‘Some Girls’ Turns 40: Is It The Stones’ Last Great Album?
Some fans say 'Some Girls' is the last great Stones album. Some say it isn't. So what do you say?
Forty years ago today - June 9th, 1978 - The Rolling Stones released their album 'Some Girls'. There's no questioning its success both critically and commercially. Thanks to huge singles like "Miss You" (#1), "Beast Of Burden" (#71) and "Shattered" (#31) the album reached number one on the Billboard 200 album chart and has gone on to become the band's best-selling album here in the states. It was also the only Rolling Stones album to be nominated for a Grammy in the Album of the Year category. Many critics called it a return to form for the band adding that 'Some Girls' was their best album since 1972's "Exile on Main St."
I was about a decade or so late to the game on this album. I don't think I finally got around to buying it until maybe '90 or '91 but when I finally did I got why fans love it so much. It not only has the hit singles but it also has one of my all-time favorite Keith Richards tracks - "Before They Make Me Run". Add to that "When The Whip Comes Down", their cover of "Just My Imagination", the title track, "Lies", "Far Away Eyes", and "Respectable" and you've got a killer set of Stones songs.
So, yeah, 'Some Girls' is no doubt a great album but is 'Some Girls' the last truly 'great' Stones album? Strike up a conversation with a Rolling Stones fan and it'll almost always lead to a fevered debate over whether it is or isn't.
There are fans who will say 'Some Girls' is most definitely the last great Stones record. There are those, on the other hand, who choose to shatter that argument and, well, leave it in tatters. Those fans will tell you that the last great Stones album came before. Albums like '72's "Exile on Main St." and '74's "It's Only Rock 'n Roll" are the band at their final peak. Some may even go back to "Sticky Fingers" from '71 or 1969's "Let It Bleed". Every now and then, however, you'll hear a fan allege that the last great Stones album came after 'Some Girls' and that album is 1981's "Tattoo You". Now there's an argument I can get behind.
The stance taken against 'Tattoo You' is always that it's not a "true" album; it's made up of previously written and/or recorded tracks put together and called an album. They'll say it's not a cohesive collection of songs recorded during the same time period in the same studio therefore it's not a true album. Oh what a drag it is to hear that criticism Stones fans. I say who cares? Before you make me run for (under)cover I happen to not only think 'Tattoo You' is a legit album but it's a classic worthy of mentioning. Maybe it's because it's the very first Stones album I ever bought and I have a special connection to it but 'Tattoo You' has my vote for being the last complete, front-to-back, first-to-last track 'great' album.
What do you think? Is 'Some Girls' the last 'great' Rolling Stones' album? If not, which one is? Comment below or on i95's Facebook page.