Today (June 21) in 2011, Maroon 5 released “Moves Like Jagger,” featuring Christina Aguilera. Frontman Adam Levine referred to the Grammy-award nominated song as a “risk,” but it clearly paid off, as the song hit No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 and sold 6.9 million downloads in the U.S. to date, according to Nielsen Music (marking both Maroon 5 and Christina Aguilera’s best-selling download).
On paying homage to the iconic Rolling Stones frontman, Levine said, “There’s something about the way he moves that is uniquely his own and hard to imitate — but also accessible and silly and fun, and not taking itself too seriously.”
The Jonas Åkerlund-directed video for “Moves” opens with a fresh-faced Jagger being interviewed on the telly in 1965. He’s skeptical about his future in music: “I never thought I’d be doing it for two years. I think we are pretty well set up for at least another year.”
Fast forward 50+ years later, and we all know that Jagger and the Stones continue to make music and tour as one of the most famous bands in rock history. Let’s use this opportunity to watch some of Mick Jagger’s best moves.
“Crazy Mama” (1976)
“Plain psychotic, plain insane.” At 10 seconds in, Jagger is moving and grooving, shaking that thing in a pair of form-fitting silver pants. He works the stage and gives some serious “hot lips” at 1:10 in. The visual closes with more emphasis on Jagger’s behind, the perfect segue into the next video on our list.
David Bowie & Mick Jagger “Dancing In The Street” (1985)
“Are you ready for a brand new beat?” Jagger convinces fellow Brit David Bowie to shake that thing, and more. As the cover of the Martha and the Vandellas Motown classic suggests, the duo dances in the street, but there are also slow-motion jumps, shimmy-shakes and an interpretative version of the ’60s swim. At 1:48 in, a dance-off ensues — for a good cause, as the song raised money for Live Aid. Stay for the butt-wiggle finale, just before the video fades out.
“Hey Negrita” (1976)
Though the song’s lyrics caused understandable controversy – enough so that it hasn’t been performed live since the Stones toured Europe in 1976 — the video is a treasure. Jagger flamboyantly moves about in a colorful, ruffled ensemble, singing “shake your body” while shaking maracas. At 1:50 in, he fans himself and then pats himself on the bottom while singing, “my sweet ass.” By the end of the song, Jagger spends some quality time with keyboardist Billy Preston, as the two sway together into the fade out.
Skip to 3:15 in to witness Jagger become entranced by “strange strange strange desires.” Sounds of guitar, drums and bass are basically drowned out, and a trumpet solo with a glimmer of keyboard takes hold in a trippy montage. Strange indeed.
“Rip This Joint” (1972)
Keith Richards refers to “Rip This Joint” as “one of the fastest [songs in our catalog], and it really keeps you on your toes.” At :59 seconds in, Jagger is spinning around as if he’s on something. Even when he’s at a mic stand, he’s always moving, tapping his foot in place like the Energizer Bunny. Jagger places a hand on his hip at 1:45 in, right before he falls to the floor for an impressive shoulder stand. And just when you think he actually tired himself out, he drums up more energy. “Ah, let it rock.”
“Going To A Go-Go” (1982)
As the title implies on this Smokey Robinson & the Miracles cover, we are “going to a go-go” where “you might see anyone in towna.” You might also see Ronnie Wood smoking two cigarettes at the same time. Meanwhile, Jagger is up in the club, where he struts around and throws in a butt-wiggle to make the crowd go wild. Signature move: running in place at 2:58.
“Hot Stuff” (1976)
At the 2:30 mark, whatever psychedelics you’ve ingested have kicked in. Between flashing shots, Jagger is working his scarf, stealing a drag and strutting to a funky guitar solo: “Everyday I get another dose. I can’t stand it when the music stops. Shake it up, hot stuff.”
“Too Much Blood” (1983)
“Did you ever see ‘Texas Chain Saw Massacre’? Horrible, wasn’t It?” Jagger sings. He coos, “Pretty ladies, don’t be scared,” but everyone is creeped out, “cause this is thriller, thriller night” for the Rolling Stones. At 5:05 in, there may be “too much blood,” but Jagger is too busy dancing to notice. There’s an obvious “Thriller” nod, when a zombie-like Jagger peers at the camera, before becoming possessed like in The Exorcist.
“Hang Fire” (1982)
According to the internet, “hang fire” means to do nothing; the original song title being “Lazy Bitch.” But even as he sings “I’m a lazy slob,” Jagger and co. are full of energy in the visual — skip to 1:10, when the band breaks character and gives into the silliness.
“Ain’t Too Proud To Beg” (1974)
The Stones covered a Temptations standard, and delivered a now-classic video with Jagger in an eye-catching, pink-and-green blazer with while gloves and polka dot tie. That would have been enough, but there’s a twist: At 3:08 in, a giant ‘The Rolling Stones’ banner inflates on stage, and Jagger works it into his performance.