- 19 Aug 21
If You Start Me Up I'll Never Stop
For those of us who care about such things, the accepted wisdom is that 1981’s Tattoo You is the last really vital Rolling Stones album. Actually, if you were being particularly brutal and ruthless, you’d say it was Some Girls in 1978, but let’s not be mean just for the sake of it. Whatever you think, there’s no denying there are some right corkers on that 1981 release. It's hard to argue, for a start, against ‘Start Me Up’ as their last truly great single, what with it being their last proper smash hit, and the most recent thing you’ll find in the classic part of the set when they swing through a nearby enormodome.
On top of that it has ‘Waiting On A Friend’, with its attendant coolest video clip of all time, ‘Worried About You’ and, in ‘Slave’, one of Keef's hardest riffs, and the good Lord knows he's had a few. These are all irrefutable exhibits in any pending case about their claims to be the greatest rock n’ roll band of all time. They just are. Actually, now that I think about it, scratch everything I just said. I could corner you in a bar, once they properly open again, and bore you to death about a playlist of the last forty years of The Stones that would take your eye out, blah, blah, blah.
Anyway, it is an ending to their imperial years and if it sounds like it belongs – at least in places – with the records they made in the early seventies, the ones that just happen to be the greatest records ever made, that’s because the album is mostly constructed from earlier outtakes. Producer Chris Kimsey dug them out of the back of the press as Jagger and Richards had the hump with each other at the time. Don’t worry, I’ll tell you the whole story when those lovely people at Universal Ireland send me the FULL VINYL BOX to review, right lads? I can even call around and collect it, if you like.
Here’s a bit of the skinny. To celebrate its fortieth anniversary, and to drum up a no doubt badly needed few bob, The Rolling Stones are issuing an expanded version of Tattoo You, following from pervious buff ups of Goats Head Soup and Sticky Fingers. Alongside the usual polish of the original record, there are nine new "unheard" tracks, including bootleg favourites ‘Living In The Heart Of Love’ and their superb version of Dobie Gray’s ‘Drift Away’. We're also promised a version of Jimmy Reed's 'Shame, Shame, Shame' and the original reggae version of 'Start Me Up'. The big super-duper box – you know, the one that Universal are sending me – includes a complete Wembley Stadium gig across three records as well as a rather good looking book. It’s due in October, which is right around my birthday, so those beautiful, intelligent, and generous people have no excuse. Awlriiight!
Full details over at RollingStones.com
Remember: No Charlie, No Stones.