News / Rolling Stones
The Rolling Stones (L-R: Bill Wyman, Brian Jones, Keith Richards, Mick Jagger, Charlie Watts) in 1963
When the now-classic Rolling Stones song “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” was released a half-century ago this weekend, TIME barely noticed. It wasn’t until September that the single got a quick mention on the listings page, the weekly round-up of what was new in TV, movies and music. “The Stones manage to sing with nervous intensity and snigger at the same time,” the critic noted in the three-sentence capsule review.
By the time the song was next mentioned, in 1966, it had sold 4.5 million copies. But not everyone was happy about that. The reason it had come up was as part of a trend story about how radio DJs were dealing with the fact that rock music, using the mysterious trick of “hip teen talk,” was sneaking inappropriate language onto the airwaves. When it wasn’t clear just what a singer was saying, how were DJ’s to know what was OK to play? Case in point: The ‘Satisfaction’ line about “trying to make some girl.” Some stations bleeped it; some didn’t play the song; some insisted that singer Mick Jagger wasn’t enunciating well enough for them to know what to do.