The Rolling Stones

Think

Song Review by

Aside from "Paint It Black," "Lady Jane," "Mother's Little Helper," "Out of Time," and "Under My Thumb," none of the songs on the Rolling Stones' Aftermath (whether landing on the U.S. version, the U.K. one, or both) really became that well known to the general public. Of the ones not routinely included on greatest-hits collections, "Think" is one of the better ones, as well as one of the poppier ones, though by this time even the poppier Rolling Stones originals were rawer and more R&B-grounded than most pop/rock by other groups. Like a number of Stones songs as the Mick Jagger-Keith Richards songwriting team started to reach its peak -- "19th Nervous Breakdown," say -- the song starts with strong, ominous interweaving guitar riffs of varying textures. The most attention-grabbing aspect of the arrangement at the time was the then-novel fuzz bass, which features prominently throughout the track. The track makes a little more use of vocal harmonies than the average Rolling Stones song, and has a fairly catchy chorus in which the rhythm briefly slows into a dramatic stop-start mode as Jagger accuses -- as he was often wont to do -- a woman for being at fault for relationship problems. Lyrically it's a one-sided if slightly subdued look at how an affair's changing -- of course, listeners don't get to hear her side of the story -- perhaps sparked by Jagger's troubled relationship with then-girlfriend Chrissie Shrimpton as his fame skyrocketed. "Think"'s a decent song, but if there's any strong criticism of it, it's that it sounds a bit like an attempt to write a single that didn't quite make the grade, with a little tentativeness to the group's performance. And indeed, Jagger and Richards did seem to have thoughts of making it into a hit single for someone else, producing (with Stones manager/producer Andrew Loog Oldham) a version by Chris Farlowe that was released in January 1966, a few months before the release of the Stones' own recording of the song. Farlowe's interpretation -- with a far showier soul-rock feel, including brass -- wasn't a great success, though, reaching a mere number 37 on the British charts.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
Aftermath 1966 ABKCO Records 6:52
Remastered Series 2004 ABKCO Records 3:09
The Rolling Stones 1964-1969 [Vinyl Box Set] 2010 ABKCO Records / Universal Distribution 3:09
The Rolling Stones in Mono 2016 ABKCO Records 3:17