(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction: Wikis


Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

"(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction"
Single by The Rolling Stones
from the album Out of Our Heads
B-side "The Under Assistant West Coast Promotion Man" (US)
"The Spider and the Fly" (UK)
Released 6 June 1965 (US)
20 August 1965 (UK)
Format 7", 12"
Recorded 12 May 1965, RCA Studios, Hollywood
Genre Rock
Length 3:44
Label London 45-LON 9766 (US)
Decca F12220 (UK)
Writer(s) Mick Jagger, Keith Richards
Producer Andrew Loog Oldham
The Rolling Stones singles chronology
"The Last Time"
"(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction"
"Get Off of My Cloud"
Music sample
"(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction"

"(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction" is a song by English rock band The Rolling Stones released in 1965. It was written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards and produced by Andrew Loog Oldham. The number is noted for Richards's three-note guitar riff which opens and drives the song, and for the lyrics, which include references to sexual intercourse and a theme of anti-commercialism. The latter in particular caused the song to be "perceived as an attack on the status quo".[1]

The song was first released as a single in the United States in June 1965 and also featured on the American version of Out of Our Heads, released that July. "Satisfaction" was a hit, giving the Stones their first number one in the United States. In Europe, the song initially played only on pirate radio stations because its lyrics were considered too sexually suggestive. In Britain the single was released in August 1965; it became the Rolling Stones' fourth UK number one. The song is considered to be one of the all-time great rock songs. In 2004 Rolling Stone magazine placed "Satisfaction" in the second spot on its list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time, while in 2006 it was added to the Library of Congress National Recording Registry.



Keith Richards states that he came up with the guitar riff for the song in his sleep, waking up in the middle of the night, recording the riff and the words "I can't get no satisfaction" on a cassette recorder and promptly falling back to sleep.[2] He would later describe the tape as: "two minutes of 'Satisfaction' and 40 minutes of me snoring."[3] He and Jagger finished writing the song at the Jack Tar Harrison Hotel in Clearwater, Florida, in May 1965.[4][5] Jagger wrote most of the lyrics - a statement about the rampant commercialism that the Rolling Stones had seen in America.[1][6]

Richards was concerned that the riff sounded too much like Martha and the Vandellas' "Dancing in the Street".[1] Jagger later said: "It sounded like a folk song when we first started working on it and Keith didn't like it much, he didn't want it to be a single, he didn't think it would do very well... I think Keith thought it was a bit basic. I don't think he really listened to it properly. He was too close to it and just felt it was a silly kind of riff."[7] Jagger has also pointed out that the title lyrics closely resemble a line from Chuck Berry's "30 Days".[7] (Berry's lyric is "If I don't get no satisfaction from the judge".)[6][8]


The Rolling Stones first recorded the track on 10 May 1965 at Chess Studios in Chicago[9] - a version featuring Brian Jones on harmonica. The group minus Brian Jones re-recorded it two days later at RCA Studios in Hollywood, with a different beat and the Gibson Maestro fuzzbox adding sustain to the sound of the guitar riff.[7][10] Richards envisioned redoing the track later with a horn section playing the riff: "this was just a little sketch, because, to my mind, the fuzz tone was really there to denote what the horns would be doing."[7] The other Rolling Stones, as well as manager Andrew Loog Oldham and sound engineer Dave Hassinger eventually outvoted Richards and the track was selected for release as a single.[6][10] The song's success boosted sales of the Gibson fuzzbox so that the entire available stock sold out by the end of 1965.[1]

Like most of the Stones' pre-1966 recordings, "Satisfaction" was originally released in mono only. In the mid-1980s, a true stereo version of the song was released on German and Japanese editions of the CD reissue of Hot Rocks 1964-1971. The stereo mix features a piano (played by session player Jack Nitzsche) and acoustic guitar that are barely audible in the original mono release (both instruments are also audible on a bootleg recording of the instrumental track). This stereo mix of "Satisfaction" also appeared on a radio-promo CD of rare stereo tracks provided to US radio stations in the mid-1980s, but has not yet been featured on a worldwide commercial CD; even later pressings of the German and Japanese Hot Rocks CDs feature the mono mix, making the earlier releases with the stereo mix collectors' items. For the worldwide 2002 reissue of Hot Rocks, an alternate quasi-stereo mix was used featuring the lead guitar, bass, drums, and vocals in the center channel and the acoustic guitar and piano "split" left and right via a delay effect.[11]

This audio file was created from a revision dated 2005-04-20, and does not reflect subsequent edits to the article. (Audio help)
More spoken articles

Release and success

"Satisfaction" was released as a single in the US by London Records on 6 June 1965, with "The Under-Assistant West Coast Promotion Man" as its B-side.[12] The single made its way through the American charts, reaching the top on 10 July, displacing The Four Tops' "I Can't Help Myself (Sugar Pie Honey Bunch)". "Satisfaction" held on for a full four weeks, being knocked off on 7 August by "I'm Henry the Eighth, I Am" from Herman's Hermits.[13] The song entered the Billboard Hot 100 charts in America in the week ending 12 June 1965, remaining there for 14 weeks; it was #1 for four straight weeks. While in its eighth week on the American charts, the single was certified a gold record award by the RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) for selling more than half a million copies in the United States, giving the band their first of many gold disc awards in America. Later the song was also released by London Records on Out of Our Heads in America.[6] According to "Joel Whitburn Presents, Top R&B/Hip-Hop Singles: 1942–2004", the song also reached #19 on the Top Selling Rhythm and Blues Singles.

"Satisfaction" was not immediately released by Decca Records in Great Britain. Decca was already in the process of preparing a live Rolling Stones EP for release, so the new single didn't come out in Britain until 20 August,[12] with "The Spider and the Fly" on the B-Side. The song peaked at number one for two weeks, replacing Sonny & Cher's "I Got You Babe", between 11 September and 25 September, before being toppled by The Walker Brothers' "Make It Easy on Yourself".[13]

In the decades since its release, "Satisfaction" has repeatedly been acclaimed by the music industry. In 1976, Britain's New Musical Express listed "Satisfaction" 7th among the top 100 singles of all time. There was a resurgence of interest in the song after it was prominently featured in the 1979 movie Apocalypse Now. In 1991, Vox listed "Satisfaction" among "100 records that shook the world". In 1999, BMI named "Satisfaction" as the 91st-most performed song of the 20th century. In 2000, VH1 listed "Satisfaction" first among its "Top 100 Greatest Rock Songs";[14] the same year, "Satisfaction" also finished runner-up to "Yesterday" in a list jointly compiled by Rolling Stone and MTV. In 2003, Q placed the song 68th out of its "1001 Best Songs Ever". In 2004, Rolling Stone's panel of judges named "Satisfaction" as the second-greatest song of all time, coming in second to Bob Dylan's "Like a Rolling Stone".[15] Newsweek has called the opening riff "five notes that shook the world".[16]

Jagger has said of "Satisfaction": "It was the song that really made The Rolling Stones, changed us from just another band into a huge, monster band... It has a very catchy title. It has a very catchy guitar riff. It has a great guitar sound, which was original at that time. And it captures a spirit of the times, which is very important in those kinds of songs... Which was alienation."[6] Richards claimed that the song's riff could be heard in half of the songs that The Rolling Stones had produced, saying that "there is only one song — it's just the variations you come up with."[1]

The song has become a staple at Rolling Stones shows. They have performed it on nearly every tour since its release, and concert renditions have been included on the albums Got Live if You Want It!, Still Life (American Concert 1981), Flashpoint, Live Licks and Shine a Light. One unusual rendition is included in Robert Frank's film Cocksucker Blues from the 1972 tour, when the song was performed by both the Rolling Stones and Stevie Wonder's band as the second half of a medley with Wonder's "Uptight".

Lyrics and melody

Guitar riff from "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction"

The song opens with the guitar riff, which is joined by the bass halfway through. It is repeated three times with the drums and acoustic guitar before the vocal enters with the line: "I can't get no satisfaction". The title line is an example of a double negative resolving to a negative, a common usage in colloquial English. Jagger sings the verses in a tone hovering between cynical commentary and frustrated protest, and then leaps half singing and half yelling into the chorus, where the guitar riff reappears. The lyrics outline the singer's irritation with the increasing commercialism of the modern world, where the radio broadcasts "useless information" and a man on television tells him "how white my shirts can be - but he can't be a man 'cause he doesn't smoke the same cigarettes as me." Jagger also describes the stress of being a celebrity, and the tensions of touring. The reference in the verse to not getting any "girl reaction" was fairly controversial in its day, interpreted by some listeners (and radio programmers) as meaning a girl willing to have sex. Particularly shocking to some people was a reference to a girl having her period (being "on a losing streak").[17] The song closes with a fairly subdued repetition of the song's title, followed suddenly by a full shout of the line, with the final words repeated into the fade-out.[18]

In its day the song was perceived as disturbing because of both its sexual connotations and the negative view of commercialism and other aspects of modern culture; critic Paul Gambaccini stated: "The lyrics to this were truly threatening to an older audience. This song was perceived as an attack on the status quo".[1] When the Rolling Stones performed the song on Shindig! in 1965, the line "trying to make some girl" was censored.[19] Forty years later, when the band performed three songs during the February 2006 Super Bowl XL halftime show, "Satisfaction" was the only one of the three songs not censored as it was broadcast.[20]


Notable cover versions

  • In July 1965 Stax singer Otis Redding recorded a rendition of "Satisfaction" for his album Otis Blue. Otis claimed that he did not know the lyrics of the song, saying: "I use a lot of words different than the Stones' version," Redding noted. "That's because I made them up."[21] Redding's soul-style arrangement featured horns playing the main riff, as Keith Richards had originally intended. In 2003 Ronnie Wood noted that The Rolling Stones' later concert renditions of the number reflect Redding's interpretation.[7]
"(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction"
Single by The Residents
from the album The Third Reich 'n Roll
B-side Loser = Weed
Released 1976
Format 7-inch single
Recorded 1976
Genre Avant-garde
Length 4:30
Label Ralph Records
Writer(s) Jagger/Richards
"(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction"
Single by Devo
B-side Sloppy (I saw my baby getting)
Released 1977
Format 7"
Recorded 1976
Genre New Wave
Length 2:40
Label Booji Boy Records
Warner Bros. Records
Writer(s) Jagger/Richards
Producer Brian Eno
Chuck Statler
Devo singles chronology
"(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction"
"Be Stiff"

The Residents version

"Satisfaction" was released as a 7-inch single by The Residents in 1976. It is a complete reworking of The Rolling Stones's version. The Residents' version features extreme guitar noise (courtesy of friend and guest guitarist Snakefinger), distorted, screamed vocals, and altered lyrics.

The original 1976 release was packaged in a silkscreened sleeve, released in a limited edition of 200. The song proved popular, and was re-released in 1978 with a standard picture sleeve, on yellow vinyl and in a regular release of 30,000 copies. The song proved popular in the United Kingdom, especially since the re-release came at the peak of the UK punk movement.

On the album "Eat Exuding Oinks", which is a CD release of a radio special about the music of The Residents, the song was described by both the radio DJ Sid Powell and Jay Clem as the "most determinedly repulsive song" ever recorded.

Devo version

The American New Wave band Devo released their rendition of "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction" as a single in 1977.

Gerald Casale has stated that Mick Jagger's assertion that he liked Devo's rendition was "a setup", and that a Warner Bros. lawyer had asked him to approve the cover.[23] Steve Huey of Allmusic stated that the cover version "reworks the original's alienation into a spastic freak-out that's nearly unrecognizable".[24]

The quirky music video for this song and several others from this album received significant airplay on the upstart MTV. The video appears on Devo's home videos, The Men Who Make the Music, We're All Devo" and The Complete Truth About De-Evolution. A notable feature of the video was dancer Craig Allen Rothwell, known as Spazz Attack, whose signature dance move, a forward flip onto his back, drew him significant attention.[25] He later appeared in the music video for Devo's Peek-A-Boo, and on David Bowie's Glass Spider tour.

Chart positions

Chart (1977) Peak
UK Singles Chart 44


  1. ^ a b c d e f "Sold on Song: '(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction'". BBC. Retrieved on 18 December 2008.
  2. ^ Booth, Stanley (1994). Keith Richards: Till I Roll Over Dead. Headline Book Publishing. p. 51. ISBN 0-7472-0770-4.  
  3. ^ Geyer, Gary. "Keith Richards: Satisfaction, Guaranteed". Let Life In. Retrieved on 18 December 2008.
  4. ^ Booth 1994. pg. 60.
  5. ^ Tobin, Thomas C. "Clearwater: Can't get No Satisfaction". St. Petersburg Times. 23 July 2000. Retrieved on 18 December.
  6. ^ a b c d e "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction by The Rolling Stones". Retrieved 4 April 2006.
  7. ^ a b c d e McPherson, Ian. "Track Talk: Satisfaction". Archived from the original on 2009-07-20. http://www.webcitation.org/5iPw3UAuR. Retrieved 2008-03-05.  
  8. ^ "30 Days" lyrics. Retrieved 21 June 2006.
  9. ^ Zentgraf, Nico. "The Complete Works of the Rolling Stones 1962-2008". http://www.nzentgraf.de/books/tcw/works1.htm. Retrieved 2008-02-23.  
  10. ^ a b Wyman, Bill (2002). Rolling With the Stones. DK Publishing. p. 187. ISBN 0-7894-9998-3.  
  11. ^ http://lukpac.org/stereostones/
  12. ^ a b Elliott, Martin (2002). The Rolling Stones: Complete Recording Sessions 1962-2002. Cherry Red Books. p. pg. 69. ISBN 1-901447-04-9.  
  13. ^ a b "Number 1 Hit Singles of 1965". Retrieved 4 April 2006.
  14. ^ "100 Greatest Songs of Rock & Roll (20-1)". VH1. http://www.vh1.com/shows/dyn/the_greatest/62161/episode_about.jhtml. Retrieved 2008-03-08.  
  15. ^ "500 Greatest Songs". Retrieved 11 October 2004.
  16. ^ "KeithRichards.com". Retrieved 4 April 2006.
  17. ^ "Going to Pot". Time. 1 July 1966. retrieved on 18 December 2008.
  18. ^ Unterberger, Richie. "Song review: '(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction'". Allmusic. Retrieved on 18 December 2008.
  19. ^ Shindig!. 1965-05-26. No. 37, season 1.
  20. ^ "ABC has no ‘Satisfaction’ with Stones’ lyrics: Network says NFL enforced 5-second delay on group’s halftime show". 2006-02-06. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/11193993/. Retrieved 2007-03-22.  
  21. ^ 74) Otis Blue : Rolling Stone
  22. ^ "Gawker - Rolling Stone Revelations: Britney Spears Is An 'Inbred Swamp Thing' Who 'Wants Us To Know What We Did To Her' - Defamer". Archived from the original on 2009-06-06. http://www.webcitation.org/5hL1hCpVB. Retrieved 2009-06-02.  
  23. ^ http://redbullmusicacademyradio.com/shows/1516/
  24. ^ Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo! review. Allmusic. Retrieved on 9 April 2009.
  25. ^ Craig Allen Rothwell at the Internet Movie Database

External links

Preceded by
"Mr. Tambourine Man" by The Byrds
Billboard Hot 100 number one single (The Rolling Stones version)
10 July 1965 (four weeks)
Succeeded by
"I'm Henry VIII, I Am" by Herman's Hermits
Preceded by
"I Got You Babe" by Sonny & Cher
UK number one single (The Rolling Stones version)
9 September 1965 (two weeks)
Succeeded by
"Make It Easy on Yourself" by The Walker Brothers

Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address