12 X 5 (1964)

1.Around and Around 2.Confessin' the Blues 3.Empty Heart 4.Time is on My Side 5.Good Times, Bad Times 6.It's All Over Now 7.2120 South Michigan Avenue 8.Under the Boardwalk 9.Congradulations 10.Grown Up Wrong 11.If You Need Me 12.Susie Q


The second full length Rolling Stones album sounds an awful lot like their first. Actually, the first five Rolling Stones albums sound pretty similar to one another. Not that that is a bad thing necessarily - it's just a bit hard to distinguish whether or not the band really evolved at all during this early phase of their career. Of course, who cared whether or not bands evolved back in the early to mid sixties? Just get them in a studio, make some quick songs, and get the album released. That's exactly what this is, coming out less than six months after their debut, and barely clocking in at over 30 minutes.

What we have here is a lot of the same. Some of the numbers sound a bit more "rock" influenced than "blues" influenced - but the distinction back then was a hard one to make. Plus, it's arguable whether or not this could have been intentional or not. Mick and Keith do manage to pen a few original tunes, and they fit quite nicely, although the best material are the well-known covers. Highlights are the opening Around and Around as well as the less-than-two minute ending track Susie Q. Other great listens are the instrumental 2120 South Michigan Avenue and the "cover" of Irma Thomas' Time is On My Side, which most people have never heard, so it remains best known as a Stones' "original".

It's a quick, fast, enjoyable listen, although owning it is not essential if you have any of their other early albums. The only real embarrassment is Under the Boardwalk that just doesn't seem appropriate for a band like the Rolling Stones to cover, and seems a bit out of place here.

Back To Main Page
Go To Next Review