Saturday, October 3, 2009

ALBUM REVIEW: The Rolling Stones - Some Girls (1978)

By Nathan Stallings

Following the release of 1976's Black and Blue, the 1970s musical landscape changed dramatically as artists like the Rolling Stones would be sideswiped by punk and disco. Instead of rolling over and fading into oblivion, the Stones roared back with one of their best releases, Some Girls. This is not to take away from Goats Head Soup, It's Only Rock 'n' Roll, or Black and Blue, as they were great, but a new way was in order.

Instead of incorporating genres such as disco into their sound, the Stones challenged disco on its turf with the opening track and international #1 hit "Miss You," not to mention punk with songs such as "Lies" and "Shattered." The subject matter is quite controversial this time around with the homosexual imagery of "When the Whip Comes Down," and interracial relationships described (and satirized) in the title track.

As exemplified in Exile On Main Street and even before, the band (especially Jagger and Richards) have had a fascination with country music and this was brought to light in the country parody "Far Away Eyes." Ballads of course are always in order as "Beast Of Burden" was one of their biggest ballads, charting at #8 in the U.S. while the band's version of the Temptations' "Just My Imagination (Running Away With Me)" shows that they can still deliver one hell of a cover.

The Chuck Berry-style rocker "Respectable" takes a swipe at their image a-la It's Only Rock 'n' Roll, while Keith Richards' "Before They Make Me Run" is a kind of "f___ you" to the authority figures who tried to bring him down for his drug use and lifestyle in general. And that brings us one of the main reasons Some Girls was a success.

Keith Richards barely escaped a potentially long sentence for drug trafficking in connection with an arrest in Canada, so this is the sound of the Stones emerging from their (Richards') mid-'70s haze and it sounds wonderful. Having guitarist Ron Wood fully incorporated into the band helps too as Some Girls would not only become their biggest seller ever but one of the grestest rock albums of the late 1970s, if not the past thirty or thirty-five years.

My name is Nathan Stallings and my interests are both popular music and music history. Some of my favorite artists are The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, U2, Bruce Springsteen, Prince, The Smiths, David Bowie, The Kinks, Depeche Mode, Bob Dylan, Morrissey, Chuck Berry, Bob Marley, R.E.M., Aerosmith, Pearl Jam, Muddy Waters, The Cars, Miles Davis, Smashing Pumpkins, Merle Haggard and The Cure too name a few. You can visit my Rolling Stones website at:

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