Jumpin' Jack Flash
|"Jumpin' Jack Flash"|
|Single by The Rolling Stones|
|B-side||"Child of the Moon"|
|Released||24 May 1968 (UK)
1 June 1968 (US)
|Recorded||20 April 1968, Olympic Studios, London|
|Genre||Hard rock, blues rock|
|Label||Decca F.12782 (UK)
London 45.908 (US)
|The Rolling Stones singles chronology|
"Jumpin' Jack Flash" is a song by English rock band The Rolling Stones, released as a single in 1968. Called "supernatural Delta blues by way of Swinging London" by Rolling Stone, the song was perceived by some as the band's return to their blues roots after the psychedelia of their preceding albums Aftermath, Between the Buttons, Flowers and Their Satanic Majesties Request. One of the group's most popular and recognizable songs, it has been featured in many films and on the Rolling Stones compilation albums Through the Past, Darkly (Big Hits Vol. 2), Hot Rocks, Singles Collection and Forty Licks.
Inspiration and recording 
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.
Richards has stated that he and Jagger wrote the lyrics while staying at Richards' country house, where they were awoken one morning by the sound of gardener Jack Dyer walking past the window. When Jagger asked what the noise was, Richards responded: "Oh, that's Jack – that's jumpin' Jack." The rest of the lyrics evolved from there. Humanities scholar Camille Paglia 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."
On the studio version of the number, Jagger provided the lead vocals and maracas, Richards played acoustic guitars, electric bass guitar and the floor tom, Brian Jones played guitar and sang backing vocals, Charlie Watts was on drums and Bill Wyman was on organ. Nicky Hopkins contributed piano, and producer Jimmy Miller joined in on the backing vocals.
Single version 
- Mick Jagger - lead vocals, maracas
- Keith Richards - acoustic guitars, bass guitar, floor tom, backing vocals
- Brian Jones - acoustic guitar, backing vocals
- Bill Wyman - Hammond organ, backing vocals
- Charlie Watts - drums
- Nicky Hopkins - piano
- Jimmy Miller - backing vocals
Live version from Get Yer Ya-Ya's Out! 
- Mick Jagger - lead vocals
- Keith Richards - electric guitar, backing vocals
- Bill Wyman - bass guitar
- Mick Taylor - electric guitar
- Charlie Watts - drums
"Child of the Moon" 
- Mick Jagger - lead vocals, backing vocals
- Keith Richards - guitars, backing vocals
- Brian Jones - trumpet, percussion
- Bill Wyman - Bass guitar, electric organ
- Charlie Watts - drums
Release and aftermath 
Released on 24 May 1968, "Jumpin' Jack Flash" (backed with "Child of the Moon") reached the top of the UK charts and peaked at number three in the United States. 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, then comes 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.
The Rolling Stones have played "Jumpin' Jack Flash" during every tour since its release. It ranks as the song the band has played in concert most frequently, and has appeared on the concert albums Get Yer Ya-Ya's Out!, Love You Live, Flashpoint, The Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus (featuring the only released live performance of the song with Brian Jones). Jones is heard clearly, mixing with Richards' 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.
In March 2005, Q magazine placed "Jumpin' Jack Flash" at number 2 in its list of the 100 Greatest Guitar Tracks. In 2004, Rolling Stone rated the song 124th on its list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. VH1 placed it at 65 on its show 100 Greatest Rock Songs.
Music video 
Two promotional videos were made in May 1968: one featuring a live performance, another showcasing the band lip-syncing, with Jones, Jagger, and Watts donning makeup.
Use in film 
The song was also featured in Martin Scorsese's film Mean Streets (1973), in Ron Howard's Night Shift It was also in Whoopie Goldberg's movie Jumpin' Jack Flash (1986), and at the end of Terry Gilliam's Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. In 2009, the song was included in the film The Boat That Rocked.
There is a character named Jumpin' Jack Flash in the opening sequence of the movie Roller Boogie.
The soundtrack of the film of the same name includes two versions of the song.
|U.S. Billboard Hot 100 ||3|
|UK Singles Chart||1|
|Belgian Singles Chart||8|
|Swiss Singles Chart||2|
|Dutch Top 40||1|
|Austrian Singles Chart||3|
|Norwegian Singles Chart||3|
"Young Girl" by
Gary Puckett and The Union Gap
|UK number one single
19 June 1968 for 2 weeks
"Baby, Come Back" by The Equals
Aretha Franklin version 
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. This version is characterised by influences from the increasingly popular black music scene. Both The Rolling Stones' and Franklin's versions are on the film's original soundtrack recording.
|U.S. Billboard Hot 100||21|
|U.S. Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs||20|
|UK Singles Chart||58|
|German Singles Chart||42|
|Swiss Singles Chart||19|
|Dutch Top 40||48|
|Swedish Singles Chart||14|
|New Zealand Singles Chart||43|
Other cover versions 
A number of other artists have also performed and recorded versions of the song:
- Thelma Houston covered the song on 1969 album Sunshower
- Leon Russell performed the song to kick off his medley at The Concert for Bangladesh at Madison Square Garden in 1971. Russell's cover is included in the benefit concert's various music and video releases. Jagger/Richards waived song royalties in contribution to the event's significant humanitarian fundraising.
- The Beach Boys performed the song in concert during the 1970s, and it was originally to be included on their live album The Beach Boys in Concert.
- Tina Turner included her version of the song in her 2008–2009 Tina!: 50th Anniversary Tour setlist, alongside another Rolling Stones song, "It's Only Rock 'n Roll (But I Like It)". She had previously performed this medley during her 1982 tour.
- Peter Frampton released a version of the song on his first studio album, Wind of Change, and also on his 1976 live album, Frampton Comes Alive!
- Johnny Winter covered the number on The Old Grey Whistle Test in 1974. The performance circulates as a bootleg recording. An earlier performance is captured on his 1971 album, Live Johnny Winter and.
- Motörhead covered the song during the recording sessions for the We Are Motörhead album. This rendition appeared on the 2001 re-release of their earlier album Bastards.
- Guns N' Roses made demo recordings of the song in 1987. These demo versions appear on the Welcome to the Sessions bootleg album.
- Shed Seven released a live cover version of the song as a B-side to their "On Standby" single, released in August 1996, and in a limited-edition issue of their singles compilation, Going For Gold, in May 1999.
- A cover of the song was featured as the final level in the Nintendo DS video game Elite Beat Agents, by Billy Fogarty.
- Ananda Shankar used original Indian classical material alongside sitar-based cover versions of "Jumpin' Jack Flash"
- David Cook did a version of this song on the ninth season of American Idol, on 17 March 2010, during eliminations. This song was later made available on iTunes for download.
- Cinderella featured a live version of the song on the b-side of their "Gypsy Road" single.
- Vains of Jenna released a version of the song on their 2005 EP, Baby's Got a Secret
- Billy Joel performed a cover of the song as one of his encores of his performance at the Mar y Sol Festival on April 2, 1972.
- Giant Sand covered the song on the 2011 tribute album Paint It Black: An Alt Country Tribute To The Rolling Stones.
- Glee used the song to mash-up with "Moves Like Jagger" (Maroon 5 ft. Christina Aquilera) in Season 3 Episode "Yes/No"
- The Pilot movie for 1980s television series The A-Team features a soundalike version (from uncredited artists) during a sequence as the team escape their nemesis Colonel Lynch. (Note that on the DVD version, this cover version is replaced by a generic rock track for copyright reasons)
- British hard rock band Kaos Engyn perform the song live in a medley with (Can't Get No) Satisfaction.
- A computer video game made by Infogrames in 1990 and named Jumping Jack Son features a version of the song.
- David Brackett, The Pop, Rock, and Soul Reader: Histories and Debates (Oxford University Press, 2008), ISBN 0195365933, pp. 233 - 234.
- "Jumpin' Jack Flash". Allmusic.
- "Jumpin' Jack Flash". Rolling Stone. 4 December 2007.
- Unterberger, Richie. "Jumpin' Jack Flash". allmusic. Retrieved 16 June 2006.
- McPherson, Ian. "Track Talk: Jumpin' Jack Flash". Retrieved 22 June 2007.
- A jumping jack is an old-fashioned toy – see Jumping jack (toy).
- The Rolling Stones (2003). Four Flicks (DVD). Warner Music Vision.
- Paglia, Camille. (1991) Sexual Personae: Art and Decadence from Nefertiti to Emily Dickinson, New York: Vintage Books, ISBN 0-679-73579-8, p. 281
- Wenner, Jann S. (14 December 14 December 1995). "Jagger Remembers: Mick's most comprehensive interview ever". Rolling Stone.
- Galbraith, Gary. "The Rocks Off Rolling Stones Setlists Page". Retrieved 8 August 2008.
- Zentgraf, Nico. "The Complete Works of the Rolling Stones 1962–2008". Retrieved 7 August 2008.
- "100 Greatest Songs of Rock & Roll (80–61)". VH1. Retrieved 9 March 2008.
- JJF Charts in Europe 1968
- JJF on US Charts 1968
- JJF on UK Charts 1968(Link redirected to OCC website)
- "Shed Seven – On Standby". discogs. Retrieved 28 December 2009.