“12 X 5” by The Rolling Stones - album review

features in: Album Chart of 1964Album Chart of the Decade: 1960s

TJR says

12 new recordings by 5 group members, see? Where would we be without those clever American marketeers? It was quite one thing to be feeding blues culture to the British youth, but to be feeding it back to Americans was something else. Such was the strength of the American reaction to all musical things British in 1964, it was the United States who got the scoop on the second new music album in the Rolling Stones story. The five irreverent rascals continued with their fight to keep the blues alive in a hip 60s environment that was otherwise ready to move on to something else – and, together with their “invasion” compadres, they managed to persuade a whole new generation of teenagers all over the world that this was, indeed, a cool thing. Brilliantly, the five made a bit of a pilgrimage to Chess Studios in Chicago, where Marshall Chess exceptionally lent out his facility for a full 2 days of recording in June ‘64.

As told at rockhall.com: “the Stones made quite an impression. Their appearance was particularly jarring to Midwestern sensibilities of the mid 60s (Brian Jones' shoulder-length hair, for example) and their decorum (or lack thereof) was shocking even for the staff of Chess, who were used to seeing their fair share of rabble-rousing.” Marshall Chess shed some light: “At Chess, we had some pretty strange motherfuckers on the label, but we never had anyone who, like the Stones, drank straight from a bottle of Jack Daniels in the studio rather than nipping to the bathroom for a drink or a toke, this was new even to us.”

In the May 23, 1964 issue of Melody Maker, Muddy Waters was quoted as saying: “They're my boys. I like their version of 'I Just Want To Make Love To You.' They fade it out just like we did.” 7 of the 16 songs from those sessions made their way onto “12 x 5” and accounted for three of the best songs that the LP has to offer. The group had their opportunistic finger on the pulse of what was happening and this was exemplified with two of the covers on side 1. Their Irma Thomas inspired version of “Time is On My Side” gave them an almost instant US Top 10 hit (at the expense of Irma’s own version) and the cover of The Valentino’s “It’s All Over Now” also outperformed the original in the singles sales market. Although Bobby Womack wasn’t happy at the Stones muscling in on his song at the time, he changed his tune when his first royalty cheque appeared a few months later. Also from the Chicago sessions, another organ-led ballad, the cover of Wilson Pickett’s “If You Need Me”, made for a great inclusion on side 2. As proven beyond a doubt on their first two LPs, these boys were music lovers – and very fine interpreters.

The Jukebox Rebel

A1 [03:03] 7.1.png The Rolling Stones - Around And Around (Charles Berry) Rock n Roll / Rockabilly
A2 [02:47] 7.4.png The Rolling Stones - Confessin’ The Blues (Jay McShann, Walter Brown) Blues / Rhythm n Blues
A3 [02:37] 6.6.png The Rolling Stones - Empty Heart (Bill Wyman, Brian Jones, Charlie Watts, Ian Stewart, Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Phil Spector) Blues Rock / Soul Rock
A4 [02:53] 8.9.png The Rolling Stones - Time Is On My Side (Jerry Ragovoy, Jimmy Norman) Rock n Roll Ballad
A5 [02:30] 7.2.png The Rolling Stones - Good Times, Bad Times (Mick Jagger, Keith Richards) Blues / Rhythm n Blues
A6 [03:26] 7.9.png The Rolling Stones - It’s All Over Now (Bobby Womack, Shirley Womack) Rock n Roll / Rockabilly
B1 [03:38] 6.7.png The Rolling Stones - 2120 South Michigan Avenue (Nanker Phelge) Blues / Rhythm n Blues
B2 [02:46] 5.5.png The Rolling Stones - Under The Boardwalk (Arthur Resnick, Kenny Young) Pop
B3 [02:29] 5.9.png The Rolling Stones - Congratulations (Mick Jagger, Keith Richards) Country
B4 [02:05] 7.4.png The Rolling Stones - Grown Up Wrong (Mick Jagger, Keith Richards) Blues / Rhythm n Blues
B5 [02:04] 7.8.png The Rolling Stones - If You Need Me (Robert Bateman, Wilson Pickett) Rock n Roll Ballad
B6 [01:50] 6.4.png The Rolling Stones - Susie Q (Dale Hawkins, Eleanor Broadwater, Stan Lewis) Blues / Rhythm n Blues

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