George Starostin's Reviews  




Tony Stewart <> (11.02.2000)

Oh God! I can't believe I gotta do this one. What began as a great idea, with Wyman putting together an album of Outtakes of the STONES from their Decca years called the "Black Box", and which would have given us such STILL unheard tunes (e.g."Godzi") turned into a ALO Muzak showcase, miles below the Stones' standards. A majority of these songs have nothing more to do with the Stones than the Jagger/Richards credits and Mick on Lead Vocals. Some were done by ALO's 'Orchestra' in his silly attempts to emulate Phil spector, others were Demos whipped up for the purpose of selling them to other artists. And others are Rolling Stones doing what they do so well. The overall sound is lukewarm and bland.

So let me concentrate on the Good. "Out Of Time" opens Side A. What was an interesting and actually quite sophisticated arrangement with Marimbas and a well placed 12-String, plus a great Vocal arrangement has all the spice taken out of it by this godawful String Arrangement, which sounds like it is penned by ALO himself, it is so forced. Jagger probably is the only Stone on this one. BTW don't let all those Liner notes fool you. This was no great Jam session with the Stones and Jimmy Page etc. It just so happens that J.P.Jones and Page were the top session musicians in london around that era and are used on several of those tunes. As a matter of a fact I have a feeling that "Heart Of Stone" is Jimmy on Lead. "Don't Lie To Me" is one of those tunes that J/R got writing credits on, but supposedly strays very close to a number of one of their heroes. This one IS the Stones, but they would do this one a lot hotter in years to come. "Some Things..." is one of the VERY few Stones songs that I can truly say I do not like very much. My problem is I would still rather hear anything by the stones than by 99.9% of everyone else, because I like the STONES themselves. Sounds like Keith during his 12-String period. Was a Demo for another band, same as the over-produced but actually quite pretty "Each And Every Day..". Really love those Trumpets with that 'Spanish' Flair ALO! "Heart Of Stone" is even worse in it's "Non-Stonesism" than "Out Of Time". Chris Farlowe actually ended up doing quite well with "OOT", but the chicks could have stayed out of the "Heart Of Stone" chorus. That's a mean-ass single the Stones had there; elevator music on this disc. "I'd Much Rather Be With The Boys" actually has a lot of charm and I really would like to know the line-up on that one. Penned by Keith and ALO, Andrew explains the eyeliner a bit, and Keith writes a very Doowop sounding melody. "Sleepin' City" again isn't a bad song. This is what is so infuriating about this disc. It is totally ALO's record, arrangements are strictly for commercial purposes. this one has a great little bridge with an interesting shift in Key, a solid Hook. Makes one wonder what the stones would've done with it. "We're Wasting Time". I know.

"Try A Little Harder"; a solid groove, some chicks doing a generic doowop, and your basic melody and lyrics, and still Jagger manages to get my toes a -tappin'..

Side B is by FAR the stronger side. Because this one is undoubtedly Stones. In Demo mode, but....Rolling Stones.

We begin with the tune they supposedly were working on when they received the news of Brian's death. "I Don't Know Why". Jagger cuts a cool whining vocal track but the stars are the guitars. Some great 'ancient weaving' going down there. Especially the Wahguitar set against the Vibrato sound of the other. Now that is a good one. Right into "If You Let Me". My gut feeling is that this IS the Stones. Just because it sounds like the type of lighter feel songs they were writing when they felt like it in that period. "Jiving Sister Fanny" affirms what Keith has said about each stonessong having it's cousin somewhere. "Dance Little Sister" sounds closely related to this one. There are other meaner versions with Taylor really letting fly on Lead. Good Rocker. "Downtown Lucy" (I never understood why it is called "Suzie") is Bill Wyman's other song that was accepted into the fold, and is actually the better one of the two. It sounds like the guys in a circle on the floor with some friends, work out the harmonies and let the tape roll. Good job, Mr.William Perks. "Family" here in version 18 or is it 17? This one from the Beggar's era, they obviously tried very hard to make work, and it just wouldn't take off. It sounds like Jagger wanted to deliver those lyrics, which I think he'd feel a little foolish about today. "Memo From Turner"is one of those tunes that Stones aficionados like to argue over. Which one is better. The version here is basically the 'Keith' version, more uptempo, but without much soul behind it. IMHO that might partly stem from the fact that Keith really had kind of a bad taste in his mouth about the whole "Performance" bit, since he refused to visit the set and watch his best friend fuck his girlfriend. So he sat in the car and wrote "Gimme Shelter" instead; not a bad trade-off...

The single that Jagger wisely put out(which also differs from the Movie version) is the first real official solo outing from one of the Bandmembers. He used a version that he cut with a great Slideguitar by Ry Cooder, plus Jim Capaldi and Stevie Winwood. One wonders if he was also already harboring thoughts about Jimmy Miller, since he pulled him from that camp not long after. Great lyrics, this time. Wish they'd do THAT one today! The disc closes on a high note, on the most Stonesy song of the entire disc"I'm Goin' Down". There are a couple of versions of that one floating around. As long as you get the Congas and Bobby on Sax, you're all right. Built around a riff that is so pure "Stones" that it should almost be sampled as "Stones Guitarriff". Jagger mouthing off about '...shoot'chor Momma in Law..' and at least we go out with pure Stones ringing in our ears.

This was a disc,where the decision to release it was obviously completely out of the Stones' hands. It was a legal matter, they tried their best to at least get as much good music on there as possible, but that was before Jagger found Lowenstein, who kicked Klein's greedy ass back to living off Beatles rehashes. But still, it was a long time and a lot more mediocre rehashes to come, before the Stones ridded themselves from several bad contactual obliations. No wonder they are so tightfisted with their material when it comes to dealing with Sampling and Major Companies. On the other hand they are probably the most generous band as far as the "Import" discs go. They make up for it in other ways.. I don't think the stones are in any kind of financial troubles. On a scale from 1-10 I give this one a 6. So total is 11.

Oh and BTW for IORR I only gave 8; of course that means 13.

Didier Dumonteil <> (01.04.2001)

Universally despised, metamorphosis is a burried treasure,being not available on CD,at least in my country.To think that rolling stone didn't give even ONE star to this collection!!.It's very diversified:pure rock and roll (exciting "jiving sister Fanny"),soul ("I don't know why") pop ("out of time" Oldham did his "long and winding road" stint by adding strings) a country waltz ("we're wasting time")Spector symphonies for kids ("I'd rather be with the boys")I'd trade you GHS and IORAR for this one on CD.

<> (17.08.2001)

It's actually Phil Spector of all people who sings lead on 'Andrew's Blues'.

Robert Tally <> (08.10.2001)

Like most archival releases, this album leaves something to be desired, but it's the Stones, so it isn't too bad. Eight of the nine side one tracks are actually by the Andrew Oldham Orchestra, with Mick Jagger on lead vocals, and perhaps an occasional appearance by one or more of the other Stones. ("Don't Lie To Me" is the only bona fide Stones track on side one.) The AOO tracks heard on this album were basically demos. In the case of "Out Of Time," Mick's lead vocal was used as a guide for Chris Farlowe to learn the song. Then the same backing track ended up on his record, but with Farlowe's voice.

I suspect some of these others were used the same way. There are three songs on this album that I like quite a lot. Unlike everybody else that's mentioned it, I really like this AOO version of "Heart Of Stone." I think it has tremendous atmosphere and actually prefer it over the Stones version. Like many others, I would count "I Don't Know Why" as one of the best tracks. I also very much like the Bill Wyman song, "Downtown Suzie." I just love the lazy off-the-cuff party atmosphere. Most of the other tracks are actually pretty good: "Sleepy City" (a very catchy pop tune by the AOO, but kinda corny); "If You Let Me" (a catchy, but insubstantial folk ditty); "Jiving Sister Fanny" (a good rock feel, but underdeveloped); "I'm Going Down" (a decent but somewhat generic rocker); "We're Wastin' Time" (a melodic countryish AOO tune); "Try A Little Harder" (a Motownish tune by the AOO with a good, thumping bass). The rest are basically lesser efforts: "Out Of Time" (this AOO version is pretty corny, but of course, the song is still very catchy); "Somethings Just Stick In Your Mind" (a fairly catchy folk tune by the AOO, but nothing special); "Family" (not bad, but Mick's voice kind of irritates me); "Memo From Turner" (the Stones version, much sloppier and less focused than the Jagger solo version); "Don't Lie To Me" (a very lackluster early Stones track in a Chuck Berry style). The only two tracks (both by the AOO) that I flat-out don't like are the corniest moments on the album: "Each And Everyday Of The Year" and "I'd Much Rather Be With The Boys." So, basically, there are a few great moments and a few terrible moments on this album, with a lot of mediocrity in between.

Technical point no. 1: I have two bootleg CDs of this album, one of which is just the 16 tracks recorded straight from the original album. The second is a Russian copy with six bonus tracks, including the ones mentioned by George. However, the 16 Metamorphosis tracks on this album are mostly alternate mixes, and in a couple of instances, entirely different takes of the songs. The front of the CD looks slightly different from George's, so his might include the actual album. In any event, those looking for the original album on CD will need to keep this in mind, since both the authentic and alternate versions are available only on bootleg. The biggest differences on my Russian copy are: "Heart Of Stone" (which lacks the pedal steel guitar and much of the atmosphere); "Family" (which is an entirely different take and is extremely unpolished); "Don't Lie To Me" (which is run at a much slower tapespeed); "Jiving Sister Fanny" (which has a different lead guitar). Most of the other differences are minor, and in a couple of cases ("Out Of Time" and "Memo From Turner"), I wasn't able to detect any difference. The six bonus tracks, incidentally, are: an orchestrated folk instrumental by Richards and Oldham called "Hear It," the instrumental "And Mr. Spector And Mr. Pitney Came Too", the barely amusing Spector tune "Andrew's Blues," a poppy version of "Blue Turns To Grey," a drastically different mix of "Have You Seen Your Mother, Baby, Standing In The Shadow," and a pedestrian pop tune by Andrew Oldham called "I Know." None of these were ever officially released.

Technical point no. 2: There was one other official archival Stones release which most people aren't aware of, a West German 4 LP boxed set called The Rest Of The Best, which was released in 1983. In addition to previously-released material, this collection included "Bright Lights, Big City" (a standard R&B tune from the March 1963 audition tape); "Tell Me Baby" (another R&B tune, it's mistakenly labeled as "Tell Me" on the album); and "Memphis Tennessee" (an instrumental AOO version erroneously credited to the Stones which originally appeared on the 1964 LP 16 Hip Hits). The first pressing of the boxed set also included a bonus single containing the less than subtle "Cocksucker Blues." The single had to be removed from the set for legal reasons. There were two other AOO recordings released in 1964 that featured Mick Jagger on lead vocals: "I Get Around" (on East Meets West); and "Da Doo Ron Ron" (on 16 Hip Hits). There was also at least one instance when the Stones were credited as the AOO, when they recorded "There Are But Five Rolling Stones" This appeared in 1964 on the B-side of Cleo's "To Know Him Is To Love Him," on which the Stones were the backup group. They were also the backup group on Dick & Dee Dee's 1964 version of "Blue Turns To Grey."

Technical point no. 3: For reasons that can't possibly be good enough, the US version of this album omitted "Somethings Just Stick In Your Mind" and "We're Wastin' Time."

Michael H. <> (29.06.2002)

The song "I dont know why" was being recorded the night the band found out that Brian Jones died. For some reason, the record company thought that "I dont know why" was good for single release. Also some associates and managers in the 60's tried to cash in on the sucess of others (and their clients) by forming there own record companies (Andrew Oldhams "Immediate" records) and releasing classical/pop classical arrangements of current hits ("Beatles Songbook by the Hollywood Strings" I think) well, I have 3 related albums of Andrew Loog Oldham related material of "Andrew Oldham Orchestra" releasing orchestrated versions of Rolling Stones songs, The Aranbee Pop Symphony Orchestra (doing chamber music versions of Stones and other performers songs. The music is very depressing), and also "Andrew Oldham Orchestra: Rarities" featuring such original dities as "365 Rolling Stones (One for every day of the year)", "Oh, I do like to see me on the 'B' side", and "There are but five Rolling Stones". Well, I have a comp. tape of the Immediate record company (in the cut out section) which has early Rod Stewert, Nico (Velvet underground), and an up and coming 60's singer named Chris Farlowe. Well, Mick and Keith were his fans and sometimes producers, and he went down in the music history books for trying to make hits with doing covers of Rolling Stones tunes. His singing style sounds like he is trying to sing with an Italian accent. He did covers of "Out Of Time" among other song. I have this tape. It seems that Farlow's backing track somehow ended up on METAMORPHOSIS with Mick Jagger singing!!! I know this is a long explanation, but this explanes the 60's pop orchestra arrangements of some of the songs. Some record producers idea.

Glenn Wiener <> (20.04.2003)

Decent collection of Stones outtakes. Like yourself I like the reworking of Stevie Wonder's 'I Don't Know Why'. One of Jaggers best vocal performances. Mickie T contributes a fine solo. Also like 'Family', 'Downtown Suzie', and a few others. However, inferior versions of 'Heart of Stone' and 'Out Of Time' plus lackluster melodies on the other tunes bring this recording down to a cute novelty rather than an essential purchase.

<> (04.06.2004)

This was re-released as the first official CD edition ever in 2002, but I will probably never buy that. ...which should already say a lot, because I got all the other Stones albums you reviewed on official CDs. For this ill-conceived release, I'll stick with my CDR-copy of the mentioned Russian bootleg. On here, only one song sticks out to me: Bill's "Downtown Suzie", which would have sounded even better on the Beggars album it was originally written and recorded for, yet didn't make it onto it. Plus, unlike many other Metamorphosis-songs, it features the whole band. All in all, I give this collection of song fragments a 6 out of 15(!). If you want outtakes, there are loads of bootlegs, and I'm not a fan of outtakes by ANYBODY. Consequently I'd recommend any(!) other official Stones CD in comparison to this. On the rating scale, you say for 6 star albums: "I'm surprised they're still around and available on CD. Any artist should be ashamed of this tripe."

So is it any wonder, that it took the Stones so long to make Meta available again?


Simon Hearn <> (11.09.99)

A short comment on this one. 'Hot Stuff', probably the most famous track off the album, is not a great track that "tames" funk and disco rhythms and uses them to augment the stone's sound. I really do believe it is a poor track that would not be out of place on Emotional Rescue. 'Fool To Cry' is too sickly and does not fit the stone's lexicon of music at all. (you should have given it to lionel Ritchie lads!)

A 6 would be a fitting grade. The stones real 70's album comeback was some girls - no question.

Compare 'hot stuff' to 'miss you' - and see

Glenn Wiener <> (30.09.99)

I will admit there are some great riffs on this record. However, the melodies and lyrics are so underdeveloped that this record is really a dissappointment. But a danceable dissappointment at least. 'Hot Stuff' has such a cool groove but even after a while with theminimal lyrics you would think something is wrong with your needle(record) or CD player. 'Fool To Cry' gives the same impression with the ooh ooh's after the second verse. 'Melody' is pretty creative but Mick must've had writer's block when working on the chorus of merely repeating Melody-Melody- It Was Her Second Name. Most of the songs have potential but none of them deliver all the way.

Jeff <> (20.10.99)

Not as bad as I remembered. In fact, I rather like it now. All the grooves ("Hey Negrita," "Hot Stuff," "Cherry O Baby" are really solid and the playing is tight throughout. "Memory Motel" starts out kinda crappy, but it turns out okay, especially the Keith-sung parts. "Fool to Cry" is cheesy to the extreme, but it's such a lovely little melody. The two "rockers" are fun, if nothing special, and "Melody" is one of the most off-beat song the Stones ever recorded. Overall, I wish this was longer. I mean, what's here is enjoyable, but there's only 8 songs!! It was okay to have nine songs on Let it Bleed, because they were all perfect. These songs are good, sure, but they don't hold up a well as an album. So as much as I like this stuff, I'd rank this as the weakest album the Stones made in the 70s. Of course, that would translate into a 7 or so.

By the way, it's odd that this is Ronnie Wood's first album with the Stones, since none of the guitar work sounds anything like his work with the Faces. Neither does his songwriting-- how could someone put "Hey Negrita" and "Stay With Me" in even the same category of music?

Tony Stewart <> (12.02.2000)

Black And Blue. I agree fully with George's opening line of 'oh, so underrated'. The Stones are rumored to do their best work under extreme duress and confusion and i tend to agree. History proves it again and again. Here we have Keith supposedly in an utter Heroin daze, no second Guitarrist, and the Stones at an overall low in popularity, because they supposedly had rejected their ideals. Like with "Exile" this one took time to sink in. It is their disc which probably more than any other has stood the test of time and only gotten better as the years go by. It also occupies, with"Some Girls" the distinction of having every song performed live. It's tough to review this one because do we venture back to '76, or do we look back from the present year? Let's just go with my first night with the disc. I was not a teenager yet and had all their discs and was indulging in some...things. "Hot Stuff" with it's wonderfully clean, compressed Keithian Funk are the first notes we hear. The obligatory Wah Wah, Clavinet and 'Hot Stuff' chant follow to flesh out the Disco/Funk Groove. High points are the Breaks with Harvey Mandel come blasting in and then taking us up ina great Keychange during the solo. Jagger's Island style rap is surprisingly convincing at the end. I sat there mesmerized, shaking my head. I had never heard a human sound like that. What was he talking about? "Hand Of Fate". What a wonderful song and what a beautiful solo. Wayne Perkins evokes memories of Taylor on that solo and came this close to getting the job, probably on the strength of that solo alone. A little footnote: Dig the short instrumental break right before the last verse which just comes out of nowhere. I had a friend who was heavily into fusion and whom I was trying to turn into a Stonesfan. He became one after he heard that little break. "Cherry, Oh Baby" is one of the two songs where we have Ron actually playing. It's easy to see how a lot of people can hate this song. Either you get it or you don't. And also let's keep in mind the guys were still working at the subtleties of actually playing Reggae. Read any interview by Keith on the subject of reggae if you want a good lesson. First thing to learn is that it does NOT only take a 'chunke chunka' trebly guitar and a lot of weird drumfills that don't crash on the obligatory one of the bar. With each album they got better and better and grew more comfortable and confident with the style. Having Marley, Tosh, Robbie and Sly around a lot certainly didn't hurt either. All three of these songs sounded great in concert. Which brings us to "Memory Motel". I must have listened to that song 25 times in a row that night. It has since become a Live Fave, but Boy did it take a long time...The totally unorthodox Drumming by Charlie and the harmonies that only, but only Keith could comeup with and place where and when his soul made him, coupled with the trio of Keyboards played by the three Keymen of this song, add Keith's Bridge to it and the "Sha-la-la-la's" and you have a studio masterpiece. This one I've always felt should have stayed in the Studio. Live it loses a bit of it's majestic feel. It makes the perfect soundtrack to the inside of the gatefold cover. The guys don't give us much time to linger on sweet memories though. right away comes Ronnie's masterpiece "Hey Negrita", a Funkriff so nasty and so mean, that makes even Billy preston sound good on piano. Ron is playing his Silver Zemaitis and he used to get a real nasty growl out of it in the lower register, when he is playing the main riff. Ollie brown and his Percussion on top of that just make it irresistible. And when hetakes it up into the 22nd fret...the rooster crows one last time before he gets strangled. (where did that come from?). From the bubbling Gumbo of "Negrita" we cool down to the big band flavored "Melody" which showcases just a tad too much Preston. I love the lyrics and i love Jagger , and i actually like preston on this whole album. I just have this personal thing: I hate Billy Preston. He did do the stones a lot of good though when they needed him. Jagger didn't have his partner there for a while, so he had to find someone else to play with. "Fool To Cry" is the "Angie" syndrome. It's hard when you're a Rolling stone and you've got a flat out beautiful song with what definetly can not be termed Rebel Rock Lyrics. What to do? Also "Angie" was really not so far in the past. F*ck it, release it anyway as the single. And it proved to do really well. They play it to this day. All of them for that matter, especially the album closer"Crazy Mama" which at the time (another parallel) evoked that same "Starfucker" syndrome. Although, very crafty, especially once the middle break and endpart of guitars had been overdubbed, it sounded very much like the stones saying"Hey let's play a Stonestype song". But time goes by, and you look around and you realize you had been comparing the Stones to their own high standards, because who else just sat down and joyfully bashed away on Cymabals, Trashcans, electric guitars and yodeling lines like "you're plain psychotic, plain insane, you one Crazy Mama..."

So numbers now. 14.

jpcs <> (09.06.2000)

hey i know i just referred to this as "a piece of shit", i was just being a wanker.Going back to have a listen to it tonight,having culled it from my collection at least one-third of a lifetime ago,I find myself agreeing with damn near everything George says.By the way tho' ,the phylum "Hot Stuff" belongs to is not called "disco",it's FUNK. As good a example as a average Ohio Players album track,which means, good enough to be 1 of my favorite tracks off this album. (BTW "Miss You" is a Stones disco song ,if you need the comparison.) Yeah so George,when you say (about this track) "next to no lyrics",to you that's a negative point,am I right? Yeah well not for me,man:less Mick Jagger is usually nought but a bonus.Props to him for one thing tho' - usually their slow ballads are a pain 'cos of his horribly strained insincere "soul" singing,but both "Fool to Cry" & "Memory Motel" are surprisingly good-sounding...especially surprising coming so soon after the gruesome "Angie".Good work,fella!You're nearly as good as Rod Stewart!

John McFerrin <> (09.10.2000)

I disagree - it may be underrated by most fans, but I think you're overrating it pretty strongly. I agree with supporters of the album that this is pretty much the last time that they tried to do anything different over an entire LP, and in that way it's at least amusing. But as nice as diversity can be, it cannot make a strong album by itself. This is the Stones trying many styles, yes, but this diversity is not the product of having a firm grasp of several different genres. Rather, it's the band 'running in all directions, painfully trying to find a style' - and I quoted your description of Peter Gabriel I here because I consider it the same type of album as this.

On the 15 point scale, I would give this a 10 - it's not bad, not by any means, but hardly a very strong effort.

John McFerrin <> (21.10.2000)

Hmm. It looks like I may have been wrong on this one. In my mind, I know that it's mostly just a decent groove album ... so why in the hell can't I stop listening to it? I mean, it's weird - when the album's over, my mind tells me, "dude, that song only had one riff for five minutes" or something like that, but when I'm listening to it, I'm having an absolute blast. I fully understand the heading you give for this album now.

I feel funny giving this as high of a grade as you did, but what the hell? This album's so much fun! A 13.

Bryan Boyd Jackson Jr. <> (02.03.2001)

You are right, this album is badly underrated. All of these songs are good, and that is something that I cannot say about the other Stones albums in the 70's. This really is good. "Memory Hotel," certainly brings tears to my eyes. Beautiful, beautiful singing. Best Stones song of the 70's if you ask me. "Cherry Oh Baby," and "Hand Of Fate" are just incredible songs. "Hey Negrita" and "Fool To Cry" aren't far behind. "Hot Stuff" is better then "Miss You"! I don't care what others say, it is! What else? "Melody" which I feel is a little too long, but then again, it's not long enough. Don't know what to say about that song. It's good though. "Crazy Mama" probably the only song I don't care for, but hey, it's not bad, and I'm sure everybody else likes it. I look at this album as the peanut better and jelly between two shitty pieces of bread (sorry). I don't like It's Only Rock And Roll and half of the stuff on Some Girls I don't care for, but this album makes up for it. While everybody is playing Some Girls, I'll be playing Black And Blue, because I feel, it is the better album. Buy it now! Oh yeah, I'd give it a 12 or 13, maybe 14, not a 15, but everyone should buy it anyway.

Palash Ghosh <> (07.03.2001)

I used to hate Black and Blue -– now I regard it as an acceptable disco-ish/reggae-ish record that I would play only if, oh, I had suddenly misplaced about 100 of my CDs!

I will champion Mick Taylor till my dying day -- he gave The Stones the 'muscularity' of their early 1970's albums and they unceremoniously threw him out. Not only that, but Taylor got saddled with a serious heroin addiction for all his trouble -- talk about dedication!

Songs like 'Hand of Fate,' 'Hot Stuff', 'Melody' and 'Hey Negrita' aren't too bad, it's just that they sound half-hearted and unfinished, like demos that they had no desire to fully develop.

Jesse Sturdevant <> (07.03.2001)

Yes, this one is underrated, but I always thought this was about on par with It's Only Rock n Roll, which is basically your good average Stones record. By the way, Mick Taylor quit, he wasn't fired. Mick and Keith didn't want him to leave. Not sure what he was thinking, and I'm not sure if he does either.

Sergey Zhilkin <> (29.03.2001)

I don't agree with mr. Gosh here. How is it a 'disco-ish/ reggae-ish' record, I wonder? And how about 'Hand of fate', 'Memory motel', 'Melody', 'Fool to cry' and 'Crazy mama' which occupy more than half of the record? Are they haunters of discos? OK, enough.

The most interesting thing about this album is that one can't say that this is crap. I mean that this record has something revolutionary deep inside. After all, nobody has ever thought of such album before. These guys are just having ordinary day in studio! Nice idea. And the songs are strong, too. Even 'Hey, Negrita' which, in fact, isn't a song (even though it's melody changes in the middle). My favorite tune here is 'Melody', very calm and relaxing. A good tune to be played in the bar. And, actually, the whole albums looks like it was made for background music. And it's the best 'background album' I've ever heard. 14/15.

Didier Dumonteil <> (01.04.2001)

"Memory motel" is one of my all-time Stones favourite.It's often dismissed as " a bid for the radios " but the melody is la crème de la crème de la ballade stonienne.I love everything;the sublime piano intro,K.Richard's harmonies,C.Watts drumming,the trembling of his cymbals as the sounds fades."Hot stuff " is very funky and "hand of fate" and "crazy mama" are good old time rock and roll.They try their hand at reggae with" cherry o baby" with satisfying results."Fool to cry" is not as strong a ballad as "memory motel":here mawkishness comes back to the fore."Hey negrita " and "melody" are IMHO,throwaways.

This is the last Stones album I like.I bought some girls,and unlike everybody else,I hated it,so I said to myself:"you'd better move on".

Robert Tally <> (12.10.2001)

Yes, of course, this album was underrated when it first came out, but I don't think overrating it is quite the right solution. I hated this album when it first came out, but that was mainly because I had an aversion to funky discofied jams like "Hot Stuff" and "Hey Negrita." (I know these are only two songs, but let's not underestimate the first impression power of album-side openers.) Nowadays, I really enjoy hearing "Hot Stuff." It's a good groove, and the Stones had been together so long that they had developed a distinctive sound. However, I still wouldn't put this song up there with something like "Fingerprint File" from the previous album. As far as "Hey Negrita" goes, I'm still not that bowled over. The riff is a bit annoying, but the middle part's pretty cool. There's really only two other jam-heavy tracks on the album. One of these, "Melody," is my favorite, and it's true to its title, with the strongest melody on the album. They could have faded it out a little earlier, though, right after the horn section does that intense thing. "Cherry Oh Baby" sounds like a typical reggae tune to me. Perhaps the original version is good, but there's no gracefulness to the Stones version. They'd mastered only the basic elements of reggae, without touching on its more subtle aspects. The rest of the tracks do nothing to raise this album above the level of mediocrity, even though they're full-fledged songs. The two rockers, "Hand Of Fate" and "Crazy Mama," are in the traditional Stones rock 'n' roll style. They're both pretty good songs, but don't stray from tried-and-true territory. There's something suspiciously generic about them, and I think they both would have fit comfortably on one those uninspired eighties Stones albums. The two ballads on this album are my least favorite of the tracks. "Memory Motel" is melodically uninspired and notably corny. "Fool To Cry" is even cornier, and is saved only by having a soulful, ear-catching chorus. Otherwise, it makes "Angie" sound like "Wild Horses" by comparison. I dispute the idea that this album was deliberately uncommercial. The two ballads prove otherwise. The inclusion of the jams may be an uncommercial move, but I suspect it was merely because they didn't have enough material. In any event, I'm not impressed with this release. For me, it ranges from bad to fairly good, with mostly mediocrity in between. I'd rather listen to Goats Head Soup, and I don't even like that one that much.

Ryan Maffei <> (16.03.2002)

No, no, no, no, no!!!!!!!!!! No...Black and Blue is not clever and fun. On the contrary, it is blatant, and dumb, and obvious, with some of the most awkward style-shifting and songwriting to ever be found on a Stones album. The grooves are not ridiculously enjoyable, they're dull. And idiotic. Monotonous and dull and idiotic. "Hot Stuff" is a penultimate piece of stupidity, and while playing it, they might've found it invigorating and fun, but on record, it just bete (damn keyboard without French accent marks!). Hell, maybe for people who like the Stones, Black and Blue passable, but I don't, so I'm inclined to look at the lesser points...of which there are many. So many, I can't imagine why even Stones fans accept this. What's next? We have the charging, Sticky Fingers-y rockers "Hand of Fate" and "Crazy Mama", which are fine, the former of which is the best track on the album. But then..."Cheery-O Baby"?!?!??!?! Utter, stupid, poor, ridiculous idiocy!!!!! How can you like it? Even a reggae parody can't run this long without revealing itself, and if it really is serious, which I think it is, it's the worst piece of banality of 1976, excepting maybe a few disco tunes. And "Memory Hotel" and "Fool to Cry" are manufactured, cloying, obvious ballads, very little better than the Top 40 staples we see today. Seriously, how can you give these more praise than, say, "Here Comes the Flood" by Peter Gabriel, which may be a bit stadium-rock-ish, but GOOD stadium-rock and CEREBRAL stadium rock and WELL-CRAFTED stadium rock...rrrgh. As for the other tracks, sure, "Melody" is a fine jazz sendup with some neat Billy Preston work, but "Hello Negrita"? HELP ME PLEASE THE STONES HAVE GONE COMPLETELY STUPID!!!!...actually, the album isn't as bad as my angry, er, typing might suggest. It's a 5/10-worthy record...but a 13? The same rating as Pet Sounds? JESUS!!! Where did you go wrong, George, where? What the hell! Mrmmrmghhghhhgrr...(Sorry.)

[Special author note: yes, exactly, the same rating as Pet Sounds. And there's nowhere to go wrong. If you're not able to appreciate the terrific Ron/Keith guitar interplay on 'Hey Negrita', or the creative funky Harvey Mandel leads on 'Hot Stuff', that's not my problem. And nothing on here is any more idiotic than, say, the Ramones' debut. If we start judging rock'n'roll according to those values, all of us will inevitably turn into Auberon Suger.]

Jeff <> (09.12.2003)

Not a bad effort for an overrated group of dope addicted losers!

BILL SLOCUM <> (22.12.2003)

Giving this album a rating merely two points below perfection is to invite flames, George, and while I admire your guts, I question your judgment. No, Black & Blue is not evil. It's a better album than It's Only Rock N' Roll, in my opinion, but that's not much praise from me. It's not the most underrated Stones album behind only Satanic Majesty (my two choices for that honor would be Emotional Rescue and Bridges To Babylon.) You weigh this one down with praise the work itself doesn't support.

Black And Blue does have some interesting grooves, and forms a connection between the guitar-hero jams of the Taylor period and the disco-soul makeover of Some Girls. But it's also a mess, with an anemic eight-song track listing, of which three ("Cherry," "Hey Negrita," and "Melody") are unambiguous filler and a fourth song, "Hot Stuff," kind of falters into the realm of filler after a promising bit of bass-and-guitar back-and-forthing at the outset. Where was the editor on that one? I guess they were too distracted trying to find their guitarist. Frankly, any album that doubles as an audition session is suspect right there.

But only "Melody" is actually bad, and the rest is quite good. "Hand Of Fate" is a sinewy, propulsive, driving classic, very tight, with solid outlaw lyrics and a great one-shot moment of glory from guitarist Wayne Perkins, who must have said something wrong in the job interview because he nails the studio audition here. "Fool To Cry" is a good ballad, a little too Anthony Newley and not as self-aware as you suggest, but not bad, with Charlie setting a tough tempo offset by gentle fills. "Memory Motel" is the Holy Grail for Keef lovers, cuz he's singing alongside Mick for about the only time in a studio recording. If it's not the great song its fans think, it still does well with its anthematic pose. "Crazy Mama" is the sleeper cut here, a very good if not great Stones rocker that might have lost the ears of many true believers who switched off their eight-tracks angrily whenever "Fool To Cry" came on. Do yourself a favor and listen to it, generic title and all. Those guitars deliver on what "Hot Stuff" only promised.

To quote your review: "This is the Rolling Stones gracefully allowing us into the midst of their creative activities, and at the same time making the final product more 'artsy' and accessible." Actually, replace the words "Rolling Stones" with "Beach Boys," and you'd have a point, only the album you'd be describing is Pet Sounds. I agree with your earlier comment about this being more of an informal workout caught on tape, but would add the results were not any great shakes for it. Sometimes, going into the studio with a game plan and a sense of purpose is for the best, as it would be for the Stones their next time out.


Jeff <> (06.09.99)

Not Ya-Ya's, but second best ain't too shabby. Solid all the way through, barring "You Got To Move." The rest is sloppy and rocking, just like the Stones should be. It's almost as if they felt the need to show the world they were still a rock band after the wierdness of Black & Blue. My only disagreement with you is over the "If You Can't Rock Me / Get Off Of My Cloud" medley. It's my favorite moment on the whole album!! Billy Preston really boogies on the piano there. I liked "Rock Me" in the first place, and "Cloud" may not sound anything like the original, but it rocks hard enough that you don't mind at all. Side three is friggin fantastic, by the way. Oh, and I believe the guitar solo on "Brown Sugar" was overdubbed in the studio. Wish I knew who it was playing it....

Simon Hearn <> (11.09.99)

It is not ya ya's, but there are some good tracks on here. (I think Flashpoint is better that this myself. Why does it get the same mark?) The best tracks are the classics - 'brown sugar', which as George has pointed out has fab guitar work - one of the best versions of the song I've heard I think; 'jack flash' and 'sympathy' are also good. A good live album, not up to the standard of ya ya's or flashpoint

Tony Stewart <> (12.02.2000)

Let's go with Love You Live. A Ya-Ya's it ain't but what is? This is actually the last in line of those 70's discs suddenly getting their long overdue praise. At the time of this writing this very disc is actually among aficionados turning into one of the most appreciated discs of the day. Having exhausted all the talk about the "B2B" and "NS" Tours and Discs, attention has shifted via the headscratching performances of one Ron Wood on those tours to the good ole days when he played his ass off. And since there are very few good in quality Concert Recordings out there, from what it seems, this is the Disc to really get an idea of Ron in his early days with the Stones. A wildly overdone Stageshow, with the Stones still learning how to manage ArenaRock successfully, Jagger mainly being too out of breath than to do more than bark the lyrics, Keith and Ron both indulging heavily even ON stage(if we are to believe Ron), plus the insufferable Billy Preston feeling more and more at home resulted in some great Shows , but not really in great music. Keith was for the first time showing a little bit of lackluster in his playing, Jagger was not there to cover this time so it was really left to Preston and to a boy who did more than just rise to the challenge: Ron blew the roof off the house nightly. He got Wyman back in the fold and his great Zemaitis sound played in that percussive style jived well with Ollie brown 's little shop behind the ever rock solid Charlie. The Disc really showcases the best of the tour The highpoint of course is Side 3 at the El Mocambo, where all this dissappeared and we just had the greatest R&R Band in the World firing on all cylinders. One of the best sides of any disc they've ever released, "Mannish Boy", has just a plain scary Harmonica break"Around & Around" sounds like straight from '64, the Reggae tinged"Crackin' Up" has Jagger just sounding like he's enjoying himself blabbering in some silly "Island" patois, the introductions are a hoot and the gem of what we hear of the show must be the Two Slided "Little red Rooster". A wonderfully restrained Organpart only adds to the Swampfeel. Fabulous!

The other three sides are an entirely different animal:"Honky Tonk Woman" IMHO is probably their worst opening number ever and doesn't quite get the place shaking, right into the medley of "If You Can't Rock Me" where that mean break gets a little more of the respect it deserves, and acting as a segueway into a great boogie version of "Get Off Of My Cloud" with spicy little Pianofills in between the singing. "Happy" during the '70's was as always just barely croaked out by Keith, carried by Mick and really just showcased the loveable Richards to his ever growing Fanbase. It also served as proof that he was indeed alive and awake. "Hot Stuff" turned into a Motherf*cker during that Tour. Mean and a lot wilder than the clean Studioversion. Ron's Guitar thunders away. "Starfucker" served three purposes: 1) It forced Keith to actually really play, cause Keith is drawn to a Berry-type Rocker like a Bee to Honey. 2) It brought out that stupid inflatable dick and 3) It served as great Photo opportunities with Mick and Ron singing the Chorus. A lot of Side A sounds rushed; has a lot to do with Jagger being out of breath. "Tumbling Dice"is played Keith's way - slow! It never quite reaches any magic. "You Gotta Move" was a crime!! A shameless Photo -setup, with of all people Ollie providing the meat of the vocals. I have heard a version of this one in Germany where Jagger sang about 3 notes. Keith solos incessantly, and Ron hits a chord here and there. Preston meanwhile is already gauging the stage for his Solospot. This has NOTHING whatsoever to do with the Fred McDowell swampy Blues off of Sticky. Now where I must seriously disagree with George is on the solo of "YCAGWYW". Yes gone is the nice melodic ON the beat Virtuoso playing of taylor, who more and more had forgotten what syncopation sounded like and that sometimes less is more. Ron attacks this song from a completely different angle; a lot bluesier and IMO and I think a lot of others this solo is one of the highlights of the disc. Especially when he busts into the riffing towards the end of the solo. I'm NOT going to get into a Taylor/Wood debate here.'Fingerprint File" I completely agree with George. I was actually surprised at how WELL they did with that one on stage. Jagger got to play guitar and Preston was edging his way around the Keyboards already. Side 4 always surprises me. Now called the Hot Rocks Section they actually pull them off a lot less perfunctorily than one would expect. Especially"It's Only R&R" flies. The Stones ALWAYS play well in Paris. "Brown Sugar" cooks too. Reason there is no Sax solo probably had a lot to do with there being no Bobby either.

"Sympathy" I wasn't so sure about until one day someone had a Tape playing in the car and it was just music and I immediately thought to myself for just one second before i recognized it"Who the hell is that? They are kicking some ass!" I love when that happens. Too often do we compare the stones against their own incredibly high standards and forget that at their worst they are still miles ahead of the rest. Love the Artwork; attended the Party and got my Disc autographed by a VERY grumpy Keith and by Charlie who actually seemed more nervous than me. That's cause he's a Kidder... Tony

PS Give this one a 13.

jpcs <> (09.06.2000)

Here's why a whole generation of rock fans gave up on the Stones,right here.I've heard many small-town pub bands (& Grand Funk Railroad) playing way better versions of Stones songs than this,and Jagger's vocals are just gross. Still,pretty good 3rd side - "Mannish Boy " almost makes this thing "worth it".At that time tho',this just seemed like a spit in the face of their fans ( I was a teenager in the late '70s and paid money for this record - you weren't,which is probably why you don't understand school-of-'77 punk rock)

<> (31.03.2001)

This is a pretty decent live album. Probably their 3rd best offical live release. What bothers me about it though, is that it is in no way, shape or form an accurate representation of how great the 75-76 tour was. I have atleast 6 bootlegs from that particular tour and they are all far better than this. I don't think the guitar solo in 'Brown Sugar' was overdubbed simply because they did hotter verisons through out the tour. 'Sympathy For The Devil' is not up to par with the Ya-Ya's verison or the studio verison but it's still 'Sympathy For The Devil', possibly the greatest song of all time. The thing that bugs me about this one is that they left off the incredible verisons of 'Hand Of Fate', 'Midnight Rambler' and the longer verison of 'You Can't Always Get What You Want'. If You ever doubted Keith Richard's incredible guitar virtuosoity, listen to these tracks and all doubts will be erased. Good verison of 'Starfucker' but overrall they didn't release the right stuff.

Robert Tally <> (17.10.2001)

The barking begins. But this is pretty much my only gripe. Generally, the Stones turn in a good performance throughout this set. Some moments are better than others. For instance, there's little I can find fault with on side three. "Mannish Boy" is very effective, and "Crackin' Up" is virtually flawless. "Little Red Rooster" is arguably the best track on the album. "Around And Around" is an unexpectedly upbeat surprise. Other highlights on the album including the laidback versions of "Tumbling Dice" and "You Can't Always Get What You Want" (count me among those that like the solo), the suitably funky "Fingerprint File" and "Hot Stuff," and as usual, "Sympathy For The Devil," which builds up quite well towards the end. A couple of the rockers, "It's Only Rock 'n Roll" and "Star Star" come across pretty well. A couple of them don't: "Brown Sugar" and "Jumping Jack Flash" are both rushed and sport the most incomprehensible and self-parodic Jagger vocals yet committed to record. The energy, nevertheless, is infectious. Also notably rushed are "Happy" and the "If You Can't Rock Me"/"Get Off Of My Cloud" medley. "You Gotta Move" is a bit unfocused, but not too much of a letdown. "Honky Tonk Women" suffers from being the set-opener. Most bands sound they've just gotten out of bed when they start a show, and this is no exception. Needless to say, it's been all but scientifically proven that Get Yer Ya-Ya's Out is a better album. However, this one's still good, and supports the notion that the Stones were one of the best bands of the 70s, if not as good as their former selves.

Anthony Stewart <> (07.04.2002)

I am a diehard Stonesfan and will always be. But this has nothing to do with not "understanding" the Punkrock movement of '77. FYI I was at exactly the same age (17) when I BOUGHT that disc with money I had worked for. And let me tell you something about the Punkrock movement. You guys in the USA never 'got it' to begin with. I came over here and it was a fashion thing. Over in London and Germany it was political. It was working a class movement. What did the US offer the Punkrock movement? Ramones? A` la Phil Spector? Blondie? Talking Heads? The only cool band I saw in NYC was the Contortions and they of course could not land a decent contract. The West Coast started their own respectable movement after a while but honestly; I was living in the USA at that point and playing a lot and we opened for the Clash and the Police (when they were still considered 'Punk') and I will NEVER say anything bad about the Clash but that Policeband was actually taking pre-show showers and running around in terrycloth robes before going on stage, making sure their blonde hairdye was still in order.

Navin MV <> (06.11.2003)

I am a Stones fan from India, was going through your site recently, something that I could not help pointing out:

>From your review on the Stones album, 'Love you live'

'Brown Sugar' is played at least three times faster than the original, and incorporates a totally mind-blowing, unbelievable guitar solo from Ronnie.

Ronnie? Is that really Ronnie? Playing with such precision at such speed? Anyway, I have a deep suspicion that that actual solo was overdubbed later in the studio... as it - sad to say - often happens with the Stones' live releases.

And from 'Rewind':

Oh yes, and there's a performance of 'Brown Sugar', cut-and-pasted from several live shows and set to the sound of the version on Love You Live.

Just like to point out that I have the Paris '76 video which includes the above mentioned complete version of 'Brown Sugar' with no cuts or pastes from other shows...the credits at the end of the Rewind video also mention Paris 1976 as one of the no overdubbing!


Jeff <> (06.09.99)

Well, I think it's better than Black & Blue. Of course, I've only heard that one once, so I never really got the chance to get into it. I may change my mind once I've heard it again. As for this here record, I really like that title track. Sounds sort of like one of them slinky Aerosmith tunes (back when they were good; like Rocks-era). Speaking of which, whoever decided that Aerosmith were Stones ripoffs? Listen to Sticky Fingers, then listen to Toys In the Attic. They both rock pretty hard, but that's the only connection I'm seeing.

Simon Hearn <> (08.09.99)

How can you say this is equal to black and blue? This is far superior - better songs, better playing and most of all a semi-cleaned up Keith. 'Miss you' is fantastic - compare it to 'Hot Stuff' - no contest. There is not one bad song on this album, whereas Black and Blue has some right dodgy stuff.

PS. I saw Mick perform 'some girls' in concert after his recent fatherhood experience - I cannot tell you what an hilarious moment it was!

Glenn Wiener <> (30.09.99)

This one I just don't care for at all. Out of ten songs I believe five or six are all written in the same key of A. Geez thats creativity for you. The singles 'Miss You' and 'Beast Of Burden' just get stale after a while. 'Respectable' rocks pretty hard, 'Some Girls' grooves along nice, and 'Before They Make Me Run' has a nice tone to it. 'Far Away Eyes' is a bit cute. However, the rest just doesn't take me anywhere special.

Tony Stewart <> (14.02.2000)

Lately I've noticed that every Review I do I start off with some comment on a disc od 'review' that has scrolled before I get to my destination. This time around i couldn't help but notice someone comparing Some Goirls to Black'n BLU; but since this since this respected reviewer had only heard B&B ONE time all he had to say about it that it sure sounded like an Aerosmith title and he didn't quite agree with the painfully obvious comparisons between the Stones and Aerosmith. Well he is right in one aspect. There are very few comparisons. Aerosmith is not even in the sme league as the stones, Perry never having grasped what the Blues are about, Tyler having to surgically alter his face to resemble Mick and that guy without a chin definetly not doing much 'ancient guitar weaving ' with Ole Joe. Nuff sid.

Some Girls VERY obviously answers the challenge from the Punks, especially after the Stones were especially vulnerable to such criticism hurled at them after the Tour of Excess of '75/'76, where music was definetely taking a backseat to the fireworks etc. Well, the best thing in a way that could have happened to them at first looked like disasters. Keith's bust and Taylor's leaving. But what we got out of this imbroglio (=mess for the Aerosmith dude) was a rejuvenated Keith and Ron in 5th gear all over the place, practically producing this gem of an album. The music goes straight to the core of the Stones. Short, no-nonsense rockers in A and E, very witty lyrics with all the hoopla going on around their private lives and the occasional masterpiece thrown in for good measure. I was in NYC when this Disc came out and I can unequivocally say it was the Summer of the Stones. "Miss You" blared from every Boombox; black, white, puerto rican...The Tour is still the most fun the stones and the fans have ever had together, and Jagger just about seemed as if he had risen from the dead. Gone were the Feathers and Boas and Crotchrubbing with Preston; Hello to ripped up plastic Rockstar, licking everything he could wrap that tongue around and really re-inventing his Stage persona. I remember the first '78 show I saw in Philly and jagger in that Beret was doing these absurd Clownmoves and I'm thinking"What the F*ck is this?" But Nureyev couldn't have done it better. The set for the only time ever consisted practically of the entire new disc. "Miss You" the intangible. By now a sing along in concert it was set to a Discobeat, jagger sounded utterly convincing and Charlie I think pulls off the only No 1 Charttopper ever without playing a single drumfill. George is right when he puts this one in the category of ballads. Strictly minor key, even though it pumped in the discos every night, when Jagger cries"sometimes I feel abandoned" we are not left with the aftertaste of just having "rocked' out. Too much soul. Wyman plays a great bassline, several lines have become absolute classics. It was what the stones BADLY needed. A Megahit! "When The Whip Comes Down", "Lies", "Respectable" are all straight forward rockers, obvious crowd pleasers, but with such great subtleties thrown in, like the guitar army dominated by Woody's Slide on "Whip", the nonsensical garage joy of "Lies" and the naughty lyrics of "Respectable", which by now has found a very solid Live arrangement. "Just My Imagination" at ALL '78 Shows I saw was the highpoint. It is a wonderful song to begin with and the Stones drove it home with such fervor and passion everytime; I tip my hat. "Some Girls" always seems to fit the times, lyrically. Right now of course they pulled it out for the Brazilian busted rubber, in '78 the lyrics almost gave Jesse Jackson a heartattack and Zuma Beach was referring to Dylan's divorce proceedings. Plus there was some other busted Jagger rubber that had caused a scandal somewhere on the planet at the time; can't remember where... "Far Away Eyes" is already hilarious, but I have to agree with Keith who insists it was even funnier, until the last vocal take when Jagger laid on that silly accent. It was ten times funnier sung straight as the Outtakes prove, but unlike Keith, Jagger has always had a hard time taking Country seriously.

"Before They Make Me Run" has turned into one of Keith's anthems, and deservedly so. With the bust, the eventual sentencing, his detox going down he couldn't have written a funnier/more serious song than this one. Once again Keith claims his place as the ultimate Outlaw. "Beast Of Burden" with it's beautiful Guitar interplay and great vocals, especially that last verse with the slapback on the Reverb was an instant fave especially with the chicas. Jagger going'..pretty pretty pretty..oooh..' brought back memories of the early sixties with chicks just screaming"Oh Mick, you're rough enough for me..."The masterpiece saved for last sums it all up. This has been a total NYC disc and no song ever rocked the to the New york Groove as well as "Shattered". Jagger is said to be especially proud of the lyrics and the vocal delivery and I agree. He outdoes himself. First time I heard that tune I sat there with my mouth hanging open. There is this beautiful little Pedal Steel Slide coming out of the Guitar solo which I just love. ONE note! The lyrics I don't even want to get into . every line is a classic. And this time you can also understand them. 'Shmattah shmattah shmattah.....' 15

Seth Edwards <> (09.09.2000)

8/10? I think this album deserves a 9 myself. Everybody knows 'Miss You' so well for a reason, its a damn good song! Although if you say this is a commercial product because it sounds like punk, what about some of their earlier output? The heavy drumbeat and riffage in "19th Nervous Breakdown" sounds like punk to me...but thats not a commercial single? I've never heard Black and Blue, so maybe upon listening to that my opinion of this one will change. "Beast of Burden" is an absolute classic, my favorite from this one. Much better than the Bette Middler version, which I sadly heard once on the radio. At least its not Britney Spears doing "Satisfaction".

Brian Adkins <> (21.11.2000)

How are you gonna give a review about some girls without mentioning the song 'far away eyes'. This is an awesome song and its the stones using a country beat. I love listening to Jaggar sing those lyric, just marvelous.

Raghu Mani <> (01.01.2000)

Not as good as some people seem to think but great nontheless. There isn't a weak track on the album but there aren't that many outstanding ones either. The lone cover is 'Just My Imagination' which is a rather unfortunate choice from my point of view (being a huge Temptations fan). Once you have heard the Temptations do this song, nobody else's cover can come close. Not to say that this is bad but given how good the Stones' covers can be (often a lot better than the originals), this is a disappointment. The best songs are the faux-disco of 'Miss You' and the last two songs - 'Beast of Burden' and 'Shattered'. I'd give it an 8.

<> (19.01.2001)

Some Girls is my favorite Stones album right now ( shamefully I only have Aftermath, Fingers and Exile) but out of those I like this the best. Someone on Amazon said it was the dirtiest album ever and she's right, I always have to take a shower after listening to it. The album is over flowing with sex, prostatution, sex, alchol, sex and New York, need I say more. The worst song here is the title cut but its not very bad. 'Imagination' is real nice and 'Miss You' is catchy as hell. The last three songs are the best here. 'Shattered' and 'Beast Of Burden' are fabulous and one of my favorite Stone songs is 'Before They Make Me Run', I always Kieth's confessional songs.

Palash Ghosh <> (23.02.2001)

Some Girls was, in my humble opinion, The Stones last good album –- and it was the record that really introduced the group to those of us who were teens in the 1970's and missed out on their glory years. It is also remarkable that Keith performed here under the threat of a possible life sentence arising from heroin smuggling charge in Canada --maybe this gave him some perverse impetus to put out a really good album.

As for the songs, I can't find any weak tracks, though nothing really hits you upside the noggin as a super-classic, except maybe 'Shattered.' 'Miss You' is a tune that instantly reminds me of the summer of 1978, but it hasn't aged too well (but that line about 'Po Rican girls just dyin' to meetchyou' still makes me laugh).

I generally dislike The Stones' early covers of African-American blues and Motown songs –- this is mostly because they tried to simply make a Xerox carbon copy; and, if you'll pardon the expression, The Stones' versions usually 'paled' in comparison to the originals! An exception to this is the way they do 'Just my imagination' -- I might even say that The Stones' version betters the original. I attribute this to the fact that Mick and Keith 'tailored' this Motown classic to make it sound more like a Stones track (much like the early Beatles took covers like 'Money' and 'Twist and Shout' and remade them sound more like Beatle originals).

The awesomely swampy and visceral title track, 'Some girls' just SMOKES with sex, venom and nastiness. Mick's smutty lyrics are clearly elucidated (unlike many of his other 'porny' odes).

My two fave tracks here are the country-flavored 'Far away eyes' (funny story included) and of course, 'Shattered.' I heard the latter somewhere recently and it sounded so original, so fresh, so lively, so eccentric -- like it could've been done by some heavy metal/rap hybrid group yesterday. It's a pity The Stones didn't come up with more interesting, catchy, energetic numbers like this more often in their 'middle age.'

Sergey Zhilkin <> (26.04.2001)

If anybody makes me listen for a punk/disco album for a whole day, I will choose Some girls. The good news: Jagger is still singing (and not barking like he did on later records) and the band still has new ideas, which< by the way, means that they are not old farts yet.

It was 1978, a year of New Wave coming and the band had to do something with it. After all, they were always adequate and in fashion, so the mix of rock, punk and disco was a nice idea. Indeed, just look at 'Miss you'. Disco-bass rules! And Jagger's voice fits it perfectly. 'When the whip comes down' was ripped off of Velvet Underground's 'Venus in furs', but nevertheless, it sounds very fresh. 'Just my imagination' is a cover of Whitfield/Strong's original and it's cool, too. See, the last Stones' cover was tasteless 'Ain't too proud to beg' while this track shows that they still have good taste. Oh, and then comes my favorite song on here - 'Some girls'. I have not so many words to describe this masterpiece but I'll try. You know, I've never heard such harmony of rhythm, slide guitar and drums. The modern lyrics are cool, too. This song should be among the best creations of Jagger/Richards. From the others I enjoy 'Before they make me run' and very calm 'Beast of Burden'. The rest of the tracks are a little bit lousy but that's okay.

Oh, and special thanks to the designer of the cover.

Jaime Vargas <> (24.09.2001)

Glenn Wiener says that most of SG is in the key of A...but: at least 7 songs in Beggars Banquet are in E, and you like that one, don't you?

Robert Tally <> (23.10.2001)

This has gone down in history as one of the best Stones albums, and frankly, it isn't too hard to see why. It's pretty commercial stuff. Personally, I enjoy this release quite a lot, although it's probably at least in part nostalgic, since I played it to death when I was a teenager. Somehow, this is one of those albums where I actually like the hits the most. My favorite is "Shattered," which is pretty insubstantial from a songwriting perspective, but is more fun than I'd ever expect a Stones tune to be. "Miss You" is also quite excellent, but also a bit insubstantial. This one really wreaked havoc on my concept of disco sucking. "Beast Of Burden" is one of the only serious pieces of songwriting on the whole album, and is quite well done. None of the other songs really bowl me over, but they're all fairly enjoyable. Among the "punk" rockers, I prefer "Respectable." "Lies" and "When The Whip Comes Down" are relatively one-dimensional. "Before They Make Me Run" is kind of catchy, although it sounds like they didn't spend a lot of time on Keith's stuff during this period. "Just My Imagination" is a pretty decent cover of the Temptations song. "Some Girls" is amusing, if not great. "Far Away Eyes" is one of those songs that's extremely amusing, and at the same time, looks foolish in light of earlier country parodies such as "Dear Doctor." I tend to think of this album as being in the middle of the pack when it comes to '70s Stones albums, somewhat on a par with It's Only Rock 'n Roll.

For those looking for every Stones track, you'll need to find the compilation Sucking In The Seventies, which includes "Everything Is Turning To Gold," the less-than-enthralling B-side of "Shattered." It also includes a decent live version of "When The Whip Comes Down." There was also an extended edit of "Miss You" from the 12-inch single which includes quite a lot of stuff that's not on the album edit. The only official CD release it appears on is the double CD Flashpoint + Collectibles. Also, there was an extended edit of "Beast Of Burden" included on the 8-track version of Some Girls, which is currently unavailable.

Ryan Maffei <> (17.03.2002)

In spite of myself, I must admit that Some Girls, while silly in spots, is a very good album, and one of the Stones' best, ever. On an album where even the disco-rocker ("Miss You") and country monologue ("Far Away Eyes") are respectively well-crafted and winningly hilarious, everything is worth listening to more than a few critically-based times. In addition, the rockers here are a nice return to the engrossing, classic riff-rock of Sticky Fingers, and many of these tracks ("When the Whip Comes Down", "Respectable", "Some Girls") are exemplary of what the best material off of Exile on Main Street should of been like. An 8, but thrillingly close to a 9. Hm.

Anthony Stewart <> (07.04.2002)

I don't know but I can name each tune and add a flavor that grabs me:

'Miss You' - The mastertrick of the year! Right in the height of Punk's arrival the Stones pull out one of their biggest hits ever and it is Disco. It was just the comical side of it. The nerve. Plus Jagger's singing, the Preston -inspired Bassline and the first reference to the Big Apple off the disc "I was walking Central Park..."

'When The Whip Comes Down' - Intricate guitarwork; excellent Slide by Ron; and hilarious lyrics

'Just My Imagination' - Like the other guy said - if you're going to do a Covertune do it your way. Don't try to copy what has already been done. The Stones turned this beautiful ballad into a pure raunchy Stonesrocker, and it smoked LIVE.

'Some Girls' - For some reason the only tune they did not play in '78. Finally pulled it out in '99 but by then Jagger had become so politically correct that now it's "white girls who want to get fucked all night..." Love the alternating leads on the studiotrack.

'Lies' - This one is great! It is so balls to the walls; there is no sense to it and the only reason to listen to it is to turn it up to 11.

'Far Away Eyes' - GREAT song. Nice story with a touch of humor and a touch of truckstop melancholy. Ron was still PLAYING that Pedalsteel in those days.

'Respectable' - I really like how that song has eveloved over the years. In '99 it had a very specific arrangement with those descending guitarlines. And like on every tune off that disc Jagger sticks it to someone: in this case it is Bianca's turn.

'Before They Make Me Run' - Only Keith, the R&R Outlaw could have written this facing what he was facing. I absolutely HATE being lumped in with the masses who go "Yeah Keeeeiith! Rock'n Roll Outlaw!" But in this case it just happens to be true. Excellent guitar changes in the song with a cool Solo by Ron.

'Beast Of Burden' - Great Drumming! And great song! I read about the recoring of this tune how Mick and Keith stayed all night after the basic track was cut and worked on layering all the Vocals, Back-ups etc.

'Shattered' - IMHO a work of genius. Just EXCELLENT lyrics speedrapped over a Killer phased Guitarriff. If you listen real close you will hear Ron slide out of the Guitarsolo with just one overlapping note that carries the tune back into the groove.

I lived with Sid Vicious at the Chelsea in NYC and he used to say that Johnny Lydon loved Some Girls and wished they could write like that. Sid was a smart guy. He told me that what Lydon really respected what witticism - and he felt that after all the public slaggings he'd been dishing out towards the Stones, he (Lydon) was impressed with the comeback from them in form of that disc.

Christoph Stross <> (28.05.2004)

That's both Charlie and Ronnie playing the drums on 'Shattered'.

Keith has never been a singer in the actual sense of the word and will never be, but his lead vocals on 'Before They Make Me Run' work just well with this song. Not to mention Keith's bass on this one... how come, that many great basses on Stones songs are played by someone else than Bill? 'Miss You' is not as great as some say it is, not as bad as others say it is. On second thought, I find it quite good. You gotta not believe the conservative Stones fan who doesn't tolerate any influence of newer styles anyway. If the Stones would have done this, we would only have albums sounding like their debut (not that I would dislike Englands Newest Hitmakers, but I prefer some innovation).

Alexey Provolotsky <> (15.12.2005)

It turned out that I was totally wrong when thought that the Stones died in the early 70s. This is even better than Tattoo You! Naturally, if we consider the year it was recorded, we’ll notice disco and punk, but if we actually listen to Some Girls, we won’t notice much of those. Of course, “Miss You” is a disco number, but aside from that, nothing, really. Well, maybe “Beast Of Burden” would qualify, but I believe the guys could do that without the Saturday Night Fever. As for punk influences, I don’t know. This is pure r’n’r, driving and fast. The only thing that could make anyone think of such influences is possibly that Black And Blue was rather a quiet, relaxed effort.

The Music? Delightful! The aforementioned “Miss You”, “Some Girls” (there is some weirdness about the song (perhaps reached by the wonderful production) that makes it the best song on the whole album), “Far Away Eyes” (even if you won’t appreciate the humour, you will laugh at the way Jagger sings) and, of course, both “Beast Of Burden” and “Shattered” are nothing but classics. Such songs as “When The Whip Comes Down” and “Lies” could be regarded as filler, but instead they are not, ‘cause the Stones can make a good song great by simply PLAYING it. The energy comes from every friggin’ hole. “Respectable” is another fine rocker, done with a certain gusto that we always expect from the band. Finally, “Before They Make Me Run” is a catchy Richards’ tune (sung annoyingly enough) and as for the cover, it’s okay, but I would have rather heard some original instead. Still, nice.

Speaking about the lyrics, I should say it’s odd they put some geographical name in almost every song. Seriously, while listening to Rolling Stones’ records, I always feel they composed the lyrics in the process of playing or at least in a couple of minutes (like “they want, we’ll do”). There is no rhythm in the lyrics and Jagger can sing a dozen phrases between any word combination. See, I’m not complaining. And as for the challenging lines of “Some Girls”, I’d say they are really challenging (I also believe they made that up, but otherwise the song is brilliant, so…).

As for the rating, I give it a very high 13. Like I said, it’s better than Tattoo You, but I still can’t give this a 14, as much as I want to.

Also, have I mentioned that the cover is good? No? That’s right, the cover ain’t good.


Simon Hearn <> (07.09.99)

It pains me to listen to this - although it did provide the boys with their first no 1 since '73. This is their lowest point, but then again there was dirtywork and undercover!

Simon Hearn <> (26.09.99)

I have just listened to this album for the first time in months. It is a lot better than I remember it. 'Dance (pt1)', which I know you hate, really isn't that bad. Ok it goes nowhere, but the rhythm is good and it is danceable. It is throwaway, but not worse that anything off undercover. I also love 'Send it to me' - really good tune and sounds like the stones having fun in the studio again. 'Indian Girl' is atrocious, but the rest of the album is forgettable music, not atrocious music. The third worst stones album after dirty work and undercover. Try it for yourself - you may be surprised

<> (21.11.99)

I bought this album based on "She's So Cold," and I must say I hated the rest of the album (with the exception of "All About You"...I think I love all of Keith's songs).

Glenn Wiener <> (22.01.2000)

This record just has not held up well for me over time. When I buy a record, I hope that there are more good songs then filler material. On Beggars Banquet there are nine high quality tracks and one decent track. On this collection, its about a fifty/fifty success rate. 'Down In The Hole' is a stunning blues jam performed with some passion by Mickey man. 'Let Me Go', 'Where The Boys Go', and 'Summer Romance' have some spirit as well. 'Dance Part 1' has an interesting groove. However, the rest varies from just OK to somewhat annoying. And as a whole, the Stones were slumping in the seventies as their mediocre streak hit three with this release.

Tony Stewart <> (20.02.2000)

This one always has struck me with Undercover as one of the most overlooked Stonesdiscs. This one I hate to say rightfully so. Released on the coattails of Some Girls it had that same Sophomore slot to fill that Goat's Head Soup had. Coming on the heel of a classic it's hard. I myself have always believed the best thing to do after a monster album is to go 180 degrees the other way; not try to capitalize on the success of the former. On Emotional Rescue sadly that is exactly what the Stones did; but taking the short fast rockers to an almost parodic level. It was also the FIRST disc of the return of Keith. Keith himself has said on numerous occasions that it took Jagger years to grow reaccustomed to having the 'real' Keith around. It's very much an experimental album. We are able to feel the Stones tring to sort out the new power balance within the inner vortex of the band. Wyman growing increasingly distant, Charlie growing more independent, quietly filing his style down to one of the most lethal razorsharp weapons in Rock, Keith returning albeit, still a little tentatively. Ron still firmly in his position of a major force and player; to use the old cliche`"I was the bridge between Mick and Keith". And a newly revitalized Mick, who had learned a lot about playing guitar and who also foresaw the advent of a whole new world opening up with MTV and PCs. "The interminable "Dance Pt 1" opens the disc. Keith fought long and hard to keep this an instrumental, while Jagger, I believe realized that this groove needed some lyrics. He never did find anything worth writing home about. Still we ended up with two completely different versions of this one. "Summer Romance" and "Where The Boys Go" straight from the fruitful Pathe Marconi Sessions were redone and sound very very forced with Mick laying on this Cockney accent, that is almost laughable. The guitars on "Summer" are lethal though. "Let Me Go" and "Send It To Me" again, by Rolling Stones standards, are Fillermaterial. So what do we like? Well, the first glimpse I had of this new disc was the Titletune on a Car radio in Rotterdam. I was out of circulation for about 8-9 months. And I'm driving down the road one day and start grooving to this tune which is coming in with a pretty lousy reception. The falsetto threw me for a while, but when that unmistakeable Jagger voice comes growling in I hit the ceiling; almost caused an accident. "It's the new Stones!!!" I yell at my passenger. Anyone who doesn't get the joke at the end of the tune has no sense of humor. Of course it's over the top. A great Disco romp with Ron on Bass and the fender rhodes and Snare really being all we need here. "Indian Girl" is pure Jagger. The lyrics come off a little hollow. This has often been Jagger's problem, because Jagger DOES care, this I believe. But he had early on made the decision to not make too many "political" statements. Too easy to get stereotyped into a corner. The Nicaragua visit with Biance supposedly really shook him up and once again he immediately went out and did something about it. We are now years later, but the Middle American political had gotten if anything worse. Again a heartfelt, beautiful ballad like this one did not need an affected vocal delivery is my only criticism. "Down In The Hole" on the other hand takes us to a different part of the globe; the Eastbloc. And if ever anyone could pull off a great paranoid Blues about the Iron Curtain it was Jagger. This is IMHO a great tune worthy of their legacy. Then we also have "She's So Cold". Ok. Every tune I have mentioned so far ( and this one is no exception) is either one's favorite tune of the disc or they can't stand it. "She's So Cold" is an almost childlike melody , it is so simple, and the lyrics fit right in with it. That is why it became pretty popular. I myself have always dug the production of the tune the supercompressed, superclean guitars. Very dry! And Jagger screaming on top about every play on words about 'hot' and 'cold', backed by a great Snare. The song itself i think from day one has never done that much for me. But in my mind ALL is forgiven once the beautiful album closer "All About You" rolls around. The story goes that Keith had the chord progression and it struck him as so natural that he thought he was subconciously stealing another song. He played it to everyone he knew. No one recognized it, so he said"F*ck it, this is mine", and left us with a wonderful ballad and very telling lyrics. Keith always has worn his heart on his sleeve and although everyone assumed it was about Anita, Keith insists it was very conciously written with Jagger in mind. But Jagger, Anita, Marianne, Woody, Gram Parsons...all just a bunch of Stones that rolled through Keith's life. Hard to judge this one in a number. Make it 12.

Palash Ghosh <> (07.03.2001)

"Emotional Rescue" is just an awful, terrible, ridiculous, boring, sickening (have I run out of adjectives?) record. There is no reason for anyone on the planet to ever waste their time or money on this piece of worthless crap. If anyone needed explicit proof that The Stones stayed around far too long, this album is Exhibit A.

'She's So Cold' is the only song on here that has any life to it at all – and that's hardly praise of any kind!

Sergey Zhilkin <> (16.05.2001)

So I'm really far from dismissing almost the whole album like you do, George. The opener is a very catchy song with incredible backing vocals which bring really much to the song. Its only flaw is its length - Jagger could easily cut it to a 3-minute song or so. 'Send it to me' is catchy, too. I know, it's a generic boogie but, man, Stones made this track and it sounds good. Another generic tune here is 'Down in the hole'. Just old nice blues with Jagger who is still singing (and that's the last album where he sings - remember 'Start me up' on next record?). 'She's so cold' really stands out, too. Goofy lyrics that are repeated hundred times with fast upbeat tune really work on here. And for these songs I'm ready to buy 'Emotional rescue'. A good effort.

OK, surely it's not that good cause when I listen to it I feel like searching gems in huge load of trash but, George, these gems really pump the rating of album up to 10.

Robert Tally <> (01.11.2001)

The Stones managed to get to the end of the '70s without putting out a truly bad album. With such less-than-stellar outings as Goats Head Soup and Black And Blue, it looked like they were always on the verge of releasing a stinker. They managed to finish the decade without this happening, however. Then 1980 rolled around and we were treated to Emotional Rescue, which unfortunately gave us an idea of what was in store for us during the subsequent decade. If this isn't the worst Stones album, then it's certainly very close. The only track on here that I can't find much fault with is "Let Me Go," which I think is quite catchy. Several of the others are fairly enjoyable, but problematic. "All About You" suffers only from a lack of focus; otherwise I think it's a nice track. "She's So Cold" is one-dimensional, but not bad, I guess. I'm surprised to find myself enjoying "Dance," which is a pretty cheesy disco outing. "Down In The Hole" would be a great song if it had been developed a little more, and if Jagger had gone back to his earlier, subtler singing style. "Where The Boys Go" is a fun tune that would have been better suited for an early '80s Kinks album. Two of the songs simply sound like filler to me: "Send It To Me" starts off nicely, but settles into a typical reggae outing with at least a couple of pretty dumb touches; "Summer Romance" continues the Stones' adventures in the world of non-punk, with nothing special about it. The worst tracks for me include the big A-side, "Emotional Rescue," which I really think is totally insipid, and the big ballad, "Indian Girl," which is just plain embarrassing to listen to. So, generally, at least some of the songs are listenable, but this is one of those "smaller than the sum of its parts" albums. It doesn't have that intangible positive attitude that can raise it above its more mediocre moments. Couple this factor with the generally low number of bona fide strong tracks, and you have a Stones release that's weaker than any of its predecessors.

George already mentioned this, but the compilation Sucking In The Seventies includes "If I Was A Dancer (Dance Pt. 2)," which has the same backing track as "Dance (Pt. 1)," but with essentially a different song placed on top of it. If anything, it has less of a "hype" element to it, but is also significantly longer.

Ryan Maffei <> (17.03.2002)

...and we're back to Crapland U.S.A. This extension of the ambitions of blatancy the Stones expressed on their ho-hum Black and Blue album are continued on nicely here with the ridiculous disco anthem "Dance (Pt.1)", the slick, abysmal ballads "All About You" and "Emotional Rescue", and the why-are-they-doing-this-when-they're-so-goddamn-old-and-not-good-at-it? punk rockers "Where the Boys Go" and "Summer (DEAR GOD) Romance". Thrillingly bad; only the pleasant ballad "Indian Girls" and the middling blues-rocker "Down in the Hole" are worthwhile. I wish everybody would pick this album up for me, and then give it a good, swift kick in its vinyl ass.

Bill Slocum <> (27.03.2004)

I had the best possible preparation for listening to this album. Everything I read told me it sucked. So then when I listened to it, it was a nice surprise discovering how great it is.

If Barry Gibb was the one singing "You're just a poor girl in a rich man's house," i.e. Emotional Rescue's title track, people would talk about the Bee Gees managing one fleeting grab at coolness. But it's the Stones, and because "Emotional Rescue" is a pop/disco song, however great, it's somehow not fitting of Mr. Velvet Lips.

Over time, people have begrudgingly given the song its due, maybe because Mick's done some truly lacking variations on the "Miss You" theme ["Anybody Seen My Baby?"] and because its tongue-in-cheek qualities are more apparent today, like that knight in shining armor and "YOU WILL BE MINE, YOU WILL BE MINE, ALL MINE." Also, the song has a fantastic groove, with Charlie's snare and brushwork and Ron's (not Bill, Tony Stewart points out) creaking bass dripping with Old World sophistication as Mick taunts the pampered object of his affection with his high-pitched poor-boy blues. A trip to Heaven and back in less than six minutes.

Now people give the single a pass and dump on the album instead, because it is the 1980s and the Stones began to seriously decline as a musical force right about then. You can see that the Stones aren't producing many new ideas, just revisiting old ones. They tackle reggae, but they did that already. They try punk, but they did that before, too. Mick once claimed the Stones invented punk. The blues, world music, it's all been done before by these guys, and better.

Something about this album recalls the title of an INXS song, "Elegantly Wasted." This is the quintessential Elegantly Wasted Stones album. Everything on here seems to rot from within, but like the noble rot of the wine grape, it manages to produce something intoxicating all the same.

"Send It To Me" is the song of a lazy millionaire flipping through a mail-order catalog searching for brides. The protagonist in "Summer Romance" has his lady already, only it's September and it's time for her to go back to high school while he lazes away the shank of the season under an unforgiving sun beside his backyard swimming pool. In "Let Me Go," the album's best rocker, Mick is so jaded and sick of his love, he's thinking about visiting the gay bars just so she knows he's serious about cutting her off this time. Or as he puts it memorably: "The chair is on the table."

All these songs are not just clever in their sadistically bent narratives, they have great melodies, arrangements, driving beats, the Stones as Nature and Some Artificial Colouring Intended. However much they rock and roll, there's an archness about each of these gems, something distancing, that adds an element of interest and enjoyment for me but seems to annoy others.

At least we all agree on "She's So Cold," though I think it's of a piece with the rest of the album, not an outlier. Sure, there are lesser songs, this isn't a great album, but even "Indian Girl" and "Down In The Hole," the two weakest tracks, have something to offer, exotic instrumentation in the first, and some driving blues in the second. I love the frothy choruses on "Where The Boys Go," especially when the girls kick in. And Mick and Keith have some rare fun trading lines and riffs on "Dance (Pt. 1)."

1979-1980 was a very strange time for a lot of people in a lot of ways, and that included the Stones. Mick had his divorce from Bianca, Keef had his separation from Anita and (rumor has it) hush-hush Geneva blood transfers. Then there was the rise and fall of punk's challenge. Rock's royalty was taking stock of things from their penthouse while the barbarians (okay, boo-barians) were at the gate, and the result is some interesting frisson after they shut the doors at Studio 54 but before musical culture had moved on to its next big thing, New Wave. The Stones were reflecting the times just as well as they had in the 1960s and 1970s, not pioneering as much as they did then, but delivering some classic rock all the same, with a conscious nod this time at the artifice just beneath the music.

What sets this album's weird dynamic for me more than anything else is that crazy cover. It looks like my 9th grade General Science textbook. Interesting Mick sported a beard for this brief period, wonder if that was why he went for that thermal-dynamic imagery.

jan lala <> (15.06.2005)

When I heard this cold and blue album firstly, I was in the night and empty street in our city, beetween closed shops and suddenly I heard "Dance" to my headphones.Ta tata, tooot, tutut....

And I like this song, I can feel this blue, melancholy mood of this album. This is blue melancholy end of Rolling Stones's 70's decade, catch my drift?

I like "All about you", sweet Keith's song, it reminds me Ozzy's "Tonight" or "So Tired." And I like dark melancholy and little depressive "Down in the hole", bizzare "Emotional Rescue" with grotesque Mick's falsete and "She's so cold" of course.


Jeff <> (06.09.99)

Finally, I agree with one of your reviews word-for-word. No that the others have been bad (they were actually quite good), it's just that we have slightly different opinions (I still love "I Got the Blues"). But here-- here you've hit the nail right on the head. Tattoo You is a great album. One point of interest is that it sounds slicker and tighter than most Stones albums. You'd think I would miss the sloppiness of old, but how can I when the music sounds this bloody good?!? They sound so professional here, and by "professional" do I in no way mean "stale" or "dull." I mean "GOOD." My only complaint is that I don't know where each of the songs came from. I'll have to do a little research on that matter...

Simon Hearn <> (26.09.99)

Another one I have listened to again recently and slightly revised my opinion on. Ok ok - we know 'start me up' and 'waiting on a friend' are classics so I will skip past them. 'Black limousine' is the only other decent track on here in my opinion. When this album rocks (ie 'start me up') it is relentless, otherwise you could use it to cure insomnia - IT GETS SO SO BORING. How people can say it is the last GREAT stones album passes me by ? Voodoo is much better (quality of songs, track order and amount of tracks etc.) Now before you say, he's crazy this is a good album stop slagging it off, LISTEN ? I believe it is their second best album of 80's and 90's output - outshines undercover and dirty work with ease, but I do find it boring.

I know you won't agree, but hey opinions make this page interesting, right?!

Tony Stewart <> (26.02.2000)

Well I've been dreading this one more than any others. Tattoo You was a huge commercial success, spawned a very long and IMHO the first and only non-exciting Worldtour. Jagger wore weird pants and Wyman was beginning to look his age. This time we had a cherry picker, BUT we had MAC and STU on piano again. The band was by today's standards stripped to the roots and raggedy /tight the way only the Stones know how. Arena Rock was beginning to emerge, the shows were very long and we all got our bellies full. A new anthem was written, probably one of the best known Stonestunes ever; certainly the most 'heard' one, since Microsoft and every Sports franchise got a hold of the right s to it. It was the first Tour sponsored by a ...well sponsor. It was '81 and all these things stand for what the 80's ushered in and left us with. Corporate Rock. The disc itself is a real piece of work. Give Mick Jagger all the credit in the world for putting together a balanced disc,contemporary technology, a huge seller,without hardly any sessions, and nobody noticed. I am at a loss for words at how he pulled it off. First out of supposedly over 40 versions of interminable jams of a Reggaeriff, he pounced on the ONE time they tried it Rockstyle and detected the power of a Megahit, which was to be "Start Me Up". Even Keith tips his hat to Jagger on that one. Great hooks in the lyrics; Jagger likes the analogies of cars and chicks. He's done it a few times. "Hang Fire" from the (again) Pathe Marconi sessions, a very simple song that went through many changes that were all lyrical. The song was written the first time they played it. "Slave" is really sort of an edit a`la "Just Wanna See His Face" froma long jam. But where "Face" suceeded on it's Voodoogroove, this one had to be artificially mystefied by rumors like 'Pete Townshend on guitar', 'Percussion by so and so'. It could be "Munich Hilton" it could be "Hey Negrita" ten minutes later. It's your basic jam, and Jagger just could not get down on it. Saving grace is that mysterious Saxplayer. Keith gives us "Little T&A" highly popular during the tour; a great Keith song cause there's very few lyrics, but they all sound cool and you can sing any line anywhere and Fans loved it after a Twelvepack. "Shotgunshoulder" and "she's my little rock'n roll, tits and ass" . I mean what else can you ask for? "Black Limousine" seems to be a fave within the Stones themselves. They play it a lot to this day. And George, that violin is a harmonica. Probably a Glass Harmonica... Ron gets credit with J/R, but it's his song. The 'fast' side closes with "Neighbors", a very straight forward overcharged Rocker , the way Jagger wrote them back then. They all sounded forced, when he was still in his early guitar days. Sax Mysterioso again comes in to blow even harder. This particular chord progression was wearing a little thin. Try listening to "Send It To Me" and "Neighbors" back to back.

The reason I have been kind of dry about this whole side is because I do not like it. It is my least favorite Stones side of any disc ever. It's an intangible, but it is just so unemotional and stale to me. People and fans loved it, but this one has NOT stood the test of time very well. Except for the two biggies of the disc, the rest have kind of been cast aside for time being.

Now Side Two, the 'slow' side is a WHOLE different story. To this day Taylorfans rightfully so have a BIG beef with the Stones and that Side of the disc. "Tops" a great midtempo ballad, not only was written inTaylor's days. I venture to say that it is him playing Lead on the actual released Take. Jagger does a low key Rap and some we finally hear some passion in his singing. Same with "Worried About You". Now we know this song was actually played at the El Mocambo gigs 4 years earlier. The Solo? Another major reason for Stonesfans to argue. Is it Wood? I think so. Is it Taylor? Many think so. Even more think since it dates back to the Great Guitarrist Hunt that it might be Wayne Perkins. The song itself is beautiful, with Jagger doing his best Jagger pleading "Baby, pleeease.." in Falsetto and then busting into his lower register. Some people just can't stand Falsetto. I love it and I love this song. "Heaven" is a very un-Stones like Ballad, psychedelic and a haunting melody. It's only Jagger on guitar, Wyman on Bass and Synth and Watts; I think we can add the delay on Jagger's vocal as another contributor.It is followed by one of those songs that will never be noticed much again and it is just a pity. This is where a song coming from the Stones almost hurts it. Their great tunes are countless and this is just another one. But the point is it is a great song. Just slides right by you, saying it. "No Use In Crying" one of those blusey, minor key ballads, brimming with soul and again we have Ron in the credits, which basically means it's Ron's song. Jagger is dynamite on it.The closer is a beauty. Absolutely fan-f*cking-tastic! A very unpretentious video didn't hurt it at all. What hurt it a little was that it too dated back to the days of Taylor. Jagger had to reach deep into the vault to find that gem. But boy we were glad he did. Words come to mind that are not usually associated with the Stones. 'Airy,light, pretty, accoustic spring'. And Sonny Rollins the Saxman Misterioso plays so sweet it puts a lump in your throat. Jagger for once with HIS heart on his sleeve, delivers the "Feel-good" lyrics over that irresistible Guitarhook in a totally unaffected manner. "I'm not waiting on no lady, I'm just waiting on a friend"...Sonny plays his horn, Mick and Keith are bopping down St. Mark's Place, the guitar plays and all is right in the world for a few brief moments as the disc fades out. I really hate writing more after that, because that is exactly the effect that last song produces. No more needs to be said today. But there is a first side that now, looking back I can feel as so Eighties, that gives us "SMU" and "T&A" and "Limousines" but also some really subpar work. Man I hate these numbers. I would say 12.

Stadelman <> (09.06.2000)

'Heaven' and 'Just Want To See His Face' have a similar sound and feel to me.

John McFerrin <> (27.10.2000)

Wow. I LOVE this album. I don't think I'd ever heard 'Start Me Up' in its entirety , and as such never had a chance to appreciate the subtle brilliance of the "you make a grown man cry" counterpoint. Elsewhere, 'Slave' is wonderful as hell - only The Stones could make a song with the line "Do it! Do it! Do it! Do it! I wanna be your slaaaaaaaave!!!" into a great number. And complete dittos on 'Heaven'. And ... man, I love hearing Keith go "a huh huh huh" in a strange, almost french-mockery manner in 'Little T&A'.

I'd easily give this a 14 - this is even more fun of a listen than Black and Blue!

Raghu Mani <> (01.01.2000)

Now this is great. The first half is all rockers and the second half all ballads. Both sides are a little uneven but feature some of the Stones greatest songs. The album starts with (appropriately) 'Start Me Up' which is so good, it could have been on Beggars Banquet and it ends with 'Waiting on a Friend' which is utterly gorgeous. I don't want to say much more because all I'd be doing is agreeing with George's review - definitely a 9.

Palash Ghosh <> (07.03.2001)

Tattoo You is a little better than Emotional Rescue -- but that's like saying that dog-sh_t is a little nicer than bird-sh_t! Granted, with this album, The Stones sound like they're actually TRYING to make well-arranged, complete songs –- but the compositions are almost all weak.

I will admit, however, that 'Little T&A' is one of my all-time favorite Stones rockers (courtesy of that dirty old man, Keith!). "She's my little rock and roll, uh, huh, huh..." It's insanely catchy and enjoyable -- sort of like a slightly watered-down version of 'Happy,' another great Keith number.

'Start me up' was played constantly on the radio when this album was released (to coincide with the launch of a massive tour). It sounds pretty good initially, but after the 15th time you hear it, it has little or nothing to offer.

After this record, I totally gave up on The Stones, I just focused on their peak-period albums, and I never bought anything else from them ever again. I admit that I've never heard any of their records made after 1982 (except some singles on the radio). And while I probably shouldn't dismiss music that I've never heard, I just have a POWERFUL suspicion that anything they made since Tattoo You is just more garbage.

It's depressing to think that terrible albums like Rescue and Tattoo were made nearly two DECADES ago, and The Stones are STILL hanging around!

Sergey Zhilkin <> (25.03.2001)

<Stones are going back to their archives for inspiration. See what happens...>

An artist becomes an 'old fart' not when he's old but when he wants to conceal this fact. After all, you can't say that George Harrison or Bob Dylan are 'old farts', now can you? But, for example, Paul McCartney obviously is cause now he does a make-up before arriving on a stage. Jagger and Richards were becoming old, too. Their two previous records said: 'We are still with you and we still can hit the Top 10 by adapting to new generation'. But around 1981 they were getting really old - even Jagger's face had some wrinkles. So the best thing they (Mick and Keith) could think of was tattoos (temporary, of course) on their faces. And did it work? No.

The opener is somewhat catchy but after few listens I got the idea that the song was no news itself. Well, the riff is good but can it compete with old album-openers. And from now Jagger gets an awful habit to bark every time he sees the microphone near his nose. Really, can you stand through that chopped vocal? Well, I can't. Next. 'Hang fire', average power pop which brings nothing new to Stones' fame, has pale lyrics ('In the sweet old country where I come from/ Nobody ever works/ Nothing ever gets done', anybody?). The stupid jam 'Slave' does nothing for me, too. I mean that, again, we face tiresome lyrics, consisting from one line: 'Don't wanna be your slave' (by the way, this line was written by Pete Townshed during Black & Blue sessions).

'Little T&A' is an 'Emotional rescue' outtake (sounds very inspirational, eh?) and it tells everything. The next track is a sing of improvement ('Black Limousine' sounds like old R'n'B) but all my hopes fade when I hear 'Neighbours'. As you probably know, this song wasn't an outtake - it was really written for 'Tattoo you'... and it's awful (can you hear anything different from drums here?). Maybe the idea of going back to old tapes wasn't bad, after all?

'Tops' and 'Worried about you' are nice but both of them are old songs (the first one from Goat's head soup and the second one from Black and blue). Though, as I said, they are good and save the album from complete bashing. 'Heaven' is so-so and I have two notes here: 1) it was written for the actual album and 2) it doesn't suck which is a nice suprise. And as for 'No use in crying'... SUCKS! Because, again, it's a reject from Emotional rescue. 'Nuff said. My rating is 4.

Robert Tally <> (05.11.2001)

Well, I must be of a pretty rare breed, because I don't love this album or hate it. I'm fairly indifferent to it. Only a couple of songs really stand out in my mind as strong tracks, while virtually all of the others lure me in with promising ideas that never develop into anything worth writing home about. My favorite track without a doubt is "Heaven," which is simply otherworldly (hence, the title). I also think "Tops" is solid through and through. "No Use In Crying" has some really nice Stonesian harmonies, but I think it's only fairly good in an overall sense. "Little T & A" has perhaps the catchiest chorus on the album, but not much else. "Slave" sports one of the coolest riffs around, and some outstanding groove-oriented playing, but goes on a little too long without having much of a song attached to it. "Black Limousine" is a decent blues number delivered in a slightly underwhelming fashion. "Waiting On A Friend" never struck me as anything more than a fairly good ballad. It certainly doesn't compare to their previous glories. "Start Me Up" has a nice, gritty energy to it, but it's mostly empty hype. "Hang Fire" has irritatingly catchy harmonies and little more. "Worried About You" has some nice moments, and some monotonous ones, too. "Neighbours" is another on the growing list of punkish tunes in the group's repertoire, and doesn't do much for me. I guess the amazing thing about this album is that it's virtually an archival release, and yet holds up pretty well. But then again, most of these songs were left over from sessions that took place when the group was much more inspired. Under the circumstances, it's not surprising that it improved on the previous release. I'd have to say that it's as good as their lesser efforts from the '70s in any event. And a grand total of zero songs actually make my 'most hated' list, which gives me food for thought.

Incidentally, anybody out there that really wishes "Slave" would last for another 90 seconds or so should steer clear of the original CD and buy the remastered one.

Anthony Stewart <> (07.04.2002)

Sergey, you are dead on in your assessment of the disc. Many of my best friends who are all Stonesfanatics and whose opinion I value highly, consider this one of their top discs. The only thing remarkable I find in this disc is that Jagger was able to deliver a State of the Art Album without any sessions. The ONE song they did record "Neighbors" is a complete throwaway. And slow it down a little and you've got "Send It To Me" note for note. Side 1 is really pretty weak. "Black Limousines" is not even a J/R tune from way back. It is a leftover from Ron Wood's Gimme Some Neck disc. Sonny Rollins steals the show on the whole disc. Side 2 is a LOT stronger: even though they had to go as far back as Taylor's icebox to raid for those first two tunes. But "Heaven" is a nice little psychedelic interlude and "Waiting On A Friend" does make a nice closer except once again Taylor makes a mystery appearance. I guess just giving Sonny Rollins carte blanche to wail over it brought it up to date. This is the only Stonesdisc I was and still am very dissappointed with. I prefer Dirty Work over this one, because there even though things were not well within the band they at least got together and wrote something new and did the sessionwork.

Bill Slocum <> (19.02.2004)

This album came out so mean and nasty during the early days of my one year at boarding school, that I still feel a need decades later to profess myself a little too enrapt in it to be truly evenhanded. Bottom line: I love it. So should you.

Truthfully, I hear this album, and I hear a selection of songs that are either great or good. Not filler. Not fair. Just great, or good, which is really unusual for a dinosaur rock act approaching two decades past their prime. The Stones pretty much just took a breather and hit the vaults to unleash this monster. Makes me think they could do the same even now and put Coldplay and OutKast in their place.

Great is obviously "Start Me Up," the riffmeister Keif in fine form while Mick emotes and spews in classic "Sticky Fingers" style. "Little T&A," "Waiting On A Friend," "Tops," and "Black Limousine" all tower over anything you heard on the radio, then or now. Also "Hang Fire," which had the unenviable task of following the Stones' greatest rock classic since "Brown Sugar" and still managed to place within the Top 20 in the U.S. (for a week in April of 1982, but still...) Frankly, it's fun to hear the Stones echo the Thatcherite proposition of the time, that "Labour Isn't Working." It's why a lot of liberal critics were laying for the Stones in the '80s, I'm convinced (well, that and Dirty Work.) But "Hang Fire" more than holds its own, with the Stones sounding catchy and snotty all at once.

Actually, when you have an opening track as strong as "Start Me Up," even really good songs like "Slave" get lost in the shuffle. I liked reading your review, George, and even more Tony Stewart's comments on the album from someone who was obviously not only there, but taking notes. (Really, if you haven't already, scroll back up there and take a look; George's web site attracts some very knowledgeable rock lovers.) Both George and Tony make the case for this album's greatness. But if anything, both undersell what the Stones were offering. It wasn't corporate rock, it wasn't punk rock, or art rock, or techno rock. It was just plain rock, which by the early fall of 1981, was getting to be a pretty rare commodity.

I could go on all day about "Tops," and the clever casting-couch scenario it presents, a sad-eyed examination of what was in it (not much at all) from the girl's perspective when all was said and done. Also the great lead guitar by Mick Taylor, who really shouldn't have had to gone to court to see something from his work here. Or the guitar riffs on "Neighbours" (which reminds me of a hapless John Belushi comedy that came out around the same time with the same title, his last movie, and not at all related to this track).

What a great early-'80s album, from just after the fall of disco but before the rise of MTV. This would have been the Stones' greatest decade had they only kept it up (with the inferior but still brilliant Emotional Rescue being released the year before, in 1980.) Instead, they flailed around for most of the rest of the decade, before beginning to emerge with Steel Wheels. In fact, they never really emerged completely in the aftermath of Undercover and especially Dirty Work. How about another trip to the vaults, fellas?

Phillip Hutcherson <> (29.02.2004)

Oooh, this one's a goodie. This might be pushing it for some, but I certainly like this one a hell of a lot more than that Exile On Main St. mess, that's for certain. My favorites are the first three and the last three songs ('Heaven' is a stunner), and everything in between ain't too shabby either - with the exception of 'Little T&A' - gotta agree with you about the lyrical content there. Friggin' gross. But other than that, this is just about all grade A material.

Alexey Provolotsky <> (15.12.2005)

Actually, I’ve been in the process of buying Tattoo You for about a year. After getting almost all of their records till Exile and having heard Dirty Work, I decided not to bother with all those post ‘72 albums. Still, George’s review and his 14 was really drilling my head and a couple of days ago I gave in. Was I disappointed? Hell, no. Gonna get those Some Girls and Black Blue too.

I don’t mind (well, I do, but not much) that the record consists of “left out” material. The songs are excellent. I’m absolutely mad about the two opening tracks (especially “Hang Fire”). “Slave” is one minute too long, but has a killer riff and groovy atmosphere that redeem the length. “Little T A” is so dumb I get offended sometimes, but it’s still quite amusing and has a lovely hook. The bluesy “Blue Limousine” is not particularly interesting but the guitar soloing is solid. And “Neighbours” is another highlight with some great roaring vocal delivery and hooks, of course. The highlights on the soft side (the idea most definitely sucks) would be “Tops” (with the second best hook on the record), “Heaven” (no comment on this one, it’s simply a psychedelic gem) and obviously the criminally charming “Waiting On A Friend”. That said, I think that a 14 is way too much for this. That’s what Tommy got, after all.

I give it a 13.


Tony Stewart <> (02.03.2000)

I must have listened to Still Life about two times since I got it the day it was released. It represents one of the worst moments in Stones Recording history IMHO. Even sadder is, and Gorge mentions that too, is that the two strongest cuts are the two covers. "Go Go" was a real Keith showpiece in Concert and it comes through on the disc. it was the single (not that it sold or anything...). First off let me say the BIGGEST culprit of the whole '81 Tour was, besides jagger's Wardrobe designer and the Cherrypicker, Ernie Watts. Is he good? I think so, I don't care.

Thankfully they brought him down in the mix but on countless other shows and I expect for the whole tour he played, no soloed non-stop through every song. Dynamics is what makes you be able to pull off a song on ONE chord and it still can be a Classic. This man has no sense of dynamics and thus ranks in my book as a very lousy musician. MUSICIAN. No matter what you play, you do what helps the song. He ruined many a ood song.

But it is of course the Stones who we come to see. George again is right in pointing out the awful movie. I have NEVER understood why the Stones once they had every financial aid at their disposal could not make a decent Movie or Video.

"Under My Thumb" was a surprisingly effective opener, since it was not done in the frenzied style of Got Live..., where it really rocked. At midtempo as a Showopener it did the job surprisingly well. "Night Together" misses the piano in a big way, but Ron's Lead lines that mesh with the Vocal on the parts like "Ill satisfy your every need" are great. "Shattered' i have always thought should have stayed in the Studio. Live , it becomes a bunch of aimless 'shattered shattered oom shadoobee' and every once in a while you hear 'lafferjoynlonilinessnsexsexsexsexsexsexsexsexs' back to interminable drone. "Twenty Flight Rock" (I'm not sure if we mentioned it on this board before) draws attention to the one style the stones never really have been to pull off convincingly. Rockabilly just does not like midrange Telecasters. It is a very hard style to play. Charlie shines on this one and is the glue. "Go Go" to me is the jewel of this disc giving us a quick glimpse of what had been before and what lay ahead in Stonesworld. A great adaptation Jagger, Richards and Tom Tom Watts bashing it out with the power of a turboengine. "Let Me Go" is surprisingly good. Not that it deviates in any major way from the Studioversion, except being played at breakneck tempo; it rocks infinitely better than on ER. "Time Is On My Side" was by many interpreted as a goodbye, just like "The Last Time" was in '66 and in '99. All it is here is a song played well, that they used to play weller LOL. Folowed by Covertune, what No. 4 or 5?, "Imagination" was also just plain better in '78. I won't even mention the end. To give us "Start Me Up" and "Satisfaction" in that very perfunctorily performed manner. 'Okay, I guess we gotta play these f*ckers' and then throw them on the disc with the same attitude reeks of a Contractfiller of a Disc, and that is the way I have always viewed this one.

It's the Stones! But better days were right around the corner.

I give it a 10.

Jeff <> (29.03.2000)

Harmless fun, to be sure, but I'd expect something better out of a Stones live album. "Going to a Go-Go" and "Twenty Flight Rock" are definitely highlights, and the rest is... well, it's the Stones. Nothing special, other than a live "Shattered" and "Let Me Go." Whoop-dee-doo. And Mick's singing isn't too great. Poor guy. Good thing he shaped up in time to father a child with a Brazillian supermodel. I tell you, some guys have all the luck... I'm rambling again, aren't I? I guess it's because there's not much to say about this album, so I'll just go ahead and quit while I'm ahead. Or behind. Whatever.

Robert Tally <> (07.11.2001)

Well, I guess if the studio albums were gradually going downhill, we couldn't expect the live albums to do otherwise. For some reason, my favorites tracks on this one are the "new" songs, "Going To A Go-Go" and "Twenty Flight Rock." This had been the case with Love You Live, as well. Maybe it's just that there's no studio versions to compare them with. But then, the live versions of previously released songs on this album are particularly problematic. A few are okay ("Time Is On My Side," "Just My Imagination," "Start Me Up," "Under My Thumb," and a somewhat lightweight "Let's Spend The Night Together"), but in addition to Jagger barking his vocals more often than singing them, there's a tendency for the group to race through the songs. I think these versions of "Let Me Go," "Satisfaction," and "Shattered" are a total waste of time. The only rushed number I like is "Twenty Flight Rock." Anyway, I think this is a fairly weak live effort.

Completists will want to look for the live version of "Beast Of Burden," which appeared as the B-side of "Going To A Go-Go." It would have fit in perfectly on the album, since it's totally unexceptional.

<> (09.06.2004)

While nowhere near really good or even great, I don't find this the weakest piece of the Stones' live catalogue. It's at least better than Flashpoint or No Security. The one good performance is a great one: 'Start Me Up', even though as stated in your review, it sounds very similiar to the studio version. The other songs require getting used to, because they are so different from the originals. On the plus side, this is the document from the last Stones tour without a big backing band. And it is the live document from the first stadium rock tour on earth, although this leaves me unimpressed. However, this might be the last innovation invented by the Stones.

All in all, I would not go as far as the Allmusic-guide and give Still Life only one star out of five. This would mean a three or two out of fifteen or maybe even less, resulting in a record rating of e. g. -2 (if this is possible). Does Allmusic give some records only a half star? Guess not. But the point is, that I feel like not rating live albums at all. The main reasons for this are, that (a) they mainly include different versions of already known songs and are often mainly released due to contractual obligations and (b) I don't like live albums by ANYBODY much (also because of (a)).


Tony Stewart <> (02.03.2000)

I saw your 9 and right away got going. Right now on one of the Internetboards there is a discussion going on about the most overlooked great Stonesdisc. IMHO Undercover easily takes that title. I LOVE this disc! I have revered it since the day it came out. This was probably the one I got closest to it's actual release. I actually pulled it off the truck that was delivering to the Recordstore. Great Cover, some sleaze with the body of a pasty Stripper and pull-off stickers and finally some Linernotes again. Robbie and Sly heavily featured and the beginning of Leavell's days as a sixth Stone. A good 6th Stone stays quiet, and knows every Stonesdisc inside out.

We open with a Monstercut, heavily supported by a video banned for excessive violence. The guitariff and Kimsey's recording and mixing of it, is masterful. Woody's choppy Leadline and the Drum/ Percussion tracks are something to behold. Charlie and Sly create a jungle of patterns that don't overpower, but lay a bed. The lyrics are powerful, timely but always appliable to some state of affairs somewhere in the world. (Never paint yourself into a corner that is geared to a specific moment in time). "She Was Hot" is one of those typical Stonesrockers, with the Stones doing themselves until we get to the haunting chorus, which completely takes the whole song into a different stratosphere. Lyrics are straightforward and are through the whole song, but the beautiful Chorus with that Piano and the minorchords finally draw some of the best lyrical workouts from Jagger in the Coda.

Keith clocks in with some mean Guitar, (I even read recently that Jagger agrees on this point) that is the anchor for this Groove, which you can tell came from riding that groove for 12-15 minutes during rehearsals until the Groove was perfected. Throughout the whole disc we have the bed of Percussion that after a while is taken for granted and just felt; except for a few times where it takes topbilling. e.g. is the great Breakdown with Sly beating on some Dragonheart called Drum in his world. Back with Keith's tune"I Wanna Hold You". The Beatles immediately spring to mind, and even Keith says while they were writing it with Mick on Drums(!) and him on Guitar they used to call it the 'Beatlesong'. It has that "happy" feel to it and the distinction of being the only tune of the disc with no blood and guts lyrics. On the VL Tour Keith performed that tune with a great Horn arrangement. My only complaint about it, and I had saying this line:"It goes on too long; should have been a 3 minute ditty and it would have been perfect." "Feel On Baby" closes out Side 1, a swaying Island groove. Very full, not the dry Reffae that Keith usually favors, but a lot more melodic , mystical and yearning. Again Sly and Robbie's influence is felt. The Twins and Ron knew perfectly well how to play a mean Reggae by now, but they also knew who on the team might know it even better. I really like the production on this one. "Too Much Blood' I have mixed feelings about. is it good? Is the speedrapping, the over-the-top irony cool? Yes. are the Horncharts hot? Yes. Are the guitars about as non Stones as can be ? Yes. and that is what bugs me. the Stones have always left no doubt who was doing this song. In my mind this very much showcases the polished 80's gloss & glitz that Jagger was after on his first two solodiscs. Jim barber is playing guitar, so is Mick. And since I really don't hear much more guitar I figure there just isn't much Keith or ron in the picture. It's a great Dancefloor tune. Next cut swings completely the other way. A Ron Wood Groove, with Wyman on Piano, Ron on Bass and guitar, Keith doing what he does best and it sure rolls. One of those Stones jams that just tears the roof off the house, never goes anywhere, and needs some Lyrics. "Too Tough" is probably THE tightest the Stones can get. Wood is just awesome on the Lead. But it is the well crafted 4 minute Hardrock song at its finest with verse and chorus and solo, nothing fancy, but played so well and tight that it gives me goosebumps. "All The Way Down" I heard before any single was released. And i knew right away this was going to be the B-side. It's the typical song the Stones put before the Closer and then throw on the B-side of the Single. This one is so 'charming' - I just can not find another word. No it will not lead the revolution. But I could see a bunch of London boys hoisting a Pint growling at the top of their lungs "She went all the ...all the way doooown". Great Snare. "Soul Survivor" No 2 (="It Must Be Hell") should have stayed at home. after this great disc we needed a Killer closer. I honestly think if this album had featured a strong closer it would be right up there with one of their best. It just ends on such a weak note. The percussion coming in to really rally the final rave-up is just a little pathetic to me. The lick is so obviously lifted we don't even have to discuss it; lyrics are "Undercover"No 2 , best thing is Keith's guitar during the verse just that hypnotic drone.

The violent lyrics are all obviously tongue in cheek. the stones are no threat to anyone. And they know and knew it then. so people really should have gotten the joke. The stones were pushed into a corner and were openly telling us. I always see it as a gutsy record. Very self critical and self mocking and full of inverted sarcasm. Like any other Stonesdisc it's confused but we have come to expect them to change the world every time they open their mouth; that is a lot of pressure and this time they answered in one of their ways. They were a bit mean.

A Footnote: this was the disc that began giving out the FANTASTIC Stoneskit for Collectors. I give this one a 14.

Palash Ghosh <> (08.03.2001)

I borrowed a copy of Undercover from a friend and, I must say, it's not as bad as I had expected! Could it be that these aging dinosaurs actually enjoyed a brief return to good music-making? Well, no, not really. I was familiar with 'She was hot' and the title track from listening to the radio years ago, and they're not bad tunes, somewhat catchy, with some decent riffs and just dripping in raunch (like the whole record). 'Too much blood' is so horrific and gory, that it's almost funny, but I wouldn't recommend it to anyone.

The song I liked the best was 'Wanna hold you' -- what the hell? Keith singing a sweet love song?!! Well, I'll be!

The rest is garbage, though.

Robert Tally <> (13.11.2001)

About the best I can say about this album is that the Stones (or most likely Mick) expanded their horizons a bit by bringing in modern technological trends. On the down side, the songs aren't that hot, and Jagger is in the middle of his long period of non-subtlety. I'm finding it impossible to pick a favorite, so I'll just run through those tracks that I kind of like, but not that much. "Undercover Of The Night" benefits greatly from the gimmickry, achieving some pretty good imagery, but Mick sounds like an ass on the lead vocals. I can't really think of a lot to say against "Feel On Baby," which is nice and atmospheric, but I'm not too excited about it. "She Was Hot" seems to be more developed songwriting-wise than a lot of these other tunes, but pales in comparison to earlier straightforward efforts. "It Must Be Hell" seems like a pale reminder of the opening track, but is otherwise okay, I guess. "Wanna Hold You" is a very redundant, but otherwise typically infectious Keith tune. "Too Tough" and "Tie You Up" both sport fairly memorable choruses, throwaway verses and obnoxious vocals by Jagger. "Too Much Blood" is at least an interesting listen in that it captures a certain callousness in modern (or at least 1983) attitudes, but I don't care much for the tune part of the tune. The worst songs for me are "Pretty Beat Up," which wasn't such a great jam as to warrant turning it into this non-song, and "All The Way Down," on which Jagger sounds just foolish. So there's very little here that drags the album through the muck, but I'm hard-pressed to find anything here that I really like a lot. I might be willing to say this one is better than Emotional Rescue if I didn't think I'd change my mind the next day.

Completists will need to look for "I Think I'm Going Mad" (a redundant ballad from the B-side of "She Was Hot"). We're also entering the 12-inch single era, so "Undercover Of The Night" was available in a "Dub Version." The B-side of that had an "Instrumental Dub Version" of "Feel On Baby." There was also a 12-inch of "Too Much Blood" with two separate edits of a "Dance Version" of that song, as well as a "Dub Version." And incidentally, the edit of "Wanna Hold You" on the LP is shorter than on the CD.


Glenn Wiener <> (11.08.99)

Not so terrible. But boy is Dirty. Spot...uh Mick just barks through these songs like a rabid Doberman. 'Fight' and Don't 'Hold Back' are the filfiest of this bunch as the mix between fido and the guitar noises is just horendous. However, at least this album is primarilly rock n roll. Truthfuly 'Too Rude' is an interesting regaae excursion. 'Sleep Tonight' is a bit incomplete though. In addition to the tensions between Mick and Keith, Woody and Charlie were both badly hooked on heroin. Yes, Charlie, the alleged family man of the Stones. It was kept quiet but he eventually and fortunately kicked the habit.

Tony Stewart <> (02.03.2000)

Before i move to the barren fields of Dirty Work I HAVE to correct George on one point from his Undercover review. Those are NOT Drum machines. Those are Sly and Charlie creating and experimenting Reffae/Rock style with not always great results. The point in Reggae is that eventually the Mixer/DJ comes in and uses all those wild ass effects that are deemed too radical for Western Music. On "Too Much Blood" the song with the most obviuous Drumfill it IS electronic drums but played with sticks (Simmonsdrums and not a machine). There are plenty of straight Charlie songs on there. In fact every one except there are layers of other stuff on top.

Dirty Work must have been Hell. Keith and Ron and then Charlie, pretty much had an Album waiting for jagger to walk into and either write words to or add his production touches and bring his own songs. Jagger did NOT want to be there. Was very plain about it, had used up all his decent material on his Solodisc that he was busy promoting and did not want to tour behind the disc. So that does not make for a harmonic atmosphere in the studio. Rumors about Charlie having broken his leg and Steve Jordan having played some Drums are probably true. The Jordan part; the Leg I don't know about. This was Charlie's time of battling the Hard Drugs. Bill? Who cared anymore? He plays Bass maybe on half, maybe less of the record.

Jagger arrived, head full of Synthesizers, Leavell in tow; while Keith had all these Rockers ready to go finish up and take on Tour. He was furious! Jagger openly put down the Stones even while the disc was still being 'worked' on. "One Hit To The Body" was the opener and one of the few highlights, even though many fans were a little disgruntled to find out Jimmy Page had played that great solo. "Harlem Shuffle", a tune that keith had purchased the rights to ages ago, because he knew it was a good one for Jagger to sing and he was right. Don Covay is great on this one, matter of a fact Keith doea some great production work on this disc. He begins what would become his trademark of the latter days sound. Great Vocal arrangements, and Killer riffs over songs that flow the way it feels natural. "Winning Ugly" is a real Jaggersong and this one I have always dug. Do it Live guys. Smoking doubled Synthbass and Killerguitars, lead right into some goulash of Island?Worldbeat embarrassment called "Back to Zero" (Leavell/Jagger). We have the typical 'second' song, the short rocker that goes NO where called "Fight". No hook whatsoever. "Hold back" is probably the ONE song by the Stones I truly hate. "Too Rude" is just tired. Nice harmonies again, but Keith's Reggae and )I think) Steve Jordan's drumming just becomes a little tiresome on this one. "Sleep Tonight" with RON on Drums is the obligatory Keithian closing ballad, another dustbiter. What else? Oh, the titlecut...starts out as a tight Rocker and literally falls apart in front of our very eyes . Finally a Stonesrockerand after 2 minutes we are in senseless drumechoes and Jagger going off in a Million directions. "Should I rap? should I talk? should I sing? What's for dinner?

The best cut proves to be the only true raunch, would have made Brian proud. Probably recorded into a Boombox, with Jagger on Harp and everybody kind of playing whatever was closest"I Had It With You". Sums up the overall feel in the studio and what Jagger was feeling.

Wood gets a lot of writing credits, Stu is in the only REAL moment of the disc remembered through a little Boogie of him at the end of the disc. But it was time for the BIG break and in retrospect it is better they did not tour. Both Mick and Keith learned a lot about the other's responsibilities, and we all eventually lived happily ever after.

Grade: 9

Raghu Mani <> (01.01.2000)

The first Rolling Stones album I ever heard and I was so disgusted that I nearly gave up on the group altogether. Luckily I borrowed a compilation from a friend (I think it was Rewind 1971-84) a few months after that and that convinced me to listen to a few more albums. Needless to say, I totally despise this album. Has to be the worst Rolling Stones studio release I have ever heard. Giving it a 3 would be generous.

Robert Tally <> (20.11.2001)

As so it continues. Another album full of less-than-stellar tunes, but perhaps a little more commercial than the last time. Actually, at least two of these songs sound pretty damned good to my ears: "Harlem Shuffle" is, in my opinion, the Stones' best A-side of the '80s; and "Sleep Tonight" is the best thing Keith had put on a Stones album since '73. I would characterize the rest of the songs as ranging from fairly poor to fairly good. "Too Rude" is a fairly catchy echo-laden reggae number which I really have to be in the mood for. "Back To Zero" is also vaguely catchy in its new wavish way. "Had It With You" benefits from a big helping of minimalism, but is otherwise like a lot of other Stones tunes from the '80s. Songs like "Fight" and "Dirty Work" are what "Had It With You" would have been if they had fully produced it: fast-paced and heartless. Energetic, yet dull. None of them are total losses, of course. "One Hit" is fairly well-developed from an arrangement standpoint, but it never really did much for me. "Hold Back" suffers mostly from Jagger not taking a breath the entire time. His barking fills in every available space, save for one short guitar solo and the trailoff at the end. In any event, I think my least favorite track is "Winning Ugly," which I would describe as 'aerobic rock' - meaning it's perfect for a Jane Fonda workout. Because of the presence of a couple of strong tracks, I'm willing to raise this album slightly above the level of Emotional Rescue and Undercover, but not quite to the level of Tattoo You.

Just in case anybody's wondering, the piano excerpt played by Ian Stewart at the end of the album is "Key To The Highway." Completists will need to find the "New York Mix" and "London Mix" of "Harlem Shuffle" from that 12" single. There was also a 12" single of "One Hit" with both a "London Mix" and a short edit. Also, there was a 12" single of "Winning Ugly" with both a "New York Mix" and a "London Mix" of that song.

<> (18.06.2004)

To correct you, there is no bass at all on 'Had It With You'.


Tony Stewart <> (09.03.2000)

Oh how I hate writing about Compilations. But George is right: If you are a novice and you want to experience the Stones' musical development in the light of their hit Singles, this is the one to get. But note that i said Hit singles. They released the most commercial stuff, obviously; especially once ALO had whipped the Jagger/Richards team into a Hit Writing Duo. It is not so much a pictorial of their MUSICAL development eventhough they do roughly correspond. But for evey "Paint It Black" there was a "Who's Been Sleeping Here?". For every "Honky Tonk Woman" there is a "Gimme Shelter". One truth about this record is the fact that it is not called a Biggest Hits. Some of their greatest hits were never released as Singles. I really do not have much to add to George's summing up, because he does an excellent job in dividing the three discs, and citing the strong tunes that were released on B-Sides. "Who's Driving Your Plane?" and "Child Of The Moon" (one of my alltime faves) are some of the greatest music the Stones ever made. The solo on "I Wanna Be Your Man" is about as Brian as Brian got on Guitar. That is one of the most vicious guitar attacks this side of hendrix. Remember what year it was recorded. Lennon and mcCartney have both said their collective jaws dropped once they heard what the Stones had done with their little ditty. And Keith flat out stated: "Brian and that Slide made that song!" Disc 3 sadly is weak, because right as the stones are poised to enter their most fruitful years they left the label. So disc 3 is Metamorphosis all over again; this time in Singles form. I don't blame Allen Klein solely on this one. I think they all had their fingers in the pot: ALO, Klein AND the Stones. This was/ is to date the closest we come to a Boxed set of Stones material, but we do not see any statements by the stones distancing themselves from this project, and that speaks volumes. It is a very well produced , complete truthful statement of their London years: The Singles. And Great Singles too. Didn't they write "Satisfaction"?

Jeff <> (29.03.2000)

I'm so proud of the record company boys for finally getting it right. Wait, they didn't get it right at all, did they? Stupid Allen Klein... Anyway, I still have a soft spot for Hot Rocks, as it was my introduction to the Stones, but this is so superior in so many ways. The chronology is what really sells it for me-- just listening to their artistic and musical development is worth the price alone. Not to mention that every single song on here is fantastic, especially the obscure stuff. I mean, "Memo From Turner"? "Sad Day"? "Stoned"? "Who's Driving Your Plane"? Absolutely incredible!! And their version of "I Wanna Be Your Man" blows the Beatles' away! (not that I don't love that one anyway). And on top of all this, I found this sucker in a used bin for 25 bucks!!! Not cheap by any means, but compared to the nearly $50 price tag I've seen elsewhere, it was the find of a lifetime.

Sergey Zhilkin <> (24.09.2000)

I think you overrated this album. In my opinion it can't get more than 8 out of ten because there're no Stones' songs. 'I wanna be your man' which was a gift from Lennn/McCartney is horribly played! Though I agree that their versions of 'Come on' (Chuck Berry), 'Poison Ivy' (Lieber / Stoller), 'I want to be loved'(Dixon), 'Money'(Cordy / Bradford) and 'Stoned' (Phelge) are better than originals but it only proves that boys COULD play guitars very well and nothing more. Surely I enjoyed it but it's no reason to give it 10/10! I think it's 7/10 and not more! [Apparently, Sergey only got the first disc out of three. The other two contain 99% of Stones songs - G.S.]

Robert Tally <> (23.11.2001)

Even if you're just a casual fan, it would be a good idea to pick one of the Stones compilations covering their years with Decca (in the UK) and London (in the US). If you're a completist, then it becomes necessary to do so, since the Stones did occasionally release songs on singles that were not on the regular album releases. Word for the wise: if you buy Singles Collection/The London Years, you'll never need Hot Rocks or the two earlier Big Hits compilations. I can't imagine a cohesive Stones collection without "Jumpin' Jack Flash," one of the greatest recordings ever to grace AM radio. Not to mention "Honky Tonk Women," which defined the Stones sound for years to come. "19th Nervous Breakdown" is an energetic first step into psychedelia that led the group into that particular part of their careers. "Dandelion" is a big favorite for me, with Kinksian vocal harmonies. One of the very catchiest of all Stones songs. The other side of that single was "We Love You," a dark and often-overlooked classic. There's also the folksy/flowery "Child Of The Moon," another strong song (from the B-side of "Jumpin' Jack Flash"). The 'guitar' version of "Time Is On My Side" is here as well, which I prefer just a bit more than the 'organ' version. Also included is "Long Long While," a fairly decent gospel number (from the UK B-side of "Paint It, Black"). Fascinating purely from a historical perspective is "Come On," the otherwise weak first-ever A-side in the UK. These are all songs that cannot be found on any of the regular CDs. However, the ones I've mentioned can be found on other compilations. But The London Years is the only place where you'll find: "I Want To Be Loved" (the superior, but nevertheless unincredible B-side to "Come On"); "I Wanna Be Your Man" (the totally disheveled Stones version of the Beatles tune, and the first great track in their catalogue); "Stoned" (the uneventful r&b B-side to "I Wanna Be Your Man"); "Sad Day" (the US B-side of "19th Nervous Breakdown" and an early bit of psychedelia - otherwise not a great track); "Who's Driving Your Plane?" (the mediocre Dylanesque r&b B-side to "Have You Seen Your Mother, Baby, Standing In The Shadow?"), and "Memo From Turner" (a very cool version by Mick and some session musicians which is otherwise only available on the Performance soundtrack CD). This is also the only CD to include the notable single edits of "You Can't Always Get What You Want" and "Tell Me."

Unfortunately, even if you get The London Years, you'll still need to get More Hot Rocks, since that's the only place you can get: "What To Do" (an uneventful left over from the UK Aftermath); "Money" (a sloppy version from their first UK EP); "Bye Bye Johnnie" (a sloppy version from that same EP); and "I Can't Be Satisfied" (a very strong r&b track left over from the 2nd UK LP). It also includes two fun songs which almost became their 2nd UK single, but subsequently were available on a UK various artists album: "Poison Ivy" and "Fortune Teller." This recording of "Fortune Teller" was later used for the phony live version on Got Live If You Want It. Interestingly enough, the mixes/edits for both of these songs are noticeably different on the CD than on the original More Hot Rocks LP.

So that's a triple CD and a double CD for some twenty plus songs that probably could fit onto one or two CDs. And if that wasn't enough, there's still some officially released stuff that isn't on any of these compilations (and are now only available on bootleg). For instance, that 1st UK EP included an alternate version of "Poison Ivy" (a pretty good one, too), and the Got Live If You Want It EP (not the LP, but the EP) included the "We Want The Stones"/"Everybody Needs Somebody To Love"/"Pain In My Heart" medley (the "We Want The Stones" part is just the crowd chanting before the group starts playing). There's also the recording of "I've Been Loving You Too Long" without the crowd noise added, which appeared in 1980 on the German LP Collectors Only.

<> (13.09.2002)

I've always been a huge fan of this CD, because, as many know, it provides a great timeline to watch the stones growth. I sometimes find the first cd monotonous at times, until satisfaction growls into my ear, and then I snap out of it. On the second disc, "Whose Been Driving Your Plane" sounds extremely Zeppelin I-ish, and 'Jumpin Jack Flash' is the other obvious standout, a rock and roll anthem in many ways. Yet, though laced with otherwise available and radio friendly tracks, the 3rd disc finds its way into my cd player the most. 'Street Fighting Man' is always rockin and 'No expectations' is always touching, but "Suprise Suprise" is a jouncy, upbeat track thats extremely catchy. The shortened version of "You Can't Always Get What You Want" is not much different at all,and 'Brown Sugar', 'Wild Horses', and 'Sympathy for the Devil' remain untouched. But the lesser known tracks are fantastic. "Memo From Turner" is GREAT, with a nasty slide guitar riff and some hilarious lyrics that even Mick can't help laughing from. "I Don't Know Why" is also awesome, and with Mick sending shivers down my spine when he desperately cries "girl you better stop your cheatin ways...." "Try A Little Harder" and "Out of Time" are decent, and "Jivin Sister Fanny" is an extremely catchy generic-type rocker, though I have no idea what Mick is saying, and I usually only sing along to the "ah-AH-aahh" part. It would fit perfectly into Exile, in my opinion. This disc is essential for new stones fans as well as veterans.


Glenn Wiener <> (09.08.99)

Not quite mixed emotions on this one, George. Its the clunker of the Stones collection. Yes, worse than Dirty Work. The cheesy arrangements just make me want to scream. None of the songs really stand out that much. You are correct about 'Rock And A Hard Place' being the best of this weak lot. 'Slipping Away', 'Mixed Emotions', and 'Hold On To Your Hat' are decent. The rest are fairly poor with 'Continental Drift' being down right disastrous. Its as if Rock N Roll was captured by the Martians.

I do not mean to be picky but you have a couple of errors. You state that Keith sings two songs on this disc for the first time and that is not so as you previously mentioned that he has two leads on Dirty Work. Second of all, Ronnie Wood is responsible for the crappy soloing on this record. I enjoy your Stones reviews but you don't have to mention every song on every record.

[Special author note: sorry, but the crappiest soloing on the record is Keith's fault - Ronnie doesn't play a note on 'Sad Sad Sad', for instance. Ronnie is an excellent lead player, in my opinion, but Keith had better stick to rhythm, at least in this era.]

Tony & Remi Stewart <> (06.07.2000)

Steel Wheels was such a RELIEF, that they could have put out anything. We were so glad they were back; new tour, new Stones, new outfits and Stage. And in all the commotion, all the hype, it took all of us a while to realize that the disc pretty much sucked. By Stones standards. In retrospect (and it is amazing that one can talk about a band THIS old and still be discussing a 'new' period) it is easy to see that they indeed had made up, and made up their minds to carry on, but that there was still a LOT of work to be done, to climb back up on the pedestal of truly being the Greatest R&R Band In The World.

So I will review it from today's eyes. "Sad Sad Sad" is a piece of nameless nothing. It could have been ANY chord, ANY word. It says, conveys absolutely - NOTHING. It's one of those warmer-uppers in concert. Good guitarwork and we get a taste of Chris Kimsey's decent, but misplaced Production techniques. Crisp Drums, Guitars with that tinge of 80's still ringing. Shudder...

"Mixed Emotions" clearly was a typical Open-G Keithian riffing and all it needed was a nice little hook. Jagger(and one never knows) came up with 'Mixed'? 'Mick's'? 'Emotions and the lyrics just 'happen' to hit close to last year's events. Mick knows how to grab those headlines. I like the song. Bernard and keith provide some beautiful harmonies in the chorus, but it clearly did not work Live. "Terrifying" on the other hand was inserted into the liveset way too late because it is a M*therf*cker of a tune. The Spanish overtones are used well and the trumpet and percussion rock. Clever lyrics too! One of the strongest outings follows"Hold On To Your Hat" with Keith just tearing the roof off the place. Ron on Bass and Charlie on Drums it just smokes! My personal fave, is "Hearts For sale" and i don't know why. I love the chorus. Ron's flanged restrained solo, and the pumping groove. If only they had faded Mick out in the end. Memories of "Lucky In Love"...

"Blinded By Love" to me begins what is wrong with 99% of all Stones' Countrynumbers since: overproduction. We have about 15 accoustic guitars, fiddles, Pedal Steels, ploinky Telecasters. Ah where are you "Country Honk"? It's THAT easy! The lyrics are embarrassing.

Side two opens with the obvious HIT! "Rock In A Hard Place". It is the third time they have used that "Soul Survivor" riff, this time in a minor key, but it makes for an obvious smoker of a song, that for some reason i just have never liked. It has all the correct Funkgrooves, and the dramatic stops for Jagger to scream etc. , it rocked the stadiums and the Lightshow; that is probably the problem - it is all just so 'correct'.

"Keith's first tune "Can't be seen" is wonderful. A fluid melody, propelled by a irresistable Bass/drum line; plus Keith had learned something in his Soloyears about stacking and arranging BU Vocals. One of the most spoken , and also best songs of the Disc supposedly pays tribute(If you want to believe the Press) to Brian. Mick and Keith even went to Morocco and enlisted and recorded the Joujouka musicians for this one. A great arrangment, based on a revolving Synthline of Mick's. Beautiful Arabesque melody and an incredible crscendo. This is one of the reasons I am a Jaggerman. Jagger can and will fall flat on his face, but he has the courage to pick himself up and go at it again. Many, many of the musical Stones ideas that have been automatically credited to either Keith or Brian come from Mick. From the otherworldy atmosphere of "Continental drift" we go right back into the Bayou to one of the Beggar's Banquet type Blues Gumbos. In other words : the Stones at their best, with some kneeslapping Dobro and distorted Harmonica. It all ends in the ethereal "Slippin' Away" sung by Keith, and rescucitated at many liveshows afterwards at the insistence of the hornsection, who loves the tune. It is a pretty one. This is another trend I see developing. This ending of Stonesdiscs with a Keith-ballad.

Well they did a great tour, learned a lot and came back twice and then thrice as strong, so Steel Wheels was not the greatest disc in the world, but it was the stepping stone that set the Stones back on the right path. BTW it was to be Bill Wyman's last Studiodisc with the Rolling Stones. darryl Jones took over afterwards. I have to give it a total score of 12.

Robert Tally <> (29.11.2001)

Not much of a comeback, but at least things were improving. This album has a whopping three songs that I would rate as 'very strong,' plus a few other notable tracks. My favorites are Keith's: "Slipping Away" is simply gorgeous and "Can't Be Seen" has a nice urgency to it. Notice that the band turns in very professional performances on these tracks, unlike earlier Keith efforts. The only other song that I like a lot is the swampy "Break The Spell." However, I can't deny that "Continental Drift" makes for an interesting listen. It's pretty watered down compared to the Brian Jones album, though. "Terrifying" sounds pretty solid to me, but for some reason, it doesn't really grab me. It's also refreshing that the obligatory fast track, "Hold On To Your Hat," sports a "Rip This Joint" style rhythm to set it apart from its earlier hyper cousins. Wow, that's half the songs, and I still don't have any major complaints. Nor do I with "Almost Hear You Sigh," though it doesn't sound like a standout in my mind. There are, of course, the generic Stones rockers, "Rock And A Hard Place" and "Sad Sad Sad," which do nothing at all for me, but aren't otherwise atrocious. The same would go for "Mixed Emotions" if it didn't have those cool harmonies on the chorus. "Hearts For Sale" really sounds like any other MOR tune to me. The only song that I really dislike is the foolishly corny country ballad, "Blinded By Love." So it's looks to me like the Stones had at least worked their way back up to the level of Tattoo You, but that's really not saying much.

There's plenty out there for completists to look for. "Fancyman Blues" (the B-side of "Mixed Emotions") is a downright decent blues tune with a harmonica that sounds like the one on "Break The Spell." "Cook Cook Blues" (the B-side of "Rock And A Hard Place") is a totally insubstantial blues tune. "Wish I'd Never Met You" (the UK B-side of "Almost Hear You Sigh" and the European B-side of "Terrifying") is a fairly good, but incomplete, blues tune. There's also an obnoxious remix of "Mixed Emotions" called Chris Kimsey's 12" which appeared on the CD single and (of course) the 12" single. Equally obnoxious is the Michael Brauer Mix of "Rock And A Hard Place" from that 12" single. The five tracks I've so far mentioned are all on Flashpoint + Collectibles. Not on that release are three other remixes of "Rock And A Hard Place," each progressively more obnoxious and less-Stonesian than the last: the Dance Mix, the Oh-Oh Hard Dub Mix, and the Bonus Beats Mix (all from various 12" singles). If we don't count "Wish I'd Never Met You," than everything I've mentioned so far can be found on the Japanese CD called Another Side Of Steel Wheels. But then there's the 12" remix of "Terrifying," which made it onto a European 3" CD single, and which has not been conveniently included on any compilation, so good luck finding that.


Jeff <> (06.09.99)

You're not just imagining it: those last two cuts do suck. And the live set is fun, but nothing to get excited about. It's just the same old songs (except for "Factory Girl" and "Little Red Rooster"- both great performances); you're better off listening to Hot Rocks than to this. But for Stones fans, it's a good time, and the band sounds pretty darn great (except for those pesky solos, of course). The only real standout is "Paint it Black." Not a fantastic live album, but a solid enough one.

Tony Stewart <> (09.07.2000)

Well at least I got the version that they eventually re-released. At least i think that is what happened, because of lagging sales they added that second disc with all the goodies. It is that second disc that saves this truly AWFUL Live disc. The songs, when taken one by one at points are not that bad but it is just a Pisser of a disc. I mean the tour sucked. By then everyone knew the band was going to get a LOT better already; they got two Covers of Rolling Stone and were happy. why Jagger put such an awful Live selection of songs out I will never know.

"Ruby Tuesday", "Can't Be Seen", "Factory Girl" and "Little Red Rooster" stand out. The rest plus those two odious Studiocuts are by Stones standards not even worth mentioning.

How many time was he going to spring "JJF", "SMU" and "Satisfaction" on us? Oh yeah, I forgot "BS".

Now the second disc at the time was a real winner, because singles just do not exist anymore. They exist on paper and special order, so all those B-Sides were nice and that version of "Winning Ugly", which I have always considered a Killer Stonestrack, especially with that Synth Bass pumped up, come in handy. On the strength of that Disc 2 i give it an 8. Flashpoint the Livedisc I guess is an 8 too. I forget who i am dealing with here.

But "Lord I miss you...blah blah"

Robert Tally <> (12.12.2001)

Not bad, I guess. The Stones had become somewhat polished on stage, so they don't totally screw up anything on this album. But I gotta tell ya, I'm not excited about ANY of this stuff. I'm not even sure if it tops Still Life, and that's gotta be a problem. Sure, Mick doesn't bark quite as much and the tempos are (usually) kept within a reasonable pace. But I don't like any of these performances as much as "Going To A Go Go," for instance. If this album is an improvement, than it's minimal at best. If anything can be considered a highlight, then perhaps it would be "Little Red Rooster" or "Sympathy For The Devil" (which never fail to be highlights on any album they've appeared on), or perhaps "You Can't Always Get What You Want." It's interesting that they do "Factory Girl," though Mick seems to be hyping it a bit much with the 'woos.' The low point for me is "Paint It, Black," which simply doesn't have the drive of the original. And I hate to say it, but I think the main culprit is Charlie on that song. One thing that really bothers me, though, is the pukey sound of Keith's acoustic guitar, both on this song and on others like "Ruby Tuesday" and "Factory Girl." Mick also sounds a bit odd on these tunes. It's funny that not only were the Stones' recent hits a bunch of empty hype, but in concert, so were such classics as "Jumpin' Jack Flash" and "Satisfaction." The two studio tracks sound okay to me. "Highwire" is slightly more interesting than "One Hit" or "Rock And A Hard Place" from recent years. And "Sex Drive" is oddly appealing, with a genuine atmosphere of debauchery.

Technical point: "Rock And A Hard Place" and "Can't Be Seen" (now there's a rushed tempo!) are both bonus tracks, and didn't appear on the LP version of this album.

Completists will find it relatively easy to collect the various non-album tracks from this period, since virtually all of them appear on a bootleg called Lostpoint. These include: a really lame version of "2000 Light Years From Home (from the B-side of "Highwire"); a pretty good slow blues version of "I Just Want To Make Love To You" (from the "Highwire" 12" single and one of two CD singles); a slicked up version of "Play With Fire" with that pukey acoustic guitar again (from the B-side and both CD singles of "Ruby Tuesday" and also from one of the "Highwire" CD singles); a solid performance of "Harlem Shuffle" (from the "Ruby Tuesday" CD single); a faithful rendition of "Undercover Of The Night" (from the B-side and CD single of "Sex Drive" and also from one of the "Ruby Tuesday" CD singles); a going-through-the-motions version of "Tumbling Dice" (from the B-side of "Jumpin' Jack Flash"); and a very limp version of "Street Fighting Man" (from the "Jumpin' Jack Flash" CD single). There was also an underwhelming version of "Gimme Shelter" which appeared on a various artists cassette in 1993 called Gimme Shelter Pop. Also, "Sex Drive" was given a few remixes for the CD singles: a Club Version, a Club Edit, and a Dirty Hands Mix.

Interestingly, my copy of Flashpoint has the single edit of "Sex Drive." But I also have the double CD Flashpoint + Collectibles, which contains a CD that's identical to Flashpoint, with the exception that the album mix of "Sex Drive" appears on it. Both CDs list the song as 5 min. 4 sec., the album mix length. The other CD in the double set is (of course) Collectibles, which includes lots of pre-Flashpoint non-album tracks and alternate mixes.

<> (07.06.2004)

I don't find this one great:

It's the live document from the first tour featuring the obligatory big-band mentioned in your review, and I don't think that it made anything of the performing quality to be and still to come better. I for myself really don't like those stupid female vocals singing the chorus of 'Jumpin' Jack Flash'. The three Steel Wheels songs are all not favorites of mine. 'Sad Sad Sad' and 'Can't Be Seen' sound worse than from the studio due to over-arrangement. The old songs are not always treated the way they should. I don't want to hear loads of keyboards when hearing 'Sympathy'. I could as well live without the re-arrangement of 'Factory Girl', which simply doesn't posses the charme of the original. Here we got nothing but less remarkable guitars and drums, the latter missing and honestly not to be missed on the Beggars version.

Like those bonus tracks to be especially recorded for the 2002 greatest-hits-compilation Forty Licks, 'Sex Drive' and 'Highwire' sound like outtakes and are rather boring. The latter resembles 'Rock And A Hard Place', and I'm glad, that they hopefully gave up on pathetic political statements with the release of Bridges To Babylon.


Jeff <> (06.09.99)

The rockers here all all just fantastic. Generic, true, but fun fun fun!!! Much better than the oversynthesized stuff on Steel Wheels. "Love Is Strong," "Brand New Car," and "Suck on the Jugular" are slinky, sleazy, great tracks. "The Worst" is a great Keith ballad, but yeah, "Thru and Thru" is waaaay too long. I like "New Faces" for some reason; it's cheesy-sounding, but it works for me. "Sweethearts Together" makes me gag, though. "Blinded By Rainbows" and "Out Of Tears" make up for it. "Moon is Up" is my favorite track here. It's the freshest-sounding thing they'd done in years. Sort of like the rest of the album, actually. Should have been a few songs shorter, but overall, a return to form.

Glenn Wiener <> (14.09.99)

The Stones comeback album. Influences from the sixties to the prsent are all here. 'New Faces' is very reminiscent of 'Lady Jane'. 'Suck On The Jugular' is one of the Stones best excesses in Funky Music. At least it has better lyrics than 'Hot Stuff' and 'Dance Part 1' and a more varied rhythm. It does get a little soft in spots but to me it only adds to the variety.

Tony Stewart <> (10.08.2000)

Voodoo was the beginning of a few years of Stonesdom, and IMHO the last big uprising of the Juggernaut of the Stones. we will still see some more Stones, but this Voodoo - No security run was one hell of a rush. Again Steel Wheels almost doesn't count in Stonesland. It merely served the function of saying "We are back!" It could have been anything. Now on Voodoo they had to have a reason to be back and I agree with you that it is the first disc where they just are themselves, in a looong time.

"Love Is Strong", great tune. Keith said it did not click until they convinced Jagger to sing the vocals low and mean. The Harp is great. And the tune is also VERY similar to "Wicked As It Seems", down to the rattlesnake. "You Got Me Rocking" not the most inspired lyrics, but it has become a staple of their Liveset and has really held up well. Good tune. "Sparks Will Fly" is one of those tunes that Keith explained at length was so complicated, in it's tightness that Keith and Charlie only let the band hear it once it was worked out. It sounds like a 1234 to me. I mean what is the big deal here? Except that Jagger is gonna "fuck 'er sweet lil ass"? "The Worst" is cool. Two things ; it is nice to hear Mick harmonizing behind Keith and it stayed short. He came, he said what he had to say and he left. "New Faces". Oh the comparisons to Cobain. I saw them coming the second I heard the lyrics. And so did every other Stonesfanatic. But it is a GOOD song, It isn't only the Clavicembalo that gives it that medieval feel; it is really there in the sway of the song. Ole Lord Jagger.

"Moon Is Up" for a while was my fave cut on this disc until i heard Mick going on and on about how experimental "Moon Is Up" was. It sort of ruined it for me. Once I heard the Liveversion I liked it even less. What I love about the Voodoo version is the interweaving of all the phasing and Leslies on top of an already circular motif. "Out Of Tears" is one of the stones' great ballads. Had they released this in '72 it would be the "Wild Horses" of today. it is one of the ever so rare glimpses Jagger gives us of Jagger. Damn CD's. If Albums still existed of course this would have been the end of Side 1.

"I Go Wild" is for some reason a great Rocker. Until jagger throws those stupid stops, with the huge Snare sound at the end in it is just a cooker. I love the lyrics, can't help it. "Brand New Car" is the one song Keith plays Bass on. he uses a trick he loves. Bass doesn't come in until Verse 2. Very subtle. It is also Daryl Jones' fave cut of the disc, he said. The lyrics are silly, the Horns tight. Some people absolutely hate it. I do not really like it. But that is nothing compared to what awaits us next. My biggest beef with "Sweethearts" is not the syrup. It is the overproduction. We have about 18 Accoustic guitars, Pedal Steel, Slides, Fiddles, BU vocals "Chi hua-hua", Accordion. MAKE UP YOUR MIND> This is the way "Country Honk" would have come out of Voodoo. Put Mick and Keith into a room. Give them both a guitar and play the thing. Over. You want a solo? Bring in one of the 15 Soloists they enlisted and give the job to ONE of them.

"Suck On The Jugular" (close to "Honest Man" from 'Brew' and 'Stew') is a good Funkgroove. A LOT of fans do not dig it. i like it. i love ten guys singing in unison"All get together and rock". It is a little or is it tough(?). I thought it rocked and was surprised they did not do that one Live. "Now "Blinded By Rainbows" I personally can not stand. There is a certain type of ballad that Jagger has perfected, and this is one of them and I hate it. I hate the lyrics, although I know that Jagger really DOES back up his words with actions, as far as helping people in need. But when that chorus comes hear it before it even happens. "Baby Break It Down"...???? What... Which leaves the real end of the disc "Thru and Thru". First time I heard it I could not believe I was listening to the stones. Keith has become a VERY good songwriter. And i mean waaay up there. There is a lot of throwaways; give him a tele and an Open G and you WILL get a song. But every once in a while Keith will cross the line into the zone. it goes on too long, but I really think Keith wanted to give Pierre alittle room on a Stonesdisc. "Mean Disposition" is great! It is just what the Stones should be doing now. Supercool! Even when i did not know of B2B to still come, I always felt VL was a stepping stone on to another level. And I still do. 12.

Robert Tally <> (21.12.2001)

Definitely a comeback and definitely better than anything they did during the '80s. What a breath of fresh air. Not that it's all great or anything, but at least six of these tunes sound pretty damned good to me. There's the obvious choice, "Love Is Strong," which surprised me quite a lot when I first heard it on the radio. Arguably their best A-side since "Miss You." One thing that strikes me when reading reviews of this album is the general consensus that the best tracks are mostly in the first half. Personally, I think they're spread out pretty evenly. I really like "Baby Break It Down" a lot. For some reason, the melody seems just right to me. I also enjoy "Suck On The Jugular," which I think is the best piece of funk they did since "Fingerprint File." And, of course, Keith turns in another very strong song with "The Worst." Then there's "Brand New Car," which is very cool, and "Moon Is Up," which is quite interesting and very listenable. Those are my favorites. In the case of "You Got Me Rocking," "I Go Wild," and "Sparks Will Fly," I think the Stones were not venturing far enough from their '80s formula. The first two are still pretty enjoyable, and slightly better than the '80s stuff, but "Sparks Will Fly" doesn't do much for me. "Thru And Thru" could have used another arrangement - one that wasn't geared for maximum boredom. Okay, that's an exaggeration. I think it's okay. I find "Sweethearts Together" to be pretty charming, if slightly silly. I don't think "New Faces" works very well. I guess the era for Elizabethan Stones music had passed - it just sounds awkward in this case. Then there's the two big ballads, "Out Of Tears" and "Blinded By Rainbows," both of which have a little something special in their choruses, but otherwise fail due to uninspired verses and lyrics that are the opposite of subtle. So, it's a little inconsistent. But, hey, so was Some Girls, and I think this album is just as good, if not slightly better.

Most people aren't aware of this, but the vinyl version of this album is a double LP (even though there's only about an album and a half of material here). The song "Mean Disposition" (which is one of my favorites) is a CD-only track. Anybody notice that the guitar sort of plays "Paint It, Black" during the chorus? Kinda humorous.

Completists will need to look for some CD singles. "The Storm" (the B-side of "Love Is Strong") is a blues tune; "So Young" (from the "Love Is Strong" UK CD single) is a punchy rocker; "Jump On Top Of Me" (the B-side of "You Got Me Rocking") is a medium-paced rocker; "I'm Gonna Drive" (the B-side of "Out Of Tears") is another medium-paced rocker. All four of these are fair tracks. The most convenient way to collect them all would be on one of the "Out Of Tears" CD singles, which has all four. There's also a slightly lackluster live version of "I Go Wild" on the "I Go Wild" CD single. And, of course, there are the alternate remixes. The "Love Is Strong" CD singles include the Bob Clearmountain Remix, the Teddy Riley Extended Remix, the Teddy Riley Dub, the Teddy Riley Ext. Rock Remix, the Teddy Riley Radio Remix, the Teddy Riley Instrumental, and the Joe The Butcher Club Mix. The "You Got Me Rocking" CD single includes the Perfecto Mix and the Sexy Disco Dub Mix, while the 12" single includes the Trance Mix. The "Out Of Tears" CD single includes the Don Was Edit and the Bob Clearmountain Remix Edit, as well as Radio Clean mix of "Sparks Will Fly." The "I Go Wild" CD single includes the Scott Litt Remix and the Luis Resto Straight Vocal Mix. And, as usual, these range from conservative to outrageous tamperings with the original recordings.

Also, if that isn't enough, all four of the Stones appeared on the Chieftains' version of "The Rocky Road To Dublin" on the Long Black Veil album (which also features Jagger on the title track). Very traditional stuff.


Jeff <> (06.09.99)

I like this one better than yer average live album, mainly because it doesn't sound so much like the Stones. They get to stretch out some, and the performances are top-notch. Personally, I think they botched the chorus on "Like A Rolling Stone" with the female backing vocals, but that harmonica is nice. The track listing is near-perfect, the sole exception being "Slipping Away"-- why not "You Got the Silver"? I guess they may have thought there was already enough country on here. But it's Stones country!!! You can't go wrong with that stuff!!! Mick's vocals may not measure up to his best, but they're more than listenable. And did I mention that the band sounds great? Well, let me do it again. The band sounds great. So there.

Tony Stewart <> (21.11.2000)

I love Stripped. Stones doing their version of Unplugged. The opening "SFM" knocked me off my feet first time I heard it. It is such a great tune, but had been receiving a rather shabby treatment as a closing tune, where Keith was at volume 11, and Jagger barely got the lyrics out; throwing shit into the crowd. Now during the Taylor days Taylor's solos DID carry it, but it became mainly just a vehicle for show and energy. Actually there is nothing wrong with that, come to think of it. :) Next we get "Like A Rolling Stone". They consitently did this one perfectly through the whole tours. The ONLY time it got confused was the time Dylan sat in with them in So. America LOL.It gives me goosebumps though when I hear Mick and Keith singing " a ROLLING STONE..". Would have been great to see them share the Mike like in the old days. Great Harp! Go Mick! "Not Fade Away" sounds even better than on tour with Ron on Accoustic. Short and tight. "Shine A Light" was a real treat our Dutch fans got. Played very close to the Studio version. Why oh why will they not TOTALLY revise the setlist on the next tour?

"The Spider And The Fly" (a real surprise) one of the highlights; the 'rinsed out Blonde on my left' has gone from age 30 to 50. LOL. "I'm Free" is one of my fave Stones tune; mainly based on the great solo on December's Children. The solo here is a lot more restrained.. "Wild Horses" is simply gorgeous. "Let It Bleed", "Dead Flowers" follow with straight up renditions. Keith steps up with "Slipping Away". This one is done in the studio. I did not think that they would do that one Live. Too tricky. I prefer this version over the official version. The Horns do get their parts right. "Angie", "Sweet Virginia" are cool. They are exactly what one would expect on an "accoustic" Stonesdisc. "Angie" is pretty lush with the Synth, and Jagger does a great vocal. The last number "Little Baby" is one of the welcome surprises. Great song! Stones doing the Blues. Leaves us with "Love In Vain". Love that false start. This must be the best version of the Ron Wood era. I know I am not drooling over this disc, but in my mind it is right up there with Ya-Ya's and No Security, Got Live... I give this one a 14. Free the sweet black slave.

One Love, Anthony

Robert Tally <> (12.03.2002)

I found this to be a refreshing change from the usual live albums the Stones had been putting out.  The laidback approach gives this album an intimacy that couldn't be achieved on previous tries.  Sure, it has its less-than-stellar moments ("Angie," "Love In Vain," "Little Baby"), but these are more than made up for by the rest of the material.  Highlights for me include "Like A Rolling Stone," "The Spider And The Fly," "Slipping Away," "Not Fade Away," "I'm Free" and "Shine A Light."  I'd even go as far as to say that only Get Yer Ya-Ya's Out tops this among live Stones albums.

Completists will need to find the "Like A Rolling Stone" CD single, which includes a blistering version of "Black Limousine" (much better than the studio version), and a somewhat hyper version of "All Down The Line."  The "Wild Horses" CD single included a spirited rendition of "Live With Me," a decent version of "Tumbling Dice" combining a rehearsal with a concert performance, and a somewhat lethargic, but fairly good, version of "Gimme Shelter."  Also, a pretty good version of "Honest I Do" from this period turned up on the soundtrack of Hope Floats.

P.S.  Like Voodoo Lounge before it, the Stones saw fit to release Stripped as a double album in its vinyl incarnation.


Jeff <> (06.09.99)

Again, the Stones stretch their considerable talents and make a "90s" album. I like it, darn it!!! Just as good as Voodoo Lounge, IMHO. The first five songs start thing off fantastically, but "You Don't Have To Mean It" is just dopey. Dopey old Keith. When will he ever learn? Also, "Thief in the Night" is painfully murky, while "How can I Stop" is overdone. "Might As Well Get Juiced" is actually kind of cool, but "Always Suffering" sounds like Garth Brooks!!! Aaaaaahhhhh!!!!! Everything else is just dandy, especially "Saint of Me," their best song since, I dunno, "Slave" or something from Tattoo You. "Out of Control" is fun, too. Good album. Consider me impressed that these guys are still this fresh-sounding.

Simon Hearn <> (08.09.99)

I love this album! Equal to Voodoo in my opinion (I have all the stones catalogue). I agree with a previous reader who stated 'you don't have to mean it' was cr**. This is the only bad track on the album. 'Saint of me' is the best track (sorry George) - a sort of 90' 'sympathy for the devil' - not as effective though, but nice never the less. 'Out of control' is fantastic live and their next album proved. However the full marks go to two keith vocalled songs: 'thief in the night' and 'how can I stop' - tender, sincere and that voice makes the songs all the more so beautiful. A real return to form. Forget about voodoo - get this!

Glenn Wiener <> (25.09.99)

The Stones continue to reeturn to form with this fine release. Maybe I am the only one, but I like Keith's reggae flavored 'You Don't Have To Mean It'. The song structure and the rhythms just suit my ears fine. Most of the other songs are quite catchy and even danceable. This album doesn't quite measure up to the Stones peak albums(Beggars Banquet, Exile, Sticky Fingers, etc..) due to an over-reliance on studio musicians. However, it is a quality release by a quality band.

<> (21.11.99)

I'm sorry, I just don't agree with half of your diagnosis of this album. "Gunface" is awesome, and about as un-disco as you can get (well, not really, but I think you get the picture). "Anybody Seen My Baby" is a GREAT song, and completely Stones. 'Saint Of Me' is one of the best on the album, I think, and a great tune as well.

Tony Stewart <> (21.11.2000)

GEORGE!!!! Are you crazy? :))))

B2B is the best thing have done in ages! Beginning with Steel Wheels it has all been uphill. Look at how many Live cookers they got from this one. "Out Of Control" and "Saint Of Me" were the highlights from the tour. In a way it is the 90's equivalent of Exile because it was recorded in such a confused manner. But really gels all as a whole. Keith is VERY present. Who is NOT very present is Ron, but we all saw that on tour. I honestly do not know what he must have felt, walking into the studio and see Waddy Wachtel there. I love WW but Ron is the Stone!!!

It is strange what you said about "Already Over Me", by far my least fave off the disc. It reminds me of "Blinded By Rainbows" this type of Jagger ballad where on a first listening you can already tell what the chorus is going to sound like. "Flip The Switch", the fastest song (beats per minute) the Stones have ever recorded. ("Rip This Joint" used to be the one...). Great riff, Title probably came from Keith and Jagger filling it out. Superb backing vocals arrangment. Is that an Upright Bass? I think so. "Anybody Seen My Baby". Well. They had to give credit to K.D.Lang, which she probably would not even have noticed, since it is such a frequently used melody line over minor chords; very pretty. Of course it was a mistake to release it as a single because then they felt compelled to play it live and of course it did not work. The "Rap" is embarrassing. But the body of the song, had it been produced a little softer would have made a great song. That is typical Jagger, trying to force a beat on to a song that does not need it. And shouting the song on stage made it even worse. "Lowdown" is ALL Keith on his open G tuning. I very much like the song, was surprised they only played it once during the whole tour. Another great BU Vox stack. "Gunface" was done Live in the studio. Now that is a Killer Bassline, smoking Synth in the chorus. It is hot! "You Don't Have To Mean It" is Keith doing his obligatory Reggae and it is a good one. Anybody else notice that Keith uses more instruments on his tracks than the other guys? Same Live...

"Out Of Control" is one of the best tunes the Stones have ever done. Of course it is Jagger, but Keith must have realized they had hit gold and he is right up there. The Live dual solo of Mick blowing at Keith and Keith throwing it right back from his axe was incredible! Same goes for "Saint Of Me". I have to agree with Keith on this one: 'Why use a Drumloop when you have Charlie Watts ?' I do not think Mick had any idea what a hit he was sitting on with this one. I mean listen to recordings from Buenos Aires or Rio - they would not quit the chant! The lyrics pick up where "Sympathy For The Devil" and "Wandering Spirit" left off. I dig "Might As Well Get Juiced". Of course it is a Synth tune, but again just like "Continental Drift" Jagger is after all a musician too. And has the need to experiment. He has slipped several times, but this sucker pumps IMHO. Just did not leave much room for guitar. "Always Suffering" is finally a nice Country ballad NOT overproduced. For some reason it reminds me of "Loving Cup". A very 'sunny' song. And it feels like it is Mick, singing it to the love of his life - Keith. "Too Tight" is a short Rocker in the vein of "Sparks Will Fly", only better. That one would have worked live.

Which leaves us with a rather unusual closing duo. Whoever had that idea had a good ear. I guess it is an unwritten rule by now that the Keith ballad closes out the disc, but this time we get two. "Thief In The Night" would already have been enough, with it's backward Cymbals and muted guitars. Beautiful eastern melody on top. Great live too. But "How Can I Stop" just steals your heart away. What beautiful piece of music; especially the very end with the Sax solo.

All in all a great disc. The only sad part was the notable absence of Mr. Ron Wood. I hope he comes back on fire! 15!

Eric Rogozin <> (13.06.2001)

Adorable album! The Stones still know how to rock our world; they still got the power, the ability, the charisma they always had; I guess, I can write a thesis named "When the band/artist ruled once, this band/artist will rule always (mostly)". The Stones show it with this album and amazing live shows. They show contemporary fucking 90s bands how the true masters must play.

Speaking about Bridges To Babylon, I'd like to mention my favourites: "Flit The Switch", "Anybody Seen My Baby", "Allready Over Me", "Gunface", "Out Of Control" and "Too Tight" - interesting and catchy melodies, superdrive, lyrical and 'driving' songs, what else do we need? The only one problem we have here is that often ONLY this album from entire Stones catalog is in sale now, while we see Bridges To Babylon in sale on every corner, it's almost impossible to find Metamorphosis or Some Girls for instance. Consequently there are many kids round here, who have heard a lot of songs from Bridges To Babylon due to radiostations, but have never heard Aftermath or Between The Buttons. It's a pity! But nevertheless, Bridges To Babylon is great!

Sergey Zhilkin <> (30.01.2002)

I'll tell you one thing - I'm not raving about your rating of Bridges ONLY because I haven't known a thing about Stones in 1997 and therefore ignored this record, just like every new album. Was I silly! See, that's the modern masterpiece, which, despite many modern features smells good. Oh, my, if I bought BTB upon its release I would have become a rabid Stones' fan then cause this album sounds so fresh for mid 90s! But the most interesting thing is that none of these songs are typical for Stones. Actually, I was a bit shocked when I heard 'Flip the switch' - loud and 'empty' drums with somewhat lame guitar managed to scare me a bit (in fact, Stones should start a song not with drums but with a guitar riff or piano!). 'Wall-of-sound' production is absent here so the songs are much different and consequently dark. The fine examples are 'Saint of me' and 'Out of control' (and bothe have fine bass lines). Two fast numbers (opener and 'Too tight') are good as well. As for the slow ballads and stuff, (like 'Thief In The Night' 'How Can I Stop') they are still here (and as long as Keith is alive they always will be on every new album). Not that I don't like ballads (although, frankly speaking as a rule I hate ballads if it's not Dylan or Stones who sing them), but I find myself ckiking 'skip' button when I hear 'How can I stop' and some others. Though, this flaw is easily compensated by mid-tempo numbers such as 'Gunface' and 'Might as well get juiced'. So, overall, that is near to great album so I'll rate it 12/15. Yeah, and 'Anybody seen my baby' doesn't really offend me but it's incredibly marred by rap part in the middle. I usually skip it.

Robert Tally <> (12.03.2002)

I'm gonna have to side up with the thumbs up crowd on this one. On this second 90s studio effort, the Stones give us mostly good tracks, mixed in with some so-so ones and very few duds. I'm finding it hard to pick a favorite, but it's probably "Saint Of Me," which I think is simply excellent. "Flip The Switch" is also very good, and one of the best rockers they'd put out in a very long time. The two Keith ballads that end the album, "Thief In The Night" and "How Can I Stop," are both strikingly atmospheric and rate very highly with me. "Too Tight" is one of those rare occasions when the late-period Stones came up with a good power pop tune. There's at least a few others that I think are quite good without being too crazy about them. "Out Of Control" is very solid, and has some nice Shaft-like sounds going on in it. "Low Down" has sort of an unexceptional verse with one of the best choruses in any Stones song. "You Don't Have To Mean It" is a friendly sounding reggae number from Keith. And I have to admit that I like the near-hit, "Anybody Seen My Baby." It might have that superfluous rap thing in the middle, but it's still pretty good 90s pop. I'm not jumping for joy over "Might As Well Get Juiced," but it's a worthwhile track. "Gunface" takes the riff out of the Metamorphosis version of "Memo From Turner." It doesn't sound like much of a tune to me. The only songs on here that I really don't care for are the Mick ballads. Both "Already Over Me" and "Always Suffering" have a couple of small morsels of inspiration in them, but they're pretty much ruined by Mick's corny delivery. Song for song, I think this is a bit better than Voodoo Lounge, which I guess makes it my favorite Stones album since Exile On Main St. And it's about time.

Completists might want to bypass the usual issue of this CD (if they don't already have it) and get the Japanese version. You see, they were lucky enough to get a totally pointless second live version of "Angie." Also, there's another ballad from these sessions called "Anyway You Look At It," which turned up as the B-side of "Saint Of Me." My assessment of the other two ballads applies to this one as well. And, of course, there are the obligatory remixes included on various CD singles and 12" singles. "Anybody Seen My Baby" appears as Armand's Rolling Steelo Mix, the Soul Solution Remix, the Phil Jones Remix, and the Bonus Roll. "Saint Of Me" was released as the Todd Terry Extended Remix, the Deep Dish Club Mix, the Deep Dish Grunge Garage Remix Parts 1 & 2, the Deep Dish Grunge Garage Dub, and the Deep Dish Rolling Dub. And "Out Of Control" appears as the In Hand With Fluke mix, the In Hand With Fluke Instrumental mix, the Saber Final Mix, the Bi-Polar At The Controls mix and Bi-Polar's Fat Controller Mix. There's probably a few others hiding under the rocks outside my living room window.

P.S. This, like the last two albums, was released as a double album in its vinyl incarnation.


Jeff <> (06.09.99)

What a bloody awful cover.....

Anyway, this is a really fun set of songs, and it's nice to hear so many lesser-known gems. The new songs work really well as live numbers, and all those classic tunes are given great treatments. I still don't like "Thief In the Night," but "Memory Motel" sounds way better than the original. Those God-awful keyboards are toned down, and Matthews' vocal performance sounds surprisingly great; as much as I loathe the Dave Matthews' Band, here he and Jagger lift the song out of mediocrity and turn it into soemthing special. As good as much of this stuff is, I've got a bootleg copy of the entire St. Louis concert (part of which turned up here), and it's much better than this album. It flows more naturally, and you feel more like you're at the actual show. Lots of fun if you can find it.

<> (23.07.2000)

I agree. I especially like Lisa Fischer. Oh wow, she can sing. I dont think anyone could do better than Mary Clayton did, but Lisa Fischer is definately good. Dave Matthews is very talented too. But what was makin think "wait a second" was when Mick started givin' ol Dave Matthews those looks.. You know which ones im talkin about.. you know.. "hey sailor.... long trip?" those kinda looks. is mick bisexual? im convinced he is.. what about that limp wristed dance thing he did at the start of 'Gimme Shelter'? yeah.... SOMEBODY is battin for the other team......

Tony Stewart <> (07.12.2000)

Allright the cover is awful! What was Mick thinking??? There is a great alternative cover for the promo single, with Keith and his Voodoostaff and the rest of the band. Now why did we get some fat biker? At least the content is superb. Glad they opened the disc with "You Got Me Rockin". Never meant to be much of a brainchild it appeals to the pelvic area and has progressively become better and better in a Live setting. And Ron actually plays!!

"Gimme Shelter" features Keith and Lisa and Ron plays AGAIN. "Flip The Switch" showcases Keith's mastery of a Killer riffhook. Now I am one of the few people that can not stand Dave Matthew as a soloartist, but loved him with the Stones. Keith gets a huge round of applause every time he does his little bridge. "Corinna" is out of tune and it drives me crazy. You can tinker all you want with fixing things in the studio, but you can not fix a guitar that is out of tune. Too bad Taj Mahal did not tune up a little better. Jagger sounds a little forced on that one. Almost as if he is thinking "Let's get this thing out of the way". There is a lot more harmony in his interplay with Matthews."Saint Of Me" rocks of course. Same goes for the awesome winner of the tour"Out Of Control". That leaves us with the main part of Side 2 , had this been on Vinyl. What a great section. "Respectable" gets the treatment it always deserved. In'78 it was just one of the 1-4-5 Rockers off of Some Girls. Here they really drive that guitar hook home. "The Last Time" has Ron chomping at the bit. "Live With Me also thrives on the guitar weavings from Keith and Ron. "Waiting On A Friend" with Josh Redman sticks close to the Albumversion. I am always surprised how well they do this one Live. Keith does his wonderful "Thief In The Night". Uses the entire cast for that one.

Leaves us with my personal fave:"Sister Morphine". So glad they dusted that one off AND put it on the Livedisc. Jagger rules on that one. All in all a VERY good Livedisc from a highly successful tour. But then the Stones are SUPPOSED to make great discs.

I give it a 13.

Robert Tally <> (12.03.2002)

If there's one thing the music-buying public demands more than anything else, it's a seventh live Stones album. This isn't just an arena-style hypefest along the lines of Still Life or Flashpoint, though. On the other hand, there isn't much of anything unique about it, liked the mostly unplugged Stripped. It sounds like the Stones have settled back into playing things straight, without the hype. Just good, solid rock music. There's a smattering of my personal favorites that turn up, like "Sister Morphine" and "Live With Me," as well as a few that never did much for me, like "Memory Motel." But either way, most of the tracks are well-performed. "Gimme Shelter," unfortunately, drags a bit. Somehow, Charlie doesn't achieve the drive of the studio version. The new stuff is handled very nicely ("Saint Of Me," "Flip The Switch," "Thief In The Night"), and "Corrina" is a decent tune, if a bit unusual in that the Stones are more the guests than Taj Majal. In any event, I prefer this one over the '82 and '91 offerings.

Completists should avoid the regular release of this CD (if it isn't already too late) and pick up the Japanese version, which includes "I Just Want To Make Love To You."  It's basically the same treatment they gave it on the "Highwire" CD single.

P.S. Yep, they did it again. This was the fourth album in a row released as a double album on vinyl.


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Michael Bleicher <> (11.02.2006)

Huh, I'm the first one to comment! Anyhow, this Bigger Bang album, I can't quite decide how I feel about it. I bought it when it came out in September and for the first couple weeks I loved it. Sure, there was nothing groundbreaking or particularly creative—Mick and Keith could write most of these songs in their sleep, don't you think?—but it kicks a lot of ass in some places, there's a fair amount of energy. It all sounds nice, the ballads, the rockers, etc. Everything's where it's supposed to be. But after I had listened to it a couple dozen times, I stopped feeling the need to put it on. I know the melodies and many of the words on the album by heart, but I think the last time I actually listened to the whole thing—as opposed to one song here or there on my iPod—was October. My point is, it hasn't stayed with me or made much of an impact. Fairly shallow, unmoving stuff. And it's not just overexposure. I've listened to Let It Bleed hundreds of times, by comparision, and still feel the urge to put it on at least once a month. Even Goats Head Soup, I feel, has more depth to it, more to return to.

With A Bigger Bang, it feels like the Stones made a bunch of songs that are just like wrapping paper around an empty box, songs that fit the "Stones sound" and will be perfectly acceptable for Mick to strut to on their next tour in between "Jumping Jack Flash" and "Start Me Up." Now you might say, JJF or SMU are both fairly generic (for the Stones) rockers, but there's something different in those two, at least the originals. "Jumping Jack Flash," for example, has a passion to it, a feeling of defiance and anger and triumph inherent in the soul of the song. Not so with "Rough Justice," though. "Rough Justice" is just Keith doing his chord inversion thing and Mick tossing off some cock-rock lyrics. After some time, the swagger gets old. Perhaps the problem is that the Stones no longer have anything to prove but that they can still rock, so that's what they set out to do. And in the most superficial terms, they succeeded. But I miss the Stones of old, who rocked when they had a reason to do so. Reading between the lines, it sounds like Mick actually has some emotional issues he's working through. Perhaps if they had changed something like "Driving Too Fast" or "She Saw Me Coming" for something he actually meant ("Winter," "Sway," "Shine A Light", anyone?), it would be a stronger record.

The other problem is length. Sixteen tracks is simply far too many for a band that isn't breaking any new ground. Hell, eighteen tracks was too many for Exile, and they were still in their prime then. If this had been edited down to a stellar ten, then maybe I would be a little more forgiving, as it would be a tight forty-minute set of rock and roll. The Stones have surely earned the right to play meaningless rock and roll for us for forty minutes. But more than sixty? I don't think so. Other songs, by the same token, could be shorter. Do we really need five minutes of "Streets of Love"? In 1965, "As Tears Go By" took like two minutes forty five seconds, and it said basically the same thing!

RARITIES 1971-2003

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LarryHaak <> (28.08.2002)

All I can say is,this movie REALLY makes Guns & Roses look like the phoney baloney they were.When that nasty looking German sheperd is walking around the stage in front of Mick you,d think you had stumbled into hell itself.The whole thing has that kinda creepy ,someones gonna get killed vibe.Hells Angels hired to "keep order" sounds like Hell.Crazy times.


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Damar Fulmore <> (27.12.2000)

I think The Stones had a good idea to look back some of their classic videos from 1971-1984. I love the band no matter what.I'm starting a band around next year and we will be like The Stones and many other bands.I wish they will show all their videos including "Far Away Eyes", "Fool To Cry", "Start Me Up"(the MTV video classic),"and the whole thing of 'Emotional Rescue", "Miss You", "Waiting For A Friend", and "It's Only Rock & Roll". I hope they have a DVD verison of this so they can have all their videos with Brian Jones, Mick Taylor, and Ron Wood.


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Glenn Wiener <> (21.05.2003)

I have a bootlegged copy of this now released video which features 27 songs(several additions to the officially released version). Steady performance with an acoustic set and some good performances by Sheryl Crow on 'Live With Me', Bo Diddley, and Robert Cray. Lots of numbers from Exile On Main Street as well as the usual standards ('Brown Sugar', 'Satisfaction', 'Jumping Jack Flash'). Anyway, the sound on my copy is disappointing but there are plenty of highlights which should please most fans.


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Tony Stewart <> (25.11.2000)

I have to disagree with George on a couple of things: I think this disc stands for several things. A) I t shows us what the Stones do while they are waiting on Keith. Which is not sitting around twiddling their thumbs. May of the "Hot Rocks" section are Jaggertunes. "Moonlight Mile", "Sway", "Heaven" all without Keith. So Jagger gets down on his own. B) It also shows how loose the Stones are in the studio and how 'liberal' the RS Label in the older days. They would neber do something like that anymore. They basically beat the Boots to the punch.

In a way the tunes do not really matter. Ther's Jagger, Wyman, Watts, Nicky and Ry Cooder. And they decide to jam for a while. All except for "It Hurts M Too" are lose jams and are to be taken as just that: just another night at the Memory Motel.

I forgot to grade it:10

Marco van der Eijk <> (06.02.2002)

One can tell George did not remember anything at all about 'Highland Fling', because he wrote that Wyman and Watts are not really entertaining. Listen carefully at Bill playing bass on 'Highland Fling' and you can hear him playing some "John Entwistle-like" thunderstorms that will keep your brain tossing and turning for hours.

Robert Tally <> (28.04.2002)

One of those releases that just make you scratch your head. It just wasn't that great of a jam session. You know there's a problem when half of the tracks ("The Boudoir Stomp," "Edward's Thrump Up," "Blow With Ry") are only one chord. There are a few traces of good playing here and there, particularly from the two guest musicians. Mick's harp sounds good, too. It's only when things become a little more organized that the monotony is broken. Hopkins shows off pretty nicely on the last two tracks, "Interlude A La El Hopo" and "Highland Fling," the latter also displaying some surprisingly nimble fingerwork from Mr. Wyman. We also get a mediocre medley of "It Hurts Me Too" and "Pledging My Time." A truly inessential release.

Michael H. <> (23.11.2003)

Here is the 'history' behind the record.

a 1972 "budget" release...of a jam session produced by Glyn Johns at Olympic studios, London. with all those musicians. Keith [Richards] didnt show up one night during the 1969 LET IT BLEED sessions, rumored to be due to his feud with Ry Cooder, but 3/5ths of the band played on without him. The album came complete with a letter of apology from Mick [Jagger] making reference to this "piece of bullshit" , cut in London while "waiting for the guitar player to get out of bed", and noting that Glyn Johns and Marshall Chess unearthed the soon-forgotten tapes and felt that Stones fans might want to hear this "historic" jam session.

The letter in question reads as follows:

When this travesty of an album was released, it was accompanied by a letter of apology which read: Howdy doody whoever recieves this record. Here is a nice little piece of bullshit about this hot waxing which we cut one night in London, England while waiting for our guitar player to get out of bed. It was promptly forgotten (which may have been for the better) untill it was unearthed from the family vaults by those two impressive entrepreneurs-Glyn Johns and Marshall Chess. It was they who concieved the artists that this historic jam of the giants should be unleashed on an unsuspecting public. As it cost about $2.98 to make the record, we thought that a price of $3.98 was appropriate for the finished product. I think that that is about what it is worth. No doubt some stores may even give it away. The album consists of the Rolling Stones rythem section: plus solos from two instermentalists- Nicky "Woof Woof" Hopkins and Ry Cooder; plus the numbled bathroom mumblings of myself. I hope you spend longer listining to this record than we did making it. Yours Faithfully, Mick Jagger.

That may well be the 'official' communique`, but during the recording of tracks for LET IT BLEED, there was a clash of personalities between Keith Richard and Ry Cooder. Keith's no-show was indicative of inferring this studio aint big enough for the both of us. In terms of both musical content and quality of fideliiy, this album would have problems cutting it as a bootleg. For masochists only!




Tony Stewart <> (18.12.2000)

I have to disagree with you. Just releasing Monkey Grip alone took some balls, with Keith being so against ANYTHING coming from the Stonescamp that had the ring of mediocre. Now Monkey Grip obviously does not measure up to any Stonesdisc, but Wyman (even though he showed his true colors in his book as a whiner) still has been putting out some surpringly good stuff. He had to begin somewhere. I read that he had a hard time writing lyrics up until he just chose to write as a different person than he was in real life. So all of the sudden there is "I wanna get me a gun" etc.. The sad part that although he had one of the hottest Sessionbands he somehow turned them into Milktoast. I mean he had Mac Rebennack, Danny Kortchmar, Dallas Taylor, Leon Rusell, the Pointer Sisters etc. He himself on Bass. This band could have rocked hard. The disc could stand some re-mastering. The songs are not halfbad, but every tune gets turned into a cutesy singalong, especially with the weak vocals and the Backing vox girls just blowing him away. I agree totally that Side 2 is by miles the better side. "It's A Blow" and "I'll Pull You Thro" are right up there.

The main thing about this disc is that it was the first time a Stone had stepped out and made an active stand against the Stones' Glimmer Twins unwritten rules. Wyman was frustrated and did what he had to do. Question is: Do we like it?

Score 9.

I forgot to add "What A Blow" to the highlights. And one more thing: There are a slew of videos from this disc. Wyman did "Monkey Grip", "White Lightning" and a few others. And it is very obvious by the look on his face that he is fully aware that he is not remaking Exile here but is only trying to have a "Mighty Fine Time". And BTW I like "Monkey Grip Glue".


Tony Stewart <> (27.03.2000)

There is SOMETHING about this disc that makes me not want to eat sugar anymore. It is like a Fix of Sugar, Saccharine and Nutrasweet. Thing is - you take each song one by one and they are decent. But he has the Pointer Sisters on just about every track and this cutesy little Horn section. And these are all veteran players. I think Wyman being a Stone had a lot to do with session musicians not playing with a bag over their head. I mean "'s peanut butter time..giggle giggle.." - a chorus from a Rolling Stone? What happened. The 'fast' tunes are silly. "Apache Woman" does NOT convince me that Wyman really has given the red man's plight much thought. What is good? "Quarter To Three" rocks, but it is a coverband's staple. "Soul Satisfying" is probably the best one, but that isn't much. Those damn girlie Back-Ups. Ron stops in, Joe Walsh and Dr. John but the sugar just eats through it all. So Bill Wyman wrote some tunes on a guitar, and he shopuld have stopped right there and then. Just Bill and his guitar and the songs and it would have been a far better than that overproduced drivel from the height of L.A.'s Cocaine years.


Steve Knowlton <> (04.02.2000)

Stephen Wyman is Bill's son -- the one who married Bill's ex-wife's mother.


Tony Stewart <> (03.04.2000)

What is wrong with this disc? Not a single thing. What is right about it. Nothing, really. A competent set, peppered with a lot of 60's covers played by a band populated by a bunch of has beens. The Band is obviously enjoying themselves and they would definetly play a mean wedding and have all the Homemakers standing and clapping along, but that is exactly what is wrong with this disc. Bill Wyman obviously wants to have a good innocent time and there's nothing wrong with that. He just doesn't really belong in a Stonesfile anymore. And what is it with all these covers?

Glenn Wiener <> (04.03.2003)

This one sounds Ok to my ears. As a matter of fact its an overlooked gem. Soothing blues, jumping jazz, and a little dose of rock n roll. Some stunning vocal performances by Georgie Fame and Beverly Skeete. Even Wyman's vocals are passable. Like the 'Goin' Crazy Overnight' number and most of the others.


Tony Stewart <> (03.04.2000)

While i give it's predecessor a 7 this one is far better. For one they have some chick belting it out without overdoing it. Also Bill stays away from the Mike. It is when Bill decides to sing that the Back up chicks arrive. No confidence in his own vocals, which are not halfbad if he just put some grit behind them. This disc is miles better than Struttin... Bill even throws one of his Stone Alone remakes into the mix and man, is it better than the original. A lot of nice Slide guitar throughout the disc.


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Glenn Wiener <> (30.09.99)

Truthfully it isn't Keith's voice that gets me down about this album. Its the fact that the songs are fairly weak in song structure. Gosh, 'Rock A While' sounds like a broken record with the same sequence and little variation in the lyrics. 'It Means Alot', 'Locked Away', and a few other stick to one chord progression and the lsiteners brain is stuck. Fortunately, some of the riffs are fairly catchy. I agree with you that Mick and Keith defintiely need each other as Mick provides Keith with a badly needed hook for his steady riffs. Overall, this record is not bad but certainly not great.

Michael Warren <> (31.10.2000)

Look, George. You are obviously a very smart guy, but you are missing the point here (or perhaps you are too polite to say it). Keith is/was one of the greatest songwriters in Rock. But the reality is.......this is painful.......the man is burnt.......finished. I love Romance, but, alas, we must face reality: Keith is like another one of my favorites: Jerry Lee Lewis. You can only ingest so many painkillers (or inject Lee's stomach injections), drink so much whiskey, and snort so much coke, and shoot so much heroin before you are ruined, both mentally and physically. Any one of these drugs or any combination thereof (including others unnamed) will eventually destroy a man (or woman) if used in excess. Does this mean that Keith can't play good guitar ? Not necessarily. Does this mean that Keith can't write a great song ? Not necessarily. I believe that Keith's talent was deep. Nevertheless, everything catches up with you. Now, I am not trying to deny the importance of Mick---as a songwriter or as a creative spirit, but I am trying to make the point that Keith's abilities have been diminished as a result of his recreational habits. Some loss can be attributed to the effects of age or the wearing of experiences, but with Keith, overall, I believe his lack of ideas may be more accurately attributed to substance abuse. I know, to some, my comments will seem to be insults towards Keith. Actually, I'm standing up for him. Put another way: I don't believe he lost any of his musical powers due to negligence, laziness, or attrition. Or that Keith's abilities were overrated. He simply overindulged. It's a miracle that he is still alive (likewise Jerry Lee Lewis) and able to play as well and contribute as much as he can. He should be thankful ! I know that I am ! PS: Keith is the greatest Rock rhythm guitar player of all time!

Tony Stewart <> (31.03.2001)

Yes, the Keith discs are probably the best non Stones stuff rolling out there for any fans. I agree totally that Mick and Keith need each other, as much as John and Paul needed each other. Each one tempers and challenges the other and thereby brings out the best in the other. We benefit from that chemistry because the music is better. But, it is wild, Keith put together a Killer BAND, whereas Mick did not have the great chemistry of four or five dudes that had become a unit. One only needs to witness Keith's tours. That was one smoking band. And Keith instills his style into the rest of the band, so everything had a very loose rocking style. In the mid 80's the Winos were making better music than the Stones. Talk Is Cheap opens with a monster Funk,that after repeated listening turns into a song. The only drawback about is that the Bass, by Bootsy Collins was overdubbed and really sticks out. Not that there is anything with a Bootsy Bass though."Take It So Hard" and "How I Wish" are the most obvious Keith rockers. You can almost sing "Mixed Emotions" to "Take It So Hard". They are both prime Keith 5-string, open G tuned gems. Keith realizes that on vocals he is no match for Jagger so he uses his few good notes wisely. I have grown a little weary of his up close ballads but on "Make No Mistake" they are so dry and intimate, in your face that you gotta love it. It is a VERY fine piece of songwriting too. Sarah Dash does a nice duet with him. On lyrics Keith has the same approach as on his singing. He knows when he needs a strong one and when it can just be some basic Rock lyric 101. "Rockawhile" and "Whip It Up" fall in the latter category; basic chants, whereas "You Don't Move Me" is a very piercing message to Mick. He does not mince words. Sends it straight back to Mick who had attacked him on "Primitive Cool" on a couple of tunes. "Locked away" is a nice ballad and "I Could Have Stood You Up" is a great Rockabilly with Mick Taylor making a surprise guest appearance. "Struggle" is a great riff. Live, Keith was lethal on this cut. Imagine Keith dancing. He got into this tribal groove, part dancing part playing. Same goes for "It Means A Lot". I saw the first Liveshow of the Winos and this cut was the height of the evening. It was like a tank rolling at you. The band really deserves special mention. Steve Jordan became Keith's writing partner, and really changed his style from the Paul Shaffer band to suit Keith's style. Charley Drayton was my pick to fill Bill Wyman's slot in the Stones. A pumper. Ivan Neville on Keys, very basic and half asleep most of the time; Sarah Dash was a VERY wise move on Keith's behalf. He knew he was going to need some "real" vocals, some raveups every once in a while and sure enough on the Liveshows Sarah Dash delivered nightly on "Time Is On My Side". making it one of the highlights of the show. That leaves Waddy Wachtel who even played on B2B. Waddy has done more guitar weaving with Keith on two discs than Ron Wood has done in the last 10 years. That was the greatest feat Keith pulled off on his Solodisc. Not only were the songs there, but he put a BAND together that obviously enjoyed grooving together and the chemistry really shines through. That is the main ingredient missing on the Jaggerdiscs. I give it 14.


Tony Stewart <> (03.04.2000)

I think I am one of the few Stonesfans who prefer this Solo Keith over Talk Is Cheap. The band has gelled into an even tighter unit, after a tour under their belt and the songwriting is consistently strong throughout the whole disc, whereas TIC had a few low spots.

We open with a downright heavy metal number(great guitars!)"999" and segue right into the single from the Album "Wicked As It Seems". This is one of those tunes that only Keith can pull off. Much like "Gimme Shelter" it is about musical atmosphere. It finds the sweet spot in the tempo. Midtempo. And there are no great guitarsolos or Drumbreaks. Just an undeniable groove. So groovy that Keith felt like using it again a couple of months later on "Love Is Strong" with the Stones. Down to the "rattlesnake"solo. Keith's singing is VERY much improved throughout the entire disc. He has undeniably learned what Mick has been having to put up with for all these years. He paces himself and really uses his strong points well. "Eileen has got that Killer Steve Jordan Snare and that Killer Keith-open-G-riff. Boom there is your song. The rest is just about answering the phone a bunch of times. Iam no great fan of reggae music, but "Words Of Wonder" really does it for me. Especially when the tune sneaks into minor chords without much fanfare. Great songwriting. And Babi Floyd is back there basically playing his hands. "Yap Yap" is a little gem in there. It just boogies along and leaves you with a good feeling. "Bodytalks" is the only tune I would liken to the low spots of "TIC". A chant that really never goes anywhere. The highspot of the disc is the beautiful, aching ballad of "Hate It When You Leave". Everyone in the band plays about five instruments to get this Motown number right. Keith's vocals, interspersed with Babi Floyd, are superb. What a song! Two numbers follow with virtually the same intro, but take off into two different directions. "Runnin' Too Deep" stays in the Open G mode, with Keith actually getting into 'Save The Earth' lyrics. "Will But You Won't" juts off into a virtual lesson in how tight a band can get. Accoustic guitars are used very well on top of the main sparse riff. The Backing vocals are great. This is one thing Keith has gotten VERY good at: B.U. vox arrangements; with and without the stones. He has learned his own vocal strenghts, honed them to perfection and found the choir to carry the rest. Some beautiful harmonies are the result. Same on "Hate It When You Leave". The disc's closer is one of Keith's typical album endnumbers by now. This one happens to be one of his better ones. A very simple riff and actually a very simple song. But aren't the best ones always simple? Keith uses his in-your-face vocal where he is practically whispering. I love this disc. 14 only because of "Bodytalks.


Sergey Zhilkin <> (28.06.2001)

Tastes are tastes, I know, but it's really weird that you rate She's the boss lower than Primitive cool. In fact, I hate Primitive cool and I'm not the huge fan of She's the boss BUT... She's the boss is objectively better than Mick's next effort because of two points. Firstly, on this record Jagger stays Jagger - he's angry, he's sexy and he's still nasty. That's what he lost latter. Secondly, how can you deny the fact that Primitive cool is really primitive in musical sense? Hooks on the latter are primitive, bland, generic ...[I can continue but better see my comment below] ... while all songs on She's the boss are at least catchy. And don't you pay any attention on the lyrics - unfortunately, it's the main flaw of the album.


Sergey Zhilkin <> (12.03.2001)

Ah, I really thought that at least Mick's solo career had no missteps but Primitive cool ruined all my hopes. What is it? Dull pop? Well, not exactly. It's dull pop from Stones' leader! Hah, pretty sad. The record has only two songs, which I enjoy but even they look like 'the-best-he-could-make-from-Dirty work '. 'Throwaway' and 'Let's work' are really cool but others... Yes, they are well played but what we'll get if we start rating bands by their professionalism?! No, I can't agree with you here. Better go and get Mick's previous effort She's the boss (1985) that is way better than this 'Jagger-goes-shite-disco' record.

Tony Stewart <> (11.04.2000)

Allright listen to this disc and know you will NEVER hear anything worse from the Stonescamp. That coupled with the Wyman Synth projects is as bad as it gets. The 80's Synth voicings, the 80's Monster Snaredrum and the treated guitars. Plus the writing ain't always too kosher.

"Let's Work" makes "SexDrive" sound like an Opera aria. Coupled with the video it stands proudly as the Stones most embarrassing mishap. There are a couple of songs that are very good. As a matter of a fact the problem lies not in the songs, but in that Godawful production.

"Party Doll" and "Say You Will" the two ballads are good.

A couple of "Throwaway" Rockers have Jagger shooting off his mouth towards Keith's general direction. The pompous "War Baby" reminds me of Prince for something. So overblown...

Jagger solo is ALWAYS best on ballads. The rockers he needs Keith to steer him in the right direction. Grade7.


Sergey Zhilkin <> (12.03.2001)

<Telephone conversation between Mick Jagger and Rick Rubin (producer). November 1992>

'' Hi, Mick. It's me again... Yeah, right, Rick Rubin, the best producer from now available. So here are sad news, Mick. Primitive cool flopped in Russia... Don't laugh, it's really serious. We almost fooled all these <censored> Russians... yeah, including this powerful online critic George Starostin, and everything seemed to be alright until one <censored> <censored>, named Sergey Zhilkin if I'm not mistaken, took control of Central radio and read hour long lecture on topic 'Is Primitive cool crap and if it is how we should bash it'. Unfortunately, his devious plan worked... What?... No, much worse... thousands of people participated in demonstration on Red Square against selling 'Primitive cool' in Russia, all walls are marked with such lines: Dirty work + Mick Jagger = LOVE. What's my point? Well, we have to make a comeback for you Mick cause , you know there will be a Russian tour '98 and I don't want any troubles for you... Got my drift?...Right. Jimmy Rip, Frank Simes, Curt Bisquera and Billy Preston are waiting for you in the studio at *sorry, this one is confidential so I'll have to cut it* street... No, don't worry, I have some ideas. We'll make new songs out of good old 'Jumpin' Jack Flash' and 'Sympathy for the devil'... Yeah, I'm sure that they'll be great hits... What? Why, Rolling Stones? Surely it will be your solo record. After all, Primitive cool marred YOUR reputation, so... OK, I hope everything will be alright and this <censored> Zhilkin will give us a good word... Good luck...''

<Actual comment from Sergey Zhilkin>

''Gee! Wow! Yeah! Hip-hip-hip - hurrah! Mick is back! Forget metallic Steel Wheels and switch to more melodical Wandering spirit. Jagger is in great form and, which is more important, he feels his strenght and there isn't even a chance of failure. Some tracks sound like good old hits but that's really better than new shit.

So, Mick, sorry me for calling you 'old fart' on Central radio and to atone my fault I give you a green light in Russia. We will be glad to see you here in August'98!''

Tony Stewart <> (11.04.2000)

Thank God! Praise The Lord! This is Mr.Jagger kicking ass on his own. He got away from the Synths and reexamined his roots, got himself Rick Rubin to produce, and wrote some Killertunes and found some hot Covers. Jagger came to these sessions as a singer/writer and not so much as Jagger the "Rolling Stone Gone Solo". You can immediately tell he is having a lot more fun on this disc than on the other two which had his whole rep riding on them. Here he had nothing to lose. The Stones were already back together, plus, as Keith put it "he'd already crapped out twice"."Wired All Night" kicks things off in typical Stones fashion. Then comes Hit No 1 "Sweet Thing" a nasty midtempo Funk, with Jagger singing in Falsetto. I don't care what people say. I like Jagger's falsetto. "Out Of Focus" starts out as a Gospel revival, with Billy Preston on piano and Flea on Bass. Catchy hook. The next cool hitter is yet another midtempo, melodic rocker called "Don't Tear Me Up". That one was the Radio song. "Put me in The Trash... Well said. Not a good song. "Evening Gown" and "Hang On To Me Tonight" are two wonderful slightly Country ballads. Both are absolutely gorgeous. The same can be said for the album's closer "Angel In My Heart"; a very regal number, a la "Lady Jane". A haunting number. I called this the closing number because that "Handsome Molly" drivel is a joke. Not for one second do I believe Mick harbors a secret love for Irish Folk Music. He just wants people to think he does. If this had been a Vinyl release the B Side would have opened with a Kiler trio of rockers. "Mother Of A Man", Jagger really letting it rip, "Think", the old James Brown tune , which features Jimmy Rip in great form, backed by Curt Bisquera on Drums. "Think"segues right into "Wandering Spirit" which is a bit of a showpiece for Jimmy Rip. Jagger's lyrics border on "Sympathy For The Devil" here.

About jimmy Rip: He really is the Keith stand-in on this disc. What Steve Jordan is to Keith, Jimmy Rip is to Jagger..Two more covers complete the set. Lenny Kravitz stops in to guest spot on "Use Me". This time the duo works. Nothing like that horror of "State Of Shock" with Michael Jackson. "I've Been Lonely For So Long" has always struck me as a well written piece of craftmanship. Jagger wisely does the number to the T and does not change much, except to lend his vocal cords.

This is the disc that Jagger had in him all along but it took him a couple of tries to get it right. So who's complaining? Grade12


Sergey Zhilkin <> (05.12.2001)

Something bad just had to happend! It all started so good with many good albums released this year and now the king of dirty releases an album after 9 year break in his solo career - WOW!!! Half of the tunes must be classics by definision and the others must be great as well. Ok, it's an exageration, of course, but let's see - it's the end of 2001 - 4 years ago Bridges to Babylon was released and then a big pause. Mick knew for sure that audience was expecting something really great but NO! Well, Mick still looks cool even with deep wrinkles on the face, the album cover is excellent, too. Even the songs are not shitty by 90s standarts, but, man, he's a Stone! And the major Stone! What a way to ruin reputation. When I was becoming acquainted with the album, I thought 'what the hell distinguishes Jagger from other today's pop rockers and popsters? Only a wonderful voice and a cool shirt'. Most tunes are well produced, polished and things but it all has something fake inside (maybe except for the few tracks - 'God gave me everything' and 'Brand new set of rules' - typical Jagger's ballad). The lyrics are really dull and that's it - I'm tired of talking about lyrics of albums, released in the last five years cause almost none of them offer anything original. Jagger tries to fit the modern definition of 'rock' but tell me what for? On Wandering spirit he didn't try to sound modern and that album remains his best solo one. The same thing was happening with Stones when they were recording Dirty work, Undercover or Emotional rescue, I guess. Man, was I harsh when I said Iggy Pop's last album was a bad move! And has anybody noticed that in the very end of last track there's a sound piano? Just like on the last song off Dirty work! Coincidence, you say?

PS. Just wanted to add that my girlfriend likes this album oh so much! She said that it's truly great that main Rolling Stone has finally explored the fields of good ballads and dancing music and that she hopes a new Stones' album will be similar to this one. Yuck. No. YUUUCK!!!!!!!!

Geoff K <> (12.12.2001)

I actually fell for it. I saw the 5 star rating for the new Jagger album on the cover of Rolling Stone and had to read about it. I starting reading the review, noticed the poor writing quality, checked to see who wrote the garbage, and saw Jann Wenner's name. Man, did I feel like a dork. It immediately reminded me of the time Wenner wrote a glowing counterpoint review to some Stones album (Some Girls maybe) the issue after the original, less than positive review had been written. Wenner was savaged for that move, but his apparent fascination with all things Stone continues.

I have only heard the first single off the CD. The only time I have heard was at halftime of a Monday Night Football game! A halftime video was nearly as ridiculous as Mick rubbing elbows with the three commentators. After years of Steven Tyler trying to become Mick, it seems Mick now is trying the total whoring of his name ala Mr. Aerosmith. Anyway if the video single is any indication of the CD I don't believe many are going to be buying it. The song was OK, but Mick's attempts to look "with it" were pretty sad. When you're 58, there are no earthly ways of being hip anymore. Mick, get back with Keith, make some quality music, and don't trash your legacy trying for your next million dollars.

Anthony Stewart <> (13.04.2002)

Unlike many Stonesfans I thoroughly dug this disc. I mean the idea of making loose/tight music is jamming with a good group of people, with your friends. Now when you are Mick Jagger your friends happen to be Pete Townshend, Bono, Wyclef Jean and Lenny Kravitz. So big deal - they jammed on his disc. I don't think Jagger was trying to hit the teen market; he is realistic to a degree. Rob Thomas ??? Mr.J. caught a lot of flak for supposedly trying to reach out to the younger market with Rob Thomas co-penning one of the hits. So what! Try to sell some discs, my man. I do believe even Jagger was surprised at how badly the disc bombed in the USA and the UK. But it topped charts worlwide. After Wandering Spirit I think everyone was expecting another one of those. But Jagger runs by his own meter. This is probably the deepest he has ever reached inside himself for lyrics "...splattered all over town..." The disc opens with a ballad, the one penned with Rob Thomas, and the second single off the Album. Very melodic and produced. "Joy" follows and there is no song more "Bono" than this one, so of course he gueststars. "I was looking for the Buddha and I saw Jesus Christ." It's a bit overblown but -hey: It's Bono!

My personal fave follows "Dancing In The Starlight". Jagger manages to capture just the right balance between Synths and guitars. Great Vocals! The obvious single follows "God Gave Me Everything", a Guitar driven Rocker, cowritten by Lenny Kravitz. "Hideaway" misses the mark to me. It is just TOO much Island-freshness. "Don't Call Me Up", one of the centerpieces of the disc goes straight out to Jerri and Jagger surprises by not overemoting. The Discogroove of the titletrack hits it, as does "Lucky Day" a midtempo Funk. "Everybody Getting High" just leaves me completely cold. Motions, motions, motions..."Gun", I like VERY much. The discogroove from "GITD" is stronger here and the chorus kerrangs in with Townshend on Guitar. "Too Far Gone", right where Jagger always states he is at: he don't care much for nostalgia. The closer is a BEAUTY! Jagger really delivers on this one. I think thi disc got a bad rap before it even came out. I would easily give it a 12.

Glenn Wiener <> (20.03.2003)

What happened to the rock n roll? Except for 'God Gave Me Everything I Want' and a few elements in other tunes, this recording is loaded with hip hop techno beats and annoying string arrangements. Yes, Mick sings these tunes decently, the quality of material is pretty bad to say the least. Mick, you need to focus on making Rolling Stones records cause this solo effort just isn't cutting it.

David Dickson <> (21.06.2005)

Heh. I'm gonna say something here, and please understand that I mean no offense by it, George. It's not intended as an insult or slur or anything; I'm simply using it as a descriptor:

You're an old crotchety ancient wrinkly fart who's aged and old 'cause he's geriatric.

Ha ha! Kidding! Just kidding, of course. But you very nearly deserved it here, man. As did some commentators above me. One thing you and the other dudes on here need to be made aware of: There's no "trip-hop" on this album, there's no "hip-hop" on this album, it doesn't sound even remotely like Limp Bizkit, N'Sync, OR Britney Spears (although parts of it do sound a whole helluva lot like Alanis Morrissette--no, she's not the same person), and besides, neither one of you people seem to be aware of WHAT those bands sound like. They don't sound a third as good as this, I'll tell you that much. Out of touch, my friends. Out of touch. Sad, sad. (yeah, right, like you give a rat's Avril Lavigne. :)) Similar to another reviewer who used the comparison "those generic rap-rock bands like TOOL." Whoops.

But it's a-ight. I'm more amused than irked, really. I know about 99.99999999% of reviews on modern albums from independent reviewers are going to focus on the "modern music sucks" tangent and "real instruments kick yer mama's ass" school of thought, not on the actual material, so why worry? This review was HILARIOUS, George! You're the greatest comedian ever!! I almost predicted you word for word!! Doesn't that kick ass?

Oh, the album. To tell the truth, I think Jan Wenner's review was almost as gut-bustingly hilarious as yours. Because this album isn't necessarily good (five stars my TOENAIL--was he paid to do that or what??) or bad, it's just okay. The main complaint I have against it is that it's just so irritatingly, one-dimensionally HAPPY from start to finish. "Visions of Paradise"--great song, but doesn't feel like it was written by Mick. (and it WASN'T, completely! HOT DAMN!) Sounds too manufactured, too, well, targeted for a certain demographic. But if it were, say, Darren Hayes on the vocals, I could understand. And unfortunately, there's no melancholy ballads. They're all CHEERFUL. Well, that's to be expected. Mick's an old guy who hasn't suffered much at all over the past 10 years. If his smile muscles were still working, he'd be grinning like an idiot in the liner notes.

And unfortunately, George has one thing wrong: there's a HUGE audience for this kinda stuff--namely, an audience that doesn't know much about Mick Jagger and lives outside the industrialized world. Worldwide, this album sold like hotcakes, and it looks like Mick is going to continue in this vibe. There's a song that plays on the Bed Bath and Beyond that I work at the summer's PA DAMN NEAR EVERY HOUR; it's called "Don't Stop," and I'm reasonably sure that's Sir Jagger on the vocals. It's a lot worse than any of the singles on here--part of the reason many of the songs on here work is because there's so many instruments in the mix, all of them playing catchy little countermelodies against Mick's simpler vocal melody. "Don't Stop" is just a basic adult contemporary guitar-riff tune with no embellishment. Which reminds me: "Brand New Set of Rules" blows sordidly, one of the few examples where the predictable genericness of the lyrics can't overcome the arrangement.

I agree with George--this is an 8. But an 8 out of 10, not 15. None of these modern-stuff-all-sucks-why-can't-everyone-just-accept-that-and-move-on rants in the future, okay? Geezer alarm! Sheesh!

I'm just playin' with ya, there pal.

PS. And you're not an old fart. You're barely six years older than me, right? Some say, though, the fastest aging occurs between 21 and 29. . . What's that? You callin' me a whippersnapper? :)

[Special author note: Dear Diamond Dave. Apparently, your intention was to sound funny, and if you'd succeeded in that, I wouldn't have to make up this reply. Unfortunately, you didn't, because in addition to sounding funny, you also had a deeply burning desire to make me and the "commentators above you" sound like ignorant idiots, and each of these goals effectively wipes out the other. I bear no responsibility for Glenn's 'hip hop' comment, but let me direct your attention to the fact that I never said the album sounds like Britney Spears or Limp Bizkit - rather that it "belongs to the same category", which should be understood as "calculated pablum exclusively oriented at making money and little else". And yes, I am aware of what these bands sound like, thank you very much. As for "modern music sucks" and "real instruments kick yer mama's ass" - your words, not mine, buddy. I never said either of these phrases in the sense in which you seem to be applying them here. I do, however, hold the opinion that Mick Jagger is much better off staying away from "modern music" if Goddess In The Doorway is his interpretation of it, and that his use of "unreal" instruments on this album shows that he, of all people, should definitely stick to "real" ones. None of which means or implies that I also hold the opinion that Radiohead or the Decemberists or whoever else "sucks", or that the Pet Shop Boys' music would sound so much better if played with acoustic guitars. Get that, whippersnapper?]


Phillip Hutcherson <> (15.01.2004)

Being relatively new to the Stones at this point, first having picked up Forty Licks, then more recently, the four "classic" albums I'd heard so much about - Beggar's Banquet, Let It Bleed, Sticky Fingers, and Exile On Main Street, one of the first things that grabbed me about Sticky Fingers (the first of the four I bought) was Mick Taylor's guitar playing, so I snatched this album up for a low price when I saw it. And I quite like it. Might I just say that I think that both you and those dreaded All Music Guide bastards really underrated his singing abilities - yeah, he ain't no Jagger or Dylan and doesn't leave as big of a mark as either of those two, obviously, but the impression that I got from reading both AMG and your reviews is that his voice was bad, bordering on unbearable, and I don't think that's the case at all, although I might be reading into things a bit too much. Anyways, back to the music - it's just as you said, really: just a good, normal, inoffensive album which is pretty enjoyable, for the most part. I actually rather like 'Slow Blues' - it leaves me hungry for more. And 'Alabama' is slight lyrically, yes, but the song just has a nice.....groove to it that I don't really mind it - then again, I'm not a big lyrical fanatic anyway. But again, overall, this is a nice, very tasteful album, and is a welcome addition for guitar afficiandos or fans of the Mick Taylor-era Stones.


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