January 3-4, 1964: Regent Sound Studios, London, England
June 10-11, 1964: Chess Studios, Chicago, USA
September 2, 1964: Regent Sound Studios, London, England
November 2, 1964: RCA Studios, Los Angeles, California, USA
November 8, 1964: Chess Studios, Chicago, USA
Engineers: Bill Farley, Ron Malo, Dave Hassinger
Released: February 1965
Original label: London Records (Polygram)
Contributing musicians: Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Charlie Watts, Bill Wyman, Brian Jones, Ian Stewart, Jack Nitzsche.
Everybody Needs Somebody to Love
Down Home Girl
You Can't Catch Me
Heart of Stone
What a Shame
Mona (I Need You Baby)
Down the Road Apiece
Off the Hook
Pain in My Heart
Oh Baby! (We Got a Good Thing Goin')
Little Red Rooster
When we got into RCA in Hollywood, fuckin' huge Studio A, with Dave Hassinger engineering, we said, We can really do it here. It's all laid out. All you have to do is not let them take you over. Engineers never even used to work, man. They'd flick a few switches and that was it. The machinery was unsophisticated in those days, four track was the biggest there was.
The whole set-up (at RCA) was terrific. We completely insulated ourselves from the outside. The boys recorded for fifteen hours non-stop, from 11 AM to 4 AM, and I spent another three hours in the studio overdubbing and editing the masters. This session has produced a new Rolling Stones sound, and certainly brought out the best in Keith, whose guitar playing was magnificent. The only outsider was Jack Nitzsche, who played a toy piano and was able to make it sound like any instrument you like; on some tracks, it even sounds like a trombone.
(RCA Studios) was a lovely big room, which meant you could work for hours and hours without getting tired. Good equipment. Great address (on Hollywood Boulevard). Also Dave Hassinger was there, who was a great engineer. In those days, for two or three years, we were basically working 350 days a year. You'd have 10 days off the tour to go to L.A. and record. RCA was the first room we recorded in in L.A. So we knew that when we got there we weren't in for strange surroundings. There was no time to check out a bunch of studios in those days. You'd just set up and go.
The atmosphere and studio, plus the fact that we knew we had good material, made the session a good one. We didn't think it would work out at first, as the studio is so gigantic we were terrified. Then Andrew hit on the idea of putting us in one corner, shutting off the main lights and just using a spotlight, to make it more cosy. The control room was also in darkness. A bit mad, but it did the trick. Me and the boys really let ourselves go. Bill should be mentioned. He really did a great job on one number, double-tracking on bass and six-string bass.
We wrote several originals, including a thing called What a Shame. It wasn't quite the same atmosphere (at Chess) this time, because it was a Sunday, and nobody was about. Sunday in Chicago is like Sunday in Scotland - dead.
After a playback you had to get an OK from the Stones before mixing. And an OK from the Stones was Mick and Keith. Not even Andrew (Oldham). That's why I liked Andrew. He never claimed or appeared to be the Rolling Stones. Mick, Keith and Andrew seemed to have that understanding.
The first time I met (the Stones) was when they walked into RCA Studios, and the session just stopped because no one had ever seen anyone who looked like that... There was no guidance at all on those early records. And very little need for it. What the fuck, this was the first time a band got together and just played. They changed my whole idea of recording. Before I'd just been doing sessions, 3 hours to get the tunes down. Working with the Stones made sense right away. Booked studio time for 24 hours a day for two weeks and if you didn't get it, fuck it. The great new thing about them was they'd record a song the way they had written it. And if it didn't work nobody thought twice about making it a tango. They tried every way possible.
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