rolling stones my obsession 1967Can You Hear the Music?


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Rolling Stones songs: My Obsession
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Can’t dodge it, it’s simple logic/ You’d be better off with me and you’ll know it…

Written by: Jagger/Richard
Recorded: RCA Studios, Hollywood, USA, Aug. 3-7 1966; Olympic Sound Studios, London, England, Nov. 9-Dec. 6 1966
*Data taken from Martin Elliott’s book THE ROLLING STONES COMPLETE RECORDING SESSIONS 1962-2012

From the Rolling Stones – All the Songs, The Story Behind Every Track book:
The narrator is a man obsessed. He is madly in love with the girl right in front of him and wants her to be his, to belong to him alone. He wants to be her teacher, that is to say to introduce her to the pleasures of lovemaking, and makes this absolutely plain to her: You’d be better off with me/And you’ll know it when you lost it. And then: One [possession] that you should give away/Give it to me now I’ve no objection. From obsession to madness is but a small step, and the delusional would-be lover takes this step at the end of the song: Didn’t see you were so young/I could almost be your son. “A song like ‘My Obsession’ could just as well have been titled ‘My Unbridled Lust,’ but Jagger/Richards had at least a modicum of subtlety,
writes Eric V. D. Luft. Mick Jagger’s own opinion of this number would change over time: “‘My Obsession,’ that’s a good one. They [this and ‘Connection’] sounded so great, but then, later on, I was really disappointed with it.”

“My Obsession” is a curious combination of R&B, Phil Spector, and psychedelia. As on so many Stones songs, Charlie Watts leads in with a heavy, hypnotic beat. Brian Jones probably did not play any part in the recording. A fuzz guitar played by Keith Richards (his Gibson “Gold Top” Les Paul?) then enters, and revolves around a particular hook throughout the number. Bill Wyman also plays fuzz on his Vox Wyman bass, but it is Ian Stewart who gives the number its musical color with a superb, occasionally dissonant, boogie-woogie piano part. During the session at the RCA Studios, Brian Wilson was brought to see the Stones, whom he did not yet know, by Lou Adler.

Mick offered a joint, which he could not possibly refuse. And then he sat down on a sofa to watch: “Influenced by the pot, I thought ‘My Obsession’ was the best fucking rock and roll song I’ve ever heard in my life, and by the time I managed to make it home, a good several hours after spacing at the studio, I felt as if the Stones had knocked me on my ass. I just didn’t see how the Beach Boys were going to compete. I canceled on Tony and stayed in bed for two straight days, smoking pot and licking my wounds.” However, this did not prevent him from writing “Good Vibrations” when he eventually got up. What is immediately obvious about “My Obsession” is the quality of the vocal harmonies. Might Mr. Wilson have lent the band a helping hand?