Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Rolling Stones 26: Emotional Rescue

By the eighties, every rock ‘n roll fan knew that disco sucked. Unfortunately, Mick didn’t get the memo. Emotional Rescue, like its predecessor, was recorded in Paris, and runs the gamut between dance tracks and reggae, rockers and slow burners.
It’s something of a gamble to start off with “Dance”, sometimes subtitled “(Pt. 1)”. Charlie’s shackled to a suckatiss-suckatiss beat, but the chorus and saxes are undeniably catchy. Things improve with “Summer Romance”, something of a rewrite of “Respectable” and one of the best songs Tom Petty never wrote. “Send It To Me” is average reggae, and “Let Me Go” does the same for a rocker. But “Indian Girl”, with its pleasant lope and mariachi touches, is a nice departure, even if the lyrics get a little stupid.
“Where The Boys Go” is another rocker-by-numbers, featuring what sounds surprisingly like teenage female vocals near the end. They go back to the blues with “Down In The Hole”, which is slow but isn’t too plodding. The title track is another that divides fans, with its disco throb and piercing falsetto vocal. Mick’s spoken section reaches the pinnacle of unintentional hilarity. Luckily everybody likes “She’s So Cold”, which returns us to the clever comfort of straight guitars and strained metaphor. Keith gets the last word, however, on “All About You”, all backwards chords over a jazzy haze and layered vocals that refer either to Anita Pallenberg or Mick Jagger.
Emotional Rescue was a hit, if not a resounding one, and gets special points for having one of the most annoying packages ever. It came wrapped in a huge double-sided poster featuring dozens of “thermo-graphic” photos of the band members that was seemingly folded at random depending on which copy you bought, and was tougher to refold than any roadmap. The jacket, once revealed, contained more of these photos in less pleasing blue and white, but if you look closely, you can catch a few shots of Mick when he had a full, thick beard.

The Rolling Stones Emotional Rescue (1980)—

1 comment:

  1. I quite enjoy this album, and appreciate the disco influence. Too many rockers were quite narrow-minded (one might even say bigoted) about disco. It was good to hear Mick was still open to new influences at this point. "Dance Pt.1" is fantastic, and while it is a little silly, I also like the title track a lot. Some of the more rocking numbers sound a little forced, but not so much as to drag the album down. I still find it a nice listen in 2010, something that I cannot say for some of their later efforts.

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