Friday, April 4, 2008

Mercy, Mercy

Out of Our Heads (USA version)
Side 1, Track 1
"Mercy, Mercy" (Don Covay/Ronnie Miller) – 2:45

The Stones once again try their luck on a soul classic. This time they went after Don Covay's "Mercy, Mercy", and the band didn't just do a pretty good job reproducing Covay's garage-soul groove, but Mick also artfully knicked Covay's phrasing. Here's the original:

If you hadn't already heard of Don Covay, here's all you really need to know: he wrote "Chain of Fools".


There are dozens of guys like that, writers and performers with abilities and accomplishments that, in a fair world, would make them household names. Alas, we don't live in such a world – but you can do you part: you should learn more about Don Covay.

The Stones themselves sound great on this track. They don't make any changes to Covay's arrangment – they just rock up the beat a little, slap some distortion on that great guitar riff, and let her rip. This is what happens when the band gets ahold of an actual song instead of trying to prove their street cred with those repetitive blues tracks.