Devo‘s version of Satisfaction, with its jerky, angular posturing and tight-trousered twitching is fantastic. The very antithesis of the Stones loose ‘n loud original, Devo play it like they’re trying to escape a claustrophobic padded cell, lower limbs a go-go whilst cling film-wrapped into straightjackets at least a size too small. Produced by Brian Eno, it manages to be both types of music – punky and funky.
Devo – Satisfaction
Underpinned by the sort of awkward myopic groove that served Talking Heads so well, it’s kick-started by a wheezing, asthmatic guitar riff. Thankfully, gaps narrower than the hems of Franz Ferdinand’s trousers (pop group, not WW1 protagonist) allow for little in the way of any other showy-offy stuff. It’s disciplined, monotone and over in roughly the time it’ll take you to read this short piece, which, as you know is the ideal length for ideal pop music.
Otis Redding, on the other hand, turns white man blooze into a goose-stepping, knee-dropping, Southern soul belter. It’s a well-known fact that Keith Richards loved this version more than the Stones very own. Using his shitty prototype fuzz box, the Pavlov-inducing signature riff at the start is Keef setting out to emulate the sound of the Stax house band blasting seven shades of brass into the wind. Otis borrowed yer actual Stax house band and, well, blasted seven shades of brass into the wind.
Otis Redding – Satisfaction
His magnificent voice is gravel-rough, road-worn and richer than Jagger and Richards themselves. They might’ve had the fame and the money and the shared Swedish girlfriends, but Otis trumped them when it came to ground shakin, earth quakin’, heart breakin’ ess oh you ell soul music. A hey-hey-hey.