5 Rolling Stones Songs That Shockingly Didn’t Reach No. 1

One of The Rolling Stones’ songs is very famous, but it only reached No. 2 on the charts in the United States.

Many of The Rolling Stones‘ songs reached No. 1 in the United States. Despite this, many of their most famous tracks didn’t reach that milestone. In the same vein, their longest-charting single only reached No. 2.

5. ‘Jumpin’ Jack Flash’

There’s a reason there’s an action movie named after The Rolling Stones’ “Jumpin’ Jack Flash”: it’s one of the band’s best and most energetic songs. It’s a pure shot of 1960s rock ‘n’ roll adrenaline. The over-the-top lyrics (“I was born in a crossfire hurricane / And I howled at the morning drivin’ rain”) would sound patently ridiculous if they weren’t coupled with such amazing guitar work.

This classic only reached No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100. According to The Billboard Book of Number 1 Hits, it was kept off the top spot by two songs: “Grazing in the Grass” by Hugh Masekela and “Lady Willpower” by Gary Puckett & The Union Gap.

4. ‘Mother’s Little Helper’

In the 1960s, Mick Jagger and Keith Richards were young and vital, yet they gave us two songs about growing old: Marianne Faithfull’s “As Tears Go By” and The Rolling Stones’ “Mother’s Little Helper.” The former is a ballad that’s very empathetic to the experience of aging. The latter is a mean folk-rock stomper about mothers and wives using pills to get through the day.

Is “Mother’s Little Helper” an anti-feminist song? An anti-drug song? Social commentary? A silly joke? It’s not clear, and perhaps that’s why it wasn’t as successful as other Rolling Stones songs from the same era. “Mother’s Little Helper” reached No. 8 on the Billboard Hot 100.

3. ‘You Can’t Always Get What You Want’

Today, “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” is one of The Rolling Stones’ most famous songs. It only reached No. 42 in the United States. If Decca Records put their full faith in this song, it might’ve been another “Hey Jude”-style smash. Instead, it served as the B-side to “Honky Tonk Women.” “Honky Tonk Women” is great, but which of the two songs are you more likely to hear on the radio today?

2. ‘Beast of Burden’

“Beast of Burden” and The Beatles’ “A Hard Day’s Night” are both songs about men coming home and wanting to have sex. “A Hard Day’s Night” is fun and boisterous.

On the other hand, “Beast of Burden” is a sad, somewhat bitter song where Jagger tries to whine his way into a woman’s bed. It might be unbearable if not for the amazing bluesy backing track. This tune peaked at No. 8, making it the second top 10 single from Some Girls after “Miss You.”

1. ‘Start Me Up’

“Start Me Up” is a simple rock song, but it’s so good at being a classic rock song. 40 years later, and that riff still kills.

Listeners rewarded “Start Me Up” by keeping it on the Billboard Hot 100 for 24 weeks, more weeks than any other Rolling Stones song. Despite this, it only reached No. 2. The Billboard Book of Number 1 Hits says Hall & Oates’ “Private Eyes” stopped The Rolling Stones from scoring another chart-topper.

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