The Rolling Stones song Mick Jagger never thought would be a hit

The Rolling Stones

It doesn’t matter how long you’ve been in the spotlight or how many hits your band has produced; the audience is as predictable as it has always been. Mick Jagger and The Rolling Stones are continuously discovering this. The music industry throws away songs they predict will be hits, only for hidden gems to rise later and become classics.

After so many top fives, you’d think The Rolling Stones would understand what goes into creating a hit song. Well, it turns out this isn’t the case. One of the band’s most popular songs, ‘Beast of Burden,’ defied predictions.

“I quite enjoy it,” Jagger said of the song, “but I didn’t anticipate people to go for it… It’s unexpected. But I’m curious what other people will think of the record. The constant pressure lately has me questioning their expectations of our capabilities.

It’s unclear what caused the song’s popularity. It sounds good, which is one of the most important criteria. However, because it is about romantic relationships, the perceived speculation surrounding the track also plays a role. There has been much debate regarding who the piece is about and what inspired the lyrics.

When asked about the inspiration, Keith Richards stated, “Those who say it’s about one woman in particular, they’ve got it all wrong.” We wanted to write for a wider audience than only Anita Pallenberg and Marianna Faithfull. That’s not to say they didn’t have some sway in there somewhere. I mean, what’s nearby is nearby!”

Another inadvertent reference to Buddy Holly’s ‘Peggy Sue‘ in the song may have resonated with listeners more and struck a nostalgic nerve. When the song leans into stating, “You’re a pretty pretty pretty pretty pretty pretty pretty pretty pretty pretty pretty girl,” it appears to be a more sexualized version. This contrasts with what Buddy Holly sings about when he mentions “pretty Peggy Sue.”

“Yeah, it’s true, I never thought of it,” Jagger said, laughing. But that’s simply a sound to me; it could be ‘very pretty happy happy’… or anything else. I wasn’t thinking of Buddy Holly at all; it was purely unintentional.”

The song charted at number eight when it was released, which is great, but it was not the most successful Rolling Stones song ever produced. They had a lot of top fives before it, and they’d have a lot more after that. Its initial chart position is probably closer to what Jagger and the company expected. However, as time has passed, the song’s popularity has grown. It is now regarded as one of the best tracks on the Some Girls album and one of the most anticipated during live performances.

There’s no telling how people will react to music. The album Some Girls is one of the best examples of that. The first single nearly sparked a civil rights movement, and the band didn’t have high aspirations for a song becoming a classic.

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