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Undercover Original recording reissued, Original recording remastered

89 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Original recording reissued, Original recording remastered, July 26, 1994
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (July 26, 1994)
  • Original Release Date: 1983
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Original recording reissued, Original recording remastered
  • Label: Virgin Records Us
  • ASIN: B000000W68
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (89 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #199,104 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

108 of 120 people found the following review helpful By Christopher Bushman VINE VOICE on April 29, 2005
Format: Audio CD
Put this in perspective:

A.1979's Emotional Rescue was pretty much made up of Some Girls outtakes

B.1981's excellent Tattoo You was in reality an odds and sods release made up of half forgotten gems recorded throughout the 70's, rescued from the vaults and polished up.

C.1982's Still Life was the ragged glory live album documenting the 81-82 tour which was probably the most hyped rock extravaganza in history and re-positioned the Stones as arguably the most loved band in the world

D.In '85 Mick would go solo with She's The Boss

E.1986 brought arguably the lamest album in the Stones cannon, Dirty Work

So that leaves us to consider Undercover, the first batch of newly written tracks since 1978's Some Girls (although Too Tough had been hanging around in the vaults since the mid `70's). This was also the first studio release since the universally praised glory of Tattoo You and the '81 tour. Interestingly, the band did not go out of their way to replicate the classic rock sound of Tattoo You but instead tried to re-invent themselves for the 80's, exploring some new and "Modern' sounds. Thankfully, it was a little too early in the Miami Vice decade for the "Modern" production techniques of the era to doom this record to sounding embarrassingly dated (see She's The Boss and Dirty Work for examples of this kind of unfortunate excess). Some of the highlights:

1.Undercover of the Night: Title track, first single and centerpiece. Definitely the sound of the Stones re-inventing themselves for the 80's. Phased guitars, jungle rhythms and vaguely politically-themed lyrics suggesting the Central American bloodshed dominating the headlines at the time.
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30 of 34 people found the following review helpful By David J. Perkins on March 4, 2001
Format: Audio CD
It's a testament to what the Rolling Stones have accomplished in the past 35 years when an album of this quality can only achieve 3 or 4 stars when compared their best. However, if you've been turned off by reviews that dismiss it as merely an "80's Stones album that should be avoided", please reconsider. If it doesn't match up to late 60's, early 70's Stones albums, then so be it. Not much does. You want some basic hard rocking music? Buy this album.
The trilogy, "Beggars", "Bleed", and "Sticky" are albums that you play from start to finish because to do otherwise would be somehow sacrilegious. Put on Undercover and hit "Random" and turn up the volume. I defy you to listen and not move your hips or drum the air at some point. This is more a collection of random high-quality tunes versus a coherent album. You will hear a lot of music faintly reminiscent of "Exile on Main St." on this cd... but like the album packaging, it's got that 80's glossy feel to it. If they missed the mark it's because the sound is too clean, too polished. While the lyrics are dark, they don't completely pull you in because they are served up in a very slick manner. The glossy production causes Mick to come off sounding downright mean, versus simply nasty and a little vulnerable, like we're used to. But we must stop comparisons with the Stones' best. These tunes simply rock! Worried that it will be uninspired and bland? Hardly!!!
Buy this album and play it on Random and play it LOUD. You'll think you've just bought a "new" Stones cd, even though this one is rapidly approaching 20 years old. After a few listens you'll wonder why you don't hear more of these songs played on the radio or by the band in concert. The only reason is because of what they've produced elsewhere. This cd is a dark, forgotten joy that just never gets the credit it deserves.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Paul Montag on September 15, 2005
Format: Audio CD
'Undercover' is maybe the Stones album that non-Stones fans can appreciate more than any other. And true blue fans, who seem to easily disregard it, should see that this is one of their most underrated efforts. It seems to be a forgotten album. Even Mick Jagger himself thinks that it doesn't include anything special. But he also doesn't like Between the Buttons. I don't know if I can trust his overall taste.

In the world of the Rolling Stones, you always hear about 'Some Girls' and 'Tattoo You' and how great they are. But, for my money, I enjoy this one more (If only 'Hang Fire' could be on this, too). A major part of the allure is the slightness of the songs. It's refreshing to know they went to the studio without intending to produce the next stadium rocker. Instead, they collaborated to create a slick list of ten thick-sounding, weird, raunchy, 80's-indulged, country-punk-disco intermingled tunes that run hypnotically ragged, one after the next. It's compulsively listenable, but I wouldn't be fool enough to check this out during the day. This music should really only be played at night, when it's dark. And if the moon is shining full, it won't hurt.

The centerpiece of 'Undercover' is 'Too Much Blood.' It's the kind of song that would have fit perfectly onto the soundtrack of the movie 'American Psycho,' with all of its bloody descriptions and biting sense of charm. But maybe the Stones would have charged the film makers too much to use one of their songs and that's why it wasn't used. You can't help but be surprised by the lyrics Mick mumbles through. But as intriguing as his talking is, it's not the main allure of the song. That would be the instrumentation. What great 80's, horn-enduced sounds that are created. This is the Rolling Stones? you easily think.
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