The Rolling Stones’ new single “Living in a Ghost Town” hit number one on iTunes in more than 20 countries, the band announced on Sunday, as the song becomes an anthem for life during the coronavirus.
Mick Jagger, the group’s frontman, told Apple Music in an interview on Thursday that the song had been written last year, prior to the lockdown measures implemented during the pandemic, but he adjusted some lyrics before the song’s release.
“Keith Richards and I both had the idea that we should release it,” Jagger told Apple Music. “But I said, ‘Well I’ve got to rewrite it.’ Some of it is not going to work and some of it was a bit weird and a bit too dark.”
“Living in a Ghost Town” is a lament about life on pause, with lyrics that are relatable to those forced to social distance across the globe.
“Life was so beautiful, then we all got locked down,” the lyrics said. “Feeling like a ghost, living in a ghost town.”
The song, a surprise release from the legendary rock band, is The Rolling Stones’ first original track in years. The Rolling Stones released a blues cover album in 2016 and have subsequently released a few albums of live recordings.
It’s unclear whether the group, who had to postpone their upcoming No Filter tour, will record a new studio album.
Billboard’s Hot 100, the music industry’s most popular measure of success, has not yet been updated to include The Rolling Stones’ new single. But the iTunes music chart is an early indicator of the song’s triumph in the digital streaming era.