The Rolling Stones – (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction | Lyrics Meaning & Song Review
As if The Rolling Stones needed more popularity and solidification in music by 1965, their hit single “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” made the band reach their epitome of success. However, the beginning of this song starts with chaos and a lot of snoring! Yes, read on.
Making of “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction”
On May 6, 1965, The Rolling Stones were performing for approximately 3,000 fans at Jack Russell Stadium in Clearwater, Florida. However, the show was cut short as some fans got into an altercation with the police. The Rolling Stones members managed to sneak out and rest in at Fort Harrison Hotel.
Keith Richards abruptly woke up from his sleep that night and grabbed a guitar and a cassette machine. Richards played the guitar riff and wrote down the lyric “i can’t get no satisfaction” and then fell back to sleep. “On the tape,” he said later, “you can hear me drop the pick, and the rest is snoring.”
(Sources: rollingstone.com and songfact.com)
“(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” was released on June 6, 1965, exactly a month after Keith Richards had his dreamy awakening. Mick Jagger and Keith Richards penned the lyrics to the song.
The song was released as part of The Rolling Stones’ third studio album (3rd in UK and 4th in the USA) ‘Out of Our Heads.’
Critical Reception and Chart Performance
“(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” reached #1 both in the UK and USA, and held that position for 14 weeks. It also reached #1 in several other countries around the world. By July 1965, the single was certified Gold (0.5 million units sold) by RIAA.
The Rolling Stone magazine ranked “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” at #2 on their ‘500 Greatest Songs of All Time‘ list. NME magazine listed the song at #7 on their ‘Top 100 Singles of All Time’ list. VH1 listed the song at #1 on their ‘Top 100 Greatest Rock Songs’ chart.
Watch The Rolling Stones Live Perform “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction”
Lyrics Review and Song Meaning of “Satisfaction (I Can’t Get No)”
Mick Jagger, who composed almost all of the lyrics of the song, had the following to say about the song;
“Satisfaction” was “my view of the world, my frustration with everything. (disgust with) “America, its advertising syndrome, the constant barrage.”
However, this is song is a little more than that. Mick Jagger managed to sneak in a very dirty undertone to the lyrics as explained by Mick with a Time magazine interview. So let us take a deeper look at the lyrics as well.
The infamous hook of the song narrates how the singer cannot get any satisfaction out of the ways of this world. As Mick explained, he was frustrated with the American system and how it enslaved minds at the time. The constant reminders of consumerism and the constant reminders to be perfect at everything were wearing him down. However, these lines also encapsulate the sexual undertone of the song, too.
In the first verse of the song, The Rolling Stones are talking about the consumerist culture of the media. Mick Jagger recalls a time when he was peacefully driving his car and an advertisement comes on the radio. The man on the radio keeps on yapping about some useless information about something. It is supposed to fire off the listener’s imagination to buy the product. However, Mick finds it annoying and a nuisance.
Mick Jagger drops another example of a mindless banter on the TV this time. This commercial is supposed to persuade people to buy the “best detergent” out there so their shirts will become the whitest ever. But Mick Jagger quickly shrugs off this man and his ideas because he doesn’t smoke the same cigarettes as Mick does.
Yes, the type of cigarettes was a big deal back then. Or it could allude to the idea that Mick Jagger was actually talking about marijuana cigarettes, as some speculate.
The third and last verse of the song has earned itself a ‘dirty’ reputation. In the lyrics, Mick Jagger sings about getting together with a girl during his tours. However, in this specific situation, the girl tells Mick Jagger to come a week later. Mick Jagger himself admitted that this line had to do with female menstruation. “It’s just life. That’s what really happens to girls. Why shouldn’t people write about it?” replied Mick Jagger when asked about it. And because of this menstrual cycle, Mick Jagger is yet again left out with no satisfaction!
A song that might seem simple and plain on the surface of it, actually has deeper roots and meanings as “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” does. What do you make of this song and its idea? Drop a comment below.