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For the band, see Street Fighting Man (band). "Street Fighting Man" Single by The Rolling Stones from the album Beggars Banquet B-side "Surprise, Surprise" (UK) "No Expectations" (US) Released 20 July 1970 (UK) 31 August 1968 (US) Format 7" Recorded March–April and May 1968 Genre proto-punk Length 3:09, 3:14 (album version) Label London 45 LON 909 (US) Writer(s) Jagger/Richards Producer Jimmy Miller The Rolling Stones singles chronology "Jumpin' Jack Flash" (1968) "Street Fighting Man" (1968) "Honky Tonk Women" (1969) Music sample "Street Fighting Man" Beggars Banquet track listing "Jigsaw Puzzle" (5) "Street Fighting Man" (6) "Prodigal Son" (7) Alternative covers French 7" Single cover "Street Fighting Man" is a song by English rock and roll band The Rolling Stones featured on their 1968 album Beggars Banquet. Called the band's "most political song",[1] Rolling Stone ranked the song #295 on their list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. Contents 1 Inspiration 2 Recording 3 Release 4 Legacy 5 References 6 External links Inspiration Originally titled and recorded as "Did Everyone Pay Their Dues?", containing the same music but very different lyrics, "Street Fighting Man" is known as one of Mick Jagger and Keith Richards' most politically inclined works to date. Jagger allegedly wrote it about Tariq Ali after Jagger attended a March 1968 anti-war rally at London's U.S. embassy, during which mounted police attempted to control a crowd of 25,000.[2][3] He also found inspiration in the rising violence among student rioters on Paris's Left Bank,[4] the precursor to May 1968. On the writing, Jagger said in a 1995 interview with Jann Wenner in Rolling Stone, "Yeah, it was a direct inspiration, because by contrast, London was very quiet...It was a very strange time in France. But not only in France but also in America, because of the Vietnam War and these endless disruptions. ...I thought it was a very good thing at the time. There was all this violence going on. I mean, they almost toppled the government in France; DeGaulle went into this complete funk, as he had in the past, and he went and sort of locked himself in his house in the country. And so the government was almost inactive. And the French riot police were amazing."[5] The song opens with a strummed acoustic riff. In his review, Richie Unterberger says of the song, "'s a great track, gripping the listener immediately with its sudden, springy guitar chords and thundering, offbeat drums. That unsettling, urgent guitar rhythm is the mainstay of the verses. Mick Jagger's typically half-buried lyrics seem at casual listening like a call to revolution."[6] “ Everywhere I hear the sound of marching, charging feet, boy, 'Cause summer's here and the time is right for fighting in the street, boy ” “ Hey, said my name is called Disturbance; I'll shout and scream, I'll kill the King, I'll rail at all his servants ” “ Well now what can a poor boy do, Except to sing for a rock & roll band? Cause in sleepy London Town there's just no place for a street fighting man, no ” Unterberger continues, "Perhaps they were saying they wished they could be on the front lines, but were not in the right place at the right time; perhaps they were saying, as John Lennon did in the Beatles' "Revolution", that they didn't want to be involved in violent confrontation. Or perhaps they were even declaring indifference to the tumult."[6] Other writers' interpretations varied. In 1976, Roy Carr assessed it as a "great summer street-corner rock anthem on the same echelon as 'Summer in the City', 'Summertime Blues', and 'Dancing in the Street'."[4] In 1979, Dave Marsh wrote that it was the keynote of Beggars Banquet, "with its teasing admonition to do something and its refusal to admit that doing it will make any difference; as usual, the Stones were more correct, if also more faithless, philosophers than any of their peers."[7] Recording Recording on "Street Fighting Man" began at Olympic Sound Studios in March 1968 and continued into May and June later that year. With Jagger on lead vocals and both he and Richards on backing, Brian Jones performs the song's distinctive sitar and also tamboura. Richards plays the song's acoustic guitars as well as bass, the latter being the only electric instrument on the track. Charlie Watts performs drums while Nicky Hopkins performs the song's piano which is most distinctly heard during the outro. Shehnai is performed on the track by Dave Mason. On the earlier, unreleased "Did Everybody Pay Their Dues" version, Rick Grech played a very prominent electric viola.[8] Watts said in 2003, "'Street Fighting Man' was recorded on Keith's cassette with a 1930s toy drum kit called a London Jazz Kit Set, which I bought in an antiques shop, and which I've still got at home. It came in a little suitcase, and there were wire brackets you put the drums in; they were like small tambourines with no jangles... The snare drum was fantastic because it had a really thin skin with a snare right underneath, but only two strands of gut... Keith loved playing with the early cassette machines because they would overload, and when they overload they sounded fantastic, although you weren't meant to do that. We usually played in one of the bedrooms on tour. Keith would be sitting on a cushion playing a guitar and the tiny kit was a way of getting close to him. The drums were really loud compared to the acoustic guitar and the pitch of them would go right through the sound. You'd always have a great backbeat."[9] On the recording process itself, Richards remembered, "The basic track of that was done on a mono cassette with very distorted overrecording, on a Phillips with no limiters. Brian is playing sitar, it twangs away. He's holding notes that wouldn't come through if you had a board, you wouldn't be able to fit it in. But on a cassette if you just move the people, it does. Cut in the studio and then put on a tape. Started putting percussion and bass on it. That was really an electronic track, up in the realms." [10] Bruce Springsteen would comment in 1985, after including "Street Fighting Man" in the encores of some of his Born in the U.S.A. Tour shows: "That one line, 'What can a poor boy do but sing in a rock and roll band?' is one of the greatest rock and roll lines of all time. ... [The song] has that edge-of-the-cliff thing when you hit it. And it's funny; it's got humor to it."[11] Jagger continues in the Rolling Stone interview when asked about the song's resonance thirty years on; "I don't know if it [has any]. I don't know whether we should really play it. I was persuaded to put it [on Voodoo Lounge Tour] because it seemed to fit in, but I'm not sure if it really has any resonance for the present day. I don't really like it that much."[5] Despite this, the song has been performed on a majority of the Stones' tours since its introduction to their canon of work.[8] On the song, Richards said, only a few years after recording the track in a famous 1971 Rolling Stone interview with Robert Greenfield, that the song had been "interpreted thousands of different ways". He mentioned how Jagger went to the Grosvenor Square demonstrations in London and was even charged by the police, yet he ultimately claims, "it really is ambiguous as a song."[10] Release Released as Beggars Banquet's lead single on August 31, 1968 in the US, "Street Fighting Man" was popular on release but was kept out of the Top 40 (reaching number 48) of the US charts in response to many radio stations refusal to play the song based on what were perceived as subversive lyrics.[12] This attitude would be reinforced as the song was released within a week of the riots at the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago.[6] The single's B-side was album-mate "No Expectations". For reasons unknown, the single did not see a release in the United Kingdom until 1970 (backed with "Surprise, Surprise", previously unreleased in the UK). The single's version of the song, released in mono with an additional vocal overdub on the choruses, is different from the Beggars Banquet album's stereo version. It has been included on the compilations albums Through the Past, Darkly (Big Hits Vol. 2) (album version), Hot Rocks 1964-1971 (album version), Singles Collection: The London Years (single version) and Forty Licks (album version). A staple at Rolling Stones live shows since the band's American Tour of 1969, concert recordings of the song have been captured and released for the live albums Get Yer Ya-Ya's Out!, Stripped, and Live Licks. Legacy "Street Fighting Man" has been covered by many artists. Rod Stewart covered it on the debut solo album An Old Raincoat Won't Ever Let You Down. Oasis recorded a version that was released as the B-side to their 1998 single "All Around the World". The song can be found on the fourth and last studio album by Rage Against the Machine, titled Renegades. It appears on Mötley Crüe's Red, White and Crüe album as well as the Ramones' 2002 re-release of Too Tough to Die. The band Prima Donna performed a live cover early in their career. The band Tesla also covered this song on their covers album Real to Reel which can be found on the rare disk 2 track number 5. (You needed to attend a concert during the Reel to Reel tour to obtain this disk.)[citation needed] Guitarist Pete Townshend of The Who has claimed that the staccato beat–rhythm structure of "Street Fighting Man" is the inspiration for "I'm Free" on Tommy.[13] Dave Perkins & Lynn Nichols covered the song in their side project "Passafist". In 2009, the Australian rock band Sick Puppies used the first 15 seconds of Rage Against The Machine's version for their single "Street Fighter (War)". Radio personalities Opie and Anthony use Rage Against the Machine's version as part of the opening theme for their show. The song plays over the end credits of the film V for Vendetta and during the documentary Sicko. It is also used in the film State of Grace. Wes Anderson used the track in his 2009 stop-motion animated film Fantastic Mr. Fox. The Buffalo Sabres of the National Hockey League have used the song as their unofficial theme song, taking the ice at home games as the song plays in the HSBC arena. References ^ "Street Fighting Man". Rolling Stone. 2004 (accessed 23 July 2007). ^ Azania, Malcolm. "Tariq Ali: The time is right for a palace revolution". Vue Weekly. 2008(accessed 14 November 2008). ^ "Street Fighting Man". Rolling Stone. 2004 (accessed 22 July 2007). ^ a b Roy Carr, The Rolling Stones: An Illustrated Record, Harmony Books, 1976. ISBN 0-517-52641-7. p. 55. ^ a b Wenner, Jann. "Jagger Remembers". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2007-07-22.  ^ a b c Unterberger, Richie. "Street Fighting Man". allmusic. Retrieved 2006-07-22.  ^ Rolling Stone Record Guide, Rolling Stone Press, 1979. ISBN 394-73535-8. ^ a b "Street Fighting Man". 2007 (accessed 22 July 2007). ^ ISBN 0-8118-4060-3 According to The Rolling Stones. Chronicle Books. 2003 ^ a b Greenfield, Robert. "Keith Richards – Interview". Rolling Stone (magazine) August 19, 1971. ^ Marsh, Dave. Glory Days: Bruce Springsteen in the 1980s. Pantheon Books, 1987. ISBN 0-394-54668-7. pp. 229-230. ^ Paytress, Mark (2003). Omnibus Press. p. 153. ISBN 0711988692.  ^ "I'm Free". 2001 (accessed 6 August 2007). External links Complete Official Lyrics v · d · eThe Rolling Stones Mick Jagger · Keith Richards · Ronnie Wood · Charlie Watts Brian Jones · Ian Stewart · Dick Taylor · Mick Taylor · Bill Wyman UK studio albums 1964–1967 The Rolling Stones (1964) · The Rolling Stones No. 2 (1965) · Out of Our Heads (1965) · Aftermath (1966) · Between the Buttons (1967) US studio albums 1964–1967 England's Newest Hit Makers (1964) · 12 X 5 (1964) · The Rolling Stones, Now! (1965) · Out of Our Heads (1965) · December's Children (And Everybody's) (1965) · Aftermath (1966) · Between the Buttons (1967) Studio albums 1967–present Their Satanic Majesties Request (1967) · Beggars Banquet (1968) · Let It Bleed (1969) · Sticky Fingers (1971) · Exile on Main St. (1972) · Goats Head Soup (1973) · It's Only Rock 'n' Roll (1974) · Black and Blue (1976) · Some Girls (1978) · Emotional Rescue (1980) · Tattoo You (1981) · Undercover (1983) · Dirty Work (1986) · Steel Wheels (1989) · Voodoo Lounge (1994) · Bridges to Babylon (1997) · A Bigger Bang (2005) UK EPs The Rolling Stones (1964) · Five by Five (1964) · Got Live If You Want It! (1965) Live albums Got Live If You Want It! (US only) (1966) · Get Yer Ya-Ya's Out! The Rolling Stones in Concert (1970) · Love You Live (1977) · "Still Life" (American Concert 1981) (1982) · Flashpoint (1991) · Stripped (1995) · No Security (1998) · Live Licks (2004) · Shine a Light (2008) Compilations Big Hits (High Tide and Green Grass) (1966) · Flowers (US) (1967) · Through the Past, Darkly (Big Hits Vol. 2) (1969) · Made in the Shade (1975) · Time Waits for No One: Anthology 1971–1977 (1979) · Sucking in the Seventies (1981) · Rewind (1971–1984) (1984) · Jump Back: The Best of The Rolling Stones (1993) · Forty Licks (2002) · Rarities 1971–2003 (2005) · Exile on Main St. (Rarities Edition) (2010) Post-contract ABKCO albums Hot Rocks 1964–1971 (1971) · More Hot Rocks (Big Hits & Fazed Cookies) (1972) · Metamorphosis (1975) · Singles Collection: The London Years (1989) · The Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus (1996) · Singles 1963–1965 (2004) · Singles 1965–1967 (2004) · Singles 1968–1971 (2005) · Rolled Gold: The Very Best of the Rolling Stones (2007) Post-contract Decca albums Stone Age (1971) · Gimme Shelter (1971) · Milestones (1972) · Rock 'n' Rolling Stones (1972) · No Stone Unturned (1973) · Rolled Gold: The Very Best of the Rolling Stones (1975) · Solid Rock (1980)  · Slow Rollers (1981) Miscellaneous albums Jamming with Edward! (1972) Box sets The Rolling Stones Box Set (2009) DVD releases Stones at the Max (1992) · The Rolling Stones: Voodoo Lounge Live (1995) · Bridges to Babylon Tour '97–98 (1998) · Four Flicks (2003) · The Biggest Bang (2007) Documentaries Gimme Shelter (1970) · Cocksucker Blues (1972) · Ladies and Gentlemen: The Rolling Stones (1974) · 25x5 – The Continuing Adventures of the Rolling Stones (1989) · Shine a Light (2008) · Stones in Exile (2010) Tours British Tour 1963 · 1964 tours · 1965 tours · 1966 tours · European Tour 1967 · American Tour 1969 · European Tour 1970 · UK Tour 1971 · American Tour 1972 · Pacific Tour 1973 · European Tour 1973 · Tour of the Americas '75 · Tour of Europe '76 · US Tour 1978 · American Tour 1981 · European Tour 1982 · Steel Wheels/Urban Jungle Tour · Voodoo Lounge Tour · Bridges to Babylon Tour · No Security Tour · Licks Tour · A Bigger Bang Tour Collaborators Blondie Chaplin · Lisa Fischer · Bernard Fowler · Nicky Hopkins · Darryl Jones · Bobby Keys · Chuck Leavell · Ian McLagan · Billy Preston · Jim Price Producers and management Andrew Loog Oldham · Allen Klein · Jimmy Miller · The Glimmer Twins · Steve Lillywhite · Chris Kimsey · Don Was Related articles Discography · Jagger/Richards · Nanker Phelge · Rolling Stones Records · Altamont Free Concert · Rolling Stones Mobile Studio · The Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus · The Mick Jagger Centre  · Peter Meaden  · The Wick  · Downe House, Richmond Hill Book:The Rolling Stones · Category:The Rolling Stones · Portal:The Rolling Stones v · d · eThe Rolling Stones singles discography Decca/London singles 1963: "Come On" / "I Want to Be Loved" · "I Wanna Be Your Man" / "Stoned" 1964: "Not Fade Away" / "Little by Little" (UK) · "Not Fade Away" / "I Wanna Be Your Man" (US) · "It's All Over Now" / "Good Times, Bad Times" · "Tell Me" / "I Just Want to Make Love to You" · "Time Is on My Side" / "Congratulations" · "Little Red Rooster" / "Off the Hook" · "Heart of Stone" / "What a Shame" 1965: "What a Shame" / "Heart of Stone" · "The Last Time" / "Play with Fire" · "Play with Fire" / "The Last Time" · "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction" / "The Under-Assistant West Coast Promotion Man" (US) · "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction" / "The Spider and the Fly" (UK) · "Get Off of My Cloud" / "I'm Free" (US) · "Get Off of My Cloud" / "The Singer Not the Song" (UK) · "As Tears Go By" / "Gotta Get Away" 1966: "19th Nervous Breakdown" / "As Tears Go By" (UK) · "19th Nervous Breakdown" / "Sad Day" (US) · "Paint It, Black" / "Stupid Girl" (US) · "Paint It, Black" / "Long Long While" (UK) · "Mother's Little Helper" / "Lady Jane" · "Lady Jane" / "Mother's Little Helper" · "Have You Seen Your Mother, Baby, Standing in the Shadow?" / "Who's Driving Your Plane" 1967: "Let's Spend the Night Together" / "Ruby Tuesday" · "Ruby Tuesday" / "Let's Spend the Night Together" · "We Love You" / "Dandelion" · "Dandelion" / "We Love You" · "In Another Land" / "The Lantern" · "She's a Rainbow" / "2000 Light Years from Home" 1968: "Jumpin' Jack Flash" / "Child of the Moon" · "Street Fighting Man" / "No Expectations" · 1969: "Honky Tonk Women" / "You Can't Always Get What You Want" Rolling Stones/Atlantic singles 1971: "Brown Sugar" / "Bitch" / "Let It Rock" (live) (UK) · "Brown Sugar" / "Bitch" (US) · "Wild Horses" / "Sway" · "Street Fighting Man" / "Surprise, Surprise" 1972: "Tumbling Dice" / "Sweet Black Angel" · "Happy" / "All Down the Line" 1973: "You Can't Always Get What You Want" / "Sad Day" · "Angie" / "Silver Train" · "Doo Doo Doo Doo Doo (Heartbreaker)" / "Dancing with Mr. D" 1974: "It's Only Rock 'n Roll (But I Like It)" / "Through the Lonely Nights" · "Ain't Too Proud to Beg" / "Dance Little Sister" 1975: "I Don't Know Why" / "Try a Little Harder" · "Out of Time" / "Jiving Sister Fanny" 1976: "Fool to Cry" / "Crazy Mama" · "Hot Stuff" / "Fool to Cry" Rolling Stones/Virgin singles 1978: "Miss You" / "Far Away Eyes" · "Beast of Burden" / "When the Whip Comes Down" · "Respectable" / "When the Whip Comes Down" · "Shattered" / "Everything Is Turning to Gold" 1980: "Emotional Rescue" / "Down in the Hole" · "She's So Cold" / "Send It to Me" 1981: "If I Was a Dancer (Dance Pt. 2)" / "If I Was a Dancer (Dance Pt. 2)" · "Start Me Up" / "No Use In Crying" · "Waiting on a Friend" / "Little T&A" · "Little T&A" / "Waiting on a Friend" 1982: "Hang Fire" / "Neighbours" · "Going to a Go-Go" (live) / "Beast of Burden" (live) · "Time Is on My Side" (live) / "Twenty Flight Rock" (live) 1983: "Undercover of the Night" / "All the Way Down" 1984: "She Was Hot" / "Think I'm Going Mad" · "Think I'm Going Mad" / "She Was Hot" · "Too Tough" / "Miss You" · "Brown Sugar" / "Bitch" · "Too Much Blood" / "Too Much Blood" 1986: "Harlem Shuffle" / "Had It With You" · "Winning Ugly" / "Winning Ugly" · "One Hit (To the Body)" / "Fight" 1989: "Mixed Emotions" / "Fancy Man Blues" · "Sad Sad Sad" / "Sad Sad Sad" · "Rock and a Hard Place" / "Cook Cook Blues" 1990: "Almost Hear You Sigh" / "Break the Spell" (US) · "Almost Hear You Sigh" / "Wish I'd Never Met You" (UK) · "Paint It, Black" / "Long Long While" · "Terrifying" / "Wish I'd Never Met You" 1991: "Highwire" / "2000 Light Years from Home" (live) · "Ruby Tuesday" (live) / "Play with Fire" (live) · "Sex Drive" / "Sex Drive" Virgin singles 1994: "Love Is Strong" / "The Storm" · "Love Is Strong" / "So Young" · "You Got Me Rocking" / "Jump On Top of Me" · "Out of Tears" / "I'm Gonna Drive" / "So Young" · "Out of Tears" / "I'm Gonna Drive" / "Sparks Will Fly" 1995: "Sparks Will Fly" / "Sparks Will Fly" · "I Go Wild" / (remixes) · "Like a Rolling Stone" (live) / "Black Limousine" / "All Down the Line" 1996: "Wild Horses" (live) / "Live with Me" (live) / "Tumbling Dice" (live) 1997: "Anybody Seen My Baby?" / (remixes) · "Flip the Switch" / "Flip the Switch" 1998: "Saint of Me" / "Gimme Shelter" / "Anyway You Look At It" · "Out of Control" / (remixes) · "Gimme Shelter" (live) / "Gimme Shelter" (live) 2002: "Don't Stop" / "Miss You" (remix) 2003: "Sympathy for the Devil" (remix) / (remixes) 2005: "Streets of Love" / "Rough Justice" · "Oh No, Not You Again" / "Oh No, Not You Again" · "Rain Fall Down" / (remixes) 2006: "Biggest Mistake" / "Dance Pt. 1" (live) / "Before They Make Me Run" 2007: "Paint It, Black" 2008: "Gimme Shelter" · "Sympathy for the Devil" · "She's a Rainbow" 2009: "Wild Horses" 2010: "Plundered My Soul" / "All Down the Line" Book:The Rolling Stones · Category:The Rolling Stones · Portal:The Rolling Stones  · WikiProject:The Rolling Stones