Keith Richards Didn’t Think Rolling Stones’ ‘Satisfaction’ Would Be Successful: ‘I Don’t Really Like It’

“(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” by the Rolling Stones is not only one of the band’s most popular songs, but also one of the most well-known songs of all time. Despite the music‘s popularity, Rolling Stones member Keith Richards originally did not think “Satisfaction” would be a successful song for the group.

A black-and-white photo of Keith Richards and Mick Jagger of the Rolling Stones
(L-R) Keith Richards andMick Jagger | Michael Putland/Getty Images

Keith Richards doubted the Rolling Stones’ song ‘Satisfaction’

The Rolling Stones released “Satisfaction” as a single in 1965. In the BBC docuseries My Life as a Rolling Stone, Mick Jagger discussed what the release of “Satisfaction” was like behind the scenes.

“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 My Life as a Rolling Stone, according to Ultimate Classic Rock.

Jagger continued, “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.”

Looking back, Jagger thinks “Satisfaction” was “a big moment” for the band.

“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,” Jagger said according to Ultimate Classic Rock.

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Keith Richards thinks ‘Satisfaction’ taught him a ‘lesson’

In 2010, Richards published a memoir called Life. In the memoir, Richards reflected on the success of “Satisfaction” and admitted that he “learned” a “lesson” with the song.

According to American Songwriter, Richards wrote:

“The fuzz tone had never been heard before anywhere, and that’s the sound that caught everybody’s imagination. As far as I was concerned, that was just the dub. [But] ten days on the road and it’s number one nationally! The record of the summer of ’65 … I learned that lesson – sometimes  you can overwork things. Not everything’s designed for your taste and your taste alone.”

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While Richards was initially doubtful about the success of “Satisfaction,” it is the only song he’s been able to come up with while sleeping in the middle of the night.

Because of this, Richards told GQ in 2020 that he considers it to be a “superb” and “lucky” song.

“How I wish. That was the most superb, lucky song ever. No, I’ve never quite dreamt up another one in the middle of the night. But that was very early days for me writing, and just the idea that that could actually happen was incredible. I’m still waiting for the next dream, you know,” Richards said.

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