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Stones Inject A Little Soul Into Their Rock 'n' Roll Sound
on 6 April 2007
'Out Of Our Heads' is the final Stones album that was a mixture of covers and original material. In 1965 the Stones still considered themselves primarily a singles band so much of their attention was still being focused on those three of four single releases a year. That's not to say 'Out Of Our Heads' is not a good album - it does have much to offer but it's rather an uneven album in many ways particuarly when compared with the albums that followed.
Much like the Stones debut album 'The Rolling Stones' much of 'Out Of Our Heads' displays the rock 'n' roll vitality and occasional blues sound which had always been a striking feature of their early style. However, 'Out Of Our Heads' also displays a strong soul element which the Stones managed to incorporate very well into their rock 'n' roll grooves.
'She Said Yeah', the opening track really does reflect the Stones fidelity as hard edged purveyors of the rock 'n' roll sound. Its manic sound is a perfect early example of their raw energy. 'Mercy, Mercy' and 'Hitch Hike' also have that hard edged rock 'n' roll sound but there's also an element of soul, too. 'Good Times' has a softer soul sound. The Stones also include a more typical Chuck Berry cover 'Talkin' 'Bout You' which is perhaps not their most inspiring take on a Chuck Berry song and also 'Cry To Me' and 'Oh Baby (We Got A Good Thing Goin') which are good if not particuarly arresting.
Their own songs 'Gotta Get Away', 'Heart Of Stone' and 'I'm Free' continue the soul theme and if these songs aren't quite Stones classics they do display a degree of promise for things to come. The Stones other original 'The Under Assistant West Coast Promotion Man' is an effective blues influenced song. The highlight of the album though is another Stones cover - 'That's How Strong My Love Is' in which Mick gives a fabulously effective vocal to this fine soul song. I'd say it's this performance more than anything else on this album which shows how genuinely convincing the Stones can be even when attempting to emulate the rugged black soul sounds of the day.
Overall 'Out Of Our Heads' isn't exactly an essential Stones album as they would go on to bigger and better things - yet it is a nice addition to any collection. It's a little uneven in places yet there's an authentic raw spontaneity which shines through most of the time which, with a little refinement, ultimately points the way to their classic sound on albums like 'Exile On Main Street'.