Soul contemporaries

While the early country soul style of the early 1960s already had an influence on the Stones, soul music really hit its peak in the middle years of the decade with performers such as Aretha Franklin, Wilson Pickett, Sam & Dave and especially Otis Redding. The Stones were big fans of these artists.

JAMES BROWN (1933-2006)

Mick and Keith were especially fervent admirers of their soul temporaries when the Stones started out. Though the band never recorded his material, as a performer Mick was particularly enamored of Georgia-born James Brown. Several of his moves were nicked by Mick in those early days (James Brown and the Stones played on the same bill in October 1964 for a TV special recorded in California). More importantly, Brown's more general ability to establish an awesome, energetic stage presence, has been something that Mick has learned and built upon. Just on that basis, Brown has been a tremendous influence on the Stones.

Brown died on Christmas Day, 2006.

Keith was always more into soul music than me or Charlie, and Mick loved soul performers like Wilson Pickett and James Brown.

                                                   - Bill Wyman

Mick had always dug visual artists himself. He always loved Diddley and Chuck Berry and Little Richard for the thing they laid on people on stage. He really dug James Brown the first time he saw him.

                                                   - Keith Richards, 1971

I had long enough to realize that just because I dig someone's work doesn't mean I have to like them as a person... James Brown can be an asshole. If you want to know, he IS an asshole. But you expect it from him. He pumps himself up to be the baddest and meanest.

                                                   - Keith Richards, 1988


WILSON PICKETT  (1941-2006)

Alabama-born vocalist Wilson Pickett is one of the all-time legends of soul music. Pickett started out as a pre-soul, country soul artist, but got even grittier and really helped established the soul genre in the mid to late 1960s, along with Otis Redding, Sam & Dave, Aretha Franklin and other performers. The Stones, who were already covering early soul classics on their first album, got even more heavily into their soul contemporaries as 1964 wore on and through 1965. They covered his early hit If You Need Me for their 12 X 5 album.

Nobody realizes how America blew our minds and the Beatles too. Can't even describe what America meant to us. We first started listenin' to Otis (Redding) when we got to the States, and picked up our first Stax singles. And Wilson Pickett.

                                                  - Keith Richards, 1971


OTIS REDDING  (1941-1967)

In his relatively few years of recording and performing, Georgia-born Otis Redding carved out a legend as the greatest soul singer of all time. The Stones greatly admired Redding, like Pickett and Burke, and often turned to cover his songs in the period 1964-65. His Pain in My Heart was their first stab at a song of his on The Rolling Stones Now!, but they beat that effort with a terrific version of That's How Strong My Love Is on 1965's Out of Our Heads. They also recorded a version of I've Been Loving You Too Long, which they stuck on their Got Live If You Want It! as a fake live track in 1966, overdubbed with audience screams. Redding returned the favor by recording a cover of Satisfaction. He died in a plane crash.

Otis('s death), man. I mean, that one killed soul music.

                                                   - Keith Richards, 1981

Written by Ian McPherson, 2000-2007.
Like all files on Time Is On Our Side, it is the exclusive intellectual property
of Ian McPherson and cannot be duplicated, in any form, without his authorization.

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