Friday, April 15, 2016

50 years ago: The Rolling Stones “Under My Thumb” released

Under My Thumb

The Rolling Stones

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

Released: April 15, 1966 (album cut on Aftermath)

Peak: 3 CL, 1 DF (Click for codes to charts.)

Sales (in millions): --

Airplay/Streaming (in millions): -- radio, 12.2 video, -- streaming


Click on award for more details.

About the Song:

The Rolling Stones formed in London in 1962. Over the next four years, they established themselves as one of the greatest rock and roll bands of all time with six #1 songs in the UK, including “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction,” “Get Off of My Cloud,” and “Paint It Black,” which hit #1 in the U.S. as well. By the release of 1966’s Aftermath, the group had released three albums in the UK and five in the U.S.

The track listing for Aftermath differed between the UK and U.S. versions. For example, “Mother’s Little Helper” only appeared on the UK version while “Paint It Black” was only on the U.S. version. However, there were some songs that were featured on both versions. One of those was “Under My Thumb.” While the song was never released as a single, it was popular enough to become a mainstay on compilations and live albums from the Stones.

As with most of the Stones’ songs, this one was written by singer Mick Jagger and guitarist Keith Richards. The song features fuzz bass lines from Bill Wyman and Brian Jones plays the song’s most prominent hook on marimba. WK Nick Reynolds, who co-produced the documentatry Rolling Stone: Life and Death of Brian Jones said “he makes the arrangement that turns this song into a timeless classic.” SF

Lyrically, Jagger “celebrates the success of finally having controlled and gained leverage over a previously, pushy, dominating woman.” WK The song has been attacked as anti-feminist although Jagger has tried to downplay it as “a jokey number…a caricature.” WK Salt Lake Tribune writer Terry Orme called it the Stones “at their offensive best.” WK

“Under My Thumb” also gained notoriety as the song the group was playing at the Altamont Free Concert in December 1969 when fan Meredith Hunter was stabbed to death by a member of the Hell’s Angels Motorcycle Club who were serving as security guards.

The song has been covered by Terence Trent D’Arby, Wayne Gibson (#17 UK, 1974) Susanna Hoffs, Del Shannon, Social Distortion, and Tina Turner (#80 AU, 1975). The Who recorded it in 1967 and released it as a single in support of the Stones’ being busted for drug possession.


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First posted 3/19/2023.

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