It's only rock 'n roll

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It's only rock 'n roll
The Rolling Stones studio album


October 18, 1974

Label (s) Rolling Stones Records

Format (s)


Genre (s)


Title (number)


running time


  • Blue Magic - (back voc)


The Glimmer Twins

Studio (s)

13.-24. November 1973, February 20 to March 3, etc. April 12 to May 27, 1974; u. a. Musicland Studios , Munich

Goats Head Soup
It's only rock 'n roll Made In The Shade

It's Only Rock 'n Roll ( "It's only rock' n 'roll ") is the twelfth studio album by the Rolling Stones . Released by WEA on October 18, 1974. The album was produced in the Musicland Studios in Munich by The Glimmer Twins , a pseudonym Mick Jagger and Keith Richards used for their work as producers of their own music from 1973 onwards.

It's Only Rock 'n Roll probably reflects the state of the band at that time. “Dance Little Sister” with Keith Richards' passionate guitar riffs , the soul classic “Ain't Too Proud to Beg”, the opener “If You Can't Rock Me” and the title track are still typical Stones works. Otherwise this album leaves the listener with the impression of a clear identity crisis of the Rolling Stones. They were now part of the establishment that had been the target of their angry criticism just a few years earlier. Musically, they had released some of the most important and successful albums and singles of the time from 1968 to 1972 and the expectations for each new album by the Stones were high. In addition, the drug problems of some band members as well as personal and musical differences within the band worsened the situation.

Two months after the release of It's Only Rock 'n Roll , on December 12, 1974, Mick Jagger announced the departure of Mick Taylor from the band at a press conference . The lack of harmony and "chemistry" between Keith Richards and Mick Taylor are said to have played a major role in the band's development during this period. However, many Rolling Stones fans find the period in which Taylor was guitarist with the Stones to be the best musically in the band. Taylor's virtuoso and flowing guitar playing, as well as his melodic understanding - for example in "Time Waits for No One" - have clearly influenced the music of the Rolling Stones. With the song “Time Waits for No One” and the slightly unrestrained guitar playing, which is partly reminiscent of Carlos Santana , one can get an impression of Taylor's abilities.

"Till the Next Goodbye" (with the beginning of the refrain "Till the next time we say goodbye") is a ballad of a love story from Manhattan, influenced by Jagger's soft vocals. With “Short and curlies” (“Kurz und Kraus”, “Pubic hair”) the record also contains a boogie woogie - Ian Stewart plays the piano here. Ronnie Wood (together with Mick Jagger) was involved in the first draft of the title song; later the Chuck Berry riffs played by Keith Richards, "It's Only Rock 'n Roll (But I Like It)" gave his groove. A song with gospel influences, similar to “Let It Loose” from the album Exile on Main Street , is “If You Really Want to Be My Friend”.

In addition, the Stones on this LP begin to experiment with reggae and funk rhythms, which becomes clear in the titles "Luxury" ("Luxu" s) and above all "Fingerprint File". They would later continue this approach on the follow-up album Black and Blue . “Fingerprint File” addresses the social paranoia prevalent in the 1970s with regard to surveillance and influence by the state, which was probably also promoted by the Watergate affair ; “Fingerprint File” is reminiscent of the Superfly soundtrack with its pounding bass lines and wah-wah guitar effects .

The album, which incidentally was the first produced by The Glimmer Twins , received rather reserved reviews, but proved to be very successful commercially.


All Jagger / Richards songs; Exceptions indicated.

  1. If You Can't Rock Me
  2. Ain't Too Proud to Beg (Holland / Whitfield)
  3. It's Only Rock 'n Roll (But I Like It)
  4. Till the next goodbye
  5. Time Waits for No One
  6. Luxury
  7. Dance Little Sister
  8. If You Really Want to Be My Friend
  9. Short and curlies
  10. Fingerprint file

Texts / translations / notes

  • The Rolling Stones. Songbook. 155 songs [1963–1977] with sheet music. German by Teja Schwaner, Jörg Fauser and Carl Weissner . With 75 alternative translations by Helmut Salzinger . Zweiausendeins, Frankfurt am Main 1977, pp. 304-335, 819-856 and 948-950.

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