A broad critical consensus has emerged that 1978’s Some Girls was the last great Rolling Stones album. A case can be made. Sure, the Stones have done spotty work for the last, oh, thirty-five years. But Tattoo You – that was pretty good. Personally, I thought Undercover was underrated. And their last record A Bigger Bang from 2005 was about 2/3 great. But back to Some Girls. Yeah, it’s really good. The relative mediocrity of the three studio releases between the venerated Exile on Main Street and Some Girls (Goat’s Head Soup, It’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll, and Black and Blue) left a still sizeable and devout Stones fan base ready for love. Some of those fans could have given a rat’s ass about punk rock. Others, however, moved by the racket that had blown out of New York and London during the (Sucking in the) Seventies, had a sense that the back to basics blood and guts of punk had thrown down to the Rolling Stones.
The Stones knew it. Mick Jagger in particular has always been, for better or worse, extremely sensitive to trends. Central to the energy behind the hard, fast and rockin’ tracks on Some Girls was Jagger’s own rhythm guitar playing. More square, less syncopated than Keith Richard’s playing, Jagger’s assertive guitar gave the album much of its foursquare thrust.
But wait, I don’t really want to review Some Girls. Been done. In summary, I think it’s terrific, but maybe rated too highly, and primarily by a lot of the same folks who have an unnecessarily dim view of the Stones’ subsequent output. What I really want to talk about is disc two of the deluxe edition of Some Girls.