2003: V/A - It’s Only Rock’N’Roll (But We Like It): A Tribute to The Rolling Stones

At some point in my life I was listening to too much Japanese pop music, and the reason I have this compilation is because it included a track by Zazen Boys, who I was obsessed with and still rep for having one of the best rhythm sections in music period. The Zazen Boys covered “Emotional Rescue,” a fitting choice as it’s one of the Stones’ sexiest hits. The rhythm section of the original is pretty damn great, but the Zazen Boys update it with a fucked up slide guitar panned hard-left and plenty of amazing drum fills.

Listening to the rest of the album is always an adventure though. Sometimes I think the initial concept for the compilation was just a dub/reggae Stones tribute. Maybe they ditched it halfway through and decided to mix in the Reggae tracks with the other ones. Maybe not. Either way, the genres are varied. Miyuki Hatakeyama opens the album with a Bossa Nova take on “Satisfaction” that still sort-of scares me, and Double Famous’ jazzy, hand-drum-flavored take on “Sympathy for the Devil” is enchanting. Choro Azul has a barebones take on “Paint It Black” with a Spanish-guitar and some light hand percussion. That’s not the only version of “Paint It Black” though. The dub version by Kazufumi is in the middle of the album and fulfills an apparent “every other song must be reggae” rule.

There are certain albums that always have a special place within your collection. This is one of mine. I hope you can find the whole thing on some filesharing site or soulseek or Amazon Japan. Sure it’s an oddly compiled collection of bizarre Japanese Stones covers, but that’s part of the allure. More importantly, there are some really great songs on this thing. It’s a perfect summertime record to accompany your light reading and Bud Light Limes.


There’s a lot of good music out there, and it’s not all being released this year. With DeLorean, we aim to rediscover overlooked artists and genres, to listen to music historically and contextually, to underscore the fluidity of music. While we will cover reissues here, our focus will be on music that’s not being pushed by a PR firm.

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