"Respectable" is a song by The Rolling Stones from their 1978 album Some Girls. It was written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards. In the liner notes to the 1993 compilation album Jump Back: The Best of The Rolling Stones (on which it was included), Jagger said, "It's important to be somewhat influenced by what's going on around you and on the Some Girls album, I think we definitely became more aggressive because of the punk thing..."
Recorded from October through December 1977, "Respectable" was originally written by Mick Jagger to be a slower song, but guitarist Richards saw the advantages of speeding up the tempo and crafting a rocker out of the song. Jagger continued in the liner notes, "On ["Respectable"] I was banging out three chords incredibly loud on the electric guitar, which isn't always a wonderful idea but was fun here. This is a punk meets Chuck Berry number..." This resulted in Jagger and Richards having arguments over the song's tempo.
The biting lyrics talk of a woman rising into high society and Jagger's attempts to remind her of where she came from. Jagger said at the time of its release, "'Respectable' really started off as a song in my head about how respectable we as a band were supposed to have become, 'We're so respectable'. As I went along with the singing, I just made things up and fit things in. Now we're respected in society... I really meant [the band]. My wife's a very honest person, and the songs's not about her... It's very rock & roll. It's not like (Bob Dylan's) 'Sara'. 'Respectable' is very lighthearted when you hear it. That's why I don't like divorcing the lyrics from the music. 'Cause when you actually hear it sung, it's not what it is, it's the way we do it..."
"Respectable" was released as a single in the United Kingdom on 15 September 1978, where it peaked at no. 23 on the UK Singles Chart, at that time their lowest-charting official single in the UK. A memorable music video, which was directed by Michael Lindsay-Hogg, was made for the single, featuring a more "punk" Stones on display. A still from this video—with departed bassist Bill Wyman edited out—was used as the cover for the band's 2005 compilation albumRarities 1971–2003. It also appeared on later compilations such as Jump Back, and GRRR!
|Netherlands (Dutch Top 40)||18|
|Netherlands (Single Top 100)||16|
|UK Singles (Official Charts Company)||23|
The Canadian band Les Respectables take their band name from this song and they were Rolling Stones fans.