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Its only rock n roll... the album
Posted by: ohcarol ()
Date: June 27, 2013 07:31

I always enjoyed this album and when it came out I played the heck out of it on my 8 track car stero! I thought the song "If you really want to be my friend" was a dog but the rest I really enjoyed! I think thi album may have went to number #1 in the U.S. My question is why dose this album tend to get ignored or slammed by some? Yeah its no Exile but a decent album never the less. Thanks



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2013-06-27 07:32 by ohcarol.

Re: Its only rock n roll... the album
Posted by: rob51 ()
Date: June 27, 2013 07:36

I agree! Always liked this album and could never understand the negative reaction? Beats the hell out of what came next anyway?

Re: Its only rock n roll... the album
Posted by: sonomastone ()
Date: June 27, 2013 07:38

noticeable decline in quality of songwriting
there are some gems and good ideas
but rarely are they completed into a coherent song
and tend to be formulaic rather than paradigm-shifting

also i think the production was poor, they missed jimmy miller

it's a good album
but people expected greatness

my 2 cents

Re: Its only rock n roll... the album
Posted by: Big Al ()
Date: June 27, 2013 07:53

It's a so-so album from a so-so era of the Rolling Stones. There are a few memorable-ish moments, but Exile on Main Street had been released two years previously and Some Girls was still four years away. It's not a Stones-era with any real majesty attached to it. Jagger sang It's Only Rock N'Roll and that's all it felt like, I'm sure. The Stones were merely, dare I say it, ordinary.

Re: Its only rock n roll... the album
Posted by: Big Al ()
Date: June 27, 2013 07:57

I think '74-75 was a bit of a naff period for all concerned, no? 'Glam' and the likes of Slade, T.Rex and Ziggy-era Bowie had faded and 'punk' was still to truely find it's way. Who was big in 74-75? Pink Floyd? Yes? Zzzz...

Re: Its only rock n roll... the album
Posted by: Rockman ()
Date: June 27, 2013 08:00

...Get the Japanese SACD of IORR ...
Has the longer 6.45 min version of Time Waits For No One on it



ROCKMAN

Re: Its only rock n roll... the album
Posted by: sonomastone ()
Date: June 27, 2013 08:02

Quote
Big Al
I think '74-75 was a bit of a naff period for all concerned, no? 'Glam' and the likes of Slade, T.Rex and Ziggy-era Bowie had faded and 'punk' was still to truely find it's way. Who was big in 74-75? Pink Floyd? Yes? Zzzz...

Rock and roll was dying
Until punk brought it back from the ashes

Re: Its only rock n roll... the album
Posted by: GravityBoy ()
Date: June 27, 2013 08:03

Well I loved this album.

My second Stones album after GHS.

My friends at school (where I was the only Stones fan) thought it was good as well.

Re: Its only rock n roll... the album
Posted by: stonehearted ()
Date: June 27, 2013 08:04

It was a no. 1 album in the U.S., but they had a string of no. 1 albums from Sticky Fingers all the way through Tattoo You.

Without getting into the consensus criticisms comparing the album to Exile or Some Girls or whether it was great or ordinary in the context of the times, I would rather judge it by flow of listenability. IORR is one of those albums that I can listen to and appreciate at every turn from start to finish, which I can't say the same of with some of their more spotty efforts like Black and Blue, where I would always skip over tracks to get to favorite selections.

There is one special highlight where both Mick Taylor and Nicky Hopkins are each having their finest Stones moment on record in the same song (TWFNO) and are blending beautifully in and out of each others solos.

Re: Its only rock n roll... the album
Date: June 27, 2013 09:26

I love "Time Waits For No One" and "Fingerprint File" (title track also good but overplayed) but most of the rest of the album is pretty dull IMO. Least fave album they released from the Mick Taylor era, and from the 70s in general. It was sandwiched between two albums that are seriously underrated, each one having gotten its due much more over the past 15 years or so of critical revision. IORR hasn't gotten the same treatment and it's because it's phoned in. Songs are pretty bland, but the highlights are two of their best.

Re: Its only rock n roll... the album
Posted by: 24FPS ()
Date: June 27, 2013 11:47

Despite some people really loving Goats Head Soup, it was seen a big dropoff from the four classic albums that had preceded it, even though Angie was a huge single. People were sort of, 'Hey, it's hard to followup Exile on Main Street. They'll come back next time'. But they didn't. Not that it wasn't entertaining, but it wasn't top tier Stones. This was a real crater for their recording reputation as IORR was followed by the uneven Black and Blue which didn't have much airplay because Hot Stuff was a little too dancy and strange for the lowest common denominator Stones fan.

The rotten icing on the cake was Love You Live. There was a big demand for a live album and what we got was the first incarnation of the Vegas Stones (excepting the El Mocambo Side). Some Girls re-established them as artist who could do a cohesive album of good, strong singles. But it was Tattoo You that was their last magisterial album, with most people not knowing it was a pastiche of songs going back to the early 70s.

I remember the first time I picked up the IORR album at an Army PX base in Anchorage, Alaska. The Stones looked so decadent on that Guy Peelaert cover. But the album didn't really deliver that kind of seediness. It's quite a pop album, really.

Re: Its only rock n roll... the album
Date: June 27, 2013 11:47

Some great stuff in there, but an overall too messy entity to be a great album, imo.

Re: Its only rock n roll... the album
Posted by: sonomastone ()
Date: June 27, 2013 11:49

Quote
24FPS
Despite some people really loving Goats Head Soup, it was seen a big dropoff from the four classic albums that had preceded it, even though Angie was a huge single. People were sort of, 'Hey, it's hard to followup Exile on Main Street. They'll come back next time'. But they didn't. Not that it wasn't entertaining, but it wasn't top tier Stones. This was a real crater for their recording reputation as IORR was followed by the uneven Black and Blue which didn't have much airplay because Hot Stuff was a little too dancy and strange for the lowest common denominator Stones fan.

The rotten icing on the cake was Love You Live. There was a big demand for a live album and what we got was the first incarnation of the Vegas Stones (excepting the El Mocambo Side). Some Girls re-established them as artist who could do a cohesive album of good, strong singles. But it was Tattoo You that was their last magisterial album, with most people not knowing it was a pastiche of songs going back to the early 70s.

I remember the first time I picked up the IORR album at an Army PX base in Anchorage, Alaska. The Stones looked so decadent on that Guy Peelaert cover. But the album didn't really deliver that kind of seediness. It's quite a pop album, really.

well put. sigh.

Re: Its only rock n roll... the album
Posted by: Ket ()
Date: June 27, 2013 12:27

Their worst album of the 70's, I thought Black and Blue was much better.

Re: Its only rock n roll... the album
Posted by: KeithNacho ()
Date: June 27, 2013 13:28

This album, as well as GHS and B&B, are muche better than most of the best albums by other artists.
This is a very great album which i enjoy a lot.
I'd like the Stones to do something like this again....last time they tried to approach this level was on VL.

Re: Its only rock n roll... the album
Posted by: spsimmons ()
Date: June 27, 2013 14:00

Great album cover. But it's probably my least favorite album.

Re: Its only rock n roll... the album
Posted by: KeithNacho ()
Date: June 27, 2013 14:44

I don't like the cover, i like the inside........"the band's on stage and is one of those nights......!!!!!!!!" Yeah!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Re: Its only rock n roll... the album
Posted by: kammpberg ()
Date: June 27, 2013 14:53

This was my review of It's Only Rock n Roll:


It’s Only Rock ‘N Roll – 1974 (US #1; UK#2)

If You Can’t Rock Me • Ain’t Too Proud To Beg • It’s Only Rock ‘n Roll •
Till The Next Goodbye • Time Waits For No One
Luxury • Dance Little Sister • If You Really Want To Be My Friend •
Short And Curlies • Fingerprint File

Stones Fan – ****
Casual Listener - ***


Jimmy Miller had been producing The Stones since Beggars Banquet in 1968, but it was time for a change. It’s Only Rock ‘n Roll is the first Stones album produced by Mick and Keith a/k/a The Glimmer Twins. After the dark muddy mix of Exile and Goats Head Soup, they went for a completely different production sound here. And few Stones albums are as varied musically as this one.

Charlie kicks in as does a great classic sounding Keith riff and Mick starts singing “The bands on stage and its one of those nights”. The sound is brighter and more powerful than Goats as Mick threatens “If You Can’t Rock Me, Somebody Will”. The song has a nice bridge with Taylor playing a tuneful lyrical lead. But throughout the song, the lead sounds like it was overdubbed over the band playing live, and it’s slightly jarring. Overall, it’s a nice opening number but lacking that magical something.

Charlie does a nice opening fill, Keith slashes a great chord lick, Billy Preston kicks in a tasty piano lick and we’re into a classic Stones Motown cover. The Stones typically do great covers and this is prime. Keith does a great raw solo that you’d never hear in Motown. This is raw, tasty, rock with a Motown beat. If you’re going to do a cover, you should do it in your style. I can’t stand note for note covers, and The Stones are masters at taking a song (even a classic) and making it their own. They liked Ain’t Too Proud To Beg enough to release it as their 2nd US single, but it only peaked at #17. They still occasionally play it live and it still sounds good.

The title track was the initial single. It was the worst performing first Stones album single at that time. Especially after number ones from Brown Sugar and Angie, peaking at #16 in the US and #10 in the UK was extremely disappointing. But It’s Only Rock ‘n Roll is an offbeat listen. It started as a jam at Ronnie Wood’s house with Bowie and others – hence his “inspiration” credit on the album. Ronnie then gave it to Mick to work on (probably in exchange for the work on Ronnie’s solo album). The problem is you can hear the work on the song, how he formed a Chuck Berry’ish jammed song around a great anthem type chorus. The song kind of push and pulls and sort of fights with itself before it eventually takes off at the end. The Stones still play it live (the only live regular from the album), but I still find it lacking as a total song. It’s a classic chorus in need of a better song.

Till The Next Goodbye is another one of those beautiful unknown Stones ballads. It’s not single material. It’s slow, drawn out, not particularly hooky, yet the music sucks you in with the beautiful acoustic flourishes. The bridge when Mick sings how “he can’t go on like this” as the piano touches in is very effective. The Stones liked it enough to do a promo film for it along with the two singles for Don Kirschner’s Rock Concert.

Time Waits For No One is next and it is a masterpiece. Without a doubt, it is the greatest musical composition The Stones have ever done with matching lyrics magnificently sung by Jagger. The opening and closing rim shot, bass drum combo as the music enters in is so tasteful and unique. This is Mick Taylor’s greatest moment with The Stones, as throughout the song, his lyrical licks and accents are amazing. It also features his greatest lead guitar solos ever. I’ve been listening to this track for 35 years and never tire of it and still hear new things. It’s incredibly layered, amazingly produced and played. Listen to the end solo with Taylor weaving in and out with Charlie’s fantastic drums accents (hear those cymbals), piano coming in and finally the song fading away with just the rim shots and bass drum. This song should be played daily on radio and should’ve won a Grammy. This is simply a historic rock recording and a highlight of The Stones career.

Side two starts with the pseudo reggae of Luxury. What seems like a minor album track at first, becomes a real grower over time. Perhaps it could’ve used a stronger beat to help propel it, but it grooves so well as Jagger complains about working so hard to keep you in the luxury. This is another unique musical song from the Stones and it works really well.

With the exception of the opening track, Dance Little Sister is the only basic rocker on the album. But this track has little dynamic to it, except the really great bridge (“Jumped out of Africa”) followed by a killer guitar solo. The rest of the track does get monotonous and is fairly pedestrian for The Stones. The outtake version has the bridge a second time, which is an improvement.

If You Really Want To Be My Friend is a really tasty Philly style soul ballad. Blue Magic does fantastic backing vocal touches throughout the track. Jagger’s vocals are great as The Stones are really stretching themselves here. Another wonderful guitar solo mixed with keyboard touches highlight a great track. At over 6 minutes, The Stones are showing they’re not concerned with commercial concerns – you won’t hear this on the radio and that’s just fine. But with some editing, Hall & Oates could’ve taken this song to the top.

Short and Curlies sounds like a loose one take type bar-room jam song as Mick sings about how “it’s too bad that she’s got you by the balls”. It’s a fun listen, but certainly not essential, and probably could’ve cut it as a b-side somewhere.

Fingerprint File closes the album in unique style. This funky song barely sounds like The Stones (sounds like solo Jagger really as he’s playing the rhythm guitar). The break in which the song stops with “Superfly” style licks, bass solo notes, funky drums, wah wah rhythm guitar and Jagger whispering about paranoia is a really unique Stones experience. Then the song picks up again and you definitely want to get up and boogie. It was great live on the 1975 tour and it’s disappeared since. Bring it back I say.

With only two real rockers, a great Temptations cover, a long soul ballad, a weird wild funk excursion and a magnificent Santana styled true musical composition, It’s Only Rock ‘n Roll is a tremendously varied sounding record. It’s a very enjoyable musical journey. Yet with the exception of Time Waits For No One, it’s missing that intangible Stones magic. It’s also lacking a great single, which helps explain it’s relatively disappointing chart stats (#1 for only a week in the US, #2 in UK). Other bands in 1974 would envy an album of this quality, yet from The Stones, it just seems a little off. The writing was on the wall as this was Mick Taylor’s finale. It did feature one of my favorite covers though, courtesy of Guy Peelaert, who did even better with Bowie’s Diamond Dogs.

Re: Its only rock n roll... the album
Posted by: KeithNacho ()
Date: June 27, 2013 15:02

great review my friend

Re: Its only rock n roll... the album
Posted by: leatherjacket ()
Date: June 27, 2013 15:53

The studio track IORR and TTNG are amongst my favourite Stones songs ever though the album was the first one I didn't like all of the songs.

Re: Its only rock n roll... the album
Posted by: DEmerson ()
Date: June 27, 2013 15:56

I've been thinking of starting a similiar thread recently, so I'm happy to join in on this one. My post was going to be titled something like "Is It's Only Rock and Roll a Great Stones Album?". It certainly has some great moments. I still get knocked out by Time Waits FNO...probably the one song if I had to pick that I would love to see them do live now with MT. It's got a couple clunkers IMO (If You Really Want to be My Friend, Til The Next Goodbye), and it's not as 'serious' in tone as others (if that makes sense - starting with the cartoon cover - not that a zipper cover is 'serious'), but overall I think it's a very solid album that borDErs on greatness.

Re: Its only rock n roll... the album
Posted by: shattered ()
Date: June 27, 2013 15:57

Fingerprint File was ahead of it's time eh? The cover, true Roman. I have it framed.

Re: Its only rock n roll... the album
Posted by: buttons67 ()
Date: June 27, 2013 16:22

had the pleasure along with many other stones albums to listen to its only rock and roll not in realtime when they were released but over a short space of time just after i became a fan. got into the stones in 1987 and spent a great deal of 1988 and 1989 buying up almost 95% of thier back catologue, i was aware its only rock and roll didnt receive the accolades of previous material so i really wasnt expecting much, so it came as a pleasant surprise and the album has grown on me more as time has passed. i feel like most other "average" stones albums that if it had been released by a lesser band or artist it would have been hailed as a classic.

its only rock and roll is a great album and very underated, most of the songs are easy to grow to like but it is also easy to see why a lot of people dismiss it as it isnt exile on main street or let it bleed. sadly the stones will always suffer from having a lot of good material compared to their very best, and often get great or good songs overlooked as a result.

Re: Its only rock n roll... the album
Posted by: rollmops ()
Date: June 27, 2013 16:45

When it was released in 1974, the "Rock intellectuals" may not have loved it, but the kids(I was one of them) we surely liked it, yes we did.Dance little sister dance, doesn't need more chords, that Keith's riff by itself is hauntingly perfect.
Rock and roll,
Mops

Re: Its only rock n roll... the album
Posted by: JC21769 ()
Date: June 27, 2013 17:00

They had too many recording tracks available. Overdub city.

Re: Its only rock n roll... the album
Posted by: treaclefingers ()
Date: June 27, 2013 17:48

I've always liked this album ... the studio version of the song IORR is unmatched by any live version.

Some songs get better live, some definitely do not.

Re: Its only rock n roll... the album
Posted by: whitem8 ()
Date: June 27, 2013 18:00

There periodically are threads about IORR. Recently, an original review from Rolling Stone, that was very favorable, was printed, and remarks from Lester Bangs- Who didn't like it much.

I have always loved IORR. And rockman is quite right about the glorious SACD version. It sounds fantastic. In some ways a brave adventure, with the jettisoning of Jimmy Miller, and Keith being completely junkied out, they took on the producing. Which gives it a bit of a murky dark feel with a glammed out mid 70's feel. Lovely in places, dark in others, and full on cock rock breaks through. I know many feel it was the beginning of the decay, but when you put the album in historical context, what was before it and what came after, it is an interesting release. What was originally to be a studio album with one side of originals and the other side covers, they soon discovered a muse in the studio, and sharpened by the road, the glimmers and Mick Taylor hatched a lovely trove of new songs. Surely, one of Mick Taylor's main gripes, was the fact Keith was not very disengaged and seemed to be a more of a session player, showing up, at odd hours, cranking his riffs, and croaking out some backing vocals, so Taylor worked with Mick J very closely creating melodies and ideas to the mix, more than on any previous album. This must have been very dis-enhartening to him, when he only was listed as a player and not a creative partner on the album's final release. But Mick T is all over it, and his playing is stunning. From acoustic, to lovely latinesque leads, to his classic down and dirty blues. I for one love this album and always have. Deep funk, classic rock, blues, gospel, countrfied corn fed weirdness. And the sleazy pallor of heroin blues all over it. Some poignant ballads, gritty slabs of riffing. I always go back to IORR and it brings a smile to my face and itch to dance. Both side ended with grandiose sublime hits. And both songs are stone classic deep cuts.

Re: Its only rock n roll... the album
Posted by: Sipuncula ()
Date: June 27, 2013 18:24

Quote
Buttons67
had the pleasure along with many other stones albums to listen to its only rock and roll not in realtime when they were released but over a short space of time just after i became a fan.

Similar story here, and it was one of the first ones I got from their back catalog. I liked it at first listen, but it hasn't really grown on me since. It's probably my least favorite post '68 album, in fact. Most of their other stuff, even if I didn't like it much at first, I really "got" upon repeated listens (Black and Blue and Bridges to Babylon come to mind). This one is like Dirty Work or A Bigger Bang. What you see is what you get.

That being said, I'll give it another listen. Good thing about the Stones is that things are likely to click eventually, at least with me.

Re: Its only rock n roll... the album
Posted by: nomis ()
Date: June 27, 2013 18:26

Quote
ohcarol
I always enjoyed this album and when it came out I played the heck out of it on my 8 track car stero! I thought the song "If you really want to be my friend" was a dog but the rest I really enjoyed! I think thi album may have went to number #1 in the U.S. My question is why dose this album tend to get ignored or slammed by some? Yeah its no Exile but a decent album never the less. Thanks

yes, I always liked it too. Good songs from beginning to end. An enjoyable listen all the way through. At the time I wasn't tainted by other albmus to compare it too. I had Ya Yas and Goats Head Soup. It was a great sequel to those two records. Fit right in. I still play it on occassion and it still sounds good.

Re: Its only rock n roll... the album
Posted by: Rollin' Stoner ()
Date: June 27, 2013 18:45

great album from start to finish

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