500 Greatest Songs of All Time
The Rolling Stones, 'Jumpin' Jack Flash'
Writers: Mick Jagger, Keith Richards
Producer: Jimmy Miller
Released: May '68, London
12 weeks; No. 3
Keith Richards was on a historic run in 1968, exploring the open-D blues-guitar tuning for the first time and coming up with some of his most dynamic riffs. He overheard an organ lick that bassist Bill Wyman was fooling around with in a London studio and turned it into the unstoppable, churning pulse of "Jumpin' Jack Flash." The lyric was inspired by Richards' gardener, Jack Dyer, who slogged past as the guitarist and Jagger were coming to the end of an all-night session. "Who's that?" Jagger asked. "Jumpin' Jack," Richards answered. The song evolved into supernatural Delta blues by way of Swinging London. The Stones first performed it at their final show with Brian Jones.
Appears on: Forty Licks (Virgin)