No Satisfaction

The Rolling Stones got their first American #1 hit with this 1965 song, ‘(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction’, as it shot to the top of the charts and sat there for four weeks.  This song changed the Rolling Stones from being just another band into a huge, monster band.  Keith Richards claims to have heard a three-note riff in a dream, while he was asleep in a Clearwater Florida hotel.  Richards said that he went to bed with his guitar as usual, and when he woke up the next morning, he noticed that the tape which he kept next to his bed had run to the very end.  He thought that he had possibly hit a button to start the tape deck while he was asleep, so he rewound it back to the beginning and pushed play and there, in some sort of ghostly version, he heard his the guitar riff on the tape and him mumbling, “I can’t get no satisfaction”.  It was a whole verse and after that, there was 40 minutes of him snoring.

The band was initially worried that the hook was reminiscent of Martha and the Vandellas’ ‘Dancing in the Street’ but with singer Mick Jagger finishing off the lyrics the following week, they had a song.  Keith Richards is really forgetful, being known as a bit of a space cadet and the distinctions between him being awake or asleep, are always a bit sketchy, as he is one hard-living rocker.  Richards had just started using a new guitar effect from Gibson called The Maestro FZ-1 Fuzz-Tone, to emulate the sound of horns, which were intended to be overdubbed later.  However Andrew Loog Oldham the band’s producer loved the distinctive sound of the fuzz-tone so much that it stays on the record, and they never used the horns.  A year earlier, Ray Davies took a razor blade to his speaker cones which created a similar distortion fuzzy sound that appeared on the Kinks’ song ‘You Really Got Me’.

The song’s lyrics, caused a heated discussion when it was released.  Jagger made the lyrics into a critique of commercial consumerism with radio personalities peddling ‘useless information’, and television advertisers claiming that they could get your shirts whiter.  After Jagger vents about his dissatisfaction with Madison Avenue he starts describing his frustration with chasing girls.  He says that he has failed with his attempts to ‘make some girl’ and then it appears that he makes a reference to a woman that is on her period, saying, “Baby, better come back maybe next week Can’t you see I’m on a losing streak?” and the media was not ready for lyrics like these yet, so some radio stations were banned from playing this song.

Rolling Stones fans go nuts when this song is played, check out this live concert in Rio De Janeiro, from 2006.

I can’t get no satisfaction, I can’t get no satisfaction
‘Cause I try and I try and I try and I try
I can’t get no, I can’t get no

When I’m drivin’ in my car, and the man come on the radio
He’s tellin’ me more and more about some useless information
Supposed to fire my imagination

I can’t get no, oh, no, no, no, hey, hey, hey
That’s what I say
I can’t get no satisfaction, I can’t get no satisfaction
‘Cause I try and I try and I try and I try
I can’t get no, I can’t get no

When I’m watchin’ my TV and a man comes on and tells me
How white my shirts can be
But, he can’t be a man ‘cause he doesn’t smoke
The same cigarettes as me

I can’t get no, oh, no, no, no, hey, hey, hey
That’s what I say
I can’t get no satisfaction, I can’t get no girl reaction
‘Cause I try and I try and I try and I try
I can’t get no, I can’t get no

When I’m ridin’ ‘round the world
And I’m doin’ this and I’m signin’ that
And I’m tryin’ to make some girl, who tells me
Baby, better come back maybe next week
Can’t you see I’m on a losing streak?
I can’t get no, oh, no, no, no, hey, hey, hey
That’s what I say, I can’t get no, I can’t get no
I can’t get no satisfaction, no satisfaction
No satisfaction, no satisfaction
I can’t get no

Written for 9/2/18 Helen Vahdati’s This Thing Called Life One Word at a Time Song Lyric Sunday Theme where the prompt is “car”.

23 thoughts on “No Satisfaction

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