3 Eternal Classic Rock Songs by The Rolling Stones

It’s pretty clear the British rock band The Rolling Stones is an eternal music group. People have been listening to their music for what feels like 100 years and it would seem that they will be continuing to for the next 1,000-plus trips around the sun. But when you dig down into it, which of the band’s songs are the most eternal?

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Which are the songs that will especially last forever? Sure, their albums will be in rotation for a while and classic rock radio stations will be spinning their tracks—that’s a given. But which songs will be most in rotation? That is what we wanted to dive into here below.

[RELATED: No Skips: 4 Classic Rock Albums You’ll Never Have to Fast-Forward]

“Sympathy for the Devil”

Released on the 1968 album Beggars Banquet, this song does what great rock and roll music is supposed to do but is rarely achieved so masterfully. It subverts what is thought to be conventionally correct and makes you feel exactly what the title suggests. Listening to this song, you feel as if you get to know the devil and, as such, feel a bit of empathy or even sympathy for the figure, also known as the Prince of Darkness. It’s a masterful stroke by the band and especially lead singer Mick Jagger, who sings on the track,

Please allow me to introduce myself
I’m a man of wealth and taste
I’ve been around for a long, long year
Stole many a man’s soul and faith
And I was ’round when Jesus Christ
Had his moment of doubt and pain
Made damn sure that Pilate
Washed his hands and sealed his fate

Pleased to meet you, hope you guess my name
But what’s puzzlin’ you is the nature of my game

“(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction”

Released as a single in the U.S. in the summer of 1965, this song will live forever because it sums up a feeling every human being has felt and will feel until our species is wiped off the planet. The idea of being unsatisfied. Beyond that, though, the track has a driving back beat and excellent musical performances from guitarist Keith Richards and lead singer Jagger, who sings with energy and relatability on the offering,

I can’t get no satisfaction
I can’t get no satisfaction
‘Cause I try, and I try, and I try, and I try
I can’t get no, I can’t get no

When I’m driving in my car
When a man come on the radio
He’s telling me more and more
About some useless information
Supposed to fire my imagination

“Gimme Shelter”

On top of the excellent composition that is this song, released in 1969 on the album Let It Bleed, another reason this track will live forever is because it’s featured in so many fine films, including Goodfellas, Casino, and The Departed. The song is also highlighted in the terrific music documentary, 20 Feet from Stardom, which tells the story of vocalist Merry Clayton’s performance on the track. On the song, which is about the thin line between normalcy and terror, lead singer Jagger offers,

Ooh, a storm is threatening
My very life today
If I don’t get some shelter
Ooh yeah, I’m gonna fade away

War, children, it’s just a shot away
It’s just a shot away
War, children, it’s just a shot away
It’s just a shot away

Ooh, see the fire is sweepin’
Our very street today
Burns like a red coal carpet
Mad bull lost your way

War, children, it’s just a shot away
It’s just a shot away
War, children, it’s just a shot away
It’s just a shot away

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Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

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