Keith Richards Hated Rolling Stones’ ‘Satisfaction’ at First
Released in 1965, "Satisfaction" became the band's first U.S. No. 1 hit and has become regarded as a rock standard, particularly because of Richards' driving riff. But after the band recorded the song, Richards disagreed with manager and producer Andrew Loog Oldham's assessment of its potential.
"There’s this motel in Clearwater, Fla., and I remember sitting with Keith and writing the song 'Satisfaction,'" Jagger said in the first episode of the BBC documentary series My Life as a Rolling Stone. "Andrew Oldham said, 'This is like a No. 1 single — this is great!' Keith was like, 'I don't really like it. It can't come out as a single.' And it went to No. 1 like instantly."
Jagger said of the song's success: "It was like a big moment. It became your signature tune, your cri de coeur, your sexuality, your controversy. You need to have that song that everyone remembers. It makes a huge change, and it also brings you into a much more confident era of writing, production and stuff."
Elsewhere in the episode, Jagger reflected on the increasing tension with Brian Jones as the Jagger/Richards songwriting team began stacking up hits, which contributed to Jones' dismissal in 1969. "He was very musical, so he could pick up different instruments, and he was quite innovative, so a lot of his contributions were perhaps not for melodies and lyrics but from licks that he played," the frontman said. "He liked to tell people it was his band, but we were always like, 'Really? What do you mean it's your band?’ We thought it was our band, not Brian's."
Jagger also said Jones disapproved of the way the frontman presented himself onstage. "I didn't even know I was doing androgyny, I was so naive," he said. "But obviously, that was just the way I was, you know. I was a bit fey. I remember Brian being rather critical of me once because he thought I was too feminine. I mean, I had my moments of that."
My Life as a Rolling Stone, which commemorates the band's 60th anniversary, premieres on Epix in the U.S. on Aug. 7.