While discussing “For Your Love” by the Yardbirds, I noted that while similar in influence and style to the Rolling Stones, I felt they lacked the same creative songwriting, energy and diversity in their music. This next album from the Stones, “Out of Our Heads”, released in July of 1965, could not illustrate this point any more effectively. This is the fourth album from the Stones, and it is a very impressive collection of songs.
Of course, it was on this album that the world first learned that Mick Jagger just “Can’t Get No Satisfaction”. To this day, “Satisfaction” is probably their most recognized and iconic song, and it is frequently the set closer on recent tours. A perfect blend of Keith’s riff and Mick’s double-entendre frustration, this song is just one of many, although one of the best, representations of Mick’s provocative and boundary-stretching, serving as a theme and tone for the restless generation of the 1960s. Other easily recognized hits on this album include “The Last Time” and “Play With Fire”. Both are Stones originals. The former is high-pace guitar driven rocker, while “Play With Fire” is one of their early successes with an acoustic ballad, a format they would frequently and successfully revisit on future albums.
Beyond the obvious hits, there are some hidden gems on this album as well. As I listened to “Good Times” I thought, this sure sounds like a Sam Cooke song. And naturally, that’s because it is. This song is the perfect contrast to the blues-influenced guitar rock featured through most of the album. Directly following is a live version of Bo Diddley’s “I’m All Right”, which at this pace, has a lot of the audience give and take similar to “Shout” by The Isley Brothers. Perhaps my favorite song on the entire song is the Jagger-Richards “The Spider and the Fly”, a simple but extremely catchy blues-rock number that only the Stones could deliver so perfectly.
I listened to this album several times and will be adding a lot of this one to my extended playlist. This is the early Rolling Stones at their very best, still shaded by their blues roots but pushing forward in multiple directions to explore new places in their expanding repertoire.