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The Rolling Stones - You Can't Always Get What You Want (lyrics)
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WIKIPEDIA ARTICLE

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"You Can't Always Get What You Want"
RollStones-Single1969 HonkyTonkWomen.jpg
Single by the Rolling Stones
from the album Let It Bleed
A-side "Honky Tonk Women"
Released 4 July 1969 (1969-07-04)
Format 7-inch single
Recorded November 1968
Studio Olympic, London
Genre
Length 4:50 (single)
7:30 (album)
Label Decca
Songwriter(s) Jagger/Richards
Producer(s) Jimmy Miller
the Rolling Stones singles chronology
"Street Fighting Man"
(1968)
"You Can't Always Get What You Want"
(1969)
"Brown Sugar"
(1971)
"Street Fighting Man"
(1968)
"Honky Tonk Women"
(1969)
"Brown Sugar"
(1971)
Audio sample
30 seconds of refrain

"You Can't Always Get What You Want" is a song by the Rolling Stones on their 1969 album Let It Bleed. Written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, it was named as the 100th greatest song of all time by Rolling Stone magazine in its 2004 list of the "500 Greatest Songs of All Time".

Description[edit]

Although it was the closing track, "You Can't Always Get What You Want" was the first song recorded for the album. It exists in two versions, a 4:49 single mix[1] and a 7:30 album mix.[2] "You Can't Always Get What You Want" was recorded on 16 and 17 November 1968 at Olympic Sound Studios in London. It features the London Bach Choir opening the song (the choir opening is only on the album version), highlighting throughout, and bringing it to its conclusion. Jimmy Miller, the Stones' producer at the time, plays drums on this song instead of Charlie Watts. Al Kooper plays piano and organ, as well as the French horn intro, while Rocky Dijon plays congas and maracas.[citation needed]

Of the song, Jagger said:

In his review of the song, Richie Unterberger of AllMusic said: "If you buy John Lennon's observation that the Rolling Stones were apt to copy the Beatles' innovations within a few months or so, 'You Can't Always Get What You Want' is the Rolling Stones' counterpart to 'Hey Jude'."[4] Jagger said in 1969, "I liked the way the Beatles did that with 'Hey Jude'. The orchestra was not just to cover everything up—it was something extra. We may do something like that on the next album."[5]

Meaning[edit]

The three verses (and the varied theme of the fourth verse) address major topics of the 1960s: love, politics, and drugs. Each verse captures the essence of the initial optimism and eventual disillusion, followed by the resigned pragmatism of the chorus.[citation needed]

Unterberger noted:

Jimmy Hutmaker of Excelsior, Minnesota, claimed to be the "Mr. Jimmy" cited in the song and that he said the phrase "you can't always get what you want" to Jagger during a chance encounter at an Excelsior drug store in 1964.[6]

David Dalton, a writer for Rolling Stone who witnessed the filming of The Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus, claims in his commentary for the DVD of the concert that "Mr. Jimmy" refers to Jimmy Miller, producer of the Stones' albums from Beggar's Banquet (1968) through Goat's Head Soup (1973), and the drummer on "You Can't Always Get What You Want".[citation needed]

"Obviously I also contributed to 'You Can't Always Get What You Want' and 'Dear Doctor' – junk songs…" claimed Marianne Faithfull. "I know they used me as a muse for those tough drug songs. I knew I was being used but it was for a worthy cause."[7]

Release and aftermath[edit]

The song was originally released on the B-side of "Honky Tonk Women" in July 1969. Although it did not chart at the time, London Records re-serviced the single in 1973 and "You Can't Always Get What You Want" reached number 42 on the Billboard Hot 100 and number 34 on the Cashbox Top 100 Singles chart.[8] One of the Stones' most popular recordings, it has since appeared on the compilations Hot Rocks, Singles Collection (single version), Forty Licks, Rolled Gold+: The Very Best of the Rolling Stones (2007 edition), Singles 1968-1971 (single version), Slow Rollers (single version) and GRRR! (single version).

The song is also very popular at Rolling Stones shows in part because of its sing-along chorus, and is played at almost every show, where it is customary for Jagger to change the lyrics from "my favourite flavour, cherry red" to the question "What's your favourite flavour?" to which the audience replies "Cherry red!" Live recordings appear on the albums Love You Live, Flashpoint, Live Licks, and Sweet Summer Sun: Hyde Park Live, as well as on The Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus, filmed in 1968. Stones concert films that contain the song include: Ladies and Gentlemen: The Rolling Stones, From the Vault – L.A Forum - Live in 1975, Let's Spend the Night Together, Stones at the Max, Bridges to Babylon Tour '97–98, Four Flicks, The Biggest Bang, and 'Sweet Summer Sun: Hyde Park Live.

The musical Hedwig and the Angry Inch includes a reference to the song, where the lead character explains she was dismissed from a university after delivering a lecture on the influence of German philosophy on rock and roll, entitled "You, Kant, Always Get What You Want." The 2014 revival on Broadway added the line, "But If You Try Sometimes You Just Might Find You Get What You Nietzsche."

The song was performed live with members of Voce Chamber Choir and London Youth Choir[9] for the Stones' 2012 reunion shows in London, November 25 and November 29. The same choir also performed on the track at Glastonbury and two performances at Hyde Park in 2013.

In November 2016 MP4, a rock group comprising four British politicians, recorded a single of the track with Ricky Wilson of the Kaiser Chiefs, KT Tunstall, David Gray, Steve Harley of Cockney Rebel and members of the UK Parliamentary Choir under the band name "Friends of Jo Cox" in tribute to the late MP Jo Cox who was murdered earlier in the year. A 6 minute full version of the track and a 4 minute edit, together with a video, were the first releases on the newly re-established Chrysalis Records on 16th December with all proceeds going to charity. In support of this initiative, Mick Jagger and Keith Richards agreed to waive their royalties from the release. This version of the single peaked at number 2 on the Official Independent Singles Breakers Chart. [10]

President Trump[edit]

Donald Trump played the Rolling Stones' recording of the song at campaign appearances during the 2016 Republican primaries and the presidential election, including his nationally televised acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention in July.[11] After the convention, the band stated publicly that they do not endorse Trump and requested that he cease all use of their songs immediately.[12] Despite the requests to stop, Trump continued using the song at campaign rallies before and after the 2016 election.[13]

Personnel[edit]

The Rolling Stones

Additional personnel

Chart performance[edit]

Chart (1973) Peak
position
Canada RPM Top Singles[14] 68
US Billboard Hot 100[15] 42

Covers and tributes[edit]

  • In 1971, jazz pianist Vince Guaraldi released a cover version of the song on his album Oaxaca.
  • In 1973, Exuma covered the song on his album Life.
  • In the 1974 film Steppenwolf, the saxophonist Pablo tells Harry Haller after sniffing cocaine, "You can't always get what you want, but you can always get what you need."
  • In 1980, Bette Midler recorded a live version for her concert album and film Divine Madness. The song was made into a medley featuring Bob Dylan's "I Shall Be Released".
  • In 1981, Aretha Franklin covered the song on her album Love All the Hurt Away.
  • In 1989, "Weird Al" Yankovic included the song in "The Hot Rocks Polka," a polka medley consisting entirely of the Stones' songs.
  • In 1990, George Michael used the song's rhythm, chords and chorus in his single "Waiting for That Day". Jagger and Richards received shared songwriting credit.
  • In 1992, Def Leppard released an acoustic cover of the song as a b-side to their single "Have You Ever Needed Someone So Bad".
  • In 1993, folk singers Greg Brown and Bill Morrissey covered the song on their only joint recording Friend of Mine.
  • Blues musician Luther Allison covered the song for the 1997 tribute album Paint It Blue: Songs of the Rolling Stones.
  • In 1997, Sunchild released a live version of the song on their album Barefoot & Live.
  • In 1998, the jam band Rusted Root included a version on their self-titled fourth album.
  • In 2001, reggae band Steel Pulse recorded it for Paint It Black: A Reggae Tribute to the Rolling Stones.
  • The 3-2-1 Penguins video, The Amazing Carnival of Complaining (released 2001) features a song which includes the line "You can't always get what you want, you can't always get what you want, but if you gripe sometimes, you just might find, you turn into seeds!"
  • Band from TV covered it for the soundtrack of House.
  • In 2006, the cover by Ituana was included into the album Bossa n' Stones, Vol. 2.
  • In 2007, Anarchist folk punk group Ghost Mice recorded a version of this song to benefit Food Not Bombs.
  • In 2008, Belgian outfit Soulwax released a remix of the song, which appeared on the soundtrack to the 2008 film 21.
  • In 2008, French Jean-Jacques Milteau (harmonica) recorded the song for his album Soul Conversation with Ron Smyth (vocal).
  • In 2009, the cast of Glee recorded a cover in the episode "Sectionals".
  • In 2010, Blunt Instrument released a glitch-hop remix of the song.
  • In 2010, The Jolly Boys released a cover in the album Great Expectation.
  • In 2011, Patti Austin released a version of the song on the album "Sound Advice".
  • In 2012, Anastacia covered the song for her album It's a Man's World
  • In 2012, the band fun. covered the song during their encore at the Bonnaroo Music Festival and at the 2013 iHeartRadio Music Festival; they often perform it at their shows.
  • In 2015, Red Band Society’s final episode featured the cast performing the song toghether, and the Rolling Stones version played through the end credits[16]
  • In 2016, Parliamentary rock group MP4, Ricky Wilson of Kaiser Chiefs, Steve Harley, KT Tunstall and David Gray teamed up with Members of the British Parliamentary choir and the Royal Opera House Thurrock Community Chorus to record a charity version of the song in memory of Labour MP Jo Cox.[17]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "The Rolling Stones singles collection the london years"
  2. ^ "Forty Licks"
  3. ^ Loewenstein, Dora; Dodd, Philip (2003). According to the Rolling Stones. San Francisco: Chronicle Books. ISBN 0-8118-4060-3. 
  4. ^ a b c "You Can't Always Get What You Want". AllMusic. Retrieved 2009-10-31. 
  5. ^ "You Can't Always Get What You Want". Time Is On Our Side. 2007. Retrieved 29 September 2007. 
  6. ^ Cohen, Ben (2007-10-04) Jimmy Hutmaker was town character of Excelsior, Star Tribune
  7. ^ Bell, Max (March 2011). "A walk on the wild side". Classic Rock #155. p. 76. 
  8. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2015). The Comparison Book. Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin: Record Research Inc. p. 431. ISBN 0-89820-213-2. 
  9. ^ "I got satisfaction rocking with Mick and Keith". The Independent. 
  10. ^ Chart results from 23rd December 2016
  11. ^ "Donald Trump's Victory Speech Ended with a Very Ironic Song". Fortune. 2016-11-09. Retrieved 2016-11-25. 
  12. ^ Lauren Craddock. "Rolling Stones Say Trump Used 'You Can't Always Get What You Want' Without Permission at RNC". Billboard, 2016-07-22. Accessed 2016-11-05.
  13. ^ "President Trump gets what he wants, plays The Rolling Stones despite band's request to stop". www.nydailynews.com. 2017-08-22. Retrieved 2017-12-22. 
  14. ^ http://www.bac-lac.gc.ca/eng/discover/films-videos-sound-recordings/rpm/Pages/image.aspx?Image=nlc008388.4839&URLjpg=http%3a%2f%2fwww.collectionscanada.gc.ca%2fobj%2f028020%2ff4%2fnlc008388.4839.gif&Ecopy=nlc008388.4839
  15. ^ "The Rolling Stones Complete Hit Singles List (1963–2006)". BeatZenith. Retrieved 24 July 2009. 
  16. ^ "Music from Red Band Society S1E13". Tunefind. Retrieved 2018-01-28. 
  17. ^ "Jo Cox charity single brings together politicians and musicians". BBC News. BBC. 17 November 2016. Retrieved 18 November 2016. 

External links[edit]

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