The Rolling Stones, December’s Children (And Everybody’s)

Ben Fong-Torres

By Ben Fong-Torres

on 04.22.11 in Reviews

December's Children (And Everybody's)

The Rolling Stones

On their fifth album inside of their first two years, the Stones were still leaning heavily on other composers, ranging from blues (Muddy Waters) and R&B (Chuck Berry) to country (Hank Snow's “I'm Moving On”) and jazz (Bobby Troup's standard, “Route 66″) for six of the 12 cuts.

While still mining their American musical roots, Mick and Keef start to show off their songwriting chops.

Not that the Stones simply motored west. Just as they gave “Route 66″ a rollicking reading that'd never been heard before, they did fine by Keith Richards'personal guitar god, Berry, on “I'm Talking About You” (the Stones, or whoever did their typing, left off the “I'm”).

But, along with Out of Our Heads, this album signals the Stones'headstrong move into rock, and to their own compositions. The standout is their killer follow-up to “Satisfaction,” “Get Off of My Cloud,” with the Stones at their snarling best. “I'm Free” is another exuberant sign of young blokes feeling their oats. “Blue Turns to Grey” and “The Singer Not the Song” are nothing special; ditto “Gotta Get Away,” which served as the flip side to “As Tears Go By.” That tune, inspired by and written for Mick Jagger's girlfriend, Marianne Faithfull, is a pretty surprise coming from Jagger and Richards, who enjoyed setting detachment and cruelty to music. But there were plenty more surprises ahead.