Saturday, August 13, 2011

There Are But Five Rolling Stones

The November-December 1963 sessions at Regent Sound Studios were Andrew Loog Oldham's first attempts to create a more 'poppier' line of music parallel to the rhythm and blues influenced music of his main band, the Rolling Stones. Early 1964 Oldham formed his own Andrew Oldham Orchestra; not a real orchestra that went on the road, but more of a permanent workshop in which musicians like Jim Sullivan, John Paul Jones, Jimmy Page and also the Stones participated.

On January 2, 1964 Andrew Oldham used the Stones as the backing band for his next (after George Bean) protégé Cleo Sylvester, who had auditioned for the band back in the Bricklayer Arms days. They recorded "To Know Him Is To Love Him", a hit for the Teddy Bears in 1958 and, more importantly, Phil Spector's first hit as a producer. Oldham admired Spector, and this was a fitting track to be recorded by Andrew trying to emulate the Spector magic.

Phil Spector, in order to focus the radio stations on the A-side, usually included an instrumental on the B-side. Andrew Oldham copied this technique but went one step further and used it to promote his main band. The track title, "There Are But Five Rolling Stones", more than hints at the backing artists. The instrumental was credited to session producer Mike Leander and Oldham himself. It was a B Bumble & the Stingers type of instrumental featuring the piano work of Ian Stewart, some nifty clap back and a guitar break at the end.

"There Are But Five Rolling Stones"...after everything that happened in 1963, it's hard to imagine Stu playing on a tune titled like that...or isn't it?

Adapted from the following sources:
Martin Elliott, The Rolling Stones. Complete Recording Sessions 1962-2002, Cherry Red Books, 2002.
Andrew Loog Oldham, Stoned, Vintage, 2001.

1 comment:

  1. January 2, 1964: Regent Sound Studios, London, England.
    The Andrew Oldham Orchestra: There Are But Five Rolling Stones (Leander-Oldham) (2:26)

    640102A 2nd January: THE ANDREW OLDHAM ORCHESTRA. London, Regent Sound Studios. Producer: Andrew Oldham. Sound engineer: Bill Farley. Musical director: Mike Leander.
    - To Know Him Is To Love Him (Spector) - Cleo Sylvester lead vocals - There Are But Five Rolling Stones (Leander-Oldham).
    Line-up (backing group): Mick Jagger (bvoc)/Brian Jones (gtr, bvoc)/Keith Richards (gtr)/Ian Stewart (p)/Bill Wyman (bass, bvoc)/Charlie Watts (dr).