The Rolling Stones Vietnam war song.

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The Rolling Stones.

Songs form the past

From 1955 through 1975, the Vietnam America War took place in the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s. The music that was released throughout these 20 years had a huge impact on the world. As a result, the Vietnam War’s soundtrack was unlike any other.

Music was an important part of troops’ and civilians’ experiences in Vietnam, and certain songs have long been associated with the fight. And street fighting man was one of the classics. But from a previously unpolitical group what did this mean?

Street fighting man.

The Story Behind The Stones’ Political Classic.

In August 1968, the song “Street Fighting Man” was released in the United States, just before protesters clashed with police in Chicago during the Democratic National Convention. Some radio stations refused to play the song for fear of inciting more violence.

One of the Stones’ most powerful compositions was inspired by the growing civil strife. “Street Fighting Man,” which was recorded for the band’s 1968 album Beggars Banquet.

This finds Jagger reflecting the spirit of the time as he calls for “a palace revolution” and insists that “summer’s here and the time is right for fighting in the street,” a nod to a Martha & the Vandellas hit that he would later cover with David Bowie.

Before cutting up and rearranging the lyrics on pieces of paper, Jagger bounced ideas off Richards in the studio. Then they wrote them down as they went. Their collaboration resulted in the song’s most famous couplet: the self-deprecating.

“But what can a poor boy do, except to sing in a rock ‘n’ roll band?”

The Zimmer twins were amazing when they worked together.

Despite the fact that it didn’t chart at the time, it has since grown to become one of the Stones’ signature songs, appearing in the set lists of many of the band’s subsequent tours.

Richards, specifically, remembered “Street Fighting Man” fondly when he was interviewed about the song by Marc Meyers for The Wall Street Journal in 2013. “That’s where the vision met reality,” he said. “When we finished recording ‘Street Fighting Man’ and played back the master, I just smiled. It’s the kind of record you love to make.”

Source; Wall Street Journal.

Listen to the song here


Like or loathe the stones, they were certainly influential to the music scene of the times and of today.

Vinyl or Download.

For me, I like vinyl because it gives all the nuances and not just a reproduction. There are some places you can still buy Vinyl and this is one of them. It does cost more, but in my opinion, you get to hear the original content. Not 101010110001.

Vinyl is a lossless recording medium. The pressings are manufactured directly from the masters and contain every detail intended by the artist. Vinyl has a better sound than digital because of this. To put it another way, listening to vinyl rather than digital is like seeing the Mona Lisa in person rather than looking at a picture of it on your phone.

Expensive yes. It is close on $50.00. $49.56 go figure, you still have 1 cent pieces?

Worth it, yes. Listen to it as it was intended. The youth of today do not know what they are missing.

Here it is. Click to look and buy if you want to help my students.

If you liked this check out my other stories and pages about Vietnam. I have stories about the culture, working in Vietnam, retiring in Vietnam and much more. Feel free to leave a comment. Do you like the Stones or loathe them?

You can find my other articles, including student stories, ==> HERE <==


In these crazy times we need good music to help us chill out. I hope you enjoy the original sounds of the Rolling Stones. Remember not everything new is better.

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6 thoughts on “The Rolling Stones Vietnam war song.”

  1. Oh man, the Stones, love them! Especially like you say for their politically tinted songs back in the days. I have seen them live in concert twice and the vibes are always fantastic when they perform. The song in the youtube clip I never heard before, and its a great one, thanks for that! (I’m sorry for the loss of Charlie though, he was a fantastic drummer)

    1. Thanks, yes. I saw them in  New Zealand of all places. This song still resonates with me today with all the stuff happening in the world. Yes, Charlie will be sorely missed. I wonder how long they can continue. Keith will probably live forever though. Lol.


  2. You took me down memory lane.  I love the Stones!  But I have never listened to the street fight song.  I have to listen to it. It is a pity age has taken its toll on them.  I remember Brown sugar and, Start me up. I told you that I love the Stones. Today’s generation have missed a lot.  Most of the good oldies are now being played by digital recordings  and sound so different!

    1. I think you are right, the music of the past still has a lot of power and travels well through the ages. Let’s hope that they are not forgotten. Thanks for the comments.


  3. Always enjoy The Rolling Stones and thanks for the memory as I haven’t heard that song for the longest time. I agree that things do sound better on vinyl, except of course when they get scratched, then they sound awful.

    There were many songs written in the era of the Vietnam war and I think these artists should collaborate and release an album with all the songs from that era to do with the war. I am sure it would be well supported.

    1. Thanks Michel for the comments and I am pleased it took you down memory lane. The audiophiles amongst us are going back to vinyl in a big way. The equipment they have now is far superior to the old turntables of the past ( somethings get better), so scratches are not that common anymore.  

      Love the idea about a collaboration of artists. If you liked this, you should check out some of my other pages.


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