100 Greatest Rolling Stones Songs

John Rodgers/Redferns12/100

12. "Get Off of My Cloud" (1965)

"'Satisfaction' was a great record. 'Get off of My Cloud,' even better record," Neil Young enthused in the biography Shakey. "Looser, less of a hit. More of a reckless abandon." The Stones followed up "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction" with a rebel yell against America, fame, phone calls, apartment buildings, other people and all manner of cloud-hogging modern hassles. Of course, it went straight to Number One in America, just like its predecessor. Watts' stomping drum intro leads into Richards and Jones' vicious twin-guitar attack. The band was actually gunning for a slower song, à la funky New Orleans soul man Lee Dorsey. Instead, it ended up with a version that "rocked it up," in the words of Richards. Jagger's lyrics – which allude to leaving his car unattended only to find parking tickets "like a flag stuck on my window screen" – were some of the most evocative he'd written at that time. True to form, when complimented on them a few years later, he tersely said, "Oh, no, they're not – they're crap."

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