How "Some Girls" Saved The Stones
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How "Some Girls" Saved The Stones

The Rolling Stones saved themselves from an uncertain future with this stellar album.

How "Some Girls" Saved The Stones
Rolling Stones

By the late 1970s The Rolling Stones were on the decline. The popularity of disco and the advent of punk rock were pushing the aging rockers (ironic considering they are all over 70 now and still touring) off the scene. After the release of their epic double album Exile on Main St., the bands commercial and critical success was falling slowly but surely. Between 1973 and 1976 The Stones released three albums, each selling less than the last. On top of this, Keith Richards was in hot water for his heroin problem. Him going to jail would very well have ended the band, since his rhythm guitar defined the bands sound. Rock n Roll the way the Stones had molded it, was slowly fading, and in order to survive the band needed a change. In 1978 The Rolling Stones released their most commercially successful album Some Girls, which saved them from a questionable fate.

The album definitely reflects the popular genres of music of the time. Opening the album is Miss You which hit number one in the charts and dominated the New York club scene. Its bluesy disco mix was perfect for the Stones and remains a popular song of theirs to this day. What is more interesting though are songs like When The Whip Comes Down, Lies, and Respectable. These songs are obviously designed to compete with punk. They are stripped down and fast, energetic and dangerous. In hindsight these are elements the Stones have always had and just show their fantastic ability to adapt and change with the times while still staying unique.

There are of course more "normal" Stones songs on the album. The title track Some Girls is another song the Stones couldn't get away with writing today, but it reinforced the rock stereotypes the Stones were already so famous for having. Before They Make Me Run is a Keith Richards song through and through. It's somewhere in the same vein of Happy from Exile and a great song reflecting his drug problems with the law. Far Away Eyes is an interesting inclusion on this album since it's an old style country song. It is, though, the Stones tongue in cheek style of country, in which the song itself is making fun of country (an earlier example of this being their song Dead Flowers). That comedy element and Keith Richards love for country music, is probably how this oddball song made it into such a commercially focused album.

The stand out song in my opinion (and probably in collective agreement from most fans) is Beast of Burden. I may be a little biased on this considering it is my favorite song, but it is with out a doubt one of the Stones best songs. Mick sings with a certain honesty in his voice, it's desperate, pleading, and heartbreaking. Keith and Ronnie (who finally gets a song that let's him really shine since joining the Stones in the mid 70's) guitar weave so wonderfully, you have no idea who is playing what. The band in that 4 minutes and 25 seconds comes together to form one voice. Everybody is working together, no one is over stepping their boundaries and it's a song that only a band as tight as the Stones can make.

Some Girls may have very well saved the Stones. It extended their popularity pass the 70's to today. It showed that they knew how to successfully adapt their sound for the times (even though good examples of that stop in the mid-eighties). This and the combined power of their legendary stage presence ensured their title as The Greatest Rock 'n' Roll band.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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