The members of The Rolling Stones were getting very close to middle age and had not released a studio album in two years. Time was moving on and disco and punk music were dominating the music scene. They were fearful of becoming obsolete.
Some Girls may not have saved their career, but it certainly reinvigorated it. The album was released June 9, 1978 and sold more copies that any of their other albums before or since. It moved six million copies upon its release and has now topped the eight million units sold level.
The band would have an innate ability to constantly reinvent themselves. They would be able to take popular music forms of the day and merge them with their bad boy rock ‘n’ roll image. This would keep the group popular an enable them to sell out 50,000 seat stadiums down to the present day.
“Miss You” would be The Rolling Stones eighth and final (up to now) number one hit. They created a danceable disco melody set upon a dual guitar foundation. Some people of the time accused them of selling out but the song was embraced across the board and became one of their biggest hits.
I sort of overlooked “Beast Of Burdon” when it was released in 1978. It has since become one of my favorite Rolling Stones’ songs. This ode to Anita Pallanberg by Keith Richards featured a smooth vocal by Jagger and good guitar interplay by Richards and Wood. It would remain a part of their live act for years. The single would reach the American top ten.
The third single from Some Girls was “Shattered.” This song conveyed a punk attitude wrapped in rock rhythms. “Go ahead, bite The Big Apple, don’t mind the maggots” is sung by Mick Jagger in mantra style rhythms.
There were several other strong points on the album. Keith Richards’ autobiographical “Before They Make Me Run” was basically an up yours reply to the critics of his lifestyle. It featured his best and most honest vocal since “Happy.” “When The Whip Comes Down” was a gritty punk rock look at the gay clubs of New York City in the pre-A.I.D’s. era. “Faraway Eyes” is sort of a tongue in cheek country song. “Lies” is a pure punk guitar rampage by Richards and Wood.
“Some Girls” and “Respectable” continued the Stones disrespectful treatment of women. Times were indeed changing and many people would not accept these types of lyrics any more and so they received, and rightfully so, a tremendous amount of criticism. These songs still should not be played with your children in the room.
Some Girls may not have recaptured the sound and creativity of the Exile On Main Street era but it was still a solid effort. Listening to this LP today finds The Rolling Stones captured at a certain point in time and very well I may add.