The Rolling Stones’ Classic Hits: Top 20 Songs

1. “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction”

“(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” is undoubtedly one of The Rolling Stones’ most iconic and successful songs. Released in 1965, its catchy guitar riff and rebellious lyrics struck a chord with audiences worldwide. The song’s success is attributed to Mick Jagger’s energetic vocal performance, Keith Richards’ memorable guitar riff, and the band’s ability to capture the frustrations and desires of the youth during that era. This song’s impact on rock and roll cannot be overstated, propelling The Rolling Stones to new heights and cementing their place as one of the greatest rock bands of all time.

For more information on “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction,” check out this Rolling Stone interview with Mick Jagger and Keith Richards where they discuss the song’s creation and its lasting impact.

2. “Paint It Black”

Released in 1966, “Paint It Black” is a haunting and evocative song that showcased The Rolling Stones’ ability to experiment with different musical styles. With Brian Jones’ sitar playing and Jagger’s introspective lyrics, the song took on a darker and more introspective tone compared to their earlier hits. The song’s popularity can be credited to its unique sound, which resonated with listeners searching for something different in the midst of the thriving psychedelic rock scene at the time. “Paint It Black” became an anthem for the counterculture movement and remains one of The Rolling Stones’ most beloved songs.

To delve deeper into the creation of “Paint It Black,” take a look at this NPR article that explores the song’s impact and cultural significance during the 1960s.

3. “Brown Sugar”

“Brown Sugar,” released in 1971, is a prime example of The Rolling Stones’ ability to infuse rock and roll with elements of blues and soul. With its infectious guitar riff and Jagger’s provocative lyrics, the song pushed boundaries and courted controversy. Its success can be attributed to the band’s ability to capture the spirit of rebellion and sexual liberation that defined the era, while still delivering a catchy and memorable tune. “Brown Sugar” remains a staple in The Rolling Stones’ live performances and continues to delight fans of all generations.

For an in-depth analysis of the impact of “Brown Sugar,” read this Far Out Magazine article that examines the song’s lyrics and the controversies surrounding its release.

4. “Start Me Up”

Released in 1981, “Start Me Up” was a triumphant return to the rock and roll roots of The Rolling Stones. The song’s catchy guitar riff and infectious energy resonated with fans worldwide, propelling it to become one of their most successful singles in the 1980s. “Start Me Up” showcased The Rolling Stones’ ability to evolve with the times while staying true to their signature sound. Its impact lies in the band’s ability to craft a song that effortlessly blends rock, blues, and pop, appealing to both loyal fans and a new generation of listeners.

Learn more about the making of “Start Me Up” in this fascinating uDiscoverMusic article that delves into the song’s origins and its significance within The Rolling Stones’ discography.

5. “Gimme Shelter”

Released in 1969, “Gimme Shelter” is a powerful and haunting song that perfectly captures the turbulent times of the late 1960s. The song’s ominous opening, delivered by a chilling guitar introduction and Merry Clayton’s haunting backing vocals, sets the stage for Jagger’s urgent and impassioned vocals. With its themes of war, social unrest, and the desire for peace, “Gimme Shelter” resonated with listeners who sought solace and understanding in a tumultuous world. The song remains a standout in The Rolling Stones’ catalog, showcasing their ability to address profound subjects and touch the hearts of millions.

Discover the backstory and cultural impact of “Gimme Shelter” by checking out this enlightening Rolling Stone article that delves into the song’s origins and its resonance amidst the era’s social and political movements.

6. “Sympathy for the Devil”

“Sympathy for the Devil,” released in 1968, showcases The Rolling Stones’ ability to push boundaries and experiment with different musical styles. The song’s dramatic and hypnotic rhythm, influenced by Latin music and jazz, surrounds Jagger’s portrayal of the devil himself. “Sympathy for the Devil” became a controversial yet impactful song, sparking discussions about religion, evil, and the nature of humanity. Its success lies in the band’s fearless approach to tackling taboo subjects and challenging societal norms.

Uncover more about the creation of “Sympathy for the Devil” in this BBC article that highlights interesting facts about the song’s genesis and its controversial reception.

7. “Jumpin’ Jack Flash”

Released in 1968, “Jumpin’ Jack Flash” is an iconic rock and roll anthem that showcases The Rolling Stones’ undeniable energy and swagger. The song’s unforgettable guitar riff, provided by Richards, immediately grabs the listener’s attention and sets the tone for Jagger’s charismatic vocal performance. “Jumpin’ Jack Flash” became a staple in The Rolling Stones’ live shows, captivating audiences with its raw power and infectious rhythm. Its impact lies in its ability to capture the essence of rock and roll rebellion while demonstrating the band’s mastery of their craft.

Learn more about the enduring legacy of “Jumpin’ Jack Flash” by reading this insightful uDiscoverMusic article that dives into the song’s creation and its significance within The Rolling Stones’ discography.

8. “Honky Tonk Women”

“Honky Tonk Women,” released in 1969, is a catchy and infectious country-infused rock song that showcases The Rolling Stones’ versatility as musicians. The song’s rollicking rhythm and Jagger’s tongue-in-cheek lyrics captivated audiences, earning it a spot as one of their most successful hits. “Honky Tonk Women” epitomizes The Rolling Stones’ ability to blend genres and create music that transcends boundaries. Its impact lies in its universal appeal and its ability to bring people together through the joy of rock and roll.

For an inside look at the making of “Honky Tonk Women,” take a look at this Far Out Magazine article that explores the song’s origins and its significance within The Rolling Stones’ discography.

9. “Angie”

Released in 1973, “Angie” is a stunning ballad that showcases The Rolling Stones’ ability to create emotionally charged and introspective songs. The song’s delicate piano introduction and Jagger’s tender vocals reveal a softer side of the band, highlighting their versatility as songwriters. “Angie” struck a chord with listeners, who were captivated by its heartfelt lyrics and haunting melody. Its impact lies in its ability to showcase The Rolling Stones’ range as musicians and their ability to connect with audiences on a deeply emotional level.

Discover the inspiration behind “Angie” by reading this Ultimate Classic Rock article that explores the song’s origins and the personal experiences that influenced its creation.

10. “Wild Horses”

Released in 1971, “Wild Horses” is a timeless and moving ballad that demonstrates The Rolling Stones’ ability to craft intimate and heartfelt songs. The song’s delicate acoustic guitar and Jagger’s sincere vocals create a sense of vulnerability and emotional depth. “Wild Horses” resonated with audiences, who were moved by its relatable themes of love, loss, and the passage of time. The song’s impact lies in its ability to transcend generations and evoke strong emotions in listeners.

For an interesting take on the lasting significance of “Wild Horses,” read this Diffuser article that explores the song’s enduring appeal and its place in The Rolling Stones’ rich musical history.

11. “Ruby Tuesday”

Released in 1967, “Ruby Tuesday” is a beautiful and introspective ballad that showcases The Rolling Stones’ ability to capture the complexities of love and relationships. The song’s gentle melody, adorned with Brian Jones’ signature recorder playing, creates a melancholic yet serene atmosphere. “Ruby Tuesday” became an instant hit thanks to its relatable lyrics and the band’s ability to deliver a heartfelt and emotional performance. Its impact lies in its universality, as it continues to resonate with listeners dealing with the complexities of human emotion.

Learn more about the making of “Ruby Tuesday” by reading this uDiscoverMusic article that delves into the song’s creation and its place in The Rolling Stones’ discography.

12. “Tumbling Dice”

“Tumbling Dice,” released in 1972, is a timeless rock and roll anthem that showcases The Rolling Stones’ ability to create infectious and groove-driven songs. The song’s irresistible rhythm and Jagger’s lively delivery made it an instant hit, captivating audiences worldwide. “Tumbling Dice” demonstrates the band’s ability to create music that is both catchy and profound, with its lyrics delving into themes of luck, relationships, and the unpredictability of life. Its impact lies in its ability to showcase The Rolling Stones’ ability to make music that is simultaneously fun and introspective.

Uncover more about the creation of “Tumbling Dice” by reading this fascinating Songfacts article that explores the song’s origins and its impact within The Rolling Stones’ extensive discography.

13. “You Can’t Always Get What You Want”

Released in 1969, “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” is a soaring and anthemic song that has become one of The Rolling Stones’ most beloved tracks. The song’s choral arrangements, provided by the London Bach Choir, create a grandiose and uplifting atmosphere. Despite its initially introspective lyrics, “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” offers a message of resilience and acceptance. Its impact lies in its ability to inspire listeners to find strength in adversity and appreciate the complexities of life.

For an in-depth exploration of the creation of “You Can’t Always Get What You Want,” check out this Rolling Stone article where Mick Jagger reflects on the song’s origins and its continuing relevance.

14. “Beast of Burden”

“Beast of Burden,” released in 1978, is a soulful and enduring ballad that showcases The Rolling Stones’ ability to tap into the complexities of relationships. The song’s laid-back groove and Jagger’s heartfelt vocals create an irresistible combination that resonated with audiences. “Beast of Burden” offers a raw and honest portrayal of the sacrifices and challenges that come with love. Its impact lies in its ability to connect with listeners on a deeply personal level, underscoring The Rolling Stones’ gift for writing songs that encapsulate the human experience.

Explore the impact of “Beast of Burden” by reading this uDiscoverMusic article that delves into the song’s origins and its significance within The Rolling Stones’ extensive catalog.

15. “Miss You”

Released in 1978, “Miss You” is a pulsating and infectious dance-rock song that showcases The Rolling Stones’ ability to evolve with the times. The song’s disco-infused rhythm and Jagger’s falsetto vocals added a fresh and unexpected dimension to the band’s sound. “Miss You” topped the charts and became one of The Rolling Stones’ most successful singles. Its impact lies in its ability to connect with audiences beyond the rock genre, highlighting The Rolling Stones’ versatility and their ability to stay relevant.

Learn more about the making of “Miss You” by reading this insightful Songfacts article that provides interesting insights into the song’s creation and its reception.

16. “Street Fighting Man”

Released in 1968, “Street Fighting Man” is a politically charged and rebellious song that reflects the spirit of activism and social unrest present during that era. The song’s driving acoustic guitar riff and Jagger’s defiant lyrics made it a favorite among fans who sought an anthem for change. “Street Fighting Man” became a symbol of resistance and a call to action. Its impact lies in its ability to capture the revolutionary spirit of the late 1960s and inspire generations of activists in the pursuit of social justice.

For a deeper understanding of the context behind “Street Fighting Man,” read this enlightening Far Out Magazine article that explores the song’s origins and its resonance within social and political movements.

17. “Time Is on My Side”

“Time Is on My Side,” released in 1964, is a soulful and emotive song that showcased The Rolling Stones’ ability to interpret and infuse rhythm and blues with their unique style. Originally recorded by Irma Thomas, The Rolling Stones’ cover brought new life to the song and introduced it to a wider audience. Jagger’s passionate vocal performance and the band’s energetic delivery made “Time Is on My Side” an instant hit. Its impact lies in its ability to showcase The Rolling Stones’ admiration for the blues and their role in introducing the genre to a broader audience.

Discover more about the history of “Time Is on My Side” by reading this uDiscoverMusic article that delves into the song’s origins and its impact on The Rolling Stones’ early career.

18. “Emotional Rescue”

Released in 1980, “Emotional Rescue” is a disco-infused rock song that showcases The Rolling Stones’ ability to adapt and experiment with different musical styles. The song’s infectious groove and Jagger’s falsetto vocals provided an exciting departure from their previous work. “Emotional Rescue” became a chart-topping hit and reflected the band’s ability to stay relevant in an ever-changing music landscape. Its impact lies in its ability to merge the worlds of rock and disco, introducing The Rolling Stones to a new audience.

Uncover more about the creation of “Emotional Rescue” by reading this fascinating Far Out Magazine article that explores the song’s sonic evolution and its impact within The Rolling Stones’ discography.

19. “Sweet Virginia”

“Sweet Virginia,” released in 1972, is a heartfelt and soulful track that showcases The Rolling Stones’ ability to create beautiful and intimate songs. The song’s rootsy and country-inspired sound, combined with Jagger’s passionate vocals, create a sense of nostalgia and longing. “Sweet Virginia” resonated with audiences who appreciated The Rolling Stones’ ability to embrace different musical styles and showcase their artistic range. Its impact lies in its ability to evoke emotions and transport listeners to a simpler time.

For an inside look at the making of “Sweet Virginia,” read this Rolling Stone article that explores the song’s creation and its significance within The Rolling Stones’ extensive catalog.

20. “She’s a Rainbow”

Released in 1967, “She’s a Rainbow” is a whimsical and colorful song that showcases The Rolling Stones’ ability to experiment and take risks. The song’s lush instrumentation, including a prominent use of a Mellotron, gives it a dreamlike quality that sets it apart from the band’s more straightforward rock songs. “She’s a Rainbow” became a fan favorite, appreciated for its vibrant sound and uplifting lyrics. Its impact lies in its ability to capture the spirit of the psychedelic era while showcasing The Rolling Stones’ willingness to explore new sonic territories.

Learn more about the making of “She’s a Rainbow” in this Far Out Magazine article that explores the origins of the song and its place in The