“Out Of Our Heads [us]” by The Rolling Stones - album review

TJR says

As any discographer will tell you, discographies for the English beat groups were a total nightmare in the mid-60s; American record executives were licensed to do their own thing and this resulted in all sorts of Trans-Atlantic messiness. “Out Of Our Heads”, as envisaged by the Americans, arrived in July ’65 – a whole two months ahead of the UK equivalent, with only 6 songs common to each. I take the worldly view, and assign the “A-list” precedence on a first come, first served basis. Which is good news for the Stones in my chart of ’65 – the American release was the strongest for me, tending more towards their lazier / bluesier inclinations.

With the exception of two weak covers in the middle – “Good Times” (they could surely have made a better tribute for the late Sam?) and “I’m Alright” (a Bo Diddley cover, but a bit of cheap insert from a previous live EP) – this is a mighty record. The LP has 6 originals and 6 covers. Of the originals, “The Last Time”, “(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction” and “Play With Fire” all point to a new, inventive direction for the group; they are maturing as songwriters before your eyes. For me personally, I’m still loving them best in their guise as blues ambassadors for the new teenage revolution.

On this LP, two of the greatest cuts in the entire Stones catalogue were “hot off the press”. In May, they had returned to the Chess Studios in Chicago (following visits in June and November of last year) and laid down “That's How Strong My Love Is” and “The Under Assistant West Coast Promotion Man”. Their excellent taste had led them to immortalize O.V. Wright’s ’64 ballad – their raucous reading is virtually the equal of Otis Redding’s interpretation, but in a unique way that only these brash young Englishmen could pull-off. “Under Assistant” (a group composition) was directly inspired by George Sherlock, a promotions man at Decca Records who was assigned to travel with the Stones when they were on the West Coast. He deserves a slice of the royalty action for that abuse! What a stunning track it is though; the Stones absolutely nailed down one of the strongest blues rock beats you could ever hope to hear. Complete perfection.

The harmonica action is again to the fore on another new group composition, “The Spider and the Fly”. The way they spun their own version of the blues was fantastic in this era, and this is another shining example. A Jagger/Richards composition, it’s essentially a Jimmy Reed slow-drag, but with quintessentially English teen-speak of the day; as Jagger himself would later point out this was an interesting juxtaposition. It also helps that the band were smokin’ hot… Producer Andrew Loog Oldham got the last word on the sleeve: “We hope that this album gets you OUT OF your HEADS listening to it, as we got making it.” Does he mean what I think he means? : – O

The Jukebox Rebel
23-Dec-2007


A1 [02:45] 7.2.png The Rolling Stones - Mercy, Mercy (Don Covay, Ronald Miller) Blues Rock / Soul Rock
A2 [02:25] 7.4.png The Rolling Stones - Hitch Hike (Marvin Gaye, Clarence Paul, William Stevenson) Blues Rock / Soul Rock
A3 [03:41] 8.4.png The Rolling Stones - The Last Time (Mick Jagger, Keith Richards) Blues Rock / Soul Rock
A4 [02:25] 9.3.png The Rolling Stones - That’s How Strong My Love Is (Roosevelt Jamison) Soul Ballad
A5 [01:58] 5.0.png The Rolling Stones - Good Times (Sam Cooke) Pop
A6 [02:25] 5.6.png The Rolling Stones - I’m Alright [live ’65] (Ellas Otha Bates) Rock n Roll / Rockabilly
B1 [03:42] 9.2.png The Rolling Stones - (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction (Mick Jagger, Keith Richards) Blues Rock / Soul Rock
B2 [03:09] 8.4.png The Rolling Stones - Cry To Me (Bert Russell) Blues Rock / Soul Rock
B3 [03:07] 10.0.png The Rolling Stones - The Under Assistant West Coast Promotion Man (Mick Jagger, Brian Jones, Keith Richards, Charlie Watts, Bill Wyman) Blues Rock / Soul Rock
B4 [02:13] 9.0.png The Rolling Stones - Play With Fire (Mick Jagger, Brian Jones, Keith Richards, Charlie Watts, Bill Wyman) Cerebral Pop
B5 [03:39] 9.3.png The Rolling Stones - The Spider And The Fly (Mick Jagger, Keith Richards) Blues / Rhythm n Blues
B6 [01:58] 7.6.png The Rolling Stones - One More Try (Mick Jagger, Keith Richards) Blues / Rhythm n Blues




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