Saturday, August 24, 2013

Fact Sheet: Emotional Rescue

Once again produced by the Glimmer Twins, with sound engineer Chris Kimsey, "Emotional Rescue", the Rolling Stones' 15th studio album, was recorded during sessions at Compass Point Studios, Nassau, Bahamas (January-February, 1979) and Pathé Marconi Studios, Paris (June-October, 1979). Mixing and overdubbing of the album took place at Electric Ladyland Studios, New York City (November-December, 1979 and March-April, 1980).

The album got released in June 1980, two years after their smash hit album "Some Girls". Author James Hector puts the record in some fine perspective: "As the end of the decade approached, the world discovered that it didn't necessarily need the Stones any more, but "Some Girls" suggested that it was still good to have them around. Not so "Emotional Rescue", a facsimile of the previous album, but about 75% less convincing.

Having been provoked into action by punk rock, testing the water and finding it surprisingly welcoming, the band quickly returned to that winning formula, not realising that musical expectations had changed, that coasting it was simply not enough any more. "Emotional Rescue" remains one of the most forgettable moments in the band's history. Here's what you really ought to know: when Mick Jagger embarked on the round of interviews to promote the album, he told one journalist: 'There is no future in rock 'n' roll'. Listening to "Emotional Rescue", it wasn't difficult to disagree with him".

On "Emotional Rescue" we hear a lot more keyboards than we did on the almost 'keyboard-less' "Some Girls". Ian Stewart plays piano on 'Summer Romance' and 'Where The Boys Go', and Nicky Hopkins attended the mixing sessions at Electric Ladyland to overdub piano on 'Indian Girl' and synthesizer on 'Send It To Me'. Keith Richards also plays some piano on "Indian Girl' and on album closer 'All About You'. Mick Jagger plays electric piano on the album's title song, and finally Bill Wyman added some synthesizer parts to 'Indian Girl' and 'Emotional Rescue'. It's pretty clear that, once again, there wasn't a dominant player like Nicky Hopkins or Billy Preston around!

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

Note: a lot of album reviews float around on the internet; most of them not particularly positive, but each with its own nuances concerning individual songs, influences and the context in which the album was made. You may find them yourselves, if you want to.

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