Friday, July 9, 2010

Rolling Stones 27: Sucking In The Seventies

This album is an odd one in the Stones’ increasingly unwieldy discography. Sucking In The Seventies was released on the heels of two critically and commercially successful albums, leading one to think it was supposed to pick up where Made In The Shade left off. That assumption would be incorrect. Perversely—and in reflection of the title—it doesn’t even cover the hits, but it does have a B-side, an outtake and a live version.
The album is bookended by “Shattered” and “Beast Of Burden”, but ignores “Miss You”, the biggest hit from Some Girls. “Everything Is Turning To Gold” was originally the B-side to “Shattered”, and should have stayed that way. “Hot Stuff” and “Fool To Cry” both appear from Black And Blue, both severely edited, as is “Time Waits For No One”, which fades just before Mick Taylor’s majestic solo. (That’ll teach him to quit the band.) “Mannish Boy” from Love You Live provides something of a contrast to a previously unreleased live recording of “When The Whip Comes Down”. “If I Was A Dancer (Dance Pt. 2)” is a continuation of the opener to Emotional Rescue, as if anybody had really asked for it. And what the hell is “Crazy Mama” doing on this album?
Perhaps the best summation of Sucking In The Seventies as illustration of the Stones’ contempt for their audience comes from the late great Lester Bangs. He is quoted in both anthologies of his work, describing how he paid six of his own precious dollars to procure a copy of this album, knowing full well how little he’d enjoy it, and knowing just as well how much he had to have it anyway. After all, if you’re a fan, you’re a fan.

The Rolling Stones Sucking In The Seventies (1981)—3

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