on September 29, 2002
Some Girls was originally released June 9, 1978, it went to #1 in the US and #2 in the UK. This is their best selling album ever (>8,000,000 copies to date). Although the Stones seemed to be on somewhat of a female bashing kick (and certainly aroused intense ire among feminist groups) with their billboards for Black and Blue and the album cover for some Girls (which produced lawsuits and a revised cover), the sessions for Some Girls were the most productive the Band would ever have and saved the Stones from oblivion. The album included not only the superhit Miss You (their first #1 hit in 7 years), but Beast Of Burden (Keith's tender last love song to Anita Pallenberg), When The Whip Comes Down, Shattered, Before They Make Me Run, Respectable, and Just My Imagination. Most people know the music, so in my reviews I try to give you data on the sessions and interesting facts connected with the songs and the album. Here we go:
Interesting notes include:
.....the most famous story about Some Girls concerns the cut-out cover which originally had images of Lucille Ball, Raquel Welch, Farrah Fawcett, and Sophia Loren, all of whom threatened legal action, causing a revised cover to be released (both the original and revised covers from the original vinyl album are easily available on e-bay and in vinyl shops)
.....the original album cover was issued in 3 different color variations
.....Keith argued (and won) to have Start It Up removed from the album because he was afraid he had copied the main riff from the radio (it turned out it was his own licks he had heard)
.....when asked by a reporter why the name Some Girls had been chosen, Keith replied, "Because we can't remember their (freak)ing names!"
.....the first Stones disco mix was made by Bob Clearmountain from a tape of Miss You
The sessions for Some Girls were the most productive the Stones would ever have. They started in Paris Oct 10, 1977 and ended Mar 2, 1978 with final mixing at Atlantic Studios in New York Mar 15-31, 1978. The sessions were:
Oct 10 - Dec 21, 1977 at Pathe Marconi/EMI Studios in Paris
.....Miss You (Mick on guitar)
.....When The Whip Comes Down (Mick on guitar)
.....Just My Imagination (Mick on guitar)
.....Some Girls (Sugar Blue on harmonica, Keith on bass & acoustic, Ron on acoustic, Mick on guitar, Bill Wyman on synthesizer)
.....Lies (Mick on guitar)
.....Far Away Eyes (Mick & Keith on piano, Ron on pedal steel)
.....Respectable (Mick on guitar)
.....Beast Of Burden
.....Shattered (Ron on bass, pedal steel, and lead guitar)
Jan 5 - Mar 2, 1978 at Pathe Marconi/EMI Studios in Paris
.....Before They Make Me Run
Everything Is Turning To Gold was also recorded (it was released as a B side and special collections track).
Tracks from these sessions that were never released included the famous Claudine (which was never released because it was sure to cause litigation from Claudine Longet after she was reprieved from killing her boyfriend), plus Everlasting Is My Love, Covered In Bruises, Indian Girl, Misty Roads, Jah Is Not Dead, We Had It All, Fiji Gin, I Can't Help It, Do You Think I Care, The Way She Held Me Tight, I Need You, Let's Go Steady, Petrol, No Spare Parts, You Win Again, It's A Lie, It's All Wrong, Never Let Her Go, Never Make You Cry, Not The Way To Go, Biscuit Blues, Disco Music, When You're Gone, Angeline.
This information comes from "It's Only Rock And Roll: The Ultimate Guide To The Rolling Stones" by Karnbach and Bernson and from my own collection.
on November 21, 2011
I'm really not sure how to grade this new Deluxe set. There's no way in the world I could ever give The Rolling Stones "Some Girls" anything less than 5 stars, but grading it as a deluxe package I'm not sure it is 5 stars. 12 bonus tracks from sessions that actually resulted in at least twice that many is a bit disappointing, but I have to say what they have included is great. "Claudine", "We Had It All" and "No Spare Parts" are all welcome additions to the official catalog. I can't understand however, the logic in not including great b-sides from this era like "Everything is Turning to Gold" and 12" mixes of "Miss You" etc.. The bonus disc is only 40 minutes long - there certainly was room!
on December 20, 2000
Some Girls is the last album on which the Stones manage to get their act together for a full set and make good on their self-proclaimed status as greatest rock outfit in the world. Devoid of the filler that has become a staple of recent albums, Some Girls is the perfect distillation of the late '70s vibe, in which punk, rock and even disco, all vied for commercial and/or critical supremacy. In vintage Stones' fashion, Mick and Keith employed all the styles and more, to create a stunningly diverse, yet cohesive record. Apart from the fact that most of the songs are in the same key, Some Girls never stays in one place for very long. The striding disco of 'Miss You' quickly gives way to straight-ahead rock of 'When the whip comes down' which then moves to the soul classic 'Imagination.' However, the best is definitely saved for last. 'Beast of Burden' to this day remains a slow rock standard, while the unashamedly sleazy 'Shattered' shows the lads mugging and jibing at their best. Recorded in the prime of Richards' heroin addiction and topped off with a classic cover and sleeve, Some Girls sublimely documents the turbulent environment in which it was conceived.
on February 6, 2012
I won't comment on the initial disc of Some Girls. If you don't know what it is you have stumbled onto the wrong page of Amazon. Disc 2 - bonus disc - is excellent. There is not a weak spot among the 12 tunes. The band sounds tight and full of energy. Keith presents some more of his patented cutting Stone's riffs. And Mick is at his snarling, strutting, sneering best. This could easily have been released as a Stones album by itself. Which presents a query...how much more unreleased Stone's gems like this are still out there? Hey guys, I ain't gettin' any younger and I want to hear a LOT more. Please make it available.
on September 29, 2015
The Rolling Stones' sixth studio album for their Rolling Stones Records label (distributed by Atlantic in the US and Canada and EMI elsewhere) entitled Some Girls was released in June of 1978.
After the mixed response to 1976's Black and Blue and the tour which saw guitarist Keith Richards get arrested for heroin in 1977 (while recording a live album) and their engineer Keith Harwood perished in a car crash after mixing the live document Love You Live (also a great album). Richards, as well as lead singer Mick Jagger wrote many songs to prove that The Rolling Stones would come back big and this was the first full studio album with guitarist Ron Wood. Some Girls was recorded in late 1977 in France and mixed in New York with Mick and Keith producing and Chris Kimsey handling the recording and mixing. Bass player Bill Wyman and drummer Charlie Watts played well on this album as well (as I found out when I first heard it in October, 1989 after borrowing the original Rolling Stones/Atlantic cassette and then acquiring it in November, 1989 on Rolling Stones/Columbia).
We open with the #1 hit "Miss You" which is a disco rocker (unlike many disco songs, this had no strings nor synths) and features some harmonica by Sugar Blue and a nice sax solo by Mel Collins. Next is the rocker "When the Whip Comes Down" which just rocks and (like the track before it) had Mick, Keith and Woody all on electric guitars. Next is the band's reworking of The Temptations' "Just My Imagination" which the band turned a sappy ballad into a killer rocker with some modified lyrics from Mick and a key change. We follow with the controversial title track which is a bluesy rocker and just rocks (the lyrics may be Politically Incorrect but to Hell with politicians). We close side one with another rocker "Lies" which saw the band embrace the punk movement as well as the disco movement.
We kick the second half off with the country number "Far Away Eyes" which had Mick mocking a southern man in the vocal and this is country done right with steel guitars and hillbilly accent done perfect. Then it's another punkish rocker "Respectable" which just rocks (was not a hit but it rules). Next is the Keith sung rocker "Before They Make Me Run" which is an excellent song sung by Keith. Next is the Top 10 hit rocker "Beast of Burden" which is a great song and would become a staple for the band. The band's ode to 1970s New York and punk scene "Shattered" closes the album and what a great middle finger to the punk rockers who thought The Rolling Stones were dinosaurs.
The Some Girls album did very well hitting #1 making it the sixth Stones studio effort in a row to top Billboard (where it reigned for TWO WEEKS, remember Saturday Night Fever and Grease dominated 1978) and was the second Platinum album for the band (now their best selling US studio release at SIX MILLION). This remastered CD is excellent and it also has all original artwork restored and credits.
In 2011, the album was expanded as a 2-CD set with more outtakes from the Some Girls sessions and some having new vocals added like "No Spare Parts" which its vocals were recorded in 2011 and is an awesome song. "Claudine" sounds like early Elvis but I dig it. "So Young" is a great rocker and has new Jagger vocals for this set. "Do You Really Think I Care" is another winner which has some country elements but a great song. "When You're Gone" follows and is a great bluesy rocker again with a new Mick Jagger vocal. "Don't Be a Stranger" is another catchy song with various different stylings like blues harmonica, reggae drumming and country and rock elements. "We Had it All" has Keith on vocals and was recorded in 1978 with Keith's vocal from the period and a nice ballad. "Tallahassee Lassie" is a great rocker". "I Love You Too Much" is another great rocker. "Keep Up Blues" is a great bluesy rocker. "You Win Again" has new vocals from Mick and Keith and is a great country rocker. "Petrol Blues" is a short blues but excellent way to close this reissue. The digipak comes with a booklet with story on album's creation and photos and credits.
This album is highly recommended.
on November 30, 2011
Some Girls, The Rolling Stones' last great album, has just received the deluxe edition treatment. The original 1978 album, remastered, has been released with an accompanying 12 track cd of out-takes and curios from the same recording sessions.
By then the Stones were at a crossroads - although the three studio albums following their early seventies masterpiece Exile on Main Street had their moments, each was flawed, lacking in direction and gave rise to the suspicion that the Stones were teetering on the brink of self-parody. Songs like "It's Only Rock and Roll" and "Fool to Cry" sounded self-satisfied and arcane at a time when the energy and attitude of punk was beginning to revolutionise popular music.
But the Rolling Stones are nothing if not resilient - their continued, scarcely credible existence today as a working band almost 50 years after they were formed bears witness to that fact. And so, over a period of five months from October 1977 to March 1978, in studios from Paris to New York, the Stones took their critics head on, crafting an album dripping with style, sleaze and sly humour inspired by the prevailing musical trends of the time, yet remaining true to their rock and blues roots.
"Some Girls" kicks off with the irresistible four on the floor disco beat of "Miss You", the first hit single from the album. From the very beginning the record exudes a rude energy and immediacy - the recent addition of then new guitarist Ronnie Wood seems to have galvanized the band, freshening up Jagger and Richards' songwriting and the Stones are suddenly back to the irresistibly sloppy-yet-tight ensemble playing of their heyday.
Although much is made of the disco influence on the album, which only occasionally peeks through, some of the standouts for me are the rockers. "When The Whip Comes Down", "Lies", "Respectable" and "Shattered" all pack a fair punch, songs influenced by the rising tide of punk and new wave, but still quintessentially the Stones.
The guitars of Keith Richards and Ronnie Wood intertwine to the point where it's difficult to tell who's playing what, while the stalwart rhythm section of Bill Wyman and, in particular, Charlie Watts on drums, are reinvigorated and drive these songs with precision and verve. Cameos from Chicago blues harp maestro Sugar Blue, and the Faces' and Small Faces' very own Ian McLagan on keyboards, among others, all add to the mix.
The title track snakes its way along with Mick Jagger's knowing and deliberately provocative lyrics, and the band also clocks in a more than decent cover of the Temptations' "Just My Imagination".
In an album full of highlights, special mention has to be made of "Before They Make Me Run", Keith's scabrous junky anthem, which he delivers with a certain wasted panache, the tough but tender "Beast of Burden" and the hilarious but somehow still affecting country gem "Far Away Eyes".
"Some Girls" sees the Stones with their backs against the wall, railing against the dying of the light and producing some of the finest rock and roll of their career. They would never be this great again.
The bonus cd of the deluxe version reflects the creative renaissance the Stones were going through at the time - although some of the tracks are filler, much of the blues, country and rock contained therein wouldn't be out of place on the original album.
And that's a compliment indeed.
on September 19, 2006
It is easy now to take critical shots at The Rolling Stones because the quality of music has tailed off drastically since the latter 1970s. But I give the band credit for soldiering into the studio before touring and simply not becoming a "Greatest Hits" package every couple of years before a live audience.
But with that said, the last great album worth of material was Some Girls. The production was pared down and the arrangements showed the influence of Mick Jagger picking up the vibe from the New York City new-wave/punk clubs.
From the funk of Miss You to the punk of Shattered, it is no wonder why the LP surged to the top of the album chart in the U.S. and number two in the UK in 1978.
The rocking When The Whip Comes Down gives way to a nod to Motown, Just My Imagination. The controversy surrounding Some Girls and the country hoedown of Far Away Eyes has Jagger firing off some of his best ironic lyrics ever.
Keith Richards takes an outlaw rocker stance in Before They Make Me Run and the opening riffs to Beast Of Burden remain a rock classic.
Some Girls may not your first stop in building a collection of Stones' CDs. But it is an essential part in appreciating the power of the band that has stood the test of time.
on June 24, 2013
A year after the Rolling Stones re-released the 18 songs of Exile on Main St with 10 excavated tracks, mostly from the original sessions, they've come out with the same treatment for the 10 songs of 1978's Some Girls, adding 12 songs from those sessions. The Some Girls sessions were the first with Ron Wood, and produced about 50 songs (including a prototype for "Start Me Up"), many of which appeared on Emotional Rescue and Tattoo You, and 22 of those 50 appear here. But this is not the second time the Stones have given fans back some of their discarded tracks - Tattoo You, released in 1981, was made up of songs that dated from multiple sessions from 1972 (when Mick Taylor was still in the band) to 1980, including also the 1978 Some Girls sessions.
The album, of course, starts off with the magnificent harmonica- and saxophone-enhanced disco funk of "Miss You", a wild and wacky if there ever was one. "When the Whip Comes Down" is punky and hard (and punky and gay in its themes, of course), while "Imagination" is a spacey, swirley cover of "Just My Imagination (Running Away with Me)", a sweet over-wrought 1971 song by the Temptations, with its orchestration, maracas and divine harmonisation. Here, however, it works well as a rock `n' roll with the standard Mick verses, Mick `n' Keith chorus. "Some Girls" is a weird song that sort of drones on and on, reveling in digging up misogynistic controversy (such as the notorious "black girls just wanna..." line), but it's not really a hot Stones number and I wonder if they ever played it live. The solos are pretty okay, though, really weird guitar hacking. "Lies" is a sweet, fast rocker that stampedes all over the place. "Far Away Eyes" is, along with "Some Girls", the second novelty song on this song, where Mick narrates the story of a Southern hick who drives around, meets a girl with faraway eyes... yeah. The music is pure country, and it's hard to believe that this is the Rolling Stones, but I guess it is! "I had an arrangement to meet a girl, and I was kinda late, and I thought that by the time I'd get there she'd be off with the first truck driver she could find. Much to my surprise, there she was sitting in the corner, a little bleary, worse for wear and tear... the girl... with FAAAAAAAR away eyes." Guilty pleasure time, I like this song more than I probably should (the same can be said of the other country songs that the band does among the bonus tracks, a Waylan Jennings song and a Hank Williams number - shame SHAME!). "Respectable" has Mick joining Keith and Ron on guitar, it's a heavy rocker and good fun, even if the chorus is pretty boring. Oh well. "Before They Make Me" is a Keith Richards song that... isn't as good as "Happy." "Beast Of Burden" is the classic swamp monster that strokes and rolls with that weird Stones vibe. Great stuff. The album is topped off with the manic weirdness of "Shattered", with Mick really going nuts, the perfect bookend to the similar "Miss You", although "Shattered" lack's the former's disco beat - instead it has a killer googly riff.
The bonus tracks start off with "Claudine", a weird country honkey tonk about Claudine Longet, who sang "L'amour est Bleu (Love is Blue)" and who shot her boyfriend, Olympic skier Spider Sabich, in Aspen, Colorado, whether intentionally or accidentally. The lyrics to this rockin' murder ballad are pretty rough, the song had originally been intended for "Emotional Rescue", but it was pulled. "So Young" is just as raunchy, with lyrics like "put my dick on a leash", it's a wicked honkey tonk with some great piano from Ian Stewart, who was largely absent from these session, and there's some cool scratchy guitar. "Do You Think I Really Care" is a silly country song that has some pretty funny lyrics ("I see you in the back of Max's Kansas City, propping up the bar"), while "When You're Gone" is a swampy blues rocker with nasty distorted vocals, kind of CCR-ish. "No Spare Parts" seems to be one of the new songs on the release, with Don Was playing bass rather than Bill Wyman. It's another plaintive country rocker (how many of them did the Stones record in these sessions?). "Don't Be A Stranger" also has a new feel to it, and sounds a fair amount like "Dancing In The Light" from the Exile on Main St bonus songs sessions. This song, however, has a sort of Latin feel to it, and it zooms around with Mick addressing a former love. "You can tell me of your escapades, the story of your lost decade, don't be a stranger, a stranger no more, don't be a stranger, just knock on my door." "We Had It All" is a real Waylon Jennings country mourner, sung by Keith, it's a sad and haunting tune that really sticks with you, minimal arrangements. Great. "Tallahassee Lassie", an old Freddy Cannon rockabilly number. "I Love You Too Much" is a typical Stones rocker, nothing exciting. "Keep Up Blues" has a new-ish sound to it, kind of like the mock blues of "I'm Not Signifying" on the Exile on Main St bonus tracks. "You Win Again" is a Hank Williams song, so it's quite countrified, plodding along, chewin' cud, moaning and groaning, "this heart of mine has never SEEEEEEEEENNNN". "Petrol Blues" is a bizarre piano stomp that Mick plays and sings on, "Dear Mr President..."
The packaging for the re-release is nothing special - it's in a cardboard double CD case and there's nice album art, but the booklet has not much other than a three page essay on the release and a bunch of images of the Stones, lingerie models and famous movie stars, all cropped from the original cover art. At least there's five pages of black and white pics of the area. There are also credits, so you get to see how many tracks have people form the original sessions and how many modern additions like Don Was sat in on.
The Stones have always been adept at putting their own touch on different musical styles. When they first started out, they played their version of Chicago R&B and they went on to explore the sounds of country, blues & reggae among others. When Some Girls was released in 1978, disco and punk were the new musical stylings and the album contains the band's attempts at those genres. As usual, the Stones were able to employ musical elements from those styles and make it sound all their own. From the opening of the discoized number hit of "Miss You" to the closing of the frenzied punk of "Shattered", the Stones bounce around the musical map. You get strong punk influenced rockers like "When The Whip Comes Down", "Respectable" & "Lies" to the goofy country of "Faraway Eyes" to the midtempo of "Beast Of Burden" & "Some Girls". They transform the Temptations' "Just My Imagination" from the original ballad to a ripping rocker. Some Girls is the last album by the Stones that goes from beginning to end without a throwaway track. They went on to release some very good albums after this one, but this was their last truly great one.
on March 14, 2001
It was summer 1978 and I was a ninth grader who only spent his allowance money on Kiss, my rock gods, But then came this incredible album by a group I had ignored for years. Yes I was into the Stones, via some hand me down scratchy copies of their mid-sixties classics (still favorites). I peddled my yellow banana bike to the local department store and returned with Some Girls, an album constantly played on radio at the time. I listened to it every day for weeks and all the tracks grew on me, even "Before They Make Me Run" (which eventually became my favorite track) which at first I thought was the only dog, with a weak vocal from Keith. Great albums are like that, the part you originally least appreciated, just hits you one day."Miss You" is great funky dance rock that ranks with Blondie's "Heart Of Glass" Rod Stewarts "Do Ya Think I'm Sexy", and Kiss' "I Was Made For Lovin' You" as the greatest rock/disco crossover records of the period."Beast Of Burden" ranks as one of the greatest anthems in their entire catalogue. "Shattered", "When The Whip Comes Down", and "Lies" offer a snarly punk twist. "Faraway Eyes" is a great country flavored ballad. This record has it all including great cover art that is better appreciated on vinyl than CD. Some Girls is actually, in my opinion the last truly great album the Stones recorded.