It’s not your imagination – Mick Jagger and the Rolling Stones have been around forever. With a career spanning over 4 decades, this group has inspired generations of young people with their endless supply of hit songs. The Stones have released more than two dozen albums, including several greatest hits mixes, and they’ve had numerous top-selling singles. But with a band that has had such a prolific career, there are so many great songs to choose from that it’s hard to pick just one favorite. Here are the top 10 songs by the Rolling Stones:
1. Angie – This song was originally released in 1973 on the Stone’s Goats Head Soup album. Rumor has it that Jagger penned this song about Angie Bowie, the wife of David Bowie, after a tryst between the two.
2. Miss You- This song, from the 1978 album Some Girls, had a somewhat different sound than most of the Stone’s songs. This song was released in the midst of the disco era, and while the Stone’s later released an album which a much more disco-like feel (1980’s Emotional Rescue), this was the first taste of a more pop-sounding Rolling Stones. This method worked for the Stones, too, as the album Some Girls went to number 1 on the Billboard charts.
3. Sympathy for the Devil- 1968’s Beggar’s Banquet spawned some great Stone’s songs, but the most memorable is “Sympathy for the Devil”. Speaking as the voice of Lucifer, Jagger and Co. caused quite a ruckus with this song, thought of by many as an anthem for evil. Legend has it that this was the song that was being played by the Stone’s during their 1968 concert at Altamont, when an 18 year old was fatally stabbed by member’s of the Hell’s Angels gang (actually the Stone’s were singing their classic “Under My Thumb” at the time). In any event, a song that causes such commotion should definitely make any top 10 list.
4. (I Can’t get No) Satisfaction – – In 1966 the Rolling Stones performed this hit song on the Ed Sullivan Show. This is one of their most popular and easily recognizable songs.
5. You Can’t Always Get What You Want- 1969’s classic album, Let it Bleed, included the great Stone songs “Monkey Man” and “Gimme Shelter”, but “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” stands out as the best song on that album. It’s a pretty song, featuring piano, and it’s one of Jagger’s best songs.
6. Start Me Up- 1981 found a new breed of Stones fans with the release of the album Tattoo You. The main hit on this album was “Start Me Up”, which featured a great guitar hook.
7. Jumpin’ Jack Flash- This song didn’t make the final cut for the Stone’s Beggar’s Banquet album, but it was later released as a single. It was then found on the greatest hits compilation, Through the Past Darkly (Big Hits Volume 2). The songs on this collection were dedicated to the late Brian Jones, one of the original members of the Stones.
8. Mother’s Little Helper- This song, from the 1966 album Aftermath, starts out with the lyrics “What a drag it is getting old”. It then goes on to be an ode to the drudgery of being a housewife – the housewife then goes on to get a little “help” to get through her day, in the form of taking “little yellow pills”. This was a very revolutionary song at the time and it’s still a classic today.
9. Shattered- Another hit from the Some Girls album, this song paints a not-so-pretty picture of New York City, but it’s done in an irresistible way with the “shadoobie” chorus. Sure, Jagger takes pot shots at the city where “love and hope and sex and dreams are still surviving on the streets” but that didn’t stop this song from getting tons of airplay in the U.S.
10. Wild Horses- This song was featured on 1971’s legendary Sticky Fingers. For Jagger, the lyrics were supposedly an ode to his then-love, Marianne Faithful. This song, a ballad, remains one of the Stone’s most beautifully written and touching songs.