Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Recording at IBC Studios

Early 1963 the Rolling Stones were hot and cooking, and it was time to book themselves into a studio. Glyn Johns, who worked as an engineer at IBC Recording Studios in Portland Place, London, offered the band to make a tape, so that he could get a record company interested in them. The band signed a six month deal with IBC to record free of charge. An acetate was made of the sessions and this was touted by IBC amongst the record companies. EMI were one of the companies to reject the tracks - sincerity was detected but the thin production quality and the lack of chart potential caused the end product to be suspect.

During a three-hour session on March 11, 1963, the band, produced by Glyn Johns, laid down five tracks, all of them distinctly rhythm and blues flavoured. Diddley Daddy is a Bo Diddley tune and is performed in true R&B style. The song, although rough in texture, is guided by Mick Jagger's roots vocals and features two instrumental breaks: the first by Brian Jones on the harmonica and the second by Ian Stewart tinkering on the ivories to the fade out.

Road Runner, another well-known Diddley song, was next on the list for the Stones' treatment and is played in a hard-rocking, non-compromising style. The guitar is the main instrument, supported by harmonica and Stu on piano. The Stones' Bright Lights, Big City is an impressive version of Jimmy Reed's original. The song epitomised a young Stones sound - Mick Jagger performing in a relaxed manner while Ian Stewart provided an excellent piano background.

Willie Dixon's I Want To Be Loved, an authentic rhythm and blues standard, was later to be re-recorded for the b-side of the first Stones single, Come On. This early version is a leisurely mix and again instrumentally Ian Stewart and Brian Jones are prominently featured. Jimmy Reed's Honey What's Wrong, a meandering-type song, wraps up the Stones' first professional recording session. Regrettably the mix of pop vocals with R&B lead guitar and harmonica did not quite mix.

Adapted from the following source: Martin Elliott, The Rolling Stones. Complete Recording Sessions 1962-2002.

1 comment:

  1. March 11, 1963: IBC Studios, London, England.
    The Rolling Stones: Roadrunner (McDaniel) (3:07)
    The Rolling Stones: Bright Lights, Big City (Reed) (2:28)
    The Rolling Stones: I Want To Be Loved (early version) (Dixon) (2:06)

    The Rolling Stones: Baby What's Wrong (Reed) (3:24)
    The Rolling Stones: Diddley Daddy (McDaniel-Fuqua) (2:43)

    630311A 11th March: London, IBC Studios, Portland Place. Producer and sound engineer: Glyn Johns.
    Line-up: Mick Jagger (voc, harm)/Brian Jones (gtr ,harm)/Keith Richards (gtr)/Ian Stewart (p)/Bill Wyman (bass)/Charlie Watts (dr).