The Rolling Stones, The Rolling Stones, Now!

John Morthland

By John Morthland

on 04.22.11 in Reviews

The Rolling Stones, Now!

The Rolling Stones

At the time of its release in 1965, Now! seemed to mark a turning point, a summation of everything the Stones'd been — Chicago blues in “Little Red Rooster,” New Orleans R&B in “Down Home Girl,” Chuck in “You Can't Catch Me” and Bo in “Mona (I Need You Baby)” — and a step into their future via deep soul like “Everybody Needs Somebody to Love” and “Pain in My Heart.” So what if it turned out it was slapped together from various sources? This is a grooves album, Brian's album, even, as affirmed by his scintillating slide on “Little Red Rooster” — one of the last blues songs a white band should've attempted, and yet one of this band's finest moments thus far.

The Stones get groovy with some Chicago blues, New Orleans R&B and more.

Aside from four by Jagger-Richards, the only song here that doesn't originate with African-American sources is “Down the Road Apiece,” and even then, their rip-roaring stomp is sho-nuff based on (and easily surpasses) Chuck Berry's version. (By now they've absorbed Berry so fully that their own “Off the Hook” could have been written by him.) If the other highs here don't quite match those of previous efforts, this one definitely has fewer lows; despite the patch-job, it's their most consistent album until Mick and Keith began hitting their stride as writers.