The Rolling Stones

Grown Up Wrong

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Of the several R&B-based songs the Rolling Stones wrote in 1963-1965 as they struggled to find their feet as songwriters, "Grown Up Wrong" is possibly the most mediocre. Most of the very first songs Mick Jagger and Keith Richards wrote were tame Merseybeat-influenced pop/rock ballads. Along with some other songs like "Surprise Surprise," "Grown Up Wrong" -- which appeared on their second album, 12 X 5 -- could be seen as an attempt to write in a much harder blues-rock tradition that was much more in line with their tastes and influences. The problem is that it isn't much of a song, based on a moody guitar riff that curls downward toward a twang before zooming up for a couple repeated high notes. Probably meant to be tough, it ends up being more irritating, particularly as it's repeated often throughout the track. Against a handclapping rhythm, the verses are little more than a series of ill-natured complaints -- against a girl, presumably -- who's grown up wrong and hard to handle. And the song doesn't develop any further than that, although some typical early Rolling Stones bluesy harmonica work helps fill it out to full-song length. Had the group's songwriting acumen as a whole not gone much further beyond "Grown Up Wrong," there would be many millions less people listening or thinking about the group today. Of course, as we all know, they did quickly develop as composers, starting with their huge 1965 hit singles like "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction." "Grown Up Wrong" is a relic of the days before those skills had clicked. The Florida garage band the Nightcrawlers recorded the song in the mid-'60s (though their version wasn't issued until 2000), and a live version by the punk-power pop group the Real Kids was also eventually included on an archival compilation.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
12 X 5 1964 ABKCO Records 2:06
The Rolling Stones No. 2 1965 Decca 1:50
Remastered Series 2004 ABKCO Records 2:06
The Rolling Stones 1964-1969 [Vinyl Box Set] 2010 ABKCO Records / Universal Distribution 2:05
The Rolling Stones in Mono 2016 ABKCO Records 2:06