Top 10 Rolling Stones Post-‘Some Girls’ Songs
We won’t argue with you: The Rolling Stones made their best music in the ’60s and ’70s. In fact, after 1978’s ‘Some Girls,’ they released only one more classic album, 1981’s ‘Tattoo You.’ But that doesn’t mean that the band’s output over the past 35 years has been a total waste. There have been some good albums during the period (like 1989’s ‘Steel Wheels’) and some pretty good songs (1983’s ‘Undercover of the Night’). So put aside ‘Jumpin’ Jack Flash,’ ‘Gimme Shelter’ and ‘Miss You’ for now, and take a look at our list of the Top 10 Post-‘Some Girls’ Rolling Stones Songs.
‘Doom and Gloom’
If you already own the 537 other greatest-hits compilations the Stones have released over the past 50 years, you probably don’t need the latest, which spans their entire career … unless you want the two new songs. ‘Doom and Gloom’ is the keeper, a riff-powered rocker that sounds like the post-‘Some Girls’ era condensed into four solid minutes.
The Stones’ most blatantly disco number supposedly caused a rift between Mick Jagger, who liked the music, and Keith Richards, who didn’t. Either way, it’s one of the band’s best post-‘Some Girls’ singles, a honking, blaring and sweaty dance track featuring one of Jagger’s most playful vocals (he was trying to sound like Marvin Gaye).
Depending on your perspective, the Stones were either coasting or had a pretty rough time in the mid ’80s. But by the end of the decade, they were firing back with their best album since ‘Tattoo You.’ ‘Mixed Emotions,’ ‘Steel Wheels” first single, sounds like classic Stones: all piercing guitar riffs on top of a flashy backbeat.
There’s some dispute over how good (or bad) ‘Emotional Rescue’ is (see No. 9 on our list of the Top 10 Post-‘Some Girls’ Rolling Stones Songs). But most fans agree that ‘Tattoo You’ belongs on the classic-album shelf with ‘Beggars Banquet,’ ‘Exile on Main St.’ and all the other usual suspects. ‘Hang Fire’ is one of the album’s toughest rockers, blowing in and out like a crossfire hurricane.
‘Dance (Pt. 1)’
Remember how we said ‘Emotional Rescue’ is the Stones’ most blatantly disco track (see No. 9 on our list of the Top 10 Post-‘Some Girls’ Rolling Stones Songs)? Well, this cut from the same album is a close second. Riding a funky high-hat rhythm supplied by drummer Charlie Watts, the rest of the band (including Richards) joins in on the totally groovalicious ‘Dance (Pt. 1).’
The singles get all the attention, but ‘Tattoo You”s slinkiest cut (also its longest) is one of its best. It was originally written for 1976’s ‘Black and Blue,’ which is why it sorta sounds like one of the band’s mid-’70s jams. The crawling blues number also boasts a killer sax solo by jazz icon Sonny Rollins. There’s not much to ‘Slave’ besides its groove, but that’s more than enough.
‘Undercover of the Night’
After 1981’s back-to-basics ‘Tattoo You’ (which actually included some leftover ’70s material), the Stones started getting restless again on 1983’s ‘Undercover,’ incorporating street beats, harder music and even some super-political lyrics. It doesn’t always work, but the album’s opening song, and sorta title track, is killer, with rapid-fire percussion blasts cutting through the screaming guitars.
‘One Hit (To the Body)’
‘Dirty Work’ is one of the band’s laziest and most boring albums. But the fierce ‘One Hit (To the Body)’ sounds like classic-era Stones, with guitars churning alongside one of Jagger’s best post-‘Some Girls’ vocal performances. Bonus points: That’s Jimmy Page playing the soaring guitar solo that shows up midway through the song.
‘Waiting on a Friend’
The elegiac ‘Waiting on a Friend’ closes the terrific ‘Tattoo You’ in style, complete with a sky-high sax solo by Sonny Rollins. The song was started by Mick Taylor during the ‘Goats Head Soup’ era, which accounts for its laid-back haunting undertone. But it’s a perfect ending to the last perfect album the Stones made.
‘Start Me Up’
‘Start Me Up’ is one of the Stones’ all-time classic tracks, so it’s no surprise that it’s topped our list of the Top 10 Post-‘Some Girls’ Rolling Stones Songs. The cut also features one of the band’s all-time greatest opening guitar riffs, which in turn kicks off and fuels their last classic album. Like many of the songs on ‘Tattoo You,’ ‘Start Me Up’ was started in the ’70s, during the ‘Black and Blue’ sessions. But it falls together so seamlessly with the rest of ‘Tattoo You’ that it beats anything on ‘Black and Blue’ … and everything else they did after ‘Some Girls.’