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Author Topic: Microscope: Out Of Our Heads (The Rolling Stones)  (Read 290 times)

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Hombre_de_ningun_lugar

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Microscope: Out Of Our Heads (The Rolling Stones)
« on: August 22, 2015, 04:02:03 PM »

I think it's time to review some Stones albums. I'll start with the American version of Out Of Our Heads, which was their first #1 LP in US, released in July 1965. Here the blues roots of the Stones are still evident; and while the album includes several covers, the band was starting to contribute quality songs that came out of their heads...



Mercy, Mercy. The opening track of the album is a cover of this rhythm & blues song. The performance is quite pedestrian, but the repetitive guitar notes and Mick Jagger's enthusiastic vocal drive the song.

Hitch Hike. Another rhythm & blues cover. As an interesting note, the guitar riff was later used by the Velvet Underground in their song "There She Goes Again". There's not much more to say about this track, except that it includes a nice guitar solo in the middle.

The Last Time. Probably the first truly important song written by the band. It still sounds like a primitive tune, but its infectious guitar riff and little hooks keep the listener entertained. I like the instrumental middle. The coda reminds me a bit to "Ticket To Ride", as it's like a different tune in the same song. Actually this single was released in February 1965, briefly before the Beatles song.

That's How Strong My Love Is. A soul cover. I like Mick's vocal here, but the song is quite boring to me.

Good Times. My favorite cover in the album. It has a "feel good" spirit.

I'm Alright. A live track. Neither the song nor the performance are outstanding.

(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction. The main reason to get this album, in terms of quality or just historical relevance. From the famous sharpened riff to the endless hooks, the song is a gem that deserves its high status. The lyrics were also an important advance, a social critique manifest.

Cry To Me. Yet another slow cover. Again, I like Mick's vocal but the song tends to make me sleep.

The Under Assistant West Coast Promotion Man. A nice joke tune. An ironic critique of the rock & roll music business. The rustic harmonica is a good condiment.

Play With Fire. A really high point of the album. Everything contributes to the mystic ambient of the song: acoustic guitar, harpsichord, tambourine and especially Mick's heartrending vocal. An early example of baroque pop.

The Spider And The Fly. A funny tune with a funny story. I like the sound of the lead guitar and harmonica. Pretty good song.

One More Try. A jumpy filler that was recorded only for the American market. It's not that bad though.

In conclusion, this album is important if just for the inclusion of "The Last Time", "Satisfaction" and "Play With Fire". The Stones still kept some identity here; later they would convert into fervent Beatles imitators.
« Last Edit: August 22, 2015, 07:00:39 PM by Hombre_de_ningun_lugar »
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oldbrownshoe

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Re: Microscope: Out Of Our Heads (The Rolling Stones)
« Reply #1 on: August 22, 2015, 06:39:05 PM »

Mercifully we can get both versions in the UK, unlike the first two British LPs.

The bottom line is that OOOH (UK) and OOOH (US) are two completely different albums.
None of the three songs you mention (all terrific) were on the UK version as they'd already been released on 45.

Got me thinking about Brian Wilson's obsession with 'Rubber Soul' around the time of him trying to emulate it with 'Pet Sounds'.....the 'Rubber Soul' owned by Brian would, presumably, have been the U.S. one and not the UK one.

I've never heard the U.S. one but, with that track listing, it is absolutely brilliant (obviously).






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Hombre_de_ningun_lugar

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Re: Microscope: Out Of Our Heads (The Rolling Stones)
« Reply #2 on: August 22, 2015, 07:12:51 PM »


None of the three songs you mention (all terrific) were on the UK version as they'd already been released on 45.


Yes, that's why the absence of a Past Masters-like compilation in the Stones catalog makes me prefer the US versions of their albums, as they include essential songs that can't be found in the UK versions.
« Last Edit: August 23, 2015, 04:24:42 AM by Hombre_de_ningun_lugar »
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Ovi

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Re: Microscope: Out Of Our Heads (The Rolling Stones)
« Reply #3 on: August 23, 2015, 10:21:15 AM »

Yes, that's why the absence of a Past Masters-like compilation in the Stones catalog makes me prefer the US versions of their albums, as they include essential songs that can't be found in the UK versions.


Actually...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Singles_Collection:_The_London_Years
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Hombre_de_ningun_lugar

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Re: Microscope: Out Of Our Heads (The Rolling Stones)
« Reply #4 on: August 23, 2015, 04:19:04 PM »

Actually...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Singles_Collection:_The_London_Years


The problem is that a lot of that material is repeated in the original LPs (either from UK or US), so that's not exactly a Past Masters-like compilation.
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Bingo Bongo

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Re: Microscope: Out Of Our Heads (The Rolling Stones)
« Reply #5 on: August 23, 2015, 08:57:20 PM »

Yes, that's why the absence of a Past Masters-like compilation in the Stones catalog makes me prefer the US versions of their albums, as they include essential songs that can't be found in the UK versions.

Same could be said about the Beatles US albums..... The US counterpart to Past Masters would be the Hey Jude Album!  :laugh:
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Moogmodule

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Re: Microscope: Out Of Our Heads (The Rolling Stones)
« Reply #6 on: August 23, 2015, 10:01:41 PM »

Great microscope Hombre. I'll have to have a good listen. I have trouble sorting out the early stones albums as they seemed to have a lot of compilations and chopped and changed albums. Even within the UK. Although maybe I'm confusing US and UK released sometimes as well.
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Hombre_de_ningun_lugar

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Re: Microscope: Out Of Our Heads (The Rolling Stones)
« Reply #7 on: August 23, 2015, 10:19:44 PM »

Same could be said about the Beatles US albums..... The US counterpart to Past Masters would be the Hey Jude Album!  :laugh:

Yes, that's true. In general I tend to prefer the UK albums for the Beatles and the US albums for the Stones. But I think that oldbrownshoe's petition of a British A's & B's compilation of 60's Stones is a demand that should have been satisfied years ago.
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Hombre_de_ningun_lugar

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Re: Microscope: Out Of Our Heads (The Rolling Stones)
« Reply #8 on: August 23, 2015, 10:22:55 PM »

Great microscope Hombre. I'll have to have a good listen. I have trouble sorting out the early stones albums as they seemed to have a lot of compilations and chopped and changed albums. Even within the UK. Although maybe I'm confusing US and UK released sometimes as well.

Thanks Moog. I'll try to do reviews of other Stones albums if there's interest.
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Moogmodule

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Re: Microscope: Out Of Our Heads (The Rolling Stones)
« Reply #9 on: August 24, 2015, 09:56:05 AM »

I had a listen to this while making dinner (Spotify is handy like that).

It's quite an enjoyable listen. Aside from the big songs like Satisfaction and Play withFire, I quite liked Mercy Mercy and Good Times. The Last Time is also a good song.  The rest sounded a bit like filler. Pretty well executed but not particularly thrilling. It's only a first listen though so others might grow on me.

It does show what a different space the Stones were in at that point. In the year the Beatles released Rubber Soul, the Stones were still doing albums largely of blues and R&B covers. Although their few originals show they could deliver good tunes.


« Last Edit: August 24, 2015, 10:06:12 AM by Moogmodule »
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oldbrownshoe

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Re: Microscope: Out Of Our Heads (The Rolling Stones)
« Reply #10 on: August 24, 2015, 01:26:24 PM »

On the 45 front in the UK the two groups were neck and neck in '65.
The Beatles had three no. 1 singles, the Stones had three (all self-penned) no. 1 singles.

I've mentioned it before but I'll mention it again.
Much was made of the animosity between the Stones and their label Decca, and yet, from 'Come On' in 1963 to the 'Let It Bleed' LP in December '69, only two songs were repeated in their catalogue.
Remarkable value for money for the UK fans, and a benefit which soon came to pass once the 1970s started and the group left Decca.
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Hombre_de_ningun_lugar

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Re: Microscope: Out Of Our Heads (The Rolling Stones)
« Reply #11 on: August 24, 2015, 03:45:10 PM »

I had a listen to this while making dinner (Spotify is handy like that).

It's quite an enjoyable listen. Aside from the big songs like Satisfaction and Play withFire, I quite liked Mercy Mercy and Good Times. The Last Time is also a good song.  The rest sounded a bit like filler. Pretty well executed but not particularly thrilling. It's only a first listen though so others might grow on me.

It does show what a different space the Stones were in at that point. In the year the Beatles released Rubber Soul, the Stones were still doing albums largely of blues and R&B covers. Although their few originals show they could deliver good tunes.

I tend to agree with you. In terms of LPs, the Stones were far behind the Beatles in 1965-1967. But we're talking about the best period of the best band ever. However, in 1968-1969 both bands were at the same level, in my opinion.
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Hombre_de_ningun_lugar

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Re: Microscope: Out Of Our Heads (The Rolling Stones)
« Reply #12 on: August 24, 2015, 03:52:16 PM »

On the 45 front in the UK the two groups were neck and neck in '65.
The Beatles had three no. 1 singles, the Stones had three (all self-penned) no. 1 singles.

I've mentioned it before but I'll mention it again.
Much was made of the animosity between the Stones and their label Decca, and yet, from 'Come On' in 1963 to the 'Let It Bleed' LP in December '69, only two songs were repeated in their catalogue.
Remarkable value for money for the UK fans, and a benefit which soon came to pass once the 1970s started and the group left Decca.

Yes, a CD release of all UK LPs plus a compilation including the 1963-1969 singles would have been the more logic decision. But it seems that they would earn more money releasing the US versions.
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Moogmodule

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Re: Microscope: Out Of Our Heads (The Rolling Stones)
« Reply #13 on: August 24, 2015, 10:01:50 PM »

I tend to agree with you. In terms of LPs, the Stones were far behind the Beatles in 1965-1967. But we're talking about the best period of the best band ever. However, in 1968-1969 both bands were at the same level, in my opinion.

I certainly think the Stones found their groove from 68 and were much more on the Beatles level, who had fragmented after their 65-67 heights.  I'd only hedge by saying that the Beatles pulled out Abbey Road, which is a great album that soared the Beatles back out of the pack one last time.
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