The Original vs. The Cover – ‘(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction’

For this month’s version of The Original vs. The Cover, we are going to cover one of the greatest songs of all time, (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction by The Rolling Stones. No, I’m not being bold in saying that as the song has actually been voted as #2 on the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time list and is in the Grammy Hall of Fame. The Cover we are going to look at is not the Britney Spears cover because, well, we have taste. That was harsh, it is really because there is no way it would have a chance to win. The cover we will actually discuss is the one by Devo from 1978 which I probably knew first thanks to MTV.

The song was written by the legendary duo of Mick Jagger and Keith Richards. It is said that Keith wrote the music in his sleep and they have a tape that proves it. You get two minutes of guitar and 40 minutes of him snoring…pretty awesome. Jagger wrote the lyrics sitting poolside down in Clearwater, Florida. The song was extremely controversial for its day because the song spoke out against commercialism as well as rather sexually suggestive. In fact, in the UK, the song was only played on Pirate Radio due to that controversy. Eventually it made it to #1 in the UK and in the US (where it was less controversial.

THE ROLLING STONES

The song starts off with a bluesy, distorted guitar sound from Keith with a riff that is instantly recognizable followed quickly by a slick bass groove from Bill Wyman and then the precision drum beats from Charlie Watts lay down the basics for a catchy totally brilliant song musically. Lastly, there is a tambourine, played by Jack Nitzsche that gives the song a 60’s hippie feel.

Mick’s vocals are where the song goes to another level. He sings the song with such cynicism that matches the lyrics perfectly. There is also an anger to his vocals which makes the song feel like a protest song and in the 60’s, the whole alienation vibe portrayed here fit nicely with the teenage scene at the time. This only added to the controversy of the song as it angered the older generations.

DEVO

Devo took the song and turned it on its ass and made it their own track changing almost everything about it musically. It was no longer a guitar driven song as it became an electronic synthesized machine with some heavy bass groove. They completely ripped out the heart and soul of the song and made it a very spastic, nerdy track with a video that matched it.

Mark Mothersbaugh’s vocals were lifeless and no emotion rattles off with an almost military precision. Like the music, the vocals didn’t give you any warm and fuzzies as they were so flat and actually thrown at you so fast and to the point. The song is almost 1 minute shorter as they get in and get out and deliver their message in a more efficient manner. Now, it might sound like I don’t like this version, but the sterile delivery is actually what is so magical about this version. If you like this type of music, this song works ver well.

THE VERDICT

I do like both version of this song, there is no doubt about that. However, there is only version that is truly head and shoulders above as well as above almost every song out there. That version is easily The Rolling Stones version. It was voted one of the best songs of all time a reason. From the Richards riff to the Jagger vocals, there is a symbiotic perfection to any thing these two do together. The distorted, bluesy guitars and Mick’s cynicism vocal delivery are what take this song to the top. It doesn’t get much better than this folks. I do get a lot of satisfaction from The Rolling Stones version of the song.

I am really interested in hearing what everyone else thinks of these two songs.  Let me know which version you like the best and why.  Feel free to leave a comment and talk about the song and tell me how right or wrong I am on this one.  Thanks for stopping by and have a great day.

LYRICS:

“(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction”

I can’t get no satisfaction
I can’t get no satisfaction
‘Cause I try and I try and I try and I try
I can’t get no, I can’t get no

When I’m drivin’ in my car
And a man comes on the radio
He’s tellin’ me more and more
About some useless information
Supposed to fire my imagination

I can’t get no
Oh no no no
Hey hey hey
That’s what I say

I can’t get no satisfaction
I can’t get no satisfaction
‘Cause I try and I try and I try and I try
I can’t get no, I can’t get no

When I’m watchin’ my TV
And a man comes on and tells me
How white my shirts can be
But he can’t be a man ’cause he doesn’t smoke
The same cigarettes as me

I can’t get no
Oh no no no
Hey hey hey
That’s what I say

I can’t get no satisfaction
I can’t get no girl reaction
‘Cause I try and I try and I try and I try
I can’t get no, I can’t get no

When I’m ridin’ round the world
And I’m doin’ this and I’m signin’ that
And I’m tryin’ to make some girl
Who tells me baby better come back maybe next week
‘Cause you see I’m on a losing streak

I can’t get no
Oh no no no
Hey hey hey
That’s what I say

I can’t get no, I can’t get no
I can’t get no satisfaction
No satisfaction, no satisfaction
No satisfaction, I can’t get no

Written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards

24 thoughts on “The Original vs. The Cover – ‘(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction’

  1. I love how Devo is the most different band…ever! My son saw a 1979 video by them on SNL and his mouth was open…they still are original even after all of these years…but…I have to take the Rolling Stones with this one…I just have to because Satisfaction and Bob Dylan’s Like A Rolling Stone are two of the best singles ever that came out of the 60s…so The Stones.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. As a Stones fan for the last 35 years, you know where my vote goes. I give props to Devo for having fun with it, but listening to it now on YouTube, it ain’t even close. Also I didn’t know Britney covered it, and I will promptly forget that I learned that.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Why cover a classic?!?! The Stones all the way for me. Why was the Devo cover a thing? Like you said, it’s so lifeless and unenthusiastic, no melody whatsoever. Britney turned it pop, and I like that more than the Devo version. But the Stones are all about rock n roll, so yeah!

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply to deKE Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s