Saturday, June 4, 2022

5 Fantastic Covers Of The Rolling Stones' "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction"

The Rolling Stones’ “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” is the ultimate rock anthem and one of the most iconic songs of all time. Keith Richards’ rousing guitar riff is forever etched in pop-culture consciousness. Just hearing it at the start of the song gets your blood pumping. Mick Jagger's narrator voices his frustration and dissatisfaction with life and its many pressures, obstacles and daily annoyances. The song also takes a jab at commercialism in modern society and how living in a consumer culture can often make a person feel alienated and insignificant if they don’t live up to the perfect image disseminated by the media via television commercials, movies and TV shows. Many listeners could relate to this, and that’s one of the factors that gave the song such widespread appeal. And although "Satisfaction" was released in 1965, its theme is still very relevant today.

The song was a transatlantic smash, topping the charts in both the UK and the U.S. It was the Rolling Stones' first No. 1 hit in America and helped them significantly broaden their fan base there. And it reached the top spot in seven other countries. In 2021, it ranked at No. 31 on Rolling Stone magazine’s 500 Greatest Songs of All Time list. Additionally, it was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1998, and it was added to the National Recording Registry of the Library of Congress in 2006.

Over the years there have been tons of covers of “Satisfaction,” some great and some terrible. I’ve made a list of five covers that I feel the artist didn’t try to emulate the Stones’ version but rather added their own original sound to create something unique and amazing.

Aretha Franklin  (1968)

Aretha always made any song she covered her own, no matter what the music genre or who originally recorded it. And she did the same with “Satisfaction.” The Queen of Soul infuses some church into her powerful roof-raising rendition of the Stones classic. Her fiery vocal performance brings a whole new dynamic to the song and helps underscore its theme of feeling dissatisfied and alienated in today's consumer-driven society. It was a single from her album Aretha Arrives (1968), and it charted at #37 on the UK singles chart.

Aretha's cover of "Satisfaction" at Amazon

Otis Redding (1966)

Otis Redding injects a shot of Southern soul into his dynamic rendition of “Satisfaction,” which he performed on the popular British television show “Ready Steady Go!” in 1966. The soul supernova electrified the studio audience with his powerhouse performance. And the band was cookin’. They definitely matched Otis’ energy. Watching this clip is all the evidence you need to see why he's so revered and celebrated. His studio version of “Satisfaction” was a single from his third album Otis Blue/Otis Redding Sings Soul (1965). And it saw significant chart action, peaking at #4 on Billboard R&B singles chart and #31 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

The studio version of Otis Redding's cover of "Satisfaction" at Amazon

Alice Phoebe Lou (2015)

Indie artist Alice Phoebe Lou performs a mesmerizing rendition of “Satisfaction” during a 2015 street concert in Berlin. Her hauntingly soulful vocals will give you chills. She brings an underlying sense of hopelessness and despair to the Stones classic. The South African singer-songwriter has been performing since 2013 and has released four studio albums to date and two live albums.

Alice Phoebe Lou's music at Amazon

Quincy Jones And His Orchestra (1965)

Quincy Jones and his talented troop of musicians give “Satisfaction” a big-band makeover. Q’s fantastic arrangement and his orchestra’s impeccable musicianship elevate this cover to sublime heights. It’s from Quincy And His Orchestra’s 1965 album Quincy Plays For Pussycats. 


Quincy and His Orchestra’s cover of "Satisfaction" at Amazon

Devo (1977)

Pioneering new wave band Devo put their unique sonic stamp on this thrilling reinterpretation of “Satisfaction.” It shows what a talented band Devo were in that they were able to take a beloved rock classic and turn it on its head to create something new and utterly brilliant. If robots from the future formed a band and covered “Satisfaction,” it would probably sound something like this. Devo plays the herky-jerky, hyperkinetic groove with flawless precision and complete detachment as if programmed by a computer. This is a prime example of new wave at its most creative and audacious. The “Satisfaction” cover was the lead single from Devo’s debut album Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo! (1978). It charted at #41 in the UK and #98 in Australia. 

Devo's cover of "Satisfaction" at Amazon

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