It's the riff: three notes rising, then falling. So simple, so perfect, so quintessentially the Rolling Stones. And Keith Richards, famously, wrote it while falling asleep in a hotel room with a tape recorder running.

The riff alone would crack the Top 20 of this list. Fortunately, the rest of the song is rises to the occasion, from Charlie Watts' insistent drums to Mick Jagger learning how to create tension and release with his melody lines. It's been covered by Otis Redding (epic), Devo (weirdly effective) and Britney Spears (no thanks).

The lyrics caused controversy for being both sexually suggestive and grammatically incorrect, but that overlooked the song's comment on consumerism. It also couldn't stop the song from becoming their first global smash hit. 'Satisfaction' remains, nearly 50 years on, the definitive rock n' roll single.

Watch the Rolling Stones Perform '(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction'


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