Jumpin' Jack Flash

"Jumpin' Jack Flash" is a song by English rock band the Rolling Stones, released as a non-album single in 1968. Called "supernatural Delta blues by way of Swinging London" by Rolling Stone magazine,[5] the song was perceived by some as the band's return to their blues roots after the baroque pop and psychedelia heard on their preceding albums Aftermath (1966), Between the Buttons (1967) and especially Their Satanic Majesties Request (1967).[3][6] One of the group's most popular and recognisable songs, it has featured in films and been covered by numerous performers, notably Thelma Houston, Aretha Franklin, Tina Turner, Peter Frampton, Johnny Winter, Leon Russell and Alex Chilton. To date, it is the band's most-performed song: they have played it over 1,100 times in concert.[7]

"Jumpin' Jack Flash"
Jackflash1.jpg
Picture sleeve used for
most singles outside of UK
Single by the Rolling Stones
B-side"Child of the Moon"
Released
  • 24 May 1968 (1968-05-24) (UK)
  • 1 June 1968 (US)
Recorded20 April 1968
StudioOlympic, London
Genre
Length3:42
Label
Songwriter(s)
Producer(s)Jimmy Miller[4]
Rolling Stones UK singles chronology
"We Love You"
(1967)
"Jumpin' Jack Flash"
(1968)
"Honky Tonk Women"
(1969)
Rolling Stones US singles chronology
"She's a Rainbow"
(1967)
"Jumpin' Jack Flash"
(1968)
"Street Fighting Man"
(1968)
Alternative release
One of A-side labels of the original UK single
One of A-side labels of the original UK single
Audio
"Jumpin' Jack Flash" on YouTube

It is one of their most popular songs, and it is on Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Songs of All Time list. It is also, according to Acclaimed Music, the 77th-best-ranked song on critics' all-time lists.

Inspiration and recordingEdit

Written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards,[4] recording on "Jumpin' Jack Flash" began during the Beggars Banquet sessions of 1968. Regarding the song's distinctive sound, guitarist Richards has said:

I used a Gibson Hummingbird acoustic tuned to open D, six string. Open D or open E, which is the same thing – same intervals – but it would be slackened down some for D. Then there was a capo on it, to get that really tight sound. And there was another guitar over the top of that, but tuned to Nashville tuning. I learned that from somebody in George Jones' band in San Antonio in 1964. The high-strung guitar was an acoustic, too. Both acoustics were put through a Philips cassette recorder. Just jam the mic right in the guitar and play it back through an extension speaker.[8]

Richards has stated that he and Jagger wrote the lyrics while staying at Richards' country house, when they were awoken one morning by the clumping footsteps of his gardener Jack Dyer walking past the window. Surprised, Jagger asked what it was, and Richards responded: "Oh, that's Jack – that's jumpin' Jack." The lyrics evolved from there.[8][9] Humanities scholar Camille Paglia[10] speculated that the song's lyrics might have been partly inspired by William Blake's poem "The Mental Traveller": "She binds iron thorns around his head / And pierces both his hands and feet / And cuts his heart out of his side / To make it feel both cold & heat."

Jagger said in a 1995 interview with Rolling Stone that the song arose "out of all the acid of Satanic Majesties. It's about having a hard time and getting out. Just a metaphor for getting out of all the acid things."[11] And in a 1968 interview, Brian Jones described it as "getting back to ... the funky, essential essence" following the psychedelia of Their Satanic Majesties Request.[6]

In his autobiography, Stone Alone, Bill Wyman has said that he came up with the song's distinctive main guitar riff, working on it with Brian Jones and Charlie Watts before it was ultimately credited to Jagger and Richards.[12] In Rolling with the Stones, Wyman credits Jagger with vocals, Richards with guitar and bass guitar, Jones with guitar, Watts with drums and himself with organ on the track with producer Jimmy Miller adding backing vocals.

According to the book Keith Richards: The Biography by Victor Bockris, the line "I was born in a crossfire hurricane", was written by Richards, and refers to his being born amid the bombing and air raid sirens of Dartford, England, in 1943 during World War II.

Release and aftermathEdit

Released on 24 May 1968 in the UK by Decca Records and on 1 June in the US by London Records,[a] "Jumpin' Jack Flash" (backed with "Child of the Moon") was the band's first UK release in five and a half months – this marked the group's longest gap between releases in the country up to that point.[13][14] A major commercial success, reached the top of the UK Singles Chart and peaked at number three in the United States.[4][14] It topped the US Cashbox chart for one week[15] and the WLS 890 Hit Parade for four weeks.[16] Some early London Records US pressings of the single had a technical flaw in them: about halfway through the song's instrumental bridge, the speed of the master tape slows down for a moment, before coming back to speed. The first Rolling Stones album on which the song appeared was their 1969 compilation album, Through the Past, Darkly (Big Hits Vol. 2), one year after the single was released. Since then, it has appeared on numerous Stones compilations, including Hot Rocks 1964–1971 (1971), 30 Greatest Hits (1977), Singles Collection: The London Years (1989), Forty Licks (2002), GRRR! (2012) and Stray Cats, a collection of singles and rarities included as part of The Rolling Stones in Mono box set (2016).

The Rolling Stones have played "Jumpin' Jack Flash" during every tour since its release. It is the song the band have played in concert most frequently,[17][18] and has appeared on the concert albums Get Yer Ya-Ya's Out! (recorded 1969, released 1970), Love You Live (recorded 1976, released 1977), Flashpoint (recorded 1990, released 1991), Shine a Light (recorded 2006, released 2008), Hyde Park Live (2013), Totally Stripped (recorded 1995, released 2016), and Havana Moon (2016), as well as, notably, The Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus (recorded 1968, released 1996), featuring the only released live performance of the song with Brian Jones. Unlike most of that show, Jones is heard clearly, mixing with Richards's lead throughout the song. The intro is not usually played in concert and instead the song begins with the main riff. The open E or open D tuning of the rhythm guitar on the studio recording has also not been replicated in concert (with the possible exception of the 1968 NME awards show, no recording of which has ever surfaced). In the performance filmed for The Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus in December 1968, Richards used standard tuning; and ever since the band's appearance at Hyde Park on 5 July 1969, he has played it in open G tuning with a capo on the fourth fret. Richards is particularly fond of the song's main riff, often crediting it as his favorite among all of his most revered guitar riffs.

In March 2005, Q magazine placed "Jumpin' Jack Flash" at number 2 in its list of the 100 Greatest Guitar Tracks. VH1 placed it at number 65 in its show 100 Greatest Rock Songs.[19]

It is ranked number 125 on Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Songs of All Time list.[20] It is also ranked number 7 on the magazine's list of the band's best songs.[21] According to Acclaimed Music, it is the 77th-most celebrated song in popular music history.[22]

Music videoEdit

Two promotional videos were made in May 1968: one featuring a live performance, another showcasing the band lipsyncing. Mick Jagger is singing a clearly different vocal in the latter, and all the band wear makeup.

PersonnelEdit

Single version

Live version from Get Yer Ya-Ya's Out!

  • Mick Jagger – lead vocals
  • Keith Richards – electric guitar, backing vocals
  • Mick Taylor – electric guitar
  • Bill Wyman – bass guitar
  • Charlie Watts – drums

"Child of the Moon"

Charts and certificationsEdit

Aretha Franklin versionEdit

"Jumpin' Jack Flash"
Single by Aretha Franklin
from the album Aretha
B-side"Integrity"
Released24 October 1986 (1986-10-24)
Recorded1985
Genre
Length4:26
LabelArista
Songwriter(s)Jagger/Richards
Producer(s)Keith Richards
Aretha Franklin singles chronology
"Ain't Nobody Ever Loved You"
(1986)
"Jumpin' Jack Flash"
(1986)
"Jimmy Lee"
(1986)

In 1986, the song's title was used for the Whoopi Goldberg film Jumpin' Jack Flash. In addition to the Rolling Stones' version of the song, the film features Aretha Franklin's cover version for which Ronnie Wood and Richards played guitar, but Franklin played piano. This version is characterised by influences from the popular black music scene. Only the Rolling Stones' version is on the film's original soundtrack recording.

PersonnelEdit

ChartsEdit

Chart (1986–87) Peak
position
US Billboard Hot 100 21
US Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs 20
UK Singles Chart[41] 58
German Singles Chart 42
Swiss Singles Chart 19
Dutch Top 40 48
Swedish Singles Chart 14
New Zealand Singles Chart 43

NotesEdit

  1. ^ UK: DECCA F 12782; US: LONDON 908[13]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Brackett 2008, pp. 233–234.
  2. ^ Milward 2013, p. 128.
  3. ^ a b Unterberger, Richie. ""Jumpin' Jack Flash" – The Rolling Stones". AllMusic. Archived from the original on 2 August 2020. Retrieved 6 May 2021.
  4. ^ a b c Rice 1982, p. 117.
  5. ^ "Jumpin' Jack Flash". Rolling Stone. 9 December 2004. Archived from the original on 23 December 2007.
  6. ^ a b Mick Jagger & Brian Jones interviewed on the Pop Chronicles (1970)
  7. ^ "The Rolling Stones Tour Statistics". Archived from the original on 14 October 2017. Retrieved 13 October 2017.
  8. ^ a b McPherson, Ian. "Track Talk: Jumpin' Jack Flash". Archived from the original on 2 July 2007. Retrieved 22 June 2007.
  9. ^ The Rolling Stones (2003). Four Flicks (DVD). Warner Music Vision.
  10. ^ Paglia, Camille (1991). Sexual Personae: Art and Decadence from Nefertiti to Emily Dickinson. New York: Vintage Books. p. 281. ISBN 0-679-73579-8.
  11. ^ Wenner, Jann S. (14 December 1995). "Jagger Remembers: Mick's most comprehensive interview ever". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on 5 December 2009. Retrieved 26 October 2017.
  12. ^ Egan 2013, p. 119.
  13. ^ a b Aeppli 1985, p. 123.
  14. ^ a b Egan 2013, p. 118.
  15. ^ a b Hoffmann, Frank (1983). The Cash Box Singles Charts, 1950–1981. Metuchen, NJ / London: The Scarecrow Press, Inc. p. 500.
  16. ^ "WLS 890 Hit Parade". 1 July 1968. Archived from the original on 3 November 2019. Retrieved 2 November 2019.
  17. ^ Galbraith, Gary. "The Rocks Off Rolling Stones Setlists Page". Archived from the original on 29 July 2008. Retrieved 8 August 2008.
  18. ^ Zentgraf, Nico. "The Complete Works of the Rolling Stones 1962–2008". Archived from the original on 27 March 2012. Retrieved 7 August 2008.
  19. ^ "100 Greatest Songs of Rock & Roll (80–61)". VH1. Archived from the original on 21 October 2007. Retrieved 9 March 2008.
  20. ^ "Jumpin' Jack Flash ranked #125 on Rolling Stone 500 Greatest Songs List". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on 2 August 2020. Retrieved 13 May 2020.
  21. ^ "Jumpin' Jack Flash ranked #7 on 100 Best Rolling Stones Songs List". Rolling Stone. 15 October 2013. Archived from the original on 3 August 2020. Retrieved 13 May 2020.
  22. ^ "Jumpin' Jack Flash 77th most acclaimed song". Acclaimed Music. Archived from the original on 2 August 2020. Retrieved 30 November 2020.
  23. ^ "Go-Set Australian charts – 31 July 1968". Poparchives.com.au. 31 July 1968. Archived from the original on 29 March 2020. Retrieved 15 June 2020.
  24. ^ "Austriancharts.at – The Rolling Stones – Jumpin' Jack Flash" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40. Retrieved 17 June 2016.
  25. ^ "Ultratop.be – The Rolling Stones – Jumpin' Jack Flash" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50. Retrieved 17 June 2016.
  26. ^ "Top RPM Singles: Issue 5843." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 17 June 2016.
  27. ^ "Offiziellecharts.de – The Rolling Stones – Jumpin' Jack Flash" (in German). GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved 17 June 2016.
  28. ^ "The Irish Charts – Search Results – Jumpin' Jack Flash". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved 18 June 2016.
  29. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – The Rolling Stones – Jumpin' Jack Flash" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved 17 June 2016.
  30. ^ "flavour of new zealand – search listener". Flavourofnz.co.nz. Archived from the original on 11 September 2016. Retrieved 2 October 2016.
  31. ^ "Norwegiancharts.com – The Rolling Stones – Jumpin' Jack Flash". VG-lista. Retrieved 17 June 2016.
  32. ^ "SA Charts 1965 – March 1989". Archived from the original on 22 February 2004. Retrieved 5 September 2018.
  33. ^ Salaverri, Fernando (September 2005). Sólo éxitos: año a año, 1959–2002 (1st ed.). Spain: Fundación Autor-SGAE. ISBN 84-8048-639-2.
  34. ^ "Swisscharts.com – The Rolling Stones – Jumpin' Jack Flash". Swiss Singles Chart. Retrieved 17 June 2016.
  35. ^ "Rolling Stones: Artist Chart History". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 17 June 2016.
  36. ^ "The Rolling Stones Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved 17 June 2016.
  37. ^ "Item Display – RPM – Library and Archives Canada". Collectionscanada.gc.ca. Archived from the original on 17 August 2016. Retrieved 2 October 2016.
  38. ^ "Top 100 Hits of 1968/Top 100 Songs of 1968". Musicoutfitters.com. Archived from the original on 11 October 2016. Retrieved 2 October 2016.
  39. ^ "Cash Box YE Pop Singles – 1968". Tropicalglen.com. 28 December 1968. Archived from the original on 9 October 2016. Retrieved 2 October 2016.
  40. ^ "British single certifications – Rolling Stones – Jumpin' Jack Flash". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 10 April 2020.Select singles in the Format field. Select Silver in the Certification field. Type Jumpin' Jack Flash in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.
  41. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. pp. 212–3. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.

SourcesEdit

External linksEdit