The Rolling Stones - Some Girls
Imagine the headlines - "Rolling Stones go disco!"
Now imagine the reaction. Well that is what happened when the Stones released as the single from this album, the disco influenced "Miss You". At a time when punk was making a mockery of all the false and artificial music which had dominated the charts for so long, what could possess the Stones to release a disco single. In retrospect it is not a bad track, and draws more heavily on jazz funk than disco. It is even listenable now. Then it was detestable and their decision questionable.
Thankfully, the rest of the album is nothing like that opener. Rock returns with "When the Whip Comes Down", and this sets the tone for many of the tracks on the album, for we are talking here a heavy sexual overtone to a lot of the tracks. That culminates in the barely concealed misogyny of the title track, which sees Jagger at one describe the particular characteristics of various races and nationalities of women. Nowadays, there is no way he or anyone else would get away with this:
"French girls they want Cartier Italian girls want cars./American girls want everything in the world you could possibly imagine"
"Black girls just wanna get fucked all night/I just don't have that much gas"
I have to say though it is extremely entertaining if you approach it in the right way.
Indeed, the light hearted approach taken with "Some Girls" (the track) spills over into other songs. "Far Away Eyes" sounds almost as big a mistake as "Miss You" at first - the Stones do Country & Western - but when you listen to it, you realise it is a damn good song wrapped around a parody contained in a ballad. As ballads go, "Beast Of Burden" is okay without being special, whereas "Respectable", "Lies" and especially "Shattered" are the sort of up-tempo rockers everyone has a right to expect from the Stones. Just to show that they have lost none of their broad appeal, they manage to cover the Temptations classic "Just My Imagination" with some panache.
So here we have the Stones doing a bit of this and a bit of that; upsetting a few people here and a few more there. The album might not hang together as well as some of the earlier stuff, but this was nonetheless a fine album.
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