Sunday, September 12, 2010

Just to prove how anal I am...

... and how much of a music geek and pop culture and trivia fanatic...

In tonights episode of Mad Men, the original master recording of "Satisfaction" plays, as Don walks out to the street, staring around at the world in a skewed way; clearly intended to represent the alienation and changes going on around Don (who is a "standards" man, not a rock and roll man).

That bugged me and I couldn't quite place why. I knew Satisfaction was released in '65, but I just had the vague feeling that the song hadn't been released at the time of the episode.

Yeah, I know. I already admitted to be anal pop culture and trivia nut.

Anyway, I looked it up, and I was wrong to be bugged by it.

As it turns out, "Satisfaction" was released as a single on June either June 6th, or June 10 1965 (sources disagree), and on the album "Out of our Heads" on July 30th of 1965 (it was the number number one single from July 10th through August 7th).

Just to show how things have changed in the recording business, the song was only written on May 6th and 7th, and recorded and mixed between the 10th and 12th; the lead single of one of FIVE albums they released that year (and which became their first platinum release).

Anyway, as far as the attention to detail the shows writers pay, the day the show opens was four or five days before the birthday of "baby Gene", which is supposed to be Jun 21st.

When you think about it, "Satisfaction" is the perfect song for that moment. Don literally cannot get satisfaction from his life; meanwhile "Satisfaction" is nearly the perfect song to represent the kind of changes that were taking place in American culture in 1965, and in the "culture of men" that Don was a part of.

It's kind of a good watershed moment for the world of the WW2 and Korean war vets; changing to the world of the next generation, those who would become the viet nam generation.

It's often said "the 60s" as people think of it, started the day Kennedy was shot... and there's some truth to that; but I think maybe the summer of '65 is a better milepost for that.