Mick Jagger and Keith Richards were motivated to improve when they observed Lennon and McCartney complete a song quickly. It was ‘I wanna be your man’ and both bands, the Rolling Stones and Beatles recorded it. After some attempts which didn’t inspire them, Jagger/ Richards produced ‘Satisfaction’ which became the key anthem of the era, but it wasn’t easy.
While on tour in the USA, Keith woke up in the night, with a powerful riff in his head plus one phrase. He picked up his guitar taped it, then fell back to sleep. He told Mick later, “The words which go with this are, I can’t get no satisfaction.” With hindsight people recognise it was strong, but the pair were uncertain of its worth. They needed the input, encouragement and finally a vote from the band before agreeing to release it as a single. It reached number one in the US and UK. Written on the crest of a popular wave, it doesn’t celebrate success or power. Instead it challenges the coercive force of advertising and the grim cynicism of the media.
Not yet the last time
It has been covered many times and still speaks to human angst, no matter our income, clothes or status. It has a palpable element of rebellion and menace from those two magnificent opening chords. Despite predictions, including their own they are singing it into their 70s.
It is simple, it connects and it satisfies!