Friday, July 10, 2015

50 years ago: The Rolling Stones hit #1 with “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction”

(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction

The Rolling Stones

Writer(s): Mick Jagger, Keith Richard (see lyrics here)

Released: June 6, 1965

First Charted: June 12, 1965

Peak: 14 US, 14 CB, 13 HR, 19 RB, 1 CL, 12 UK, 3 CN, 11 AU (Click for codes to singles charts.)

Sales (in millions): 1.0 US, 0.4 UK, 5.0 world (includes US + UK)

Airplay/Streaming (in millions): 6.0 radio, 158.42 video, 446.1 streaming


Click on award for more details.

About the Song:

This song, more than any other featured in the first Dave’s Music Database book, The Top 100 Songs of the Rock Era, 1954-1999 tempted me to fudge. That book ranked the top 100 songs strictly as the database showed them, but hey, it is my database. Couldn’t I manipulate it to ensure that what critic Toby Creswell called “the perfect rock & roll record” TC would top the list? No. Then I’d want to bump songs from the list, add others, etc. So, despite often being hailed as the best rock song of all time and “one of the defining records of...its era,” AMG a completely by-the-numbers approach puts “Satisfaction” a notch lower than I’d prefer. [It ranks #2 in the book].

The song’s “famous riff played by Keith Richards has become a defining sound in rock and roll.” JA He said the riff, inspired by Martha & the Vandellas’ “Dancing in the Street,” GU came to him in a dream. He grabbed a guitar, taped the music, and fell back to sleep. RS500 “The next morning I listened to the tape,” he recalls. “There was about two minutes of...a very rough riff of ‘Satisfaction’ and then me snoring for 40 minutes.” HL

The next day, singer Mick Jagger penned his attack on American commercialism in ten minutes RS500 as they sat by the motel poo. TC Within a week, the Stones began recording the song in the famous Chess studios in Chicago. TC Gibson had sent Richards a fuzz box, which he used to sketch out what he thought would be a horn section. He told Rolling Stone that when he heard Otis Redding’s version, he said “shit, that was more what I had in mind.” RSP

Richards and Jagger didn’t want to release it, but were outvoted by their band mates who wanted what they considered an unusual sound for a rock record. SF A mere three weeks after being recorded, ”Satisfaction” saw U.S. release. SF It was issued in the U.K. only after its U.S. success. AMG It was the Stones’ first chart topper on both sides of the pond and the biggest song of 1965. WHC


  • DMDB encyclopedia entry for The Rolling Stones
  • AMG All Music Guide review by Richie Unterberger
  • TC Toby Creswell (2005). 1001 Songs: The Great Songs of All Time. Thunder’s Mouth Press: New York, NY. Pages 330-1.
  • GU Edna Gundersen (1/14/2000). “VH1 picks 100 greatest songs.” USA Today. Page 8E.
  • HL Michael Heatley and Spencer Leigh (1998). Behind the Song: The Stories of 100 Great Pop & Rock Classics. London, England: Blandford Books. Page 22.
  • JA David A. Jasen (2002). A Century of American Popular Music: 2000 Best-Loved and Remembered Songs (1899-1999). Routledge: Taylor & Francis, Inc. Page 81.
  • RS500 Rolling Stone (2004). “The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time
  • RSP Rolling Stone (September 8, 1988; Issue 534). “The 100 Best Singles of the Last 25 Years.” New York, NY; Straight Arrow Publishing Company.
  • SF Songfacts
  • WHC Joel Whitburn (1999). A Century of Pop Music. Menomonee Falls, WI; Record Research, Inc. Page 90.

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Last updated 11/6/2021.

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