Some Girls

The Rolling Stones

Virgin Records, 1978

REVIEW BY: Christopher Thelen


There was no doubt about it: The Rolling Stones were in a creative glut. Their last two albums – at least to this reviewer's ears – were scraping the bottom of the barrel.

So what made Some Girls, their 1978 effort, a step in the right direction? A lot of the credit can go to the full integration of Ron Wood into the band. Yes, he had been on their previous album Black And Blue, but now with some time with the Stones under his belt, he felt like a natural addition to the band, and his guitar work seemed to breathe new life into the band.

This album is noteworthy for many reasons – not including the controversy surrounding the original cover and the lawsuits it provoked. First, it featured Mick Jagger and crew partially embracing a more modern sound to their music, as disco was the invasive sound on the radio around this time. The opening track “Miss You” is the closest that they come to disco, per se, and it doesn't lose any of its rock sensibilities, but it does lay down a more funky groove for both the band and the listener to follow, along with some good harmonica work from Sugar Blue. There's a reason this track is still well remembered to this day. my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

I can't, though, say the same about the closing track, “Shattered,” which has become a classic rock radio staple. Simply put, I hate this fucking song. The rhythm track is incredibly simplistic – moreso, in fact, than many of the Stones actual hit songs from the '70s and beyond – and Jagger just seems to be screaming his lyrics instead of singing them. If I never hear this song again, it will be too soon.

Other tracks on Some Girls fare far better. “Beast Of Burden” is another hit which has a good groove to it, locking the listener in to its seductive beat. Likewise, “When The Whip Comes Down” has got a great rhythm track that captures the listener's ear quickly. The title track may have been very controversial due to its reference to black women and, aah, their penchant for “late night activities” - check out the Wikipedia article on this album if you have no idea what I'm talking about – but it's actually a good song.

If only the remainder of Some Girls was able to maintain that momentum. It's not that tracks like “Lies,” “Respectable” and “Before They Make Me Run” are bad; it's that they don't live up to the expectations that most of the first half of the album set for them. “Far Away Eyes” just feels like a throw-away track that could have easily been cut from this one… and why the Stones still feel the need to do cover songs, such as their inclusion of “Just My Imagination (Running Away With Me),” I can't explain.

The Stones hadn't fully gotten the disco concept out of their system… whether that would be to their advantage or their detriment, you'll have to wait and find out. But Some Girls was a good, if flawed, move in the right direction for the band.

Rating: C+

User Rating: A-



© 2017 Christopher Thelen and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Virgin Records, and is used for informational purposes only.