(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction at 50: five things you didn’t know about the classic 1965 Rolling Stones track

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THE ROLLING STONES IN 1964 CREDIT: DEZO HOFFMANN/REX

(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction was released in the UK on August 20 1965. Here are our five favourite facts about the Rolling Stones’s famous hymn to restlessness, frustration, and ennui.

1. It’s Johnny Marr’s favourite song

In a piece for The Telegraph, written in November 2012, the musician and former Smiths guitarist explained his enduring love for the track:

“Satisfaction was the first song to define the Stones and what they meant to the Sixties. It’s a bratty riot that showcases a true punk guitar riff and stomping drum beat. As if that wasn’t enough, Mick Jagger’s vocal performance takes the whole thing to another level altogether.

So much has been made over the years of Keith’s noble odyssey to the heart and soul of rhythm and blues, and Charlie’s enduring jazz cool, that everyone overlooks how revolutionary Jagger was as a singer and pop star. His performance on Satisfaction is outrageous. No one before him really seized that role as a rock band frontman, and his style pretty much became the archetype for every US garage band from then on.

Satisfaction is as perfect a Stones record as it gets: R&B and pop, punk and rock ‘n’ roll, frustrated and cocky. Who else could it be?”

2. Keith Richards discovered the famous riff in his sleep

According to Richards – in a story guaranteed to make any struggling songwriter seethe with envy – the Stones guitarist woke in the middle of the night in a Florida hotel, with the eight-note riff fully formed in his head, and instantly set about recording it.

“I listened to the tape the next morning,” he told the websiteGuitar.com, “and it was two minutes of ‘Satisfaction’ and 40 minutes of me snoring.”

“My strength, probably, is I can recognize a song in a few bars,” he later added. “I spot the embryo there. I’ve been writing since so early on that the antenna is really well-developed. If I pick up an instrument, it’ll come to me. I don’t go searching.”

Richards originally intended for the riff to be played on horns, rather than on guitar.

3. Bob Dylan claimed that he ‘could have written it’ – and Mick Jagger responded by saying that he’d like to see him sing it

In an October 1968 interview, Jagger told Rolling Stone:Dylan once said [to Keith Richards] ‘I could have written ‘Satisfaction’ but you couldn’t have written ‘Tamborine Man’.”

Asked if the folk singer was ‘putting Richards down’, he said:Oh yeah, of course he was. But that was just funny, it was great. That’s what he’s like. It’s true but I’d like to hear Bob Dylan sing “I Can’t Get No Satisfaction.”

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4. It’s a Desert Island Discs favourite

A total of six guests on the BBC radio show, including chef Raymond Blanc, actress Goldie Hawn, composer Andrew Lloyd Webber, architect Nicholas Grimshaw, business leader Karan Bilimoria and jockey Bob Champion, have picked the song as one of their island must-haves.

5. Keith Richards never wanted it released

Despite getting up in the middle of the night to record the riff as soon as soon as inspiration hit, Richards originally saw little potential in the song . The band first recorded it as a relatively mellow country-inspired track; the decision to go with the gritty, sexy full-throttle version we know today was made in a later recording session.

“If I’d had my way, ‘Satisfaction’ would never have been released,” Richards later said (via Performing Songwriter).”The song was as basic as the hills, and I thought the fuzz-guitar thing was a bit of a gimmick.”

By Rebecca Hawkes The Telegraph

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