The Village People Inspired The Rolling Stones’ Final No. 1 Hit

The Rolling Stones and the Village People made very different music in the 1970s — or did they? One of The Rolling Stones’ No. 1 hits might not exist if not for the Village People’s “Y.M.C.A.” Oddly enough, Mick Jagger has a specific reason why he thinks The Rolling Stones’ Village People-inspired track isn’t truly a disco song.

Mick Jagger and Keith Richards in front of a building
Mick Jagger with Keith Richards | Keystone/Getty Images

How Mick Jagger’s time at Studio 54 inspired The Rolling Stones

Jagger might not be the sort of artist people associate with disco, but he used to go to clubs a lot. According to Salon, he’d come home humming disco tunes. One of them was the Village People’s enduring hit “Y.M.C.A.” In addition, songs by Earth, Wind & Fire influenced The Rolling Stones. Keith Richards discussed how disco inspired his band. 


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“It was Aah, Mick’s been to the disco and has come out humming some other song,’” Richards recalled. “ Mick spent [many nights] at Studio 54 and coming up with that beat, that four on the floor. And he said, add the melody to the beat. We just thought we’d put our oar in on Mick wanting to do some disco shit, keep the man happy. But as we got into it, it became quite an interesting beat. And we realized, maybe we’ve got a quintessential disco thing here.”

The “quintessential disco thing” became “Miss You,” The Rolling Stones’ final No. 1 hit. It makes sense the song soared to No. 1, as disco was huge at the time. So huge, in fact, that many established rock artists, from Kiss to Queen to Wings to Pink Floyd, started incorporating it into their music.

“Miss You”

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Why Mick Jagger thinks ‘Miss You’ isn’t a disco song

However, Jagger insists “Miss You” is not a disco song. “‘Miss You’ wasn’t disco disco,” Jagger opined. “Disco records at that time didn’t have guitars much, and they all had shimmering string lines and oo-eeoo-ee girls. It was influenced by it, but not it. I like that.” Regardless, of what Jagger thought of the song, it was still associated with disco, as exemplified by a famous comedy film.

How a famous rapper made disco his own

While the first two Austin Powers movies are peppered with 1960s rock songs, the third one —Austin Powers in Goldmember — is more focused on disco. After all, part of the film is set in a disco club after Austin travels back to the 1970s in a time machine. The film’s soundtrack thusly features some classic disco songs, including a surprising remix.

A trailer for Austin Powers in Goldmember

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According to Stereogum, Dr. Dre created a remix of “Miss You” for Austin Powers in Goldmember. Dre’s take on the song predictably takes a lot of influence from hip-hop production while keeping the essence of “Miss You” intact. “Miss You” simply works as a song — whether it’s  true disco song or not.