The Rolling Stones were widely considered past their prime by the time that 1978 rolled around. They were still one of the biggest bands on the planet, but the rise of punk and disco made them seem passé and recent releases Black and Blue and It’s Only Rock and Roll failed to generate the same kind of acclaim as their work earlier in the decade.
“Everyone was using drugs, Keith particularly,” Jagger told Rolling Stone in 1995 when asked about this group’s mid-1970s slump. “So I think it suffered a bit from all that. General malaise. I think we got a bit carried away with our own popularity and so on. It was a bit of a holiday period. I mean, we cared, but we didn’t care as much as we had. Not really concentrating on the creative process.”
Things took a turn when Jagger began spending lots of time in New York. “The inspiration for [Some Girls] was really based in New York and the ways of the town,” he said. “I think that gave it an extra spur and hardness. And then, of course, there was the punk thing that had started in 1976. Punk and disco were going on at the same time, so it was quite an interesting period.”
Jagger took that New York energy to Paris in late 1977 when the group came back together to record Some Girls. The debut single “Miss You” became a huge radio hit the following May, as did “Beast of Burden” when it followed in September. By that point the group was already done with the Some Girls tour, which took it across America in June and July. Cameras were rolling at the Will Rogers Auditorium on Fort Worth, Texas, on July 19th 1978, though it would be 33 years before the group released the footage. Here is video of “Beast of Burden” from that night, one of the many Some Girls songs that lifted the group out of their mid-1970s “malaise.”