Song of the Day: “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction”

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The Rolling Stones started a run on the U.S. album chart with the release of their fourth American studio album, “Out of Our Heads”, in 1965. The single that paved the way for them was a song that followed them their whole career, “(I Can’t Get No)  Satisfaction”.

This week, we’re brushing the dust off of the old records in our collection, and looking back through the years to songs that have withstood the test of time. We’re taking our cues from the date each day, and finding which songs from the archives of music history stand out. So far this week, we’ve covered David Bowie’s “Moonage Daydream” from “The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars”, and The Beatles’ “I Want You (She’s So Heavy)” from “Abbey Road”.

On this day in music history, The Rolling Stones started a three-week run at No. 1 on the U.S. album charts with “Out of Our Heads”. While the album was an overall success, there’s no doubt that the single, “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” was the song that catapulted the Stones further than anything else.

But before we get too far into the song, let’s first take a look at the album it appeared on.

Out of Our Heads

“Out of Our Heads” was an interesting album, in that, there were two different versions of it that were released. There was the British version, which was their third album in the UK. And there was the American version, their fourth studio album in the States. Most of the songs included on both versions were mainly soul and blues covers. The individual track listings, however, presented two very different albums.

Both versions featured a very similar side one, but a very different second side. The main differences here were that America got “The Last Time” and “I’m All Right”, while Britain got “She Said Yeah”, and “Gotta Get Away”. The biggest difference on the second side was that America got “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction”.

What might have seemed like an arbitrary decision at the time, turned out to be possibly the most important and formative decision for The Rolling Stones. “Out of Our Heads’ rode the success of “Satisfaction” all the way to the No. 1 spot, becoming The Rolling Stones’ first U.S. number one album, and eventually went platinum.

(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction

It’s easy to see why “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” became a number one hit. It’s got all of the ingredients of a strong single. Catchy title, strong guitar riff, simple lyrics that are easy to sing along to. And, maybe most important of all, is that it captured the spirit of the times and the spirit of rock and roll. The youths’ frustration and attack on the status quo.

But the lyrics of “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” were also a bit of a problem for the band. Their strong, sexually suggestive content caused it to be censored over airways. While you may think that that was only because a difference of the times, you may be shocked to learn that the same song narrowly missed being censored when The Rolling Stones played the halftime show for Super Bowl XL in 2006. Of their three song set, both “Start Me Up” and Rough Justice” were censored.

Final Thoughts

“(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” did more than just give a leg up to The Rolling Stones. There’s an argument one could make that without it, the Stones never would have reached the heights that they did. They’re an example of a band that could have been viewed as a one-hit wonder, but instead used the fuel from their hit single to shape the rest of their songs in years to come. I can’t think of many other bands that have managed to accomplish such a feat in their careers.

That about does it for our discussion today. I hope you enjoyed listening to “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction”. Tomorrow, we’ll be back with another song from the archives of music history to help get you through the week.

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