On this day in 1969 (Dec. 8), Mick Jagger was quoted saying, “I don’t really like singing very much, I enjoy playing the guitar more than I enjoy singing and I can’t play the guitar either.”
Oh really, Mick? We beg to differ, and we took the liberty of proving (10 times) that not only does the Rolling Stones frontman love singing, he’s brilliant at it.
This is Jagger minus his moves, and if he doesn’t enjoy singing here, it’s a darn shame, as he’s been sharing his incredible gift with the world, touring with the Rolling Stones, for over 50 years. The infamous song, about the end of a romance, peaked at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 and has been known to “make a grown man cry.”
“Dancing With Mr. D” (1973)
Through a haze, we see Jagger close-up, and there’s no denying his mysterious allure. He’s incredibly glam, with full-on eye makeup and gold painted nails. His eyes open wide, and by the time the chorus begins “Dancin’, dancin’, dancin’ so free,” the camera pans out and Jagger begins to strut, donning a gold bodysuit. This man (and his sexuality) is on fire. That’s right, Mick. You’re loving this.
“It’s Only Rock ‘N’ Roll (But I Like It)” (1974)
We’re guessing this is the only time the Stones have appeared in sailor suits, since with the exception of Jagger, they don’t look amused. Not sure where the bubbles fit in, but why the heck not. Plus, Jagger is so committed to his craft, he continues dancing until the bubbles literally make it no longer possible to do so. Yes, Mick, we know you like it. The lead single off It’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll peaked at No. 16 on the Billboard Hot 100.
“Ain’t Too Proud to Beg” (1974)
In the video for the classic 1966 Temptations song, which hit No. 1 on the Billboard R&B Songs chart, Jagger is peacocking — and sporting one heck of a getup, not to mention that eye makeup — but he pulls it off, since it’s, once again, evident he loves what he does. (Jump to 3:15 for hard evidence.) Fact: Nobody has had more fun with an inflatable balloon on stage. The Stones’ cover peaked at No. 17 on the Billboard Hot 100.
“Hot Stuff” (1976)
Seriously, who is having the most fun here? Jagger is so confident and comfortable at what he does, there’s a moment at 2:35 in, where he walks up to Ronnie Wood and takes the cig right out of his mouth and begins smoking it like it’s no big deal. Who does that? Someone who’s “hot stuff,” that’s who.
“Fool to Cry” (1976)
Forget playing guitar — Jagger can play the piano, and there’s something to be said about a man who can command the attention of a room, regardless of whether he’s dancing all over, or stationary behind an instrument. Oh and at 4:23 in, he’s clearly having a good time, or really good at faking it. The song peaked at No. 10 on the Billboard Hot 100.
“Miss You” (1978)
Jagger is the life of the party (and it’s clear he knows it). At 1:33 in, he joins Keith Richards and Ronnie Wood on vocals, but his face reads, “I’ll show you how it’s done.” Then, post-running in place, the camera homes in on an intimate moment with Jagger sans band. “What’s the matter with you, boy?” Not much, considering the song hit No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100.
“Far Away Eyes” (1978)
The only one not having hokey fun is Bill Wyman (well, until he finally cracks a smile at 4:03 in). Jagger, on the other hand, is in his comfort zone throughout telling the humorous story in the video for the country-esque song about driving alone, while listening to the radio.
“She’s So Cold” (1980)
Jagger doesn’t hold back when describing an incredibly attractive but stone-cold broad. Luckily, he’s given an outlet to channel his frustration, and again, I’m not convinced this man doesn’t love every second of it. The second single from Emotional Rescue peaked at No. 26 on the Billboard Hot 100.
“Start Me Up” (1981)
If Jagger doesn’t enjoy singing, he’ll definitely have you fooled in the video for the Stones’ 1981 hit “Start Me Up.” His legendary energy is infectious — and bandmates Keith Richards, Ronnie Wood, Charlie Watts and Bill Wyman can’t help but follow his lead.
This is what is referred to as “Moves Like Jagger.” Wait a second… at :48 in, when Wood takes a solo, is that a hint of jealousy in Jagger’s eyes? Directly followed by an “I’m the only one without a guitar” sandwich in between Wood and Richards. That’s OK: Jagger literally shakes it off with more of his signature moves. The lead single from Tattoo You peaked at No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100.
We think it’s safe to say that 45 years later, he’s made peace with the whole “I don’t really like singing” thing.