There’s something eternally embarrassing about the Rolling Stones from this album and onwards. They had started as the young rebels, turning into world-conquering rock stars as the ‘60s blended into the ‘70s. From this point on, the band started to struggle to appeal to younger audiences again. A whole new generation had come along, and they weren’t interested in Jumping Jack Flash. The new breed were interested in disco, punk and (very soon) new wave.
I saw the Stones’ concert Some Girls Live In Texas the other day (which pronounced incorrectly sounds like a line from the song Some Girls itself – ‘Some girls live in Texas / Some girls live in France…’). It was pretty hard to watch. Jagger strutting around in a garish yellow jacket, and trying his damndest to appeal to a much younger – and from the looks of the crowd, a much more female – audience. You could try and pin all of this on Ronnie Wood – this album is his first as a full-time member of the group – but that theory doesn’t stack up. He’d been on the fringes of the band for a while now, and while the energy of having somebody new along for the ride would revitalise the group, it seems more likely that the change in direction was down to external influences.
While their stage show to support the album looks like a band struggling to change direction, the album itself manages to do this far more effectively. The guitar-work on the album is not as accomplished as the Mick Taylor years (obviously!), but the biggest difference is that now you get Ronnie Wood running around the stage with Jagger and Richards, with Wyman remaining the only on-stage statue with Taylor out of the picture). Wood’s style of guitar playing does sound more like Richards’ much more than Taylor’s ever did, but it’s far too similar and so that crucial element of complimenting styles is now missing, and always will be.
Hit: Miss You
Hidden Gem: Before They Make Me Run