Almost Like A Rolling Stone

How does it feel?

How does it feel?

Lordy, lordy, looks who’s…… um, old.  OK, so it’s my birthday… but it’s also Monday and that means the present is actually for you and your ears!  It’s time for the next song that was remade better in my Top 30 Cover Songs of All Time countdown.  The Sponkies have the party favors, and DJ Scratchy’s done jumped out of the cake and selected one of my truly favorite covers just for this occasion.  Here’s one to grow on…


#12. “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” – Devo

Fifty years ago at this very moment, a band by the name of The Rolling Stones had a song with a stranglehold on the #1 spot on the Billboard charts.  With a killer guitar riff from Keith Richards, the inimitable Mick Jagger singing about a lack of girly action, and a grammarly appalling double negative, “Satisfaction” was a mega hit that would go on to become the signature song of one of the biggest bands in rock and roll history, and was even selected as the #2 rock song of all time by Rolling Stone Magazine (No relation to the band, I think).  I know it’s only rock and roll, but I don’t really like it…

Hey, there's no accounting for taste, right?

Hey, there’s no accounting for taste, right?

But then an upstart band that would go on to define the early 80’s got ahold of this most iconic of all rock songs in 1977, and completely stood the thing on its ear.  That would be the extremely eccentric quintet Devo.  It’s a bit ironic that one of the most original and unique acts in music history used a cover song to springboard its career, but this is far from any ordinary cover.  True to Devo form, they made this song their own… and it kicks ass!!!

Yes, I love that countless times better than the original… and I’m not ashamed to admit it!

I still wouldn't tell anyone I have pony figurines, though...

I still wouldn’t tell anyone I have pony figurines, though…

It’s a shame that Devo gets pigeonholed into the one hit wonder category since the only song they’re generally known for, and in reality the only one that had chart success, was the ubiquitous “Whip It.”  They got plenty of opportunities to wave their freak flag during the early days of MTV with their extremely odd and quirky music videos, and the master of parodies Weird Al Yankovic even wrote an original song that was inspired by Devo’s style, and riffed on just about every one of their videos in his tribute…

The 80’s just wouldn’t have been the 80’s without the band that believed in “devolution” and it certainly wouldn’t have been a cover song countdown without this ridiculously remastered gem.  Sorry, Charlie…

We need to get some radiation suits and a red Lego hat.

We need to get some radiation suits and a red Lego hat.

You can’t always get what you want… but if you come back next Monday, you’ll get a song I somehow ranked even higher than this one…. and maybe a piece of week-old leftover cake.

About evilsquirrel13

Bored former 30-something who has nothing better to do with his life than draw cartoon squirrels.
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46 Responses to Almost Like A Rolling Stone

  1. that version is really Brown Sugar … sadly it seems it’s all over now… for Devo :o) Happy Happy Birthday to you!!!
    btw: sometimes I miss the early days of MTV… it was special and it felt like made for me somehow :o)

    • It was a special time that we’ll never see again. The closest thing was when VH1-Classic went on the air about 13 years ago… they played nothing but old videos 24/7. But now, they’re much like every other cable station… showing all kinds of crap besides what they should be.

  2. Happy birthday 🙂 Hope it’s a great one for you. 🙂

  3. Mental Mama says:

    Happy Birthday! I had never heard Devo’s version of this. I’m not sure which was odder, their cover or the video. Honestly, WTF was up with the red headed guy that kept throwing himself on the floor?

    • The video definitely enhances the “awesome” factor of this song. I think you could say that for pretty much any Devo song with a video, though…

      I read somewhere while doing some fact finding for this post that the crazy dancer’s name is actually “Spaz” or something like that, and him and his “dance” got celebrity recognition when the video was being played on early MTV…

  4. Happy Birthday! It is a good day… you share it with my little brother and he was 40 last year! LOVE Devo! Whip it good! 😀
    Have an awesome day Bill! I hope you have an awesome day!!

    • An awesome day for me will be a good afternoon’s sleep. Should be a great day for it too since it’ll threaten 100 degrees…

      I also share my birthday with one of my sisters. Being a birthday Scrooge, I was always more than happy to let her get all of the recognition!

      • Oh yeah… gotta have a nap in the afternoon! That’s a given with us old folks.. HA HA! What was wrong with us as kids when we fought it so hard? 😛
        Are you STILL a birthday Scrooge?

      • Well, with me it’s a necessity since I work nights (And no, I don’t take my birthday off… especially when it’s in the middle of my week). The extra attention birthdays bring has never been a fun thing for me… though it isn’t as bad online!

  5. NotAPunkRocker says:

    Happy Birthday! 😀

  6. fanrosa says:

    Ugh. the only good thing i can say about this is that I thought it would be your number one….. Meanwhile did you plan that today would be #13 when decided when to start the countdown?

    Happy Birthday? Who are you, DJ Lemahieu??

    • Actually, today is #12, and I totally did not plan on Devo for my special day. In fact, I didn’t even realize my birthday would be a countdown day until a few weeks into it, and I had a nice “Ha!” when I calculated what song would get used that day…

      Hey, DJ gets to start in the ASG tomorrow! Too bad I won’t be watching since the Midbummer Classic bores me to tears anymore…

  7. They sound kind of like Animusic. Which is pretty weird, if you think about it.

  8. Since it’s your birthday, I’ll sing you the birthday song reserved for those we truly love:

    Happy Birthday (groan)
    Happy Birthday (groan)
    Pain and Sorrow fill the air
    People Dying Everywhere
    Happy Birthday (groan)

    Welcome to the nex decade. It’s awesome!

  9. JackieP says:

    Happy Birthday! Hope it was a good one. After all you’re only this old once. It gets worse. hehehe

  10. Awww nuts I missed your special day. Wishing you a wonderful, creative, fun, joy filled year. If you were a Vampire I’d add stuff about bats and blood, but I’ll wish you a good hideie hole for your nuts and maybe some Ginger Ale. And cake. You gotta have cake.

    • My Mom makes chocolate cupcakes with chocolate icing (my favorite) every year for my birthday… it’s one of the few things I look forward to! She also gives me a new bottle of sprinkles every year despite the fact that I never throw anything away, so I now have enough nonpareils to decorate enough cupcakes for everyone’s birthday!

  11. Trisha says:

    Happy birthday and welcome to the 40’s! Sorry my wishes are belated. Yesterday was almost as weird as that video. With the strange suits and convulsions, it’s easy to see why Devo couldn’t get no satisfaction. 🙂 Still, the video made me miss the 80’s. That kind of weirdness was fun.

  12. Ally Bean says:

    Somehow Devo covering The Stones is too much for me to listen to. But I’m glad to know that it exists should my life get weirder. Happy Belated Birthday, btw. It was a good one?

  13. Hope you have a satisfactory birthday with lots of satisfaction. I loved Devo! 😀 ❤

  14. The Cutter says:

    Wasn’t there an entire movie about a girl band singing this song?

  15. draliman says:

    Happy birthday for the other day!
    Well, that song, if song it can be called, was pretty weird 🙂 They may have been a “one hit wonder” but to be fair all their songs probably sounded exactly like that. Heh heh.

    • Wow… and here I thought Devo was unique and counterculture enough to have worldwide fame. Even “Whip It” wasn’t a hit in the UK (only made it to #51 according to Wikipedia). I guess there are places they are a no hit wonder! We are all no hit wonders!

  16. markbialczak says:

    Happy Birthday, Bill. You’re still far too young for Denny’s discount menu, so fret not, young man! 🙂

    Sorry, as much as you love the eccentric odd coneheads, I still gotta vote for Mike and Keith before they had wrinkles. ‘Cause, as you know, I am eligible for the one-pancake-one-egg back flap and also carry the AARP card in my wallet, so I was there in the scandalized 60s. Hey Hey Hey.

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