The song  tells two stories, a young man shot by police in a case of mistaken identity, and a 10-year girl who dies in an alley of a drug overdose. Neither is based on a true story, but is a commentary on urban America during that time.

The horns were arranged by trumpet player Jim Price, who along with Bobby Keys on sax, provided the brass on records and tours for The Stones in the early '70s. This was the last time Price recorded with The Stones.
TRIVIA:
Keith Richards played bass and shared lead guitar duties with Mick Taylor.
Billy Preston played the piano.