This week marks the 40th anniversary of Some Girls by The Rolling Stones. The album was released on June 9th, 1978 and marked Ronnie Wood’s first record as an official member of the band. The album came at a do or die moment for the Stones, Keith Richards spent most of 1977 fighting drug charges in Canada. Once Keith’s legal issues were settled, the band was determined to go back in the studio.
Mick Jagger saw the recording sessions for Some Girls as an answer to the music he was hearing at the time, namly Punk and Disco which had started to dominate the British music scene. Mick’s determined attitude, Keith cleaning up a bit, and Ronnie’s entrance into the band is what helped make Some Girls one of the last classic albums from the Stones. Take a look at this song list and hear for yourself.
Number 1: Miss You
The track that opens up the album was also it’s first single. The band took a stripped down disco beat and made it dark and menacing. Miss You rode that disco wave all the way to the top of the charts, giving the Stones their last number 1.
Number 2: When The Whip Comes Down
The first Stones song to feature 3 guitar parts since Mick started playing guitar in addition to singing. This was also the first Stones song in years not to feature any outside musicians.
Number 3: Just My Imagination (Running Away With Me)
Some felt that this inclusion of a Temptations cover was a bit out of step with the rest of the album. But even as the Stones were tackling new sounds on the rest of the record, they still carved out room for their R&B roots.
Number 4: Some Girls
The title track caused quite a bit of controversy with it’s racy and some would say racist lyrics
Number 5: Lies
Lies is the second example on Some Girls of the 3 guitar line up of Jagger, Richards and Wood all contributing guitar parts. This is also one of the rare Stones songs that features no outside musicians.
Number 6: Far Away Eyes
Stones go country! Far Away Eyes was a complete collaboration between Mick and Keith with a pedal steel solo provided by Ronnie Wood. This is a perfect example of the new styles and instruments that Ronnie brought to the band.
Number 7: Respectable
Another “Punk” track from the album. Mick said he had originally wrote Respectable as a much slower song but when he brought it to Keith, they both knew it needed more power.
Number 8: Before They Make Me Run
Keith’s signature Some Girls song. Keith wrote this unapologetic track about his lifestyle while he was facing a very real prison sentence for drugs. When his case was resolved, the relief and good feelings really started the album sessions on a positive note.
Number 9: Beast Of Burden
Beast Of Burden was one of the few ballads recorded during the Some Girls sessions. Keith wrote the majority of the tune and trades fluid licks with Ronnie throughout. In 2003 Keith said of the song “When I returned to the fold after closing down the laboratory, I came back into the studio with Mick… to say, ‘Thanks, man, for shouldering the burden’ – that’s why I wrote “Beast of Burden” for him, I realise in retrospect.”
Number 10: Shattered
New York City was such a lyrical inspiration for Mick Jagger during this era and the final track of Some Girls serves as an ode to the city. This song once again featured the core band members without outside musicians. There was even a smaller core than usual with Ronnie Wood playing bass for a missing Bill Wyman.