|Single by The Rolling Stones|
|from the album Exile on Main St.|
|"All Down the Line"|
|Studio||Villa Nellcôte, France|
|Label||Rolling Stones Records|
|The Rolling Stones singles chronology|
Japanese picture sleeve for "Happy"
"Happy" is the tenth track on the Rolling Stones' 1972 album Exile on Main St. and features Keith Richards on lead vocals. Released as the second single from the album in July 1972, "Happy" entered the Billboard Hot 100 at No. 69 on 15 July 1972 and reached No. 22 on 19 August 1972.
Credited to Jagger/Richards, "Happy" was written primarily by Keith Richards during the summer of 1971, at the villa Nellcôte in southern France, over the course of a single afternoon. According to Richards, "We did that in an afternoon, in only four hours, cut and done. At noon it had never existed. At four o'clock it was on tape." The basic tracks were recorded in the Nellcôte basement, using the Rolling Stones Mobile Studio, with Richards on bass, guitar and vocals, producer Jimmy Miller on drums, and saxophonist Bobby Keys on maracas. Piano by Nicky Hopkins was added later, as were Jim Price's trumpet, Keys' saxophone, Mick Taylor's guitar and the final vocal tracks, including Mick Jagger's backing vocals.
"Happy" was the only single by the band to chart on the Hot 100 on which Richards sang lead.
Since 1972, Richards has often sung "Happy" in concert and it has become one of his signature tunes. Performances of the song through 1978 also featured Jagger's vocals during the chorus.
Concert renditions of the song appear on the albums Love You Live and Live Licks; the studio track has been released on the compilation albums Made in the Shade, Forty Licks and GRRR! The song also features on concert films and DVD box sets: Ladies and Gentlemen: The Rolling Stones (1974), Stones at the Max (1992), Four Flicks (2004), The Biggest Bang (2007), Some Girls: Live in Texas '78 (2011), Sweet Summer Sun: Hyde Park Live (2013) and L.A. Forum - Live In 1975 (2014).