(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction
In a Nutshell
"(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction" was the first Rolling Stones song to reach #1 in America. With the 1965 hit, the band broke through a barrier and became, in Mick Jagger’s own words, a monster band.Rolling Stone
went even further in praising the song. It declared "Satisfaction" the second greatest song of all time. According to the magazine, the song turned rock and roll into rock
, and voiced the edgy discontent of a generation "impatient to inherit the earth" ("500 Greatest Songs of All Time," Rolling Stone
, 9 December 2009, 68).
A song this important begs some questions. What inspired it? How was it made? What did it mean to its creators? And since the song introduced so much—a more hard-edged music for a generation with an edge of its own—we have to ask, what happened to the song, its writers, and the generation it came to represent? Did the “alienation” that Jagger said informed the song ever morph into a more fulfilling social philosophy? Did Jagger and Richards and the fans who embraced the song ever get their satisfaction?
Read on and decide.
About the Song
|Artist||The Rolling Stones
||Musician(s)||Mick Jagger (lead vocals), Keith Richards (guitar, vocals), Brian Jones (guitar), Charlie Watts (drums), Bill Wyman (bass guitar), Jack Nitzche (tambourine, piano)
|Album||Out of Our Heads|
|Writer(s)||Keith Richards, Mick Jagger|
|Producer(s)||Andrew Loog Oldham|
Explore the ways this song connects with the world and with other topics on Shmoop
According to Rolling Stone
, with "Satisfaction" rock and roll became rock – just rock. The song thus plays an important part in the history of rock and roll
. But, according to the song’s critics, the song was too sexually explicit for airplay and should be suppressed, so the song has a place in the history of censorship and the First Amendment
. According to Mick Jagger, the song was successful because it captured the alienation of a generation and a time. That means the song is also a part of the history of the 1960s
And then, of course, there's the fact that it's just a great song. But you already knew that.
On the Charts
"Satisfaction" reached #1 in both the US and Great Britain.Rolling Stone
put the song at #2 on its list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.