The Rolling Stones are one of the most popular music groups ever, but they made some controversial songs such as Under My Thumb. Under My Thumb is about Mick Jagger triumphing over a dominating woman. Feminists in the 1960s did not like the song because it was about gender suppression or the taming of the shrew. Mick Jagger in 1995 said that the song was meant as a joke. He also changed the lyrics from “girl” to “woman” in 1981 when they performed the song on stage.
The song was also infamous for being performed at a concert in 1969 when the Hell’s Angels, a motorcycle crime gang, were doing security. One of the Hell’s Angels stabbed and killed a man named Hunter who pulled out a gun when some of the audience members rioted.
I don’t actually think that the song is sexist because many people interpret the song as meaning either gender and maybe not oppression so much as sticking up for yourself and not letting somebody dominate you instead. As for the death at the concert, it does not surprise me that the Rolling Stones have connections with a motor cycle gang, but I think it was unwise to have criminals do security at a concert. The death could not be blamed on Under My Thumb, though, because it could have been any song they were playing when the death occurred.
Brown Sugar was a song that Mick Jagger wrote about a wide variety of different things such as interracial sex, cunnilingus, slave rape, sadomasochism, lost virginity and heroine. In interviews recently, Mick Jagger has said that he looks back on this song and would not write it today. He said that he would censor himself from writing about all of the nasty subjects involved in the song. Some people think that the song was about an African American woman, who was Mick Jagger’s secret girlfriend when he wrote about the song. The African American woman also had Mick Jagger’s first child. A video of the song performed on stage is usually used instead of the music video on MTV. The oh, so heart warming song called “Bitch” is used as the B side. I don’t see any decent defense for Brown Sugar’s song meaning or lyrics, but at least the song has a good groove and is from the Rolling Stones’ definitive middle period. Also, Mick Jagger must’ve matured somewhat because he has said that he would not write the same song today.
Some songs such as Under My Thumb and Brown Sugar need to be read into to get the dirty meaning behind the lyrics, but the song “Bitch” is up front and in your face with its misogeny. This is yet another song from the album called Sticky Fingers, which is a suggestive enough reference already. The Rolling Stones were truly controversial for their time. The word “bitch” does not refer to a woman in the song so much as a frustrating situation, but it was still probably unwise to use the word “bitch” in the title of the song.
There are several other groups that use the word “bitch” in the title. Guns and Roses has a song called Back Off Bitch from their first Use Your Illusion album, and LA Guns has a song called The Bitch Is Back from their first album. Sometimes these songs can be pretty “bitching”. Snare drum. However, it still makes me feel uncomfortable to hear the word used no matter how good the song is. While trying not to sound like a total prude, I like the Rolling Stones, but they definitely have some dirty songs.