";
|“||Honey, is there any place that you would like to eat? I know a coffee shop down on 52nd Street; And I don't need no fancy food and I don't need no fancy wine; And I sure don't need the tears you cry||”|
The song's chorus is notable as the title is elongated into the phrase "Till the next time we say goodbye."
|“||Yeah, a movie house on 42nd Street, Ain't a very likely place for you and I to meet; Watching the snow swirl around your hair and around your feet; And I'm thinking to myself 'she surely looks a treat'||”|
In his review of the song, Bill Janovitz says, "In the mid-'70s, a 42nd Street movie theater would have been a place of questionable repute and not a very romantic rendezvous. The lyric is unexpectedly complex; the point of view, Jagger as narrator, speaks to the mistress apologetically and with a guilty conscience... In one line on the bridge, Jagger manages to convey empathy, culpability, and frustration: 'I can't go on like this/Can you? Can you?' On paper it seems clear, the narrator is asking out of the relationship (paraphrasing): "I can't do this, can you?" But the way Jagger sings it, it sounds like he's asking, "You can't do this anymore, can you?" He's conveying a different meaning altogether, almost as if he is playing both parts in one line."
Recording continued at Jagger's home in Newbury with the use of the Rolling Stones Mobile Studio and finished at Island Recording Studios in London. Jagger, Richards and Mick Taylor each perform acoustic guitar for the piece. Taylor also contributes electric slide guitar to the recording. Nicky Hopkins performs the song's piano. Bill Wyman performs bass while Charlie Watts performs drums.
An overlooked song from the Stones canon of work, "Till the Next Goodbye" has never been performed live by the Stones and is not included on any compilation albums.
Was rehearsed for the first time on February 11th, 2014 in Paris in preparation for the "14 On Fire" Asia Pacific Tour due to start in Abu Dhabi on February 21st, 2014. In attendance at the rehearsals were the Rolling Stones and their usual backup band with special guest Mick Taylor.