Category: The Rolling Stones

The Rolling Stones – Aftermath

ARTIST: The Rolling Stones                           220px-RSAftermathUK

TITLE:  Aftermath

YEAR RELEASED: 1966

CHART ACTION: #2 US, #1 UK

SINGLES: Paint It Black (#1 US, #1 UK) (US Version), Mother’s Little Helper (#24 US) (UK Version), Lady Jane (#24 US)

OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Under My Thumb, Stupid Girl

LINEUP: Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Brian Jones, Bill Wyman, Charlie Watts with Jack Nitzsche and Ian Steart

WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: No longer a strict blues band, and with no covers, the Stones explore some musical territory, but its marred with misogyny.

SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: Brian Jones comes to fore in many tracks here (“Mother’s Little Helper”, “Paint It Black”, “Lady Jane”, “Under My Thumb”, playing many instruments that added a great color to the Stones tracks. (The marimba on “Under My Thumb” is one of the hookiest hooks, ever). 220px-Aftermath.rollingstones.usalbum.cover

Recording with a longer lead time than normal, and away from the UK, the Stones had time to work out the arrangements in the studio and perfect them. It’s quite noticeable and a great leap forward. Many of the album tracks are rooted in the blues – so they didn’t abandon the blues entirely. However, it’s not the predominant musical idiom.

Of course, there are different US and UK versions. The US version cuts four songs and adds “Paint It Black”, saving the fantastic “Mother’s Little Helper” for later use. They didn’t cut the 10 minute jam “Goin’ Home”, unfortunately.

Listening to this now, “Under My Thumb” and “Stupid Girl” makes one cringe with the misogyny. It gives one pause now.

NOTES & MINUTIAE: It’s unfortunate “Stupid Girl” is lyrically cringy, since that’s one of the best tracks musically. Also, the original  version of the single “Paint It Black” added a comma after “IT”

IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: No. 

GRADE: A-: A downgrade for the lyrics, and for why they didn’t cut “Goin’ Home” and add “Paint It Black” in the UK, and a couple other tracks in the US.

The Rollings Stones – Out of Our Heads / December’s Children (and Everybody’s)

ARTIST: The Rolling Stones

TITLE:  Out of Our Heads / December’s Children (and Everybody’s) outofourheads-uk

YEAR RELEASED: 1965

CHART ACTION: OOOH – #1 US, #2 UK; DC – #4 US

SINGLES: The Last Time (#9 US, #1 UK), Play with Fire (#96 US), (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction (#1 US, #1 UK), Get Off My Cloud (#1 US, #1 UK), As Tears Go By (#6 US)

OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: The Under Assistant West Coast Promotion Man, I’m Free,

LINEUP: Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Brian Jones, Charlie Watts, Bill Wyman, Ian Stewart, Jack Nitzche

WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: The confusing US / UK Stones’ discography reaches its peak, with the same title for two pretty much different albums and a US collection that collects leftovers and singles, with some live cuts from a UK EP. 220px-rollingstonesoutofourheadsalbumcover

 

SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: Whew. This was a productive time for the Rolling Stones, and both Decca and London we’re trying their best to keep up. In the UK, singles came out (not on an album), and an album and live EP were delivered. The same singles came out in the US, with two albums cobbled together from the various sessions.

These recordings mark the end of the Stones as interpreters, but they go out on a strong note with great covers of “Mercy Mercy”, “Cry to Me”, and “She Said Yeah” among others. The Stones’ originals come to the fore, with “I’m Free”, “Under Assistant…”, “Heart of Stone”, “As Tears Go By”, and the two smash singles “Satisfaction’ and “Get Off My Cloud”. They were really rivaling the Beatles now in success and songwriting.220px-decchlp

 

The one ‘interesting’ piece of this puzzle is the live EP Got Live if You Want It, since it’s mostly a bunch of screaming with the Stones somewhere in the clatter. They kind of reduce the value of the US versions as they’re out of sync, and the US versions don’t have a lot of continuity (since they go back to 1963 at some points to make up the numbers).

Cobble together your own ‘super’ Out of Our Heads with December’s Children (and Everybody’s) with these sessions. Most everything is worthy of keeping in your collection.

NOTES & MINUTIAE: The EP Got Live if You Want It is not the same as the US LP from 1966 (which the Stones didn’t like at all and was mostly a contractual obligation). 220px-rolling_stones_-_got_life_if_you_want_it_-ep

 

IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: No, it’s all together there.

GRADE: A-:  The whole lot gets an A-, some outstanding tracks and a few flaws in continuity.

The Rolling Stones – The Rolling Stones No.2 / The Rolling Stones, Now!

ARTIST: The Rolling Stones                       therollingstonesnumber2

TITLE:  The Rolling Stones No. 2 / The Rolling Stones, Now!

YEAR RELEASED: 1965

CHART ACTION: #5 US, #1 UK

SINGLES: Time Is on My Side (#6 US), Little Red Rooster (#1 UK), Heart of Stone (#19 US), What a Shame (#124 US)

OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: They cover a whole bunch of blues and rock standards.

LINEUP: Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Brian Jones, Bill Wyman, Charlie Watts, Ian Stewart

WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT:  A mixture of well-played covers and a few originals. The dreaded US / UK album problem surfaces, though.

SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: In the UK, the collection resulting from these sessions were the second album released over there by the Stones, and it included “Time Is on My Side”, which wasn’t a single over there. The version on No. 2 has the intro we all remember, though. rollingstonesnow

Three of the 12 songs were on the previous US release, so there are nine new ones (counting that new version of the US single), and the Stones nail most of the covers. “Everybody Needs Somebody to Love” is a five minute workout (highly unusual), and their Chuck Berry cover is spot on perfect (“You Can’t Catch Me”.)

Over here, we got close to the same collection, but it was the third album so they needed to rename it. “Everybody Needs Somebody to Love” is shortened, and that’s detrimental. There are only four songs that weren’t on any previous UK album, including “Heart of Stone”, the hit.

It’s confusing, but since there’s not really continuity to worry about, you can pick and choose what album to keep and what to pick through, or keep ‘em both.

NOTES & MINUTIAE: A lot of these songs were recorded at Chess Studios in Chicago during 1964.

IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: No.

GRADE: B+: Yeah, it’s a lot of covers, but they nail most all of them, and their originals are the beginning of their classic original singles phase.

NOTE: For my catalog thus far, I’ve kept the US version of the first album, 12X5,  No.2 for all but the 12X5 cuts, and Now!’s cuts that don’t appear on No. 2. Just in case you were wondering.

 

Rolling Stones – 12 X 5

ARTIST: Rolling Stones                    220px-12x5(Rolling_Stones_Album)_coverart

TITLE:  12 X 5

YEAR RELEASED: 1964

CHART ACTION: #3

SINGLES: It’s All Over Now (#26 US, #1 UK), Time Is on My Side (#6 US)

OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: 2120 South Michigan Avenue and some covers of famous songs.

LINEUP: Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Brian Jones, Charlie Watts, Bill Wyman, Ian Stewart

WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Second US release takes a UK EP and expands it by adding singles and stealing cuts intended for the Stones’ second UK album. Because that’s what they did then.

SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: Unlike the Beatles, the Stones weren’t born songwriters, and it took time for them to hone their craft. So into the studio they went and recorded a few covers to supplement their songwriting. Half of the album are covers, and they do show great taste.

They don’t quite steal “Around and Around” from Chuck Berry, but they come close. Their version of “It’s All Over Now” is what people know. However, a couple of the covers miss the mark, but they gave an effort at least.

The big noise on this album was “Time Is on My Side”, which was their first US Top 10 and the first Stones song to make a real dent on the US consciousness. With other cuts just being OK, it’s more for the devoted than the curious, but devotees of the early stones will love it. 220px-Five_by_five

NOTES & MINUTIAE: The version of “Time Is on My Side” on the album and the US single is different than what we all remember on compilations. They re-recorded it for their next UK album.

Also, the EP, Five by Five, was the #1 EP in the UK.

IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: No.

GRADE: B-: Some hot cuts, some cold cuts. They were learning the art of albums here.

The Rolling Stones – The Rolling Stones

ARTIST: The Rolling Stones RS64
TITLE: The Rolling Stones
YEAR RELEASED: 1964
CHART ACTION: US #11, UK #1
SINGLES: Carol, Tell Me (#24 US), Not Fade Away (US Version) (#48 US, #3 UK)
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: You probably know some of the songs they covered.
LINEUP: Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Brian Jones, Bill Wyman, Charlie Watts plus Ian Stewart (of course), Gene Pitney (!) and Phil Spector (!!)
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: After a few singles, England’s Newest Hit Makers make a covers-heavy album and show they’re going to be contenders for the UK’s best band.

SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: I listened to this record with a bit of trepidation, since there are only a couple of originals on here and it’s filled with R&B and blues covers. Well, I shouldn’t have doubted the Stones. They’re a tight band and Jagger’s swagger is there from the first vocal sounds of “Route 66”.

Many of the early Stones albums are all jacked around in the US, and I’ll probably combine two reviews into one – but the only change here for the US was adding “Not Fade Away” in place of a cover of “Mona”. “Mona” was kind of meh as a cover, so it was a great choice. So what I did is take that song and add it to the end of the UK version.

NOTES & MINUTAE: Before this came out they released two singles and an EP. You can get the EP for streaming (it’s also called The Rolling Stones) and the singles are on the vast singles collection. They’re OK tracks, but the song Stoned is kind of devilish. The only way that could be played on the radio is if they didn’t know what Stoned meant and in 1964, that was possible.

IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: No, but I made one!

GRADE: B : It’s good, and it’s good to hear the roots of the Stones.