Personalities | The Rolling Stones (1981) | Key Events
Sucking In The Seventies
Released as a follow-up to their 1974 compilation Made In The Shade, Sucking In The Seventies was a perfunctory 1975-onwards collection of songs, including ‘Everything Is Turning To Gold’ (the B-side to ‘Shattered’); ‘If I Was A Dancer Pt. 2’ (which picked up from where Emotional Rescue’s title track left off); and a live version of ‘When The Whip Comes Down’, originally released on Some Girls.
‘Start Me Up’
One of the group’s most infectious riffs, and forthcoming album opener, ‘Start Me Up’ actually dated back to the 1977 Some Girls sessions, where it was written as a reggae song. After overdubbing guitars on to the one ‘rock’ take they recorded in 1977, Keith nixed the idea of it appearing even on Emotional Rescue, as he was worried that he had written the riff from another song. A mindless piece of rock’n’roll about a woman who can make dead men reach orgasm, it remains one of the group’s last memorable singles, even though it reached Nos. 2 and 7 in the US and UK respectively.
Whereas a few albums from the last decade saw riffs looking for songs, in the early 1980s the Stones were looking for anything. Running out of steam, Tattoo You (originally intended to be just called Tattoo) was mostly assembled from ideas and outtakes stretching back to Goats Head Soup (‘Tops’, 1972) and even, some claim, 1970’s Sticky Fingers sessions (‘Waiting On A Friend’). Mostly mid- to late-1970s ideas and fragments, it nevertheless became the Stones’ last US No. 1 album.
Start Of North American Tour
Hardly enamoured with the idea of touring, Jagger, who had been in firm training as the group’s de facto leader for some time, approached it now as more of a business chore, carrying calculators and diaries around during US shows, selling the film rights to live recordings, and trying to implement a no-drugs policy. Keith and Ron complained about him as ‘Brenda’ behind his back, while Ron was fast descending into the state that Keith had been escaping from. Despite internal hatreds, it was a fairly slick show and one of the first tours to see the Stones’ original fans aging with them, and a new generation of fans coming along as well.
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