The Rolling Stones songs Mick Jagger didn’t like: “I was really disappointed”

Under Brian Jones’ direction, The Rolling Stones mostly relied on R&B covers for their first two albums. As their songwriting skills improved over time, Mick Jagger and Keith Richards started to lead the band toward a more modern pop-rock sound.

The first album by the Stones to feature only original songs was the 1966 album Aftermath. The band had already achieved two number-one singles in the previous year with “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” and “Get Off of My Cloud.” The Stones solidified their status as The Beatles’ sparring partners with such overwhelming success.

The Rolling Stones explored psychedelic territory in the late 1960s before going on to have their most significant and prosperous period in the early 1970s. Between the Buttons clanked in the low gears before Their Satanic Majesties Request, a psychedelic sound.

Jagger listed Between the Buttons as one of his least favorite albums in a 1995 Rolling Stone interview. He recalled, “Frank Zappa used to say he liked it, It’s a good record, but it was, unfortunately, rather spoiled. We recorded it in London on four-track machines. We bounced it back to do overdubs so many times; we lost the sound of a lot of it.”

When asked if any of the songs on Between the Buttons have special meaning for him, Jagger responded in a way that was both hilarious and insightful. He replied, “No. What’s on it?” 

Jagger seemed more and more unhappy when the interviewer started naming some of the music.

During the song “Yesterday’s Papers,” Jagger added: “Yeah, the first song I ever wrote completely on my own for a Rolling Stones record. ‘My Obsession’, that’s a good one. They sounded so great, but then, later on, I was really disappointed with it. Isn’t ‘Ruby Tuesday’ on there or something? I don’t think the rest of the songs are that brilliant. ‘Ruby Tuesday’ is good. I think that’s a wonderful song.”

Jagger went on to elaborate on his love for “Ruby Tuesday.” He said, “It’s just a nice melody, really, And a lovely lyric. Neither of which I wrote, but I always enjoy singing it. But I agree with you about the rest of the songs — I don’t think they’re there. I don’t think I thought they were very good at the time either.”

Jagger contrasted Between the Buttons with its 1967 sequel, Their Satanic Majesties Request, in another section of the conversation. He opined, “It’s not very good, It had interesting things on it, but I don’t think any of the songs are very good. It’s a bit like Between the Buttons. It’s a sound experience, really, rather than a song experience. There’s two good songs on it: ‘She’s a Rainbow’ and ‘2000 Light Years From Home’. The rest of them are nonsense.”

The Stones went back to their blues-rock beginnings after their misguided response to Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band by The Beatles. Beggars Banquet and Let It Bleed, two of the band’s best songs from the late 1960s, are a letdown in Jagger’s opinion.

Even though “Street Fighting Man” was influenced by political protests, Jagger believes the song has little relevance now. He told Rolling Stone, “I’m not sure if it really has any resonance for the present day, I don’t really like it that much. I thought it was a very good thing at the time.”

Guitarist Ronnie Wood also contributed to one of Jagger’s least favorite Rolling Stones songs. The Rolling Stones were going through a difficult period as they were recording the 1983 album Undercover, with tensions between Jagger and Richards at an all-time high. By the way, the only thing they appeared to agree on was that Wood’s song, “Pretty Beat Up,” didn’t belong on the record. In the end, the band grudgingly consented to place the song on side two.

Here is a list of some of Mick Jagger’s least favorite Rolling Stones songs.

The Rolling Stones songs Mick Jagger didn’t like:


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