performer: Chuck Berry (1961)
First release: UK single, June 1963 First US release: More Hot Rocks, 1972
Recording date: May 1963 Recording location: Olympic Sound Studios, London, England
Producer: Andrew Oldham Engineer: Robert Savage
Performed onstage: 1963-65
Bass: Bill Wyman
Electric guitar: Keith Richards
Lead vocal: Mick Jagger
Backing vocals: Brian Jones & Bill Wyman
Harmonica: Brian Jones
Ah come on
We were always doing other people's material but we thought we'd have a go at that - Oh, it sounds catchy. And it worked out. At the time it was done just to get a record out. We never wanted to hear it. The idea was Andrew's - to get a strong single so they'd let us make an album which back then was a privilege.
The first single was Chuck Berry's Come On. It was middle ground, but it was also very, very pop. We threw it in along with a couple of Bo Diddley songs and I think it was chosen because it was so obviously more chart-orientated. We did listen to Decca's feedback, obviously - not that it was particularly interesting. It might have been Andrew Oldham along with a few people like Dick Rowe making the decision. It really didn't matter to us; we just wanted to put it out. Then the record did so much better than we had expected and suddenly we were being told to wear the houndstooth check jackets. That one track did it.
The (Stones') attitude toward the record was, Yeah, it's okay. The record was like two poles meeting in the middle. It didn't fit their heroes and it didn't fit mine, which were radio play and success. It wasn't Willie Dixon, and it wasn't the Ronettes.
(It was our decision to record it.) Nobody else knew it and to the best of our knowledge nobody had done it. I don't think it was very good, in fact it was shit... It really was shit. God knows how it ever got in the charts, it was such a hype. In fact we disliked it so much we didn't do it on any of our gigs... Eventually we did it in the ballrooms and the people seemed to dig it.
It was our first compromise.
It meant everything for a band to have a record in the charts and I remember Come On did pretty well. I think it's brilliant - I like the original by Chuck Berry and I Want to Be Loved, the B-side.
Back to Main Page.