But you can’t come back and be the first in line

It was half a century ago this year that Brian Jones had to come up with a name for his band while on the phone with Jazz News. Asked the obvious question he responded after noticing a Muddy Waters record on the floor, which had “Rollin’ Stone” as one of the tracks.  Later, when they played their first gig, they were billed as “the Rollin’ Stones.”

By the following year, with a new manager and a properly spelled name, the Rolling Stones had landed a sweet deal with Decca Records, which had regrettably passed on the Beatles and was happy to go along with positioning this capable new group as the anti-Beatles. But suddenly they were expected to record their own material and there’s a learning curve to songwriting.  Their initial song-list mainly consisted of R&B covers and it wasn’t until the release of their fourth studio LP, “Aftermath” in 1966, that the Rolling Stones finally had an entire album of original tracks, each written by the burgeoning songwriting team of Jagger/Richards.

Recorded entirely in the US, at RCA Studios in Hollywood, and fully released in stereo (two Rolling Stones firsts) “Aftermath” was also noteworthy for the brilliant/tragic Brian Jones’ musical experimentation, including sitar, marimba and dulcimer.  But as it was then common practice to release different versions of an album in the UK and the US, today’s selection received little recognition on this side of the Atlantic.

Songs that had already been released as singles weren’t usually included on British pop albums, but British records still tended to be longer-playing than their American counterparts because 13 or 14 tracks was the standard length, as opposed to the 11 or 12 tracks included on an American LP.   Take “Aftermath” for example, which quickly topped the UK charts, released in April 1966 with 14 tracks, it didn’t include the Stones’ hit singles, “Paint It, Black” and “19th Nervous Breakdown.”

Released a few months later with only 12 tracks, the American version (which peaked at Number 2) did include “Paint It, Black” but excluded “Mother’s Little Helper”Take it or Leave It”  “What to Do” and “Out of Time”.  While “Mother’s Little Helper” was also released as a single (peaking at Number 8 on the Billboard Charts), it and the other eliminated tracks were later included on that tried-and-true concept, the American-only compilation album.

Released in 1967, “Flowers” featured tracks (some dating back to 1965) that had either been released as UK singles or had been omitted on the American versions of “Aftermath” and it’s follow-up album “Between the Buttons”.  Smart marketing perhaps, as “Flowers” reached Number 3 on the Billboard Album charts in 1967…but if you happen to enjoy what Brian Jones did on marimba with this song, it was rather a gyp.  While the original version ran for 5:37 (as it does here), the American version was abridged to 3:29.

At least that Summer of Love was a turning point for the custom of releasing differing US/UK versions of an album. Like most British Invasion groups, Beatles albums had also been produced and marketed this way.  But in 1967, with the game changing “concept” release of “Sgt. Pepper” the practice had…well…begun to run out of time.

LISTEN TO TODAY’S SELECTION – Wednesday 12 December 

Out of Time

 You don’t know what’s going on

You’ve been away for far too long

You can’t come back and think you are still mine

You’re out of touch my baby

My poor discarded baby

I said, baby, baby, baby, you’re out of time

Well, baby, baby, baby, you’re out of time

I said, baby, baby, baby, you’re out of time

You are all left out

Out of there without a doubt

‘Cause baby, baby, baby, you’re out of time

 The girl that wants to run away

Discovers that she’s out of day

It’s no good you’re thinking that you are still mine

You’re out of touch, my baby

My poor unfaithful baby

I said, baby, baby, baby, you’re out of time

 Well, baby, baby, baby, you’re out of time

I said, baby, baby, baby, you’re out of time

Yes, you’re all left out

Out of there, without a doubt

‘Cause baby, baby, baby, you’re out of time

 You thought you were a clever girl

Giving up your social whirl

But you can’t come back and be the first in line,

oh no

You’re obsolete my baby

My poor old-fashioned baby

I said baby, baby, baby you’re out of time

 Well, baby, baby, baby, you’re out of time

I said, baby, baby, baby, you’re out of time

Yes, you’re left out

Out of there, without a doubt

‘Cause baby, baby, baby, you’re out of time

Sing the song….

I said, baby, baby, you’re out of time

 

 

 

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