This week’s album of the week is for me, the last decent thing the Rolling Stones came out with. Hey that’s just my opinion, but for the band it was reflected in the commercial success of later albums. The never really hit the mark again.
Released at a time when Mick Jagger and Keith Richards were just not getting on well together, the album is primarily made up of songs already recorded, but not included on previous albums. Wanting to tour with an album behind them in ’81/’82 it was fortunate for them that Chris Kimsey (Associate Producer) liked a lot of the outtakes from past recordings and made the suggestion that some of it be collated into an album.
It turned out to be a win win situation: Mick and Keith didn’t have to try writing a whole album together and more or less had one ready-made; and it charted well, selling 8.5 million copies worldwide. Of course, this is an over-simplification of the process, but you get the idea. Despite the commercial success, the band themselves didn’t have a lot of satisfaction with it. Mick Jagger is reported to have stated “I think it’s excellent. But all the things I usually like, it doesn’t have. It doesn’t have any unity of purpose or place or time”.
For me, it’s a thoroughly enjoyable album to listen to, particularly on vinyl. Perhaps because the tracks originate from several different recording sessions over several years, it feels more like a “classic” Stones album than other recordings either side of it. A solid blend of rock, blues and harmonies makes it an appealing musical journey, even if you’re not a Stones fan. Give it a try, I’d love to know what you think.