Happy Birthday, Mick Jagger

At age 75, Jagger still can’t get no satisfaction

No matter whether you like him or not, I think there’s no question that Mick Jagger has to be one of the coolest rock artists on the planet. To me, he’s the embodiment of rock & roll in all of its crazy shapes. Unlike the other members of The Rolling Stones, Jagger doesn’t show many signs of aging. He still has the energy and swagger he did when the Stones started out in the early ’60s.

I also don’t believe I know of any other rock artist who studied at the London School of Economics, though evidently Jagger figured out pretty quickly that Adam Smith and John Maynard Keynes weren’t as sexy as rock & roll. And, dare I say it, there are many economists but there’s only one Mick Jagger!

Jagger’s biography has been told a 100 million times, so I’m not going to write yet another iteration. Instead, I’d like to celebrate Sir Michael Philip Jagger’s 75th birthday, which is today, with what he’s all about: rock & roll.

Let’s kick it off with the first officially recorded song Jagger co-wrote with his longtime partner in crime Keith Richards: Tell Me (You’re Coming Back), the only original track on the Stones’ eponymous U.K. album released in April 1964. While he tune’s early ’60s pop vibe doesn’t sound much like The Rolling Stones, I still find it charming.

Yes, it’s probably the most over-played song The Rolling Stones have ever released, but since it’s such a signature tune, how could I not include (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction in this post? Plus, the song from the Stones’ third British studio album Out Of Our Heads really seems to be a perfect fit for Jagger.

She’s A Rainbow from 1967’s Their Satanic Majesties Request may be an uncharacteristic tune by The Glimmer Twins, but I’ve always loved it.

I know many Stones fans consider Exile On Main Street or Some Girls as the band’s best studio album. If I would have to select one, I think it would be Sticky Fingers. Here’s Dead Flowers.

The song’s title sums it up perfectly: It’s Only Rock ‘N Roll (But I Like It). It was the lead single to the Stones’ 1974 studio album It’s Only Rock ‘N Roll, their 12th and 14th in the U.K. and U.S., respectively.

Here’s When The Whip Comes Down. According to Wikipedia, Jagger wrote the lyrics to the song, which first appeared on the Some Girls album from 1978, though it is credited to Jagger/Richards.

Tattoo You is considered by many folks to be the last decent album the Stones released in August 1981. The lead single was Start Me Up, which remains one of the band’s most recognizable tunes and a staple during their live concerts where they often play it as the opener. It’s a great tune and with its simple riff yet another example that less is oftentimes more in rock & roll.

I’ve always liked Steel Wheels, which the Stones released in August 1989. By that time Jagger and Richards had patched up their fragile relationship and wrote a great set of songs that are reminiscent of the Stones’ classic sound. Here’s Mixed Emotions.

To date, A Bigger Bang from September 2005 is the Stones’ most recent full studio album featuring original music. Here’s the opener Rough Justice.

I’d like to conclude this celebratory playlist with an amazing live clip: Can’t You Hear Me Knocking, from the Stones’ Sticky Fingers show on May 20, 2015 at the Fonda Theatre in Los Angeles. It was captured in a great live album released last September as part of the band’s From The Vault series. To me, the Stones rarely sounded as fresh as they did that night!

Do Mick and the boys have enough gas for another album? In April, NME reported that Jagger was working on new material ahead of the Stones’ U.K. tour. He’s quoted as saying, “I’m just writing. It is mostly for the Stones at the moment.” Well, I guess we’ll have to wait and see. Meanwhile, happy birthday!

Sources: Wikipedia; NME; YouTube


11 thoughts on “Happy Birthday, Mick Jagger”

  1. Nice job highlighting Mick over the entirety of the Stones career. I saw the Stones on the Steel Wheels tour, and was amazed then how much energy he has on stage – just constant movement the entire show. The live clip above shows he’s still going strong. If I would have added any song to your list, it would have been Shattered off of Some Girls. His vocals take that song to another level.
    BTW, I’m enjoying checking out your blog. My friend Mike and I just started a music blog (Mike and Paul’s Music Blog). Check us out sometime – we are really in our infancy, feeling our way into this blog thing.


    1. While I would always go with The Beatles when it came to the choice Beatles or Stones, I think I have to agree with you – even though there are other charismatic frontmen, such as Springsteen and U2’s Bono, Mick Jagger is the hole package. Nobody sings and moves like Jagger. He simply is the perfect showman!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I eliminate John and Paul from the competition simply because as Beatles- they shared the spotlight. I’d put Freddie Mercury up on that list high too.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. You’re right, Mercury was a strong frontman as well. When it comes to The Beatles, I agree they really didn’t have a frontman. And now that I think about it, having a band where each of the members shared the spotlight relatively evenly (I guess with the exception of Ringo) isn’t common.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. There has never been a band that had two as talented as John and Paul in it. I guess that isn’t an earth shaking statement! The friendship/ competitiveness between those two men….

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Can you imagine how say John/ Paul would feel when one of them comes to the other with a real gem… the other had to be thrilled with the new song but also- Now I have to answer with my own song… and the amazing thing is they both delivered time and time again. The competitiveness brought out the best in both.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. 75! Holy cow. Probably can still wear the same trousers he did 40 years ago. Here’s a thing – I have a car that is under original warranty and needs engine work so they gave me a loaner. Not a bad car but it has only FM radio. So last week I grabbed a bunch of CD’s, one of which was “Tattoo You” the other of which was “Steel Wheels.” Both really good albums. I knew “Tattoo” was but I hadn’t listened to “Steel Wheels” in a long time. And I also saw that tour but never really got to know the album.

    Side note – “Steel Wheels” was one of the last- if not THE last -album to be recorded at George Martin’s AIR Studios, Montserrat. Hurricane Hugo hit shortly thereafter and that was that. The studio still stands there, eerily, covered up by weeds.

    Liked by 1 person

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