IT'S A GAS, GAS, GAS: Everyone's familiar with symphonic versions of songs by such '60s bands as the Beatles, Moody Blues and Procol Harum, but who ever thought we'd hear classical versions of "Paint It Black" or "Under My Thumb"?
On May 24, RCA Victor will release "Symphonic Music of the Rolling Stones," an album on which the London Symphony Orchestra plays 11 Stones songs, featuring guest vocals by such pop-rock figures as INXS's Michael Hutchence ("Under My Thumb"), Marianne Faithfull ("Ruby Tuesday") and--gulp--Mick Jagger ("Angie"). Most surprising of all is the version of "Gimme Shelter" by . . . the New London Children's Choir.
Chris Kimsey, a longtime Stones ally who produced the album, acknowledges that it's "difficult to imagine a Rolling Stones song with an orchestra," but he feels it works.
The collection is the second in a series of RCA Victor rock 'n' classics works. An album saluting Yes was released last fall, while symphonic recordings of the music of the Who, Procol Harum and Jimi Hendrix are still to come.