The Rolling Stones
Out of Our Heads



by hyperboleking USER (5 Reviews)
July 25th, 2007 | 61 replies

Release Date: 1965 | Tracklist

Review Summary: About as close to perfection an artist can get on an album. Few missteps. This should give an implication as to what my tastes are, as many are claiming I'm just a gimmick who hates all music.

Okay, yes, Mick Jagger and Keith Richards are ugly. I would prefer if
we could all avoid comments about that in the comment section, as 1.
it isn't even funny anymore and 2. it's irrelevant. Thank you.

Out of Our Heads was released in 1965, their third and fourth album
in the UK and US, respectively. As the Stones' first number one album
in the US (due largely to the success of a little number called
"Satisfaction"), it was their breakthrough. While "Satisfaction" is
certainly the highlight of the album, every song is catchy,
enjoyable, rebellious, and ultimately genius; the strength of the
original content well overshadows the fact that half of the album's
songs are covers, and even despite the 6 covers, they are extremely
impressive, with each one being given the classic Stones
blues-influenced rough-rock treatment, turning them into
distinctively Stones songs. (Just to clarify, I'm going by the US
track listing, not the UK one in this review.)

And while this is without a doubt an enormous commercial step forward
for the Stones, this album is also a turning point for the Stones
creatively, as well. While their first few albums contained almost
all blues covers, this album contains 6 originals, and the covers are
mostly soul standards. This marks the point in which the Stones
hard-edged bluesy-hard rock was married to a soulful, heartbroken
bride; a softness to the sometimes viciously hard attitude that the
Stones emanate. Essentially, here is where the Stones truly
discovered the essential components of their style.

The first track is "Mercy, Mercy," a cover of a classic soul song. The
album opens with a guitar intro that you'll simply never forget;
simple, short, yet unique and catchy. The song quickly speeds up with
one of those famous gritty Keith Richards riffs, followed by a
soulful vocal performance by Jagger. When Jagger begs "Have mercy,
have mercy, baby," he means it. Well, he probably doesn't,
but you would never know it if you had never been tainted by the blood
stain of cynicism. You'll find yourself singing along before the song
is even over; before you even know what words you're supposed to
, in fact. Of course, you can't heap too much praise on this
song; after all, it is a cover. But an amazing and memorable one, and
one of the great openings of any rock album ever.

Just about any of the cover songs on this album could be described in
nearly the same fashion as above; "Hitch Hike," second track and
another cover, features a mean riff and a blistering blues solo;
"Good Times" features an excellent arrangement, completely different
from the original; the rest are all equally as good. But what makes
this album stand above the Stones albums before it are the six

"The Last Time," the Rolling Stones first hit original and the first
original to appear on this album, is breathtaking from the very
beginning. It starts off with a dizzying, repeated riff, as many
Stones hits do, with a driving rhythm and an impressive solo. The
lyrics center around a relationship, with the narrator tired of his
partner's selfish attitude to the relationship, doing things he has
advised her repeatedly not to do. Essentially, the partner, as Jagger
states doesn't "try very hard to please" him. "This could be the last
time," he teases in response, turning the tables after tolerating the
frustration of a one-sided affair. "Maybe the last time, I don't
know." Jagger delivers his relationship message with a melodic vocal
performance, with a crescendo of back up and overdubbed vocals
throughout the entire song. Breathtaking.

Sadly, the next original the listener will hear is "I'm All Right."
This is a live track, and the listener will find himself scratching
his head wondering why this "song" was ever included on the album. It
is nothing but stage banter meant to get the crowd warmed up, with
shockingly poor riffs in the background. I didn't even make it
through this song, so I can't tell you too much. But what I do know
is that, from what I heard, Jagger switches to a different phrase
every 30 seconds or so that he repeats over and over again atop a
really dumb riff. Of course, the crowd screams like crazy in
response. I'm sure stuff like this is a lot of fun when you're
actually at a Stones show. But sitting here listening to girls
swoon over Jagger's shaking hips while he spits out lyrical trash
with Keith banging out a piss-grade riff isn't fun listening when
you're in your house, alone, unable to see Jagger shaking his hips or
Keith lazily tapping a few notes in a stoned daze. It's as if all the
guys were about to put out this album when at the last minute,
someone said "Hey, you know, we should have at least as many
originals as we have covers on this album, since we want it to be our
breakthrough and everything. I found this tape of stage nonsense last
night, let's tack that on there." When you put this album on your
iPod, do yourself a favor and delete this. (Note: if you, for
whatever reason, enjoyed this, may I recommend the classic Elvis
album, Having Fun with Elvis On Stage")

The album contains a single ballad, the original "Play With Fire."
Though it appears on the track listing as being written by
"Nanker-Phelge," this was a pseudonym the Stones' used. The album
opens with a hypnotic and bitter acoustic guitar line, that plays
gently throughout all of the verses, with bleak tambourine hits to
complete the mood. Though Jagger's voice is quiet and almost mournful
sounding during the verses, the lyrics actually represent a great
deal of anger over class dissatisfaction in England. This anger comes
out occasionally during the chorus, as Jagger's pitch shakes some and
his annunciation is more acidic. This matches the lyrics perfectly;
the verses are directed towards a woman, a rich, snooty, upper class
citizen, and the choruses are Jagger's personal message to such
people. "And the chauffeur drives your car, You let everybody know,
But," Jagger warns in the chorus, "Don't play with me, cuz you're
playing with fire." The song is certainly simple- four quick verses and
a chorus after each, with the final chorus being repeated once. This
is a wonderfully written rock ballad; one that avoids the posturing
of the obviously-false sentimentality of more recent ballads like
Motley Crue's "Home Sweet Home," which should truly be considered in some suicide cases as a possible cause.

Two of the other originals are rather simple and not quite up to the
standards of some of the others, but are still better than what most
other bands are capable of producing. "The Spider and the Fly" is a
country and blues influenced rock tune about the singer in a bar, a
woman catching his eye. The harmonica playing at the beginning and
end of the song are perfectly fitting, and Jagger's lyrics and
slightly bored vocals are fun, though not as profound as many of the
other originals. Contemplating whether or not he should make the
move, especially since he already has a girl at home, he ultimately
decides to take her when she approaches him. His response" "My, my,
my, like a spider to a fly, Jump right ahead in my web!" The other
more simple original is "The Under Assistant West Coast Promotion
Man." Lyrically, this song is great: rebellious, sarcastic, and
angry, as is the Stones classic style, which was just beginning to
become so well-defined at this time period. Musically, however, the
song is unimpressive; the music is an obvious rip-off of Buster
Brown's "Fannie Mae," as Bill Wyman admits in his novel about the
Stones. Still, the lyrics are very good and almost balance out the cheap
plagiarism of the music.

Of course, the best original on the album is the all time classic,
"Satisfaction." Musically and lyrically, this is as good as it gets.
"Satisfaction" is rock lyrics at their best, rebellious, socially
conscious and introspective simultaneously; beautiful in a
street-wise, folk music-type way, but no attempt at making rock
lyrics a fine art. Typing a bunch of excerpts from the song would be
largely pointless as you probably already know them all by heart.
Suffice it to say that the lyrics managed a musical carpet-bombing of
the establishment, an attack on all fronts. It also details his
personal problems as well, detailing his desire to have sex with a
woman. Mick Jagger's anger at the media comes out not only during his
whispered, sneering lines but also during the shouted chorus, which
is preceded by an intensifying harmonized pre-chorus of "cuz I try,
and I try, and I try, and I try." Musically, it features the
greatest, most recognizable electric guitar riff in all of history.
This riff comes in periodically, during choruses, the intro, and the
outro. It is a tense, angry riff, and so it appears when Jagger's
vocal gets angrier as well, perfectly complementing the
build-and-release, subtle-sarcasm-to-indignant-hatred pattern of this
song. The band claims that Keith Richards wrote this in the middle of
sleeping one night. This is probably a lie, meant only to generate
more interest in the song. But yet many of us believe it, perhaps
because we have a hard time believing that someone could simply
"find" that riff in their free time and tack it to a song before
anyone else. I meet people all the time who believe this song is
overrated. They are wrong. This song is not overrated at all; it
represents everything rock is about.

This album is the Stones at a pretty young age, right as their fame
was beginning. This is when the Stones were at their best, when they
were still young and idealistic. A shame that many think of the
Stones as a decadent old outfit. True, they did become bloated and
obsessed with money quickly. But before that, before they became
self-obsessed like most of their peers, they had only the very best
of intentions (or at the very least, were masters of making it seem
they did). Before they hinted at misogyny in "Under my Thumb," before
they tripped up with a derivative psychedelic suckfest in the form of
Their Satanic Majesties Request, before they painted it bad with a
sitar, before Brian Jones got kicked out and died, before they made
the mistake of making Hells Angels their security guys, before they
hinted at racism in "Brown Sugar," before Mick Taylor left (or even
joined, for that matter), before they were instantly made uncool when
the Clash said "no Elvis, Beatles or Rolling Stones," before they
suddenly became demented (listen to the "Undercover" album and you'll
understand), before Keith sniffed his father's corpse, before Keith
was Jack Sparrow's dad, before they all looked like corpses
(actually not but bear with me here), the Rolling Stones were just a
few young guys in a rock band doing the best they could to tell the
world they couldn't get no satisfaction, and never did they do it
better than on this album.

user ratings (254)
other reviews of this album
doctorjimmy (3.5)
Undeniably important, but also undoubtedly inconsistent. Feel free to apply your view on the half-em...

Comments:Add a Comment 
July 25th 2007


Man I think the Rolling Stones are much more boring than The Doors.

July 25th 2007


I admit to not reading past the third or fourth paragraph, but its not due to your writing style, its due to the fact that I don't like The Stones at all... from my very narrow view based off what I read, though, you might actually not get all those people bitching at you this time.This Message Edited On 07.25.07

July 25th 2007


I must admit that I also didn't read the whole thing since I'm not a fan of The Rolling Stones, but from what I read this was pretty well written. Glad to see a 4.5 outta you.

July 25th 2007


not a fan of the rolling stones. never have been

July 25th 2007


I hate post- Their Satanic Majesties Request Stones, but this album is amazing. And anyone who likes the Doors better than the Stones is out of their mind.

July 25th 2007


Hyperboleking, what big words you used.

eh, the album, like sgt. peppers and electric ladyland, deserved "big words." black sabbath, nirvana, the doors etc. dont.

July 25th 2007


"And anyone who likes the Doors better than the Stones is out of their mind."

See, people have different tastes in music. There is no such thing as being wrong/false in music no matter what you listen to.

"eh, the album, like sgt. peppers and electric ladyland, deserved "big words." black sabbath, nirvana, the doors etc. dont."

That doesn't make any sense.

July 25th 2007


human-- yes it does and i have explained it before. albums that are so terrible for reasons that don't need an in-depth explanation or dissection don't need long paragraphs and technical words. sometimes it takes just a straightforward sneer at the obvious terribleness of something to get the point across.

July 25th 2007


He isn't chan.

thank you.

i also got negged by someone who didn't care to share why.


can't you get in trouble for negging reviews just because you don't like the person?

or is it ok then if i go and neg all of the people who don't like me's reviews?This Message Edited On 07.25.07

July 25th 2007


The stones might be the most overrated band of all time. well them and nirvana, but i would much rather listen to nirvana than this. The stones seem very boring to me, and their lyrics don't do anything for me.
your review was ok. a little long, but I managed to get through it all. good job describing the lyrics. thats usually the hardest part.
and who's out of their mind? your about the only one here who prefers the stones over the the doors.

July 25th 2007


I wouldn't try to abuse sputnik rules to make points. I dont think the mods are very pleased with you atm.

i wasn't actually saying i would do it. i was just pointing out that as far as i know, that can get you banned temporarily, as happened to tribestros.

July 25th 2007


Although I don’t think an album with six covers is worth anything over a 3. that’s just me though.
This Message Edited On 07.26.07

July 25th 2007


Mentioning your personal status on this website in your headline is unecessary.This Message Edited On 07.26.07

July 25th 2007


splat-- well it's nice to finally get an official mod opinion lol. yeah i just re-read the review and noticed the grammar errors you mentioned, and will fix them here shortly. appreciate the other advice as well. out of curiousity, are "the mods" seriously unhappy with me at the moment as illuvatar said? because if i'm breaking any rules or anything tell me what they are and i'll cease.

July 26th 2007


A few factual errors and the use of persumably Stone Alone discredits most of what you say. Not to mention no word of Brian who was still the leader at this time.

The actual review has you writing like you really know the Stones when it actually just sounds like you read maybe a bio and wiki about them.

July 26th 2007


i also got negged by someone who didn't care to share why.

it wasn't me, i would have if this was as shitty as your VH review. nice opening first sentence by the way i never liked this band and these guys are grade A freaks.

July 26th 2007


It's refreshing to see a positive review off you, this is pretty good. You still slag out the bad parts of the album pretty harshly but i've come to expect it.

July 26th 2007


How are any of them freaks?

July 26th 2007


jac-- i'd like to hear some of those factual errors. true, no mention of brian, but you calling him the "leader" is arguable; most of the songwriting from these guys on their originals was always keith richards and mick jagger. there's also the assumption that the average person who reads reviews on a website like this knows something about music and thus, knows about brian johnson. and again, i don't write bio's; i write reviews. wanna know all about brian johnson? go pick up a book. most of the knowledge i used in this is knowledge i already had, though i would be lying if i said i used no research. surely, you don't think research is a bad thing.

and as for them being freaks, i think he meant appearance-wise, since he opened the comment with praising my first sentence.This Message Edited On 07.26.07This Message Edited On 07.26.07

July 26th 2007


I know nothing of any Brian Johnson.

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