The Rolling Stones - Some Girls: Deluxe Edition
Record Label: Universal Republic
Release Date: November 21, 2011
How do you feel about deliberate attempts at musical fusion? I'm a fan, and Some Girls does not elude my enthusiasm. Mick Jagger described the sound of the record combining the disco and punk strains then prevalent in the NYC clubs. Some Girls is, as the concept behind it suggests, a product of its time.
The lyrics are sex-obsessed and the production is polished, offset by the songs themselves, which are raw, even for the Stones in the '70s. Just about all of them feel dated, but charming for it, from the AC/DC-lite crunch of "When the Whip Comes Down" through to the Keith Richards-fronted "Before They Make Me Run." There are exceptions to the charming part. "Far Away Eyes" is a cringe-worthy tongue-in-cheek country tune that, to most listeners under the age of 30, is just going to remind you of all those annoying songs your parents hum to you about not wanting pickles, just wanting to ride your motor, um, "sycle." Not fun.
Right at the end of the album, you have the song "Shattered." The reverb-laden drums are a harbinger of the entire '80s and the lyrics aren't far off. The whole affair has the bonehead appeal of both The Ramones and the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack. So well played, Mick; turned up loud, I have to say, it's a pretty commanding tune. And "Miss You" and "Beast of Burden" are among the greatest songs, I say with Kanye-West-like fanatacism, of all time. The word "hustle" could have been, nay, was invented to describe what these songs do. They are significant contributions to the Western canon, all she wrote.
The bonus CD is weaker. It's like watching the deleted scenes to your favorite movie only to realize there was a reason they were deleted: more of the same punk-/country-/disco-rock thingies, just not as good. Fans are going to disagree, naturally, and it's a nice set for the price, so who am I to really, honestly argue? Just be warned that the genius stays, in the main, on the first disc.
It's an idea since tried a thousand times by a thousand bands: danceability comingling with a harder edge. Of course, Gang of Four were putting together their seminal work at the same time, but let's not discount the idea out of hand: you could argue that Some Girls is the spiritual grandaddy of The Rapture, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, The Killers, and Hot Chip. That's just one of many reasons to listen to this killer relic from when your moms were bar stars, picking which guy to go home with to the last-dance, 2 a.m. jangle of Mr. Richards's Telecaster.
Maybe one of them was your dad! Thanks, Keith.
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