Tag Archives: The Jam

What we’re listening to — Stoned Out Of My Mind by the Chi-Lites & The Jam

The love-as-a-drug metaphor doesn’t get anymore potent or direct than on the classic 1970s soul hit “Stoned Out Of My Mind” by the Chi-Lites. Led by the honey dripping tenor-falsetto of Eugene Record, who wrote most of their tunes, Chicago’s own sweet soulsters likened a bad relationship with a femme fatale to a drug or drinking binge. The results were a propulsive, horn-laden classic that made it to #2 on the Billboard R&B charts in 1973.

“Stoned” was such a quietly influential classic, in fact, that when Paul Weller was at the height of his Soul & R&B obsessions with The Jam he chose to cover it for the B-side to the band’s last single, “Beat Surrender,” in 1982. The result was aΒ a more suaveΒ take on the original with Weller’s lowered pitch and cool to the point of almost lounge-y delivery giving the song a completely different yet pleasingly smooth vibe.

The Chi-Lites’ original has more grit and funk and The Jam’s coverΒ more polish and finesse. Take your pick — either version is about as good of a “love is a drug” song as there is in the pop canon.