Thursday, March 21, 2013

114 Our of our heads. Stoned.

Album: Out of our Heads
Artist: The Rolling Stones
Genre: Rock
Year: 1965

Tracks (UK edition)

1. She Said "Yeah"
2. Mercy, Mercy
3. Hitch Hike
4. That's How Strong My Love Is
5. Good Times
6. Gotta Get Away
7. Talkin' Bout You
8. Cry to Me
9. Oh, Baby (We Got a Good Thing Going)
10. Heart of Stone
11. The Under Assistant West Coast Promotion Man
12. I'm Free

Tracks (US Edition)

1. Mercy Mercy
2. Hitch Hike
3. The Last Time
4. That's How Strong My Love Is
5. Good Times
6. I'm Alright
7. (I Can't Get No) Satisfaction
8. Cry to Me
9. The Under Assistant West Coast Promotion Man
10. Play with Fire
11. The Spider and the Fly
12. One More Try

This album presents a bit of a problem to be honest because it essentially exists twice. It was released in the UK by the Rolling Stones and was the third album they recorded. They entered the studio to make an album and this is what they came up with.

Then it was released in America but their US label played funny buggers with their catalogue and released an album called Out of Our Heads which had a different track listing. They omitted a few tracks and replaced them with others. Consequently we have two albums with the same title that share only fifty percent of their tracks in common. So which album am I reviewing? The UK edition or the US? Your guess is as good as mine.

I've got no choice but to review them both which is okay with me because they're both fantastic listens. Out of our Heads captures a moment when The Stones were becoming confident songwriters. They hadn't turned their back on blues covers but they were no longer writing forgettable blues rip-offs to augment them. Their covers were starting to feel like the filler material between the originals rather than the other way around. Scattered across the two versions are great Stones songs like Heart of Stone, I'm Free, The Last Time, Play with Fire and one of the greatest rock and roll songs every written by anyone anywhere ever.

(I can't get no) Satisfaction is flat out brilliant. I think I probably heard this song involuntarily a hundred times before I became a proactive Rolling Stones fan and I must have heard it thousands since by choice. I've heard the studio version on lots of compilations, I've heard the live version on official live albums and dozens of bootlegs and I've heard the band themselves do it live in person once at the MCG. It's quite possible I've heard Satisfaction more than any other song I own but I still love it. The riff, the vocals, the swagger, it's just perfect. It sounds brilliant on record in mono and fantastic in magnificent stereo fifty years later when the band play it live and stretch it out way beyond it's original 3:42 running length.

Which version of Out of Our Heads should you listen to? Personally I listen to the Australian version which is my own compilation of the UK and US versions.

1. She Said Yeah
2. That's how strong my love is
3. Heart of Stone
4. Under Assistant West Coast Promo Man
5. I'm Free
6. Talking bout you

1. Cry to me
2. Mercy Mercy
3. The Spider and the Fly
4. Play with Fire
5. The Last Time
6. Satisfaction

Whichever version you listen to there's no doubt Out of Our Heads showed the world that those white boys who played the blues were also a song-writing force to be reckoned with.  They could do ballads, blues, quirk and straight ahead rock and roll and do it better than almost anyone else around at the time. In a few years they'd become the best in the world.

Highlight: Satisfaction
Lowlight: One More Try

Influenced by: Lennon McCartney and The Blues
Influenced: Anyone who writes guitar riffs.

Favourite Amazon Customer Review Quote: "And if you're gonna remaster it and charge this high a price, AT LEAST PUT SOME BONUS MATERIAL IN THERE."

-This is a fair complaint. The original stones albums were remastered by their label and released at full price which means fans were expected to pay a lot of money for half an hour of music. The Who and others have remastered their back catalogue and filled the CD with B-sides, live cuts, studio outtakes etc that add a lot of value but Decca decided not to bother. Pity.

So did this take you out of your head and if so did you enjoy the trip? Let me know below.

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