John Lennon Loved This Rolling Stones Song But Mick Jagger Didn’t

John Lennon sometimes criticized The Rolling Stones‘ Mick Jagger, however, he once stood up for one of band’s songs when he felt the critics were too harsh on it. However, Jagger wasn’t a big fan of the song in question. Here’s a look at what the two singers had to say — and what the critics had to say.

Mick Jagger sitting in the middle of The Rolling Stones
The Rolling Stones | Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

John Lennon felt critics should praise Mick Jagger for this ‘beautiful’ Rolling Stones song

During a 1980 interview with Rolling Stone, John expressed his frustration with music critics. He noted they had attacked him repeatedly, starting from his time with The Beatles and extending to his work with the Plastic Ono Band. He said he would never forget a negative review of “Ticket to Ride” that described the song as subpar.

“But it’s not just me,” John said. “Take Mick, for instance. Mick’s put out consistently good work for 20 years, and will they give him a break? Will they ever say, “Look at him, he’s No. 1, he’s 37, and he has a beautiful song, ‘Emotional Rescue,’ it’s up there”? I enjoyed it, a lot of people enjoyed it.”

“Ticket to Ride”

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How ‘Rolling Stone’ magazine reacted to The Rolling Stones’ ‘Emotional Rescue’

John didn’t call out any specific critics when discussing the critical reaction to “Emotional Rescue.” However, Ariel Swartley of Rolling Stone wasn’t too warm on the song — and Rolling Stone was one of the most prominent music publications at the time. He felt the song was too focused on money. In addition, he opined The Rolling Stones were zombified shells of their former selves on the song’s parent album, which was also called Emotional Rescue.

Why Mick Jagger was disappointed in The Rolling Stones’ ‘Emotional Rescue’

Swartley didn’t like “Emotional Rescue” and Ultimate Classic Rock reports Jagger wasn’t a huge fan either. “I wrote that on an electric piano in the studio, then Charlie and Woody and I cut it immediately, live,” Jagger said. “It was all done very quickly. I think the vocals could’ve been better.”

“Emotional Rescue”

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Jagger said “Emotional Rescue” turned out the way it did because he created it in a studio. “It’s just one of those recording-studio things,” he said. “You would never really write a song like that in real life. Comes out in the studio, ’cause it’s all ad-libbed, the end part. It was never planned like that.”

Did the public like The Rolling Stones’ ‘Emotional Rescue’ as much as John Lennon did?

John and Jagger had differing opinions on “Emotional Rescue.” This raises an interesting question: Was “Emotional Rescue” a hit with the public? The track reached No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100. In addition, its parent album reached No. 1 on the Billboard 200. While Jagger and Swartley disliked “Emotional Rescue,” John’s music-buying public embraced it.

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