Rolling Stones Release '12 X 5'
12 X 5 is the second American album by The Rolling Stones released in 1964 following the massive success of their debut The Rolling Stones in the UK and the promising sales of its American substitute England's Newest Hit Makers.
Not surprisingly, 12 X 5 followed its predecessor's tendency to largely feature R&B covers, however it does contain three compositions from the still-developing Mick Jagger/Keith Richards songwriting team, as well as two group compositions under the pseudonym of "Nanker Phelge".
After a series of sessions in Chicago in June 1964, The Rolling Stones' UK label Decca Records released the five song EP Five by Five. Because EPs were never a lucrative format in the US, London Records - their American distributor at the time - spread the EP songs across an entire album, adding seven new recordings to create a release of 12 songs by 5 musicians, hence the album's title. Decca would use the same cover (minus the lettering) for The Rolling Stones' second UK album The Rolling Stones No. 2 in early 1965.
12 X 5 proved to be a faster seller than England's Newest Hit Makers, reaching #3 and going gold quickly.
In August 2002, 12 X 5 was reissued in a new remastered CD and SACD digipak by ABKCO Records. This edition includes stereo versions of "Around and Around", "Confessin' the Blues", "Empty Heart", "It's All Over Now", "2120 South Michigan Avenue", and "If You Need Me".
12 X 5 includes material recorded by the Stones at Chicago's Chess Studios (home to the band's idols Muddy Waters and Howlin' Wolf) on their first US tour. Though this document of the group's early R&B period kicks off with a couple of covers from unsurprising sources (Chuck Berry's "Around and Around,") Mick and Keith waste little time in displaying their own compositional acumen. The acoustic-based, bluesy "Good Times, Bad Times" harkens back to even earlier, more seminal Stones influences than Berry, as does the instrumental "2120 South Michigan Avenue," where the blues-obsessed Jagger's harp is featured a la his hero Little Walter.