The Rolling Stones' Some Girls in Sound and Print
"Far Away Eyes" is Jagger's vamp on country music, something Richards had aways been much more serious about. It was preceded by "Country Honk," "Dead Flowers," "Sweet Virginia" and "Loving Cup." The majority of songs on the bonus disc are country ("Do You Think I Really Care," "No Spare Parts," "You Win Again") or rockabilly ("Claudine," "Tallehassee Lassie"). This is more of England reminding the United States of its musical roots, even when presented in a campy way, as on "Far Away Eyes."
Likewise for the presence of the Temptations' 1971 hit, "It's Just My Imagination (Running Away With Me)." The Rolling Stones began with Solomon Burke's "Everybody Needs Somebody to Love," from The Rolling Stones No. 2 (Decca, 1965), rounding up the Temptations' "Ain't Too Proud to Beg" on It's Only Rock and Roll and moving onto "Going to a Go-Go" from Still Life. The group proved itself capable in a variety of genre and the musicians did like to shake things up with their echoes of Motown.
But the real treat here is the bonus disc. This is refined, post- Exile music, showing the real value of Ronnie Wood to the band, particularly his capable pedal steel guitar playing. Besides the plethora of country music, there is the blues: "So Young," "We Had it All," "Keep Up Blues" and the stark "Petrol Blues"just Jagger and the piano lamenting the first energy crisis, lest we forget that there was one. "I Love You Too Much" would have been punk enough to include of the actual release were it not such a Rolling Stones song. No, this was the last relevant word from the "Greatest Rock and Roll Band." The later music was made at a mostly high level, but never with that last fire of youth that once gone, cannot be reclaimed anyway or anyhow.
The Rolling Stones' Some Girls
Cyrus R.K. Patell
Paperback; 192 pages
Cyrus R.K. Patell is an Associate Professor of English, Faculty Fellow-in-Residence at University Hall, and Associate Dean of Humanities, NYU Abu Dhabi. In his contribution to the Continuum (soon to be Bloomsbury) 33 & 1/3 series' The Rolling Stones' Some Girls, Patell expounds at length on the origins, preparation, execution and aftermath of the last great Rolling Stones record. He does this with an academic's attention to references and details, only occasionally hitting wrong notes: Kenney Jones and not Charlie Watts played drums on "It's Only Rock and Roll" and the Byrds' album is Sweetheart of the Rodeo not Radio. But these are only Emerson's "hobgoblins." The author is intent and serious about his subject.
Patell echoes Some Girls Deluxe Edition's liner notes author Anthony DeCurtis by emphasizing the three pronged inspiration of disco, punk rock and New York City in the heady late 1970s as the prime motivators that sharpened the Rolling Stones' flagging resolve. Patell details each song on the original recording and places each against the three-pronged backdrop. The decadence with which the Stones began the 1970s had turned into a certain directionless malaise of too much of a good thing. The band responded by breaking out of previously established modes by sharpening its recording practices and engineering, producing a more pristine product without giving up its original edge. Patell emphasizes the the roll of Jagger's guitar playing, particularly on the title cut. This added a denser layer to the two-guitar stones sound, one that was to continue into the 1980s.
Some Girls is certainly a worthy book, joining Bill Janowitz's The Rolling Stones Exile on Main St. (Continuum, 2005). While Patell's exhaustive treatment of the subject almost overstates his case, he does provide a decent perimeter within which to re-examine this important recording.
Tracks and Personnel
Some Girls Deluxe Edition
Tracks: CD1: Miss You; When the Whip Comes Down; Just My Imagination (Running Away With Me); Some Girls; Lies; Far Away Eyes; Respectable; Before They Make Me Run; Beast of Burden; Shattered. CD2: Claudine; So Young; Do You Think I Really Care; When You're Gone; No Spare Parts; Don't Be A Stranger; We Had it All; Tallahassee Lassie; I Love You Too Much; Keep Up Blues; You Win Again; Petro Blues.
Personnel: Mick Jagger: vocals, guitar, harmonica; Keith Richards: vocals, guitars, keyboards; Ronnie Wood: guitars, pedal steel guitar; Charlie Watts: drums; Bill Wyman: bass, synthesizer, marimba; Sugar Blue: harmonica; Ian McLagen: keyboards; Mel Collin" tenor saxophone; Simon Kirke: congas; Ian Stewart: piano; Chuck Leavell: piano; Don Was: bass.