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Metamorphosis (Rolling Stones album)

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Title: Metamorphosis (Rolling Stones album)  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Jimmy Page, Ry Cooder, Vashti Bunyan, Singles 1968–1971, Made in the Shade, Out of Time (The Rolling Stones song), Heart of Stone (The Rolling Stones song), Memo from Turner
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Metamorphosis (Rolling Stones album)

The Rolling Stones
Released 6 June 1975
Recorded February 1964 – July 1970
Genre Rock
Length 48:03
Language English
Producer Andrew Loog Oldham, Jimmy Miller
The Rolling Stones compilations chronology

No Stone Unturned
Made in the Shade

Metamorphosis is the third compilation album of The Rolling Stones music released by former manager Allen Klein's ABKCO Records (who usurped control of the band's Decca/London material in 1970) after the band's departure from Decca and Klein. Released in 1975, Metamorphosis centres on outtakes and alternate versions of well-known songs recorded from 1964 to 1970.


After the release of Hot Rocks 1964–1971 in 1971, an album entitled Necrophilia was compiled for release as the follow-up, with the aid of Andrew Loog Oldham, featuring many previously unreleased (or, more accurately, discarded) outtakes from the Rolling Stones' Decca/London period. While that project failed to materialise—with More Hot Rocks (Big Hits & Fazed Cookies) being released in its place—most of the unreleased songs were held over for a future project. In 1974, to give it an air of authority, Bill Wyman involved himself in compiling an album he entitled Black Box. However, Allen Klein wanted more Mick Jagger/Keith Richards songs in the project for monetary reasons, and Wyman's version remained unreleased. Metamorphosis was issued in its place.

Most tracks that appear on side one of the vinyl album (all tracks up until "Try a Little Harder", except for "Don't Lie to Me") are demo songs, written by Jagger and Richards for other artists to perform. They were mostly recorded with session musicians like Big Jim Sullivan on guitar, Clem Cattini on drums, and Jimmy Page on guitar, and were not intended for release by the Rolling Stones. Indeed, on most of these tracks the only Rolling Stones member that appears is Jagger. While "Out of Time" and "Heart of Stone" were already well-known, they appear here in drastically different renditions, with session players providing the backing. Side two includes unreleased band recordings created up until the Sticky Fingers sessions of 1970.

Released in June 1975, Metamorphosis came out the same day as the band's authorised hits collection Made in the Shade and was also seen to be cashing in on The Rolling Stones' summer Tour of the Americas. While the critical reaction was lukewarm (many felt some of the songs were best left unreleased), Metamorphosis still managed to reach No. 8 in the US, though it only made No. 45 in the UK. Two singles, "Out of Time" (featuring Jagger singing over the same backing track used for Chris Farlowe's 1966 version) and a cover of Stevie Wonder's "I Don't Know Why" briefly made the singles charts.

Upon its initial release, Metamorphosis was released with 16 songs in the UK, while the American edition had only 14—omitting tracks "Some Things Just Stick in Your Mind" and "We're Wastin' Time".

The album's cover art alludes to Franz Kafka's The Metamorphosis.

In August 2002, the full UK edition of Metamorphosis was issued in a new remastered Compact Disc and SACD digipak by ABKCO Records.

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3/5 starslink
Robert Christgau B+[1]
Rolling Stone (No rating) link

Track listing

All songs by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, except where noted.

Side one
  1. "Out of Time" – 3:22
  2. "Don't Lie to Me" (Hudson Whittaker) – 2:00
  3. "Some Things Just Stick in Your Mind" – 2:25
  4. "Each and Everyday of the Year" – 2:48
  5. "Heart of Stone" – 3:47
  6. "I'd Much Rather Be With the Boys" (Andrew Loog Oldham, Keith Richards) – 2:11
  7. "(Walkin' Thru The) Sleepy City" – 2:51
  8. "We're Wastin' Time" – 2:42
  9. "Try a Little Harder" – 2:17
Side two
  1. "I Don't Know Why" (Stevie Wonder, Paul Riser, Don Hunter, Lula Hardaway) – 3:01
  2. "If You Let Me" – 3:17
  3. "Jiving Sister Fanny" – 2:45
  4. "Downtown Suzie" (Bill Wyman) – 3:52
  5. "Family" – 4:05
  6. "Memo from Turner" – 2:45
  7. "I'm Going Down" – 2:52

Recording details

"Out of Time" – 3:22

  • Recorded 27–30 April 1966
  • The demo—with Jagger on lead vocal—for Chris Farlowe's hit single version

"Don't Lie to Me" – 2:00

  • Recorded on 10 June 1964
  • Incorrectly credited to Jagger and Richards on the album
  • Line up: Mick Jagger (vocals), Keith Richards (guitar), Brian Jones (guitar), Charlie Watts (drums), Bill Wyman (bass), Ian Stewart (piano)

"Some Things Just Stick in Your Mind" – 2:25

  • Recorded on 13 February 1964
  • The first version of this song to be released (in early 1965) was by the American duo Dick and Dee Dee, followed closely by the Vashti Bunyan recording

"Each and Everyday of the Year" – 2:48

  • Recorded in early September 1964
  • Bobby Jameson's version of this song features the same backing track as this recording. It was also covered by a group that went by the name of Thee, both in 1965

"Heart of Stone" – 3:47

"I'd Much Rather Be With the Boys" – 2:11

  • Recorded in February 1965
  • Originally released by The Toggery 5 in 1965.

"(Walkin' Thru The) Sleepy City" – 2:51

  • Recorded in early September 1964
  • Originally released by The Mighty Avengers in 1965

"We're Wastin' Time" – 2:42

  • Recorded in early September 1964
  • Originally released by Jimmy Tarbuck in 1965

"Try a Little Harder" – 2:17

  • Recorded on 13 February 1964

"I Don't Know Why" – 3:01

  • Recorded on 3 July 1969 (the night that news broke of Brian Jones's death) during the sessions for Let It Bleed
  • The music after the stop was spliced in at a later stage. The second slide guitar solo by Mick Taylor is a copy of the first solo
  • Incorrectly credited to Jagger, Richards and Taylor on the first pressing of the album. The credits were corrected with the second pressing and on the 2002 SACD version

"If You Let Me" – 3:17

  • Recorded in August 1966 as a Between the Buttons outtake
  • Line up: Mick Jagger (vocals), Keith Richards (guitar), Brian Jones (autoharp), Charlie Watts (drums), Bill Wyman (bass), Ian Stewart (piano)

"Jiving Sister Fanny"  – 2:45

  • Recorded in June 1969, during the Let It Bleed sessions, with Taylor on lead guitar

"Downtown Suzie" – 3:52

  • Recorded on 23 April 1969 as a Let It Bleed outtake under the original title "Sweet Lyle Lucie". It features Ry Cooder on open G tuned guitar. Song written by Bill Wyman.

"Family" – 4:05

  • Recorded on 28 June 1968 as a Beggars Banquet outtake.
  • Line up: Mick Jagger (vocals), Keith Richards (guitars), Charlie Watts (drums), Bill Wyman (bass), Nicky Hopkins (piano), Jimmy Miller (percussion)

"Memo from Turner" – 2:45

  • Recorded on 17 November 1968; a different take was released as a Mick Jagger solo single in October 1970 and featured in the film Performance.
  • Featuring Jagger on vocals and Al Kooper on guitar, the identity of the other musicians on this track is not certain, with Jim Capaldi and Steve Winwood of Traffic, as well as the other Rolling Stones, being mentioned as playing on it

"I'm Going Down" – 2:52

  • Recorded primarily in the fall of 1969.[2]
  • Line up: Mick Jagger (vocals), Keith Richards (guitar), Mick Taylor (bass), Charlie Watts (drums), Bobby Keys (sax), Rocky Dijon (percussion), Stephen Stills (guitar)
  • Credited to Jagger, Richards and Taylor on the first pressing of the album. The credits were changed to 'Jagger/Richards' with the second pressing and on the 2002 SACD version

Chart positions

Year Chart Position
1975 UK Top 50 Albums 45
1975 Billboard Pop Albums 8
Year Single Chart Position
1975 "I Don't Know Why" The Billboard Hot 100 42
1975 "Out of Time" The Billboard Hot 100 81
1975 "Out of Time" UK Top 50 Singles 45


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