“Hard-driving blues dance beat backs up a strong vocal performance.”
That’s how Billboard endorsed the Rolling Stones’ “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” in a June 5, 1965 review of the eventual iconic rock classic. The public would soon agree.
The track, released on the London label, entered the Billboard Hot 100 the following week (June 12) at No. 67. It zoomed to No. 26 in its second week and then to Nos. 4 and 2 before beginning a four-week reign on the July 10, 1965 chart. The band had placed seven prior hits on the Hot 100, reaching the top 10 twice: with “Time Is on My Side,” which peaked at No. 6 in December 1964, and “The Last Time” (No. 9, May 1965).
The Stones would add seven more Hot 100 No. 1s, through 1978, with “Honky Tonk Women” tying for their longest command. The song led for four weeks beginning in August 1969. Among groups, only the Beatles (18), the Supremes (12) and Bee Gees (nine) boast more No. 1s than the legendary Mick Jagger-led band, which earned induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1989.
As positive as Billboard‘s review of “Satisfaction” was, the 45’s B-side garnered almost just as much ink. Its title? “The Under Assistant West Coast Promotion Man.” Wrote Billboard of the industry-insider track: “Flip is a clever music business lyric and idea. Well done and funny.”
“Yeah, I’m sitting here thinking just how sharp I am / I’m a necessary talent behind every rock and roll band,” Jagger ribs in the tune. “I sure do earn my pay, sitting on the beach every day.”
Jagger and Keith Richards reportedly wrote the song about George Sherlock, who was assigned by their label to travel with the group on the West Coast. Initially displeased with their companion, they eventually warmed to him (just not in time to stop them from immortalizing his less-than-desirable traits in song).