Friday, March 28, 2008

Under the Boardwalk

12 x 5
Side 2, Track 2
"Under the Boardwalk" (Arthur Resnick/Kenny Young) – 2:46

This is the old Drifters hit, a wonderfully evocative piece of pop songwriting. God only knows why the Stones thought they should give it a shot -- a pairing this bizarre almost has to be a studio executive's idea. Mick Jagger was not then or ever a good pop singer (clearly heard on his attempt at the falsetto in the chorus) and the band clearly has no clue where to take this song, which received its definitive treatment on the first try by the Drifters -- although many other artists tried their hand at it later (even then, mostly as a piece of nostalgia -- see Bruce Willis, Bette Midler, the Beach Boys, etc.).

The only things really notable about the Stones' version are a weird acoustic 12-string solo which comes out of nowhere and the sloppy background vocals (a feature of this album) which come in consistently out of time.