In 1965 the Rolling Stones were at the height of their fame. Their album The Rolling Stones No. 2 had topped the charts in the UK the year prior and the U.S. version, Rolling Stones Now!, had reached number five on the charts. The band toured extensively in 1965 and, by the end of the year, were already in Hollywood, California’s RCA Recording Studios working on their next album, Aftermath.
During those sessions, the band recorded “19th Nervous Breakdown”, a song Mick Jagger and Keith Richards had written while on tour. The track featured a guitar line by Brian Jones that is partially derivative of “Diddley Daddy” by Bo Diddley, a major influence on the Stones.
Though the song wouldn’t make the cut for Aftermath, it was released the following year on the band’s first compilation album, Big Hits (High Tide and Green Grass).
In February of 1966, “19th Nervous Breakdown” became the band’s 19th single. During the month of its release the Stones performed the song on the Ed Sullivan Show. The single went on to reach #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in the U.S. and #1 on the UK’s Record Retailer chart.
In 2016, ABKCO Records released The Rolling Stones in Mono, which featured a previously unreleased alternate mono mix of the track. A new lyric video for the song has just been released. Watch “19th Nervous Breakdown” below.