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IN-DEPTH
SONG HOME COVER VERSIONS YOUR VIEWS
"(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction"
The Rolling Stones
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The Rolling Stones

The Stones' most distinctive song became their first US #1 despite Richards' attempts to stop it being released as a single.

The Rolling Stones had enjoyed their first taste of commercial success in 1964 with a Bobby Womack song, "It's All Over Now". But it wasn't until 1965 that the band discovered its true voice with the Jagger/Richards-penned singles "The Last Time" and "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction".

Kieth Richards
"Mick wrote all of the words that say anything and I wrote the hook. I woke up in bed with this riff and I thought 'I've gotta put that down.'"


It was during the Rolling Stones' third American tour that Richards dreamed up the legendary three-chord guitar riff that opens "Satisfaction". Richards had no faith in the song as a single and was worried people would think his intro was a copy of Martha & The Vandella's "Dancing in the Street". This riff would also turn up in later songs like "Jumpin' Jack Flash" and "Brown Sugar".

Mick Jagger
"I mean the fact that it's driven me round the bend is neither here or there, but it's obviously a good song!"


Fortunately, Jagger got his way and "Satisfaction" was released as a single. It knocked Sonny and Cher's "I Got You Babe" off the top spot to become the Stones' fourth UK #1 and first US #1.

The sexual suggestiveness of the song's lyrics scandalised the 1960s establishment, but according to Paul Gambaccini it was Jagger's attack on advertising that caused the biggest stir:

Mick Jagger
"The lyrics to this were truly threatening to an older audience. This song was perceived as an attack on the status quo."


That Stones sound.
Richards claims he can hear Satisfaction's riff in half the songs the Stones have done: "I'm almost to the point now, after writing songs for so many years, that there is only one song ľ it's just the variations you come up with."

Richards used a Gibson Maestro Fuzz-tone effect which transformed the song into a gutsy rock number. It was the first fuzzbox guitar that makers Gibson had made, and due to the popularity of the song they'd sold out of them by the end of that year.


"(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction" regularly appears in 'Best Ever' charts. Most recently, it topped the VH1 Top 100 Greatest Rock Songs (2000). It was the runner up to "Yesterday" in the Rolling Stone/MTV Top 100 Greatest Pop Songs (2000) and included in the Rock 'N Roll Hall Of Fame's 500 Songs That Shaped Rock And Roll.

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