.
http://assets-s3.rollingstone.com/assets/images/album_review/71725a0d02883c5c650ee735fa4b0e7c28b8f1a5.jpg Tattoo You (Remastered Edition)

The Rolling Stones

Tattoo You (Remastered Edition)

Universal
Rolling Stone: star rating
Community: star rating
5 5 0
June 25, 2009

Back in 1978, Keith Richards was asked why the Stones called their new album Some Girls. He replied, "Because we couldn't remember their fucking names." Well argued, sir! Some Girls stands as the craftiest rock & roll comeback in history — after years of sucking in the Seventies, the Stones suddenly sounded like nasty bitches again. It kicked off a five-year run that's ripe for re-appreciation: the Mall-Rat Years. The Stones seduced a new breed of Eighties parking-lot kids who didn't give a crap about the band's legacy but shook mullet when "She's So Cold" or "Little T&A" hit the radio in between Journey and Foreigner.

Some Girls is where the whip came down, with Mick Jagger dishing about groupies, drugs, cops, hustlers, ex-wives, paternity suits and other joys of life in the Big Apple. From the funk strut of "Miss You" to the punk sludge of "Shattered," these were songs that could only have been written by insanely rich rock stars in a pissy mood. It put them back on top — but for millions of American shagheads, Some Girls may as well have been a debut album from their new favorite band. The Stones kicked these kids' asses with Emotional Rescue, Tattoo You and Undercover, going for lean guitar propulsion and twitchy beats at a time when other megastars got bogged down in synths and overdubs.

All these albums have treasures worth digging up. Emotional Rescue soars with brilliant goofs like "Where the Boys Go" (for a "Saturday-night piece of ass") and "Let Me Go," on which Jagger muses, "Maybe I'll become a playboy/Hang around in gay bars/And move to the West Side of town." Tattoo You has fab-rock scuzz ("Hang Fire," "Neighbours"), space-soul ballads ("Heaven") and Keef's "Little T&A." Who else could sing the line "She's my little rock & roll" 17 times without sounding like an idiot? Nobody, that's who.

All over these records, Jagger chronicles after-hours adult loneliness, the kind that nails you when you're a rock god with girlfriends stashed in hotels around the world but nobody you can cry to or protect. In "Too Tough," from Undercover, he sees an ex on TV, acting in some late-night rerun soap, and it crushes his soul, like the temporary lovers who haunt him in "Feel On Baby" and "She Was Hot." Tough stuff indeed — but after these albums, nobody would ever count the Stones out again.

Emotional Rescue – Four stars

Some Girls –Four and a half

Undercover – Three and a half stars

prev
Album Review Main Next

ADD A COMMENT

Community Guidelines »
loading comments

loading comments...

COMMENTS

Sort by:
    Read More
    Daily Newsletter

    Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

    Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
    marketing partners.

    X

    We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

    Song Stories

    “American Girl”

    Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers | 1976

    It turns out that a single with "American" in its title--recorded on the Fourth of July during the nation's Bicentennial, no less--can actually sell better in Britain. Coupled with the Heartbreakers' flair for Byrds jangle and Animals hooks, though, is Tom Petty's native-Florida drawl that keeps this classic grounded at home. Petty dispelled rumors that the song was about a suicidal student, explaining that the inspiration came from when he was 25 and used to salute the highway traffic outside his apartment window. "It sounded like the ocean to me," he recalled. "That was my ocean. My Malibu. Where I heard the waves crash, but it was just the cars going by."

    More Song Stories entries »
    www.expandtheroom.com