The Rolling Stones
12 x 5


3.5
great

Review

by Worst User of All Time Agreed USER (37 Reviews)
April 4th, 2015 | 15 replies


Release Date: 1964 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Despite Consistency Issues from the Tracks actually written by the band themselves, 12 x 5 still proves a worthy successor to 'The Rolling Stones' LP

With the success of their debut, The Stones became more confident in their abilities as a band. They didn't have a "Beatlemania" surrounding them like their more clean-cut counterparts The Beatles, but they did have the success to keep them going forward musically without much fear of intervention from Decca Records. On the downside however, in order to compete with the Beatles's output, the deadline for the follow up to The Rolling Stones(alternatively titled as England's Newest Hit Makers) was a lot shorter. In addition to that, while their label still allowed the band free reign over what they recorded and granted full ownership to whatever they recorded, their manager had heavily encouraged the band to write more of their material, since a large chunk of the money they earned was lost to the many royalty fees owed from the covers of their favorite artists. What resulted from this hectic time period were two separate LPs, one released exclusively in the US, and the other exclusively in the UK.

12 x 5, the American sophomore LP, came out first on December 1964, less than a year following their debut. More or less it carries the "R&B cover band" style of their debut but with a few key differences. The first being that the band has just started to transition its core sound. Sleazy dual guitars take noticeable presence in songs like the Bobby Womack cover "Its All Over Now". Keith Richards himself shows greater ability with his playing such as on his solos on the cover of Irma Thomas's "Time Is On My Side" and on the instrumental jam "2120 South Michigan Avenue". "Congratulations" is an atmospheric pop ballad showing the band's ability to create engaging choruses as well as the Beatles could.

Another key difference between The Rolling Stones /England's Newest Hit Makers(name depends on where you live) and 12 x 5 is that this time they are actually trying to make their own songs, compared to the 1-2 that were put into the debut, this has a whopping total of 5 completely original tracks. This is partly due to the royalty fees cutting into profits of their earlier recordings, and partly as an attempt to compete with the Beatles' explosive fame. This is where the album mainly falters, however, as The Stones are at this point still very new to the concept of writing their own songs, and consequently those that end up here, while nowhere near bad instrumentally, mostly end up riddled cliched lyrics that drag the overall quality of the album down, which is a shame since many of the songs here are actually better than those in their debut. "Empty Heart" and "2120 south Michigan Avenue" would be exceptions to this mainly because in both tracks the instruments take predominance over lyrics, showcasing the band at their best with fun rhythmic rocking tunes.

Compared to their debut, 12 x 5 is more uneven. But this is not the band's fault, as it's just the members trying to evolve themselves past R&B cover band status. And while their original tracks are not very original or creative, the attempt would prove worth it when looking at their later albums. And besides, most of the album still makes for a very solid listen with the continued covering of old-school R&B artists still prevalent.



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user ratings (192)
3.3
great


Comments:Add a Comment 
SharkTooth
April 4th 2015


14286 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

was gonna have this proofread, but I got impatient.



please tell me if there is anything I need to fix

Tunaboy45
April 4th 2015


17648 Comments


60?


Solid review, pos


Atari
Staff Reviewer
April 4th 2015


26878 Comments


dude you're the man for reviewing this. old school 60's stones are really overlooked on this site

Digging: Maxo Kream - Weight Of The World

SharkTooth
April 4th 2015


14286 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

so true, at first I couldn't believe that their first couple albums didn't even have reviews to begin with

Atari
Staff Reviewer
April 4th 2015


26878 Comments


it's like nobody around here pays any mind to any of their stuff before beggars banquet. it's all about the trio of aftermath, between the buttons, and their satanic majesties request for me. I actually need to hear this one again though

SharkTooth
April 4th 2015


14286 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Aftermath and Between the Buttons definitely, but Satanic Majesties Request has so many issues with it I really don't consider it at the same level as the stuff before and after it

SharkTooth
April 4th 2015


14286 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

bump

manosg
Staff Reviewer
April 4th 2015


12294 Comments


Props for reviewing this album Shark even though early Stones is not my cup of tea.

Have a pos for a sweet write up and for the fact that it's not another Three Days Grace review ffs.

Digging: Anoice - The Hidden Forest

ComeToDaddy
April 4th 2015


1839 Comments


I think it's largely because people exploring older albums only go for the classics and rarely explore discographies. If an album is this old and has a rating as low as this one, a review isn't going to get much attention and it's also not going to get people to check the album out. If their interest is piqued, they'll go spin some of the artist's 4+ albums. It's a shame, but at the same time, I completely understand why albums like this are heavily overlooked around here.

Great writeup either way, easy pos. Major props for the album of choice too.

danielcardoso
April 4th 2015


11770 Comments


Nice review Shark, pos'd.

SharkTooth
April 4th 2015


14286 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

@Manosg

I wouldn't even think of reviewing radio rock lol

@ComeToDaddy

True but it's still a bit surprising considering how this band is one of the most iconic in rock history, thanks for the pos btw

@Daniel

Glad to hear that

Atari
Staff Reviewer
April 4th 2015


26878 Comments


"a rating as low as this one"

it has a 3.6 that's not that low man haha. If people on this site are only checking albums with an average rating of 4 or higher, they're missing a TON of good music. most the higher ratings on this site are bloated anyways due to hype etc ;)

ExcentrifugalForz
April 4th 2015


2124 Comments


don't love this album as a whole
but the middle section is solid






good review

LepreCon
April 5th 2015


5478 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Need to see more Stones reviews on this site, they had some really killer tracks throughout the late 60's and 70's which seem to be all but forgotten

Pangea
August 16th 2021


7231 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

this is significantly better as the debut. pretty close to a 3.5

Digging: Tracy Chapman - Tracy Chapman



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