100 Great Songs From The British Invasion: Under My Thumb- The Rolling Stones. An album cut from The Rolling Stones 1966 Aftermath album- ‘Under My Thumb’ has been a popular Stones concert track over the years. It was ‘Under My Thumb’ [not ‘Sympathy For The Devil’] that the Stones were playing at the Altamont concert in December 1969- when Meredith Hunter was murdered. One of the things that attracts me to the song- is the instrumentation- you have Brian Jones playing the marimba and Bill Wyman’s fuzzy bass. Keith Richards said in 1994: “Brian was still fantastic making records, because he was so versatile. I mean, he’d have marimbas – which is why you have marimbas on ‘Under My Thumb’ – or dulcimer, sitar. He kind of lost interest in guitar, in a way. But at the same time he added all of that other color, those other instruments and other ideas. He was an incredibly inventive musician.”
Some feminist groups the song rather offensive, especially the line, “The way she talks when she’s spoken to down to me.” In a 1984 interview, Jagger explained: “The whole idea was that I was under HER, she was kicking ME around. So the whole idea is absurd, all I did was turn the tables around. So women took that to be against femininity where in reality it was trying to ‘get back’ against being a repressed male.”
- Song: Under My Thumb- The Rolling Stones
- Record Company- Decca
- Genre: Rock
- Written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards
- Time: 3:41
- Album- Aftermath
- Grade: A+
- Not released as a single.
Whatever Mick might have said in 84 it gets more tone deaf by the second this millennium.
I am not really following what Mick said as it doesn’t really fly. I think when Keith was asked about the lyric one time he punted and said well you’ll have to ask Mick BGE writes the lyrics. I’m just the guitar player
I agree with you on what Mick said- nearly 20 years after the song.
It’s not one of my faves of theirs, but I think the Stones opened with this one when I saw them in 1981. I swear Mick was wearing that pictured football jersey at that ’81 show too!
I’ve always loved this song and I always will. Power dynamics in relationships are ever-shifting and it’s real. It’s the music as much if not more than the lyrics is what draws me to it.
A good o0ne.