The time has come today for the Rolling Stones to introduce the 1966 song “Out of Time” to their setlist. As unlikely as it may seem, given how often the song has been covered by others or licensed for movies, the band had never performed the song live until it performed at the opening of the Stones’ European tour on Wednesday night in Madrid, Spain.
There was a rumor that the song might appear, as eavesdroppers during tour rehearsals had heard the Stones try “Out of Time”, although there are usually rarities that they test during times of rehearsal who rarely or never go on tour. Thus, his actual appearance at the opening of the Metropolitano stadium was considered a blessed event.
Given the song’s enduring popularity among fans, some might assume it was released as a single in 1966, but that was not the case after it first appeared as the “Aftermath” album. It was a fast cover version by British artist Chris Farlowe – produced by Mick Jagger (with Jimmy Page on guitar) – which reached No. 1 in the UK later in 1966; this cover never cracked the Hot 100 in America.
In 1975, a Stones version of the song was finally belatedly released as a single, although it appeared in a different, patched form on the “Metamorphosis” compilation album released by Allen Klein after the band’s release under its auspices. . This version of the song used the backing track from the Jagger-produced 1966 single Farlowe and featured the demo vocal Jagger had recorded to guide Farlowe. But, as a single, this new creation was not a hit – it peaked at No. 45 in the UK and No. 81 in the US.
So why do people think the Stones had a big hit with it? Beyond being a kiss strong enough that it could have been a hit, the song has gained enough license over the years for “end of an era” use in movies and television.
In Hal Ashby’s 1978 post-Vietnamese drama “Coming Home” it was used in the opening credits, a montage that mixes footage of rehab veterans with shots of Bruce Dern’s character jogging on the beach, suggesting he might be the one who’s running out of time. The song reappeared during the end credits.
Much more recently, Quentin Tarantino played the entire “Metamorphosis” version at the end of the runtime of 2019’s “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,” at the start of a sort of epilogue sequence in which the Leonardo DiCaprio’s character returns from a long stay. shoot overseas, with a new counter-culture look.
Although the Stones never collectively considered it worthy of live streaming until 2022, that hasn’t stopped other artists from performing it. According to setlist.fm, it has been performed by Elvis Costello, with and without the Imposters, at least 47 times, and was included on the 2011 live album “The Return of the Spectacular Singing Songbook”. (Costello sang it on tour just last year.) Van Morrison is also listed as having sung it live at least 12 times. On record, he’s been covered by the Ramones, among others – compare the Costello and Ramones versions, below.