Out Of Our Heads

The Rolling Stones

London, 1965


REVIEW BY: Christopher Thelen


If the first three albums by The Rolling Stones could be called the moments when the fuse was lit on their superstardom, then their fourth release in the States (and second release of 1965), Out Of Our Heads, could rightfully be called the album when the fuse hit the gunpowder. The end result? One word: ka-boom.


So it might seem odd to say that this disc isn’t one that the listener – at least this listener – will appreciate on one cursory listen. Forget, for a moment, that there are three well-known hits by Mick Jagger and crew on this disc, and take it as a whole. In fact, this is an album that needs to grow on the listener – and the more time you invest in it, the more worthwhile the time becomes.


Although there’s plenty of rhythm & blues covers on this disc, much like their previous efforts, this disc features half of the compositions by Jagger and Keith Richards. (If you include the group-penned “The Under Assistant West Coast Promotion Man,” written under the pseudonym Nanker Phelge, the Stones dominate the bulk of this album. Guess I should have mentioned the Phelge connection in earlier reviews.)my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250


While the songwriting partnership of Jagger and Richards is still very much in development – tracks like “I’m All Right” (recorded live) and “One More Try” feel like throwaways – there is no denying that they struck gold with tracks such as “The Last Time,” “Play With Fire” (surprisingly powerful in its gentleness) and “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction”. It’s ironic that, no matter how many times I’ve heard these songs over the years, they never get tiresome – something I can’t say about a lot of the stuff that’s played to death by classic rock stations.


The choices of covers again is a bit interesting, and turns out to be a mixed bag. I, for one, would have loved to have heard how the Stones could have stretched out Sam Cooke’s “Good Times,” and given both Richards and Brian Jones a chance to test out their lead guitar licks. Likewise, “Cry To Me” captures the listener pretty much on the first note and refuses to let go.


Yet others, such as “Hitch Hike,” just fall flat right out of the gate, and the Stones spend the whole song trying to get the listener interested. “That’s How Strong My Love Is” is an okay cover, but it’s not as powerful as others that the Stones had done over the course of four albums.


What is intriguing about Out Of Our Heads is that, unlike many Stones discs at the time, this was first released in America, not in Great Britain. When it did finally come out in the U.K., most notably missing was “Satisfaction” – replaced with a song that American audiences would get their hands on a few months later. Americans, meanwhile, helped give the Stones their first number one album in this country.


Out Of Our Heads is a bit of a challenging listen at times, but turns out to be well worth the investment of time, and is an interesting picture of the young lads as the spotlight of fame finally focuses the brightest portion of its light on them. And, as the old saying goes, they were just getting started.

Rating: B

User Rating: B+



© 2007 Christopher Thelen and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of London, and is used for informational purposes only.