A peculiar, uneven collection of covers of songs written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, released between 1964 and 1975. Some are rare, some are not; most were recorded by the Rolling Stones, although four of the 24 tunes were never released by the group; some are good, some are indifferent, and some are awful. Most likely the grab bag was chosen according to what was available for licensing, as much as it was chosen for musical merit. At any rate, Stones collectors will find this most interesting for those four tunes the group never released, including Gene Pitney's melodramatic 1964 ballad (and U.K. hit) "That Girl Belongs to Yesterday," Charles Dickens' sappy ballad "So Much in Love" (produced Beach Boys-style and actually done better by the Mighty Avengers), and the quite rare light British Invasion pop of the Greenbeats' 1964 single "You Must Be the One." The rarest find here is undoubtedly Teddy Green's 1964 single "Give Me Your Hand," boasting the highly unusual (for the 1960s) songwriting credit of Mick Jagger alone, unassisted by Keith Richards, though it's a mediocre bluesy pop tune with an over-the-top, untuneful vocal. Other oddities are comedian Jimmy Tarbuck's instantly forgettable mid-'60s pop single "Wastin' Time," although a Rolling Stones version did eventually show up on Metamorphosis, and Nicky Scott's lush 1967 single "Backstreet Girl" (produced by Mick Jagger and Andrew Loog Oldham). As for highlights among the covers of songs familiar in versions by the Rolling Stones themselves, there's a pretty cool funk-rock interpretation of "Gimme Shelter" from the early '70s by obscure American soul vocalist Ruth Copeland, the Searchers' fine folk-rock version of "Take It or Leave It," and the Epics' lilting 1966 take on the surprisingly oft-covered "Blue Turns to Grey." On the other hand, there are five outings by blustery British white soul singer Chris Farlowe, and similarly unmemorable passes at Jagger-Richards compositions by P.P. Arnold, Twice as Much, and even lesser-known artists. The hard-to-find Japanese LP compilation Walkin' Thru the Sleepy City, by the way, collates thirteen 1960s Rolling Stones covers -- largely of songs the Stones did not release in the 1960s -- that do not appear on Let's Go Get Stoned, and might well be of greater interest to dedicated Stones fans.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Richie Unterberger