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I Wanna Be Your Man


The Rolling Stones

Songfacts®:  You can leave comments about the song at the bottom of the page.

John Lennon and Paul McCartney were developing this as a showcase song for Ringo when they ran into The Stones' manager Andrew Oldham, who used to work for Beatles manager Brian Epstein. Oldham invited Lennon and McCartney to The Stones rehearsal space in London, and when they showed up, Lennon and McCartney finished the song and gave it to The Stones to record.
Mick Jagger said in 1968: "We knew (the Beatles) by then and we were rehearsing and Andrew brought Paul and John down to the rehearsal. They said they had this tune, they were really hustlers then. I mean the way they used to hustle tunes was great: 'Hey Mick, we've got this great song.' So they played it and we thought it sounded pretty commercial, which is what we were looking for, so we did it like Elmore James or something. I haven't heard it for ages but it must be pretty freaky 'cause nobody really produced it. It was completely crackers, but it was a hit and sounded great onstage."
Bill Wyman (1982): "We kind of learned it pretty quickly 'cause there wasn't that much to learn. Then Brian got his slide out, his steel (guitar) out and dadaw... dadaw.. and we said, Yeah, that's better, dirty it up a bit and bash it out, and we kind of completely turned the song around and made it much more tough. (thanks, Bertrand - Paris, France, for above 2)
This was the second Stones single released in England. Their first was a cover of a Chuck Berry song called "Come On."
Watching Lennon and McCartney compose this inspired Mick Jagger and Keith Richards to write more original songs. The Stones had mostly covered American Blues songs to this point. It was a big step for Mick and Keith, since they didn't consider themselves songwriters.
The Stones were just developing a fan base in England when they released this. It was a big boost to their career, since a song written by Lennon and McCartney was almost guaranteed to be a hit.
Brian Jones played a bottleneck steel guitar, the first time this was done on an English pop record.
The Beatles used this as a showcase song for Ringo from 1963-1966.
This was the first song performed on the first episode of the BBC music show Top Of The Pops. The debut show was January 1, 1964, and The Stones were followed by Dusty Springfield, The Dave Clark Five and The Hollies.
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Comments (12):

The Beatles version is good, because of George, but John was right, it was a throw-away.The Stones definitely made this song sound beautiful, I love the Beatles, but their version was quite boring.The Stones did what (I think) no other band could do, make a blues orientated pop song a top 20 hit, "I wanna be your man" is clear evidence that the Stones were one of the best if not The Best blues band ever, every song they covered were far from being a direct copy.
- brian, dublin, Ireland
BRIAN also sang the backing vocals.
- Ken, Booneville,MS, MS
nowwhere near as good as the beatles version-as usual
- Derek, London, United Kingdom
beatles version is better, but Mick has a better voice than Ringo.
- Rosario, Naples, FL
i love the guys to death but this song was not for them but i'm not giving it to the beatles.
- ashley, Quincy, IL
A propos... I wonder why this WEB-site does not have neither Russia or Ukraine in the list. If Russia is amonger "the others", then what to say...
Long live The Beatles!
"Well the Ukraine girls really knock me out
They leave the West behind...." (The Beatles, Back in the USSR).
- M.Yurlov, Sevastopol, Other
Dear all,
It is really funny and unbelivable, but today, 29th September 2007, two 50-years old guys somewhere in Sevastopol (Ukraine, former USSR)were debating who first came with "I wanna be your man" - The Beatles or the Rolling Stones.
Best regards, Mikhail Yurlov
- M.Yurlov, Sevastopol, Other
The Stones version is good, but The Beatles' version is better, and I think Ringo Starr is a better singer than Mick Jagger.
- Ian, Lethbridge, Canada
Or you could buy "With The Beatles".
- Tanya, Rotterdam, Netherlands
You can hear the Beatles' version on Live at The BBC
- Mark, Barrow-in-Furness, England
This song illustrates so beautifully why the Stones are plain and The Beatles are brilliant. I'm sorry, but the Stones version is very boring. More tough? No: more boring. The Beatles version is one big fiësta. There's a strain through the whole song, that The Stones killed in their version. It worked in a song like Satisfaction, but not in a song like this.
- Tanya, Rotterdam, Netherlands
A quote from Bill Wyman in 1982, "We kind of learned it pretty quickly 'cause there wasn't that much to learn. Then Brian got his slide out, his steel (guitar) out and dadaw... dadaw... and we said, Yeah, that's better, dirty it up a bit and bash it out, and we kind of completely turned the song around and made it much more tough, Stones- and Elmore James-like."
- Joel, Chicago, IL
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