Saturday, July 27, 2013

Fact Sheet: Some Girls

Again produced by the Glimmer Twins, with engineer Chris Kimsey, "Some Girls", the Rolling Stones' 14th studio album, was recorded during two sessions at Pathé Marconi Studios, Paris. The album got released in June 1978. Author James Hector puts the record in some fine perspective:

"A new permanent guitarist, a new six-album deal with EMI - and the shock of the new wave to contend with. But first there was the problem of Keith Richards' 1977 Toronto drug bust. At one point, with the prospect of a lenghty prison spell hanging over him, it threatened to rip the band apart: instead it sealed his reputation as Wasted One No.1, and helped to bridge the gap between the Stones as old farts and the blanked-out faces of the punk generation.

While no-one seriously believed that the band would convincingly reinvent themselves as punk rockers, "Some Girls" was their grittiest set of songs since "Exile", helping them through what were difficult times for long-in-the-tooth rock acts. With Richards being preoccupied with beating the rap and, more critically, beating a decade-long drug habit, Mick Jagger took the bait, took some guitar lessons from Ron Wood, and steered the band successfully into the next stage of their career.

Punk squeezed the last traces of R&B out of white guitar rock: blue notes were replaced by the furious white heat of endless on-beats, played so fast that there was little room for the syncopation on which the Stones had based their entire style. Nevertheless, the band proved remarkably adaptable. Claims that Jagger was more interested in costly cuisine and even more expensive girlfriends than he was in the band were roundly answered by the album".

"Some Girls" turned out to be an almost 'keyboard-less' album. Ian 'Mac' McLagan ended up on two tracks, playing Wurlitzer electric piano on 'Miss You' and organ on 'Just My Imagination (Running Away With Me)'. Mick Jagger and Keith Richards both played piano on 'Far Away Eyes'. Ian Stewart didn't appear on the album at all, for the first time since 1968's "Beggars Banquet". But Stu was present during the Pathé Marconi sessions, and most of the tracks he played on appeared on the 2011 "Some Girls" re-release.

Adapted from the following source: James Hector, The Complete Guide To The Music Of The Rolling Stones, Omnibus Press, 1995.

Suggested further reading:
David Quantick, Some Girls, The Ultimate Music Guide (from the makers of Uncut).
Sylvie Simmons, Women Trouble, The Rolling Stones - Inside The World's Greatest Rock 'n ' Roll Band, Mojo, 2003.

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