Good Times Bad Times B-Side of It's All Over Now (1964)
The Bobby Womack A-side was The Stones first UK No.1 single and, at this point in their career, Jagger/Richards* originals are still being tucked away on the B-side. A faithful blues, can we hear the Stones clinging to their blues roots as the A-sides become more mainstream?
Off the Hook B-Side of Little Red Rooster (1964)
For me, this is the most rebellious Stones record of all. How come? Think about it: a balls-out, full-blown blues, no pop undertones.
It's commercial suicide.
It's not just a blues… it's a SLOW blues. NOTHING like it had ever been unleashed on the Hit Parade. Certainly nothing like it ever hit the top spot. Pure swagger.
This B-Side is pretty bluesy, too, but much more commercial - another J&R original*.
* There has been something of an Orwellian re-write here – the original writing credit was Nanker/Phelge, the pseudonym for early group original compositions. In recent years, the credit has been changed to Jagger/Richards.
The name Phelge was a former flatmate of Richards, Jones and Jagger and Edith Grove. Nanker was the name of a grotesque face pulled by Brian Jones
Play With Fire B-Side of The Last Time (1965)
A Swinging London classic, one of the great underrated Jagger & Richards compositions, a tale of the perils of social mobility. "Now she gets her kicks in Stepney/Not in Knightsbridge anymore". Very Stones, this, that Jagger should identify the dark underbelly of cuddly Swinging London.
The Spider & The Fly B-Side of Satisfaction (1965)
More back-to-basics blues and another Nanker/Phelge original - see * above. Listen out for the line: She was common/Flirty. She looked about 30" (!!!)
The Singer Not The Song Get Off My Cloud (1965)
A reflective number in more way than one – an introspective lyric and an arrangement that reflects the vogue for Folk Rock. the only one in this playlist that actually sounds like a B-Side.
Long, Long While B-Side of Paint It Black (1966)
Back to the blues.
Child of the Moon B-Side of Jumpin' Jack Flash (1968)
The last hurrah of the psychedelic Stones. And by George they've almost got it! Indelibly Beatlely but, for my money, up there with 2000 Light Years From Home as the Stones best tilt at psychedelia.
You Can't Always Get What You Want B-Side of Honky Tonk Woman (1969)
The sheer audacity, the arrogance of putting such a stonewall classic out as a B-side is very Stones. Sits alongside Simon & Garfunkel's Bridge Over Troubled Water and The Beatles' Hey Jude in a suite of hymns to the passing of the 60s. Meanwhile on the A-Side it pedal-to-the-metal for the next 50 years.
Here's the full playlist…