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  1. #21

    1973.





    This new phase in the Rolling Stones career, though I donít even think they realized it as of yet, had some rumblings to be sure. For one thing, there were already rumblings that Mick Taylor was unhappy with the Stones by this point, and was already considering leaving, something he would finally do in 1975. Then there was a new face in the Stonesí circle, none other than Ron Wood of the Faces. Jagger and Richards spent much of 1973 hanging with the Facesí guitarist. Finally The Rolling Stones ended ties with producer Jimmy Miller as Jagger and Richards thought he was spazzing out apparently. Millerís problems and ultimate departure, I think, would negatively affect the lone album weíll be reviewing this year. So here we goÖ

    GOATS HEAD SOUP



    Album one of the post classic period would also be the last one with Jimmy Miller at the helm. By this time, five years with the Rolling Stones had driven Miller to develop his own drug problem, and Jagger and Richards had to finish up with the production themselves. The end result is a rather uneven album that, while it has its popular tracks like Dancing With Mr. D, the only one I really feel close to is the big hit on the album, Angie. I hate to bring up my blog again but I listed three Rolling Stones albums as my disappointments of any given year. This was the third, this being for 1973. It still has its moments though so with thatÖ


    Dancing With Mr. D: This is one of the more popular songs on the album and it isnít a bad track, but it doesnít seem to have the same power that other opening tracks have had in the past, especially on the previous four.

    100 Years Ago: Billy Preston is featured on the clavinet here. I have to admit, this song isnít all that bad. I actually like this better than Mr. D, in fact. Funny how you rethink things when you play an album again.

    Coming Down Again: According to Richards, this was influenced by his heroin use. I can certainly respect the honesty about this track. This is a slow song and it is mournful as Richards himself described it. Again, this is better than I had remembered it the first time.



    Doo Doo Doo Doo Doo (Heartbreaker): This was the follow up single to Angie, most notable for its horn section. I guess I rate this song as okay, but I canít this as much more than average.



    Angie: One of my favorite Rolling Stones songs and certainly my favorite on the album. This ballad was rumored to be about David Bowieís wife at the time, Angie Bowie, but both Jagger and Richards deny this. In any event, this is a nice gentle and moody tune.

    Silver Train: The flip to Angie, I donít find this track to be anything special unless you count the fact that Jagger is playing rhythm guitar on this one. Sounds like a typical Stones song for the most part but thatís about it.

    Hide Your Love: Believe it or not, itís Mick Jagger on the piano, Heís not bad but it isnít an especially inspiring song, in my opinion. Like many of the tracks on this album, I have to rate it as only okay. I will say that at this point, Goatís Heads Soup is the best of my three Stones disappointments and way better than Between the Buttons if you take away the hit single.

    Winter: A somewhat slow paced song. And you know what Iíve noticed? There are no country tinged tunes on this album. Not that Iím a big country fan or even a country-rock fan, but the Stones albums seem a bit better with one or two countryish tracks on it. This isnít one either, but for some reason, I wanted to bring that up. This song is pretty mediocre as far Iím concerned

    Can You Hear the Music: And welcome to my least favorite song on the record. I think they were trying some Eastern vibe of some sort or maybe theyíre trying to make you think theyíre in Morocco, I donít know. Anyway, yes, I can hear the music, and it sucks!

    Star Star: Well, this one ends on a nasty note. The title really should be starf**** since thatís what he says throughout the song. Jagger was accused of being anti-feminist on this one. Well, it wouldnít be the Rolling Stones without a little controversy.

    And so ends the saga that is 1973. What will 1974 have in store for us, more of the same perhaps? How will they fare without Jimmy Miller? After all, they will have a new album out without his guiding hand. It will be interesting if the Stones can get the old magic back. Will they? Well, stay tuned for the next installment and find out .
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  2. #22

    1974.





    The Rolling Stones took a break from touring this year and would get involved in their own individual things. Bill Wyman, in particular, would be active as he became the first Rolling Stone to release a solo album. He also admitted that he was considering leaving the Rolling Stones altogether but didnít out of fear that the band might break up.

    One person who did leave would be Mick Taylor who, after five years, said he had enough. Many years later he would admit that he didnít want to not only expose his family to the drug culture that was surrounding the Stones at the time, but he had to find a way to kick his own personal drug demons which, thankfully, he would be successful at doing.

    So basically weíre talking one Rolling Stones album as they at least stayed active in the studio, not unlike 1973 in that aspect. But firstÖ

    Bill Wyman- Monkey Grip




    Bill Wyman took advantage of a break after the latest American tour to record a solo album of his own. He certainly could write songs and could even sing, though he never did with the Stones, even as backup. He also noted that he didnít write in the Rolling Stonesí style and that is evident on this album. He obviously is having fun on the record which pretty much sounds like standard seventies fare. Iím listening to this album now and I have to say I like it. Heís not trying to record the next Dark Side of the Moon or anything like that and why should he have to? Sometimes a straightforward album with some horns can be the way to go.


    ITíS ONLY ROCK N ROLL




    And here we are at a crossroads, well, for me anyway. For starters, this is the last album with Mick Taylor as he would leave the band not long after its release. Also, Iím going to give away a secret as I havenít liked an a Rolling Stones album as much as I liked this one since, and that includes the highly lauded Some Girls. Am I saying this album is perfect? Of course not and I still rate four of their albums as better efforts overall, but this is the last album I can honestly say I can get into from start to finish (though Some Girls and Tattoo You will have some great moments). So here we goÖ



    If You Canít Rock Me: The album starts again with no Rolling Stones classic (guess those days are over). Basically, this is a standard Stones rock song. Nevertheless, I like this track and I think the basic simplicity of this straightforward song gives it its strength.



    Ainít Too Proud To Beg: This was the follow up to Itís Only Rock and Roll as a single, at least it was in the States anyway. This is the Temptations cover and it was a pretty popular song at the time. Itís a decent track with a solid instrumental break. Probably like the Temptations version a little better though.



    Itís Only Rock n Roll: This one may be the last truly favorite Rolling Stones song for me. Iím talking the elite group now as Iíll certainly like some songs and even some albums in the future, otherwise, whatís the point in doing this? Anyway, this song grabs me as soon as hear the intro. The funny thing is, this isnít even the Rolling Stones; this was supposed to be a demo for a Ron Wood album, and Jagger and Richards along with Ian Stewart are the only Stones on this record. I think this may also be the first time Wood is on a recording with the Glimmer Twins.

    Till the Next Goodbye: This is more or less a ballad, though not in the same vein as Angie. Itís a gentle tune in its own way and is a nice respite after the hard rocking first three tracks.

    Time Waits For No One: This one is one of my favorites on the album. Itís a wistful sounding tune with an extended guitar solo by Taylor. While itís not the last track on the album, it still sounds like a nice swan song for Taylor to go out on.

    Luxury: This opens up side two. This may be the weakest song on the album. I think theyíre trying to do something in a Jamaican vein here. This strangely reminds me of the theme song of the Cartoon Network show, Superjail.

    Dance Little Sister: The flip of Ainít Too Proud To Beg, this track isnít as strong as some of the other tracks. Basically itís a mantra of Dance Little Sister, Dance and it can grate on you if forced to listen to it. Letís put it this way, a few times is fine, but you donít want to be captured by the CIA and forced to listen to this repetitively.

    If You Want To Be My Friend: Another song that reminds me a little of Angie, albeit with a different arrangement. I guess you could call this a love song. Whatever the intention, this is certainly a pleasant track.

    Short and Curlies: Another one of those gross out song titles. Itís also one of those misogynistic tunes as well. Otherwise, it has a nice honky tonk vibe about it. Hate the lyrics but I canít say I hate the track itself.

    Fingerprint File: I wish I could say the album finishes with a bang. Unfortunately, it doesnít. Itís not anything terrible, mind you and the album still remains a well-above average one for me. Iíd say this echoes Undercover of The Night but that wonít be released for another nine years. Anyway, itís listenable but thatís as far as I can go.


    So thatís about it for 1974. Itís funny. 1974 is also the year of Watergate and Nixonís resignation and I always think of Itís Only Rock n Roll when I think of Nixonís resignation speech, mainly because it came out at around that time or maybe just a little after. Anyway, there wonít be anything new coming out in 1975 but Allen Kleinís bunch will be at it again and the third mishmash Iíll be reviewing will be released in 1975. Plus the Rolling Stones will be touring again, and with a new guitar player. Stay tuned for the gossip that will be 1975. Till thenÖ
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  3. #23

    1975.






    Mick Taylor was now gone and the Rolling Stones were looking for a new guitarist. They tried out a few guitarists even as they were recording a new album that would be released as Black and Blue a year later. Finally, in April, the Stones announced that Ron Wood would be joining them on their next American tour. Soon, he would become the new full-fledged member of the Rolling Stones and he is with them to this day. As far as recording goes, well, there would be no new releases, instead Allen Klein would strike again with an album of old Stonesí material, much of it previously unreleased and ,as such, is being reviewed. Metamorphosis, as it would be called, would coincide with a short compilation alum authorized by the Stones covering their early seventies period. Let the fun begin!

    Anyway, this will be a quick year to review, but it is still an important one in the Rolling Stonesí history.

    COMPILATION-MADE IN THE SHADE



    This was put together by the band, possibly in anticipation of what Abkco was about to release. Was it worth it? With only ten tracks, I donít think so, especially when you figure they were only covering four albums between 1971 and 1974. Even for the casual Stones fan, it probably would have been more prudent to wait until they had released a couple more albums, but whatever. At least Mick Taylor got a few royalties out of it.



    COMPILATION- METAMORPHOSIS




    So here comes the latest Stones album by Abkco (and the last Klein money making scheme Iíll be covering). By now Klein was having his own legal troubles between all four ex-Beatles now suing him, to charges of tax evasion, something that would land Klein in jail for two months eventually. So maybe this album was something of a tactic of his since he still owned the rights to anything the Rolling Stones did up until 1970.

    In any event, this album is a mish mash of old material up to and including some outtakes for Let It Bleed. Half of the album isnít even the Rolling Stones technically. Rather, they are recordings (mostly Jagger-Richards demos) that Andrew Loog Oldham arranged with Jagger singing and with occasional help from the other Stones. The other half of the album are mostly unreleased band recordings from the late sixties. Needless to say, itís a pretty uneven album, but yet there are some decent moments here, so letís see what we can come up with.

    Out of Time: Eventually released by the Stones on Aftermath, this was a strings backed demo meant for Chris Farlow. In fact this is his backing track, only here, itís Jagger on the vocals. I donít particularly like Farloweís version so why should I like this one?

    Donít Lie To Me: An old blues standard that the Rolling Stones were jamming to circa 1964. Itís not bad. Obviously this was never intended for release but it probably would have been good enough to make the cut.

    Some Things Just Stick In Your Mind: And in the Ďyou learn something new everydayí department, I was unaware this was actually a Jagger-Richards original. Iím very familiar with the Vashti Bunyan version, which I really love. Apparently Dick and Dee recorded this as well but somehow I have no desire to hear their version. As for this one, it has a country feel to it. With a little work, the Stones could have made something of this.

    Each and Every Day of the Year: Iím guessing this was never intended for the Rolling Stones as it sounds nothing like anything they would have done. This sounds more like something closer to Jay and the Americans really. Itís okay and I guess Bobby Jameson (with the same backing) did okay, but, I donít know. I mean in a way- ugh!

    Heart of Stone: Now why Oldham bothered with this being that this was a big hit for the Stones, I wouldnít even venture to guess. Itís actually a demo that is featuring Jimmy Page who, in 1964, was a sought after session musician. Itís a bit countrified and itís actually pretty good. You can hear the Yardbirds-like lead guitar ever so briefly.

    Iíd Much Rather Be With the Boys: This was a demo meant for the Toggery Five, whoever they were. This was controversial for supposedly having homosexual overtones as they had the Toggery Five change one of the lyrics. Maybe Phil Spector has a hand in this? One thing for sure, Jagger and Richards were no Lennon and McCartney when it came to writing for other artists.

    Walkin Thru the Sleepy City: This one I actually like. This was a demo meant for the Mighty Avengers (who are these bands?). Anyhow, this is a pleasant little tune that moves along quite well.

    Weíre Wasting Time: Another country style demo, this time meant for Jimmy Tarbuck (youíve all heard of him, right?) . Maybe they should have saved this for Tammy Wynette though I suspect she wouldnít have touched this with a ten foot pole, or even a twenty foot pole for that matter.

    Try a Little Harder: This is an early Stones demo actually. You can see why this one was never released. Give the Stones credit for having more taste than their producer at least. This does not sounds like the Stones at all. Some sax on this one.



    I Donít Know Why: Now were actually into the Rolling Stones part of the program. This one has a bit of history. This cover of the Stevie Wonder song was being worked on the night Brian Jones was found dead. A chilling thought when you think about it. This was released as a single and itís quite a decent rendition of Wonderís album cut.

    If You Let Me: Recorded during the Aftermath sessions, this one obviously didnít make the cut. Not a great song by any length of the imagination, but maybe it could have ended up on a B-side somewhere. No matter, it wasnít missed.

    Jiving Sister Fanny: This wouldnít make the cut either, this time for Let It Bleed. Not a great track, obviously, but it does feature a great lead by Taylor, who had just joined the band.

    Downtown Susie: This one was penned by Bill Wyman. It does have some country-blues tendencies on this, but, yeah, Wyman compositions really werenít meant for the Rolling Stones. Ry Cooder is featured on this track.

    Family: Recorded for Beggarís Banquet, it appears that Brian Jones is missing here (by now he was deep into his own personal problems). This probably was good enough to make the album. Maybe this could have been the flip to Street Fighting Man since No Expectations was on the album anyway, but, what do you do?

    Memo From Turner: This one would end up being used for Mick Jaggerís movie, Performance. Whether it had been originally intended as such (this was recorded in late 196, I really couldnít say. It certainly sounds a little too disjointed to be a Rolling Stones song. Steve Winwood and Jim Capaldi from Traffic may be on this track.

    Iím Going Down: Recorded right at the end of 1969 (for Sticky Fingers?), this could have worked on that album or even Exile On Main Street. Bobby Keys is on sax here and itís possible Steve Stills is on this track somewhere as well.


    So even though it was meant to make Allen Klein a little richer, itís a good collection of unreleased tracks and something any true Rolling Stones fan would want. That wraps up 1975 in any event. What about 1976? It will be the year of the American Bicentennial though I doubt the Rolling Stones will care, being they are English and all. There wonít be a lot going on, but they will have a new album out and it will sound a bit different from the previous efforts. It should be interesting to see what they are up to, so stay tuned to see how Ron Wood fares on his first album with the Rolling Stones.
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  4. #24

    1976.




    This would be yet another interesting year for the Rolling Stones to say the least. First there was the controversy surrounding their new album, Black and Blue, which featured an advertisement showing a bruised woman. This didn’t go over well with women’s groups who called a for a boycott of the band and the Stones’ defense of only joking came off as a bit insensitive. In other news, the Stones would embark on a tour of Europe, which included some shows behind the Iron Curtain. Keith Richards would be in the news as he faced legal troubles surrounding his drug addiction and, in the meantime, would lose his infant daughter who died of a respiratory ailment. Other than all that, things went swimmingly well.

    So, recording wise, the Rolling Stones would release one new album, their first in two years. Indeed, rarely would the Stones release an album in consecutive years ever again and fewer bands were even recording albums annually anymore. It would be an interesting record and one that deserves analyzing, so let’s get on with it, shall we?


    BLACK AND BLUE




    I think it’s safe to say Black and Blue was one of the Stones’ more experimental efforts. Not that they lost the essence of who they were, they didn’t. But here they are trying out new forms such as funk and reggae. Sometimes it works very well and, at other times, not as much, but in the end, the Rolling Stones would record a rather decent effort. It wasn’t easy as they were trying out new guitarists before settling on Ron Wood. This was the first album, of course, after Mick Taylor left and he is clearly missing on this effort.

    So, here we go.




    Hot Stuff: We start off with a bit of a funky beat. I guess you could argue there is also a little bit of disco on this track, albeit a heavier version of the genre. This definitely would have made is as an R&B song circa 1976. It’s a very good track and the Stones seem to be back at putting one of their quality songs at the beginning.

    Hand of Fate: Jagger said something about this being about a Southern murder. One thing for sure, this is back to basic Rolling Stones. This could have fit in very well with Exile On Main Street, albeit without Mick Taylor. Wood isn’t in the picture yet and session musician Wayne Perkins is playing the lead here. My favorite track on the album.

    Cherry Oh Baby: This is a cover of a more recent reggae standard that would become famous by UB40 many years later. This is definitely the Stones’ stab at reggae and it surprisingly works. This song got quite a bit of airplay on AOR radio locally.

    Memory Motel: Keith Richards is sharing the lead vocals on this one. Kind of a slow paced track, not unlike Fool To Cry later in the album. It’s pretty listenable but doesn’t sound like anything special.

    Hey Negrita: Ron Wood has a lot of involvement on this track as he came up with the idea with Keith Richards. You might notice in a lot of the Rolling Stones’ performances in the late seventies, that Wood and Richards were becoming pretty close. In some ways Wood may have replaced Jagger in Richards’ mind, though not as a songwriting partner, obviously. As far as the song, it’s another stab at reggae but not as strong as Cherry Oh Baby.

    Melody: Mick Jagger came up this with Billy Preston, who would record with the Stones on occasion. This kind of sounds like a Billy Preston song in a way. Unfortunately, I never really was that much into Billy Preston, though he was an excellent keyboardist.



    Fool To Cry: This was actually the hit single from the album. A rare Rolling Stones’ ballad, it’s pretty sentimental by Stones standards. I can’t say I like this track as much as I do some of the others, but they’ve certainly done worse.

    Crazy Mama: The album finishes with another standard Stones rocker. I like this. Vocally, it reminds me a bit of Tumbling Dice both with Jagger and the background vocals. Billy Preston is playing the female back up singer according to Jagger. This one’s up there with Hand of Fate and is a great way to end the album.

    And so ends another year in the Rolling Stones saga. 1977 will be dominated by Keith’s drug problems and he will be risking jail that year. There will be no studio albums and I’ll probably have my easiest year to write up yet (one live album which won’t take very long to review). So it won’t be much, but it will be the set up to 1978’s album, which will be one of the Stones’ more successful efforts, so stay tuned for the next installment
    Last edited by mrmustard615; November 5th, 2019 at 01:21 PM.
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  5. #25

    1977.





    This would be a critical year in the life of Keith Richards. For this was the year he would be busted for possession of heroin in Toronto and most of the year would be centered around that in Rolling Stonesí lore. Indeed there were even bets going out as in how long Keith Richards would even live. As for the Rolling Stones as a whole, there would be no studio album this year, but they did have an ambitious live album in the works. With Richards being mostly unavailable for the mixing, that task was left for Jagger and Wood. In personal news, this would be the year Mick Jagger started dating model Jerry Hall as his marriage to Bianca was apparently on the rocks.

    So, musically, it was mainly a year for live appearances when Richards was available. By yearís end, they would be at work on a new studio album, but for now, we have this live set.

    LIVE ALBUM- LOVE YOU LIVE




    This is the Rolling Stonesí first live release since 1970 and third legitimate one overall. They made this a double album set. The majority of the songs here are, not surprisingly, from the seventies though only Hot Stuff from their most recent album to date is on here. Nevertheless, the music is crisp and they havenít seem to have lost a beat since Mick Taylorís departure. Ron Wood is obviously a more than adequate replacement and, in some ways, will become an integral part of the Rolling Stonesí circle more than his two predecessors were. In any event, this is probably their best live set yet.

    But, of course, this thread is meant to review their studio albums, is it not? And we have a rather popular one coming up in 1978. I have memories of this one as several tracks would get quite a bit or airplay. Anyway, weíll see what happens with things like Mickís love life and the saga of Keith Richards. So stay tuned.
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  6. #26
    Quote Originally Posted by Sustrai View Post



    An instructor I had at The Defense Information School (DINFOS) was in the band that had the hit Let's Go! "clap/clap clap/clap/clap clap/clap/clap/clap Let's go!" (over and over - I couldn't raise this beauty from C1964 on YouTube, but some of you may remember it)...said, "


    Was it this one?

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  7. #27
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uxCIEHABB1M


    I found that single as a teenager at the Salvation Army of all places. Nice instrumental piece.
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  8. #28

    1978.





    The year started out with the saga of Richardsí legal problems that would finally be resolved by yearís end. Bianca would file for divorce from Mick Jagger and the Glimmer Twins would both find themselves on the gossip pages.

    But this year was more than overtaken with the success of their new album, Some Girls, which would receive both critical and commercial success. On top of that, they would go on a North American tour to support the album. Of course, itís not the Rolling Stones without a little controversy. There was the flap about the Some Girls album cover where they used female celebrities in cut out fashion originally. That had to be pulled after threats of lawsuits and now the cutouts were replaced by a ďPardon Our AppearanceĒ cover. Still, the original album layout is the best known. There was also a TV appearance on Saturday Night Live that featured Keith Richards and Ron Wood French kissing on stage, well, sort of anyway. It certainly wouldnít have passed muster on Ed Sullivan in any event.

    So by yearís end, the Stones came out of it stronger than ever. Keith cleaned up and he ended up with a slap on the wrist in the form of community service. And the Stones had their most successful album in years. So letís see what Iím thinking of that by the way.

    SOME GIRLS



    This would be a wildly successful album for the Rolling Stones and would signal something of a comeback of sorts as this was certainly their best received album since Sticky Fingers (Exile on Main Street still hadnít been reevaluated yet). Four singles, three of them quite successful, would be culled from the album. Needless to say, this was something of a commercial effort. Some Girls is, in fact, the most commercial album they would ever do. It doesnít mean they somehow sold out, because itís obvious that they didnít. But I think there was a thought that the days of Brown Sugar were now behind them. As for me, Iím not sure if I like this as much as even Itís Only Rock n Roll. Having said that, I do like this album even if I donít sense a certain pattern here other than the songs are maybe a little catchier overall. I guess itís a matter of evaluating the tracks one by one which is what Iíve been doing anyway, soÖ



    Miss You: And we start out with the first single from the album. Considered something of a disco influenced number, it does certainly have a nice R&B type beat to it. John Lennon claimed his song, Bless You, was ripped off by this, but I honestly donít hear the similarities. Not that Lennon was pissed as he thought music belonged to everybody. Anyway, a good single to be sure.

    When the Whip Comes Down: This was a little controversial at the time since it was alluding to the gay lifestyle. I think Jagger meant it in a positive way. He also noted he had hoped it would get airplay. Surprisingly, he got his wish; this was one of the more popular tracks on my AOR station. And itís quite good classic Stones. One of my favorites on the album.

    Just My Imagination: The Temptations cover, obviously. I think itís hard for a rock band in the Rolling Stonesí vein to cover a Motown song, and especially the Temptations (they also covered My Girl). They make a good attempt at this though.

    Some Girls: The Stones got in a little bit of trouble with Jesse Jackson over a line concerning black girls. I guess there are some stereotypes on this one, especially with the line about Chinese girls. One thing for sure, I donít think Mick Jagger would be a favored guest at your neighborhood NOW meeting.

    Lies: One of the lesser known tracks on the album obviously. No, I donít rate this one as anything special either. Iím guessing they had to fill the album with something so that was the role of this track. Itís not terrible, mind you, just nothing especially inspiring.

    Far Away Eyes: The Stones are at their countrified best here with this honky tonk saga. They even mention Bakersfield, which was something of a country music Mecca with the likes of Buck Owens, Merle Haggard, etc. Itís a cool little track.

    Respectable: No, this isnít the Isley Brothers cover. Actually, this is a solid Rolling Stones rocker that might have worked well on something like Sticky Fingers in fact. Itís a solid tune to be sure and it seems perfect for this album to be honest.

    Before They Make Me Run: Keith Richards gets to sing on this one. And, once again, he canít sing anywhere near as well as Jagger. Nevertheless, this track pretty well works.



    Beast of Burden: Arguably the most popular song on the album, I have to say that this rates as my favorite on the record as well. Keith Richards alluded to regretting being unavailable due to his legal entanglements. Yes, it is one of their better songs, lyrically speaking, and there is a decent lead guitar in there to boot.



    Shattered: And the album ends with a real barn burner and another hot single from the album. If Beast of Burden is my favorite track on the album, this one comes in at a close second. . Itís another one of those Stonesí rockers with the ďshadoobieĒ background vocals to add to the mix. A very strong way to end the album.

    But wait, thereís more.


    Single

    Everything is Turning To Gold: The flip side to shattered, this was partly written by Ron Wood. This kind of sounds like one of those garage rock sounds with the Em/A chords seemingly dominant. You know, all of these songs tend to sound the same and yet, I canít get enough of them. Nice B-side. And a nice sax solo as well.


    And so we have reviewed one of the Rolling Stonesí most successful years. There wonít be much going on in 1979 so Iíll be grouping that year in with 1980, the year of Emotional Rescue. It is about here when the Rolling Stonesí light will begin to fade a bit. Eventually theyíll be regarded as a bunch of old guys who canít give up the torch, but that hasnít happened yet. So, for now, stay tuned to see how emotional their rescue will be.
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  9. #29

    1979-1980





    1979 was significant as this was the first year there really wasnít anything significant to cover recording wise. Now Keith Richardsí heroin habit was being replaced by Ron Woodís cocaine habit. At least Mick Jagger was cleaning up after seeing what Richards went through withdrawal wise. As for Keith Richards, he would get involved with a side project called the New Barbarians with Ron Wood and old friends, including Bobby Keys. They went on a short tour of the US during some down time. Late in the year, Charlie Watts would join Alexis Korner and Ian Stewart on a brief tour of Europe and Wyman was in a band of his own. All in all they stayed pretty busy in 1979.

    This also included their recording sessions for what would be Emotional Rescue. That would go into 1980. Like 1979, there wasnít a lot of touring with the Rolling Stones and, really, the only time they got together would be to promote Emotional Rescue and start working on their 1981 album, Tattoo You.

    And with that, we have our one and only entry during this two year period. Like Some Girls, it would be fairly successful though it doesnít seem to have had the same staying power. Anyway, here we goÖ

    EMOTIONAL RESCUE



    After the success of Some Girls which, commercially, was the Rolling Stonesí most successful album ever, there was some great anticipation for its follow up, Emotional Rescue. And it would be successful, reaching number one globally and featuring two hit singles. Critically speaking though, it fell short of expectations despite more than two dozen tracks being recorded, some of which would be held over for Tattoo You a year later. Personally, I like to call this Some Girls Vol.2, but thatís probably a bit unfair. It doesnít have the same consistency for one thing. Itís not a terrible album mind you, but this may be the first album where you sense their best days were behind them.

    But, hey, do I look like a critic? Letís review the songs, shall we?



    Dance (Pt 1): The Rolling Stones were still playing around with disco which probably wasnít a good thing as disco was pretty well dead by summer 1980 when this album was on the charts. Of course you could argue this was more meant to be funkyÖ no, itís pretty much disco.

    Summer Romance: Not a nice song about what I guess is supposed to be a summer fling. Not a particularly inspiring song and may have been meant for filler, this despite having a large amount of tracks to choose from.

    Send It To Me: This is another foray into reggae. Sometimes I donít think rock bands in general do reggae very well. They, and by they, I mean the Stones, obviously respect and like the genre but I donít think it plays well when interpreted by them (or most bands really). At least not at this point.

    Let Me Go: Again, nothing especially inspiring about this. By this point, Iím beginning to think theyíve past the stage where they could come up with a barn burner like Brown Sugar or Rocks Off. Maybe itís because theyíre older or maybe theyíve all been through so much (and were in some cases going through so much).

    Indian Girl: Mick Jagger claims this isnít especially political a la No Nukes, but I have to wonder if he does have some sensitivity to whatever was going on South of the Border. This is a foray into country and, as with most Stones forays into that genre, comes out quite well. Some Mexican touches on the track including the return of the marimbas. This is a favorite on the album.

    Where the Boys Go: Shades of Where the Boys Are . Actually this is more of a typical Ďjust wanna be with the boysí type of song. This is a fast driving song with some inspired guitar work by Richards here.

    Down in the Hole: This is a nice bluesy piece that I think might have worked during the classic period, maybe on Exile On Main Street. I have to rate this as another favorite on the album. The second side seems rather superior to the first on this set.



    Emotional Rescue: The big single from the album and yet another foray into disco. This one obviously works as it was culled for single release and it is better than Dance (pt 1). Maybe this is supposed to Dance (pt 2). Hey what do I know; Iím not into disco, okay? So sue me.



    Sheís So Cold: I like to call this one Shattered Part 2. There are a lot of similarities between the two. It was even released as the follow up hit. This song definitely rocks and itís a good choice for the follow up single. The lyrics are maybe a bit simple, but then again, I donít think Jagger and Richards were ever trying to be Lennon and McCartney, not really.

    All About You: This might be the first hint of trouble brewing within the band. This is Keithís song. He even sings this, and surprisingly well. There was talk that this not very friendly song was directed at Mick, who isnít involved with this in fact. This is a good example where some pain really adds a lot to a song. It a nice finish, if kind of a sad one, to the album.


    And that about covers 1980. It would end on a sad note, of course (certainly for me it did) with the sudden death of John Lennon. That too would affect the Stones in terms of security as they had to have been thinking what if somebody decides to stalk Mick Jagger? Life would go on though and our heroes would release one more album in the period with any semblance left of the classic era, long since gone officially but not totally disappeared- yet.

    So stay tuned as we cover the last time the Rolling Stones do enough material to cover a whole year. See you then.
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  10. #30

    1981.




    This would be something of an interesting year in many aspects. There would be a new album but it really wasnít a new album if that makes any sense. There were some old tracks that were originally recorded dating back to Goatís Head Soup. What was missing was vocals and Mick Jagger would spend the early months writing lyrics and adding vocals on what would become Tattoo You which would be released late that summer.

    There would also be a tour late in the year, this despite some tensions within the band. Tensions would exist between the Glimmer Twins for much of the decade in fact. Add to that Ron Woodís continuing problems with cocaine, and you have a rather intriguing year. Of course, as well all know now, the Rolling Stones would survive the rather difficult decade. In 1981 though, they couldnít know the future and there was even the speculation that the Rolling Stones could split.

    Musically, this is the last time Iíll be reviewing releases within any given year. Future chapters will cover periods of several years as recordings would become less and less frequent. Meanwhile, letsís see what we have for 1981.

    COMPILATION: SUCKING IN THE SEVENTIES



    Basically, this is a compilation of mostly album tracks from the previous four albums, some of which were edited. Yes, it does include Shattered and Beast of Burden, but was the compilation really necessary? Wait, we have an unreleased track, now I feel better.

    (new track)
    If I Was a Dancer: Otherwise known as Dance (Part 2). Did I mention disco was pretty much declared dead by now? Of course, what do I know? I was working at a used record store in 1981 and not only couldnít we sell anything disco, you had to beg people to take a Kiss record for a buck- and you had to pay them. Well, as know, both Kiss and disco would be rehabilitated in time but this song still sucked in the seventies (thank you, Iíll be here all week).



    TATTOO YOU



    As mentioned, this was basically a collection of unreleased tracks with some overdubs by Jagger. They were able to pass this off as a new album and, in a sense, it was. It also received some surprisingly good reviews, maybe the last Rolling Stones album that would receive such universal acclaim. Future albums will have its ups and downs (Steel Wheels will notably be well received for example), but none would receive the same love and respect this album would get. As for me, yes, this is a pretty good album, certainly better than Emotional Rescue. And it did feature three singles from the album so it must not be too bad, right?



    Start Me Up: Believe it or not, this was meant to be a reggae song. It was recorded during the Some Girls sessions, or at least the basic riff was. Jagger would add some rather simplistic lyrics later and the song would be turned into a real Rolling Stones rocker. It would prove to be a rather big hit for them and is a great way to open up the album.



    Hang Fire: Keith Richards called this a slam about England basically (they never got over their tax squabbles). Whatever, this is another rocker in the Stones classic vein, also conceived during Some Girls. Great track to be sure.

    Slave: This one was recorded during the Black and Blue sessions. This one is notable as Pete Townsend is on the track. This is a pretty funky number and you wonder if this could have been on Black and Blue with a little more work which, of course,was what was done here for this album.

    Little T&A: Probably not popular with womenís groups Iím sure. Nevertheless this is a real rocker from the Emotional Rescue sessions. Some great guitar work and some surprisingly good vocals from Richards. One wonders why it didnít make the cut on the rather average Emotional but, what do you do?

    Black Limousine: Ron Wood is listed as a co writer on this, recorded initially during Some Girls. This is more standard blues in terms of form. Not a bad song, but the previous tracks are a little better.

    Neighbors: Jagger evidently wrote this one in sympathy for Richards, who was apparently having problems with neighbors. This was originally recorded for Emotional Rescue. Unlike Little T&A, this one wouldnít have been missed. Some nice sax though.

    Worried About You: Originally done for Black and Blue, Jagger is doing a bit of a falsetto here. Probably the weakest track on this album so far and I can see why it was kept off Black and Blue.

    Tops: This was recorded during Goatís Head Soup and, as such, has the long gone Mick Taylor on guitar. Obviously an R&B influenced song, it really isnít any better than some of the other tracks on Goats Head Soup. Not terrible, just not very inspiring and kind of un-Stones like.

    Heaven: Richards and Wood are missing from this Emotional Rescue era track. I guess maybe they were hanging out with the New Barbarians or something. I heard this song in a movie somewhere I think. I definitely like this one and wonder why this wasnít on Emotional Rescue. Itís kind of dreamy in a way, a bit different from the standard Stones fare and a pretty pleasant diversion at that. Jagger would later deny this was written as a tribute to John Lennon as was the rumor apparently.

    No Use in Crying: Another one with Wood listed as a co-writer, this one sounds a little sixties influenced in some ways, at least in terms of the melody. Not one of stronger tracks on the album and doesnít work as well as Heaven does.



    Waiting On a Friend: Also recorded during Goatís Head Soup, Jagger worked on the lyrics and came up with maybe the best song on the album. Itís a telling video as well which shows Jagger and Richards hanging out as one was waiting on the other. Poignant considering the two would be feuding in the years to come.


    So that covers 1981. From here on, there wonít be much more than an album in any given year, so weíll be grouping years together and thus, weíll only have a few more chapters yet. So next, weíll be covering up until the mid eighties. Will Jagger and Richards survive without killing each other? Well, stay tuned and find out.
    It's here! Hidden Content

    ​List your top ten songs before December 15. The WF 100 will be posted December 31. Hidden Content




    And check out Gertie's blog on her favorite top twenty-five albums between 1955-2017 Hidden Content

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