Speaking ill of the Rolling Stones’ “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” might be blasphemy for rock music fans. However, the Stones themselves have never been known for their reverence. Keith Richards himself has some criticisms of the song. In fact, he feels another artists’ rendition of the song captured what he wanted it to sound like.
What Keith Richards originally intended for one of the Rolling Stones’ biggest hits
“(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” has an incredible guitar riff. In fact, Richards told Guitar World the song has his favorite guitar riff in the Rolling Stones’ entire discography. However, it wasn’t supposed to be a guitar riff in the first place. Richards recorded the song on guitar with the intent of replacing the guitar with horns for the final recording.
“I was imagining horns, trying to imitate their sound to put on the track later when we recorded,” Richards said, according to Ultimate Classic Rock. “But we didn’t have any horns, and I was only going to lay down a dub. The fuzz tone came in handy so I could give a shape to what the horns were supposed to do. But the fuzz tone had never been heard before anywhere, and that’s the sound that caught everybody’s imagination.”
The version of ‘(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction)’ Keith Richards felt ‘got it right’
“The way Otis Redding ended up doing it is probably closer to my original conception for the song,” Richards told Guitar World. “Otis got it right. Our version was a demo for [his version].”
Although Redding certainly deserves credit for the great vocal performance on his version of “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction,” replacing the song’s guitar riff with horns was not his idea. According to Far Out, Steve Copper was responsible for the song’s arrangement. Redding covering “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction’ was also his idea in the first place.
Interestingly, Redding’s cover is not faithful to the lyrics of the Stones’ version. Why? Cropper listened to the original “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” and jotted down the lyrics — or at least what he thought the lyrics were. Redding didn’t even bother to follow them, instead ad-libbing the lyrics for his cover. For example, the lines “I keep on rockin’, I try to find me/Somebody to love me/And give me some reaction/And I can find nobody, no, no, nobody” are in Redding’s cover but not the original.
What Mick Jagger thought of Otis Redding’s cover
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