The Rolling Stones – Emotional Rescue (1980): Review


Produced by The Glimmer Twins
Label – Rolling Stones

However one viewed the 1978 release “Some Girls”, it was still a huge commercial success and although didn’t carry the critical acclaim of previous performances, at least halted the slide towards the mediocrity that had been gathering with its immediate predecessors (“It’s Only Rock And Roll” and “Black And Blue”). Every intention was for this to be a carbon copy using the new found disco formula that had been used on “Miss You”. In addition, guitarist Keith Richards was allegedly clean for the first time in years, which surely must have bode positively for a new decade classic. It’s now known that the recording process was a difficult and fraught affair, with Richards attempting to re-assert a greater level of creative control. The relationship between he and singer Mick Jagger was strained to breaking point and the power struggle that ensued undoubtedly had a major effect on the resultant product. That said, “Emotional Rescue” would reach number one on both sides of the Atlantic, even though it was considered by many to be a lackluster and inconsistent effort by Stones standards.


The album would be bolstered by the success of the title track and single; a Jagger falsetto infused dance number which owed more to The Bee Gees than their original influencers, Muddy Waters and Chuck Berry. Whilst “Miss You” from “Some Girls” sounded fresh and innovative, “Emotional Rescue” feels tired and formulaic by comparison. Rock star ennui in Nassau (where the album was recorded) could have been the reason, but the funk/disco numbers sound dreadfully weary, particularly “Dance (Part 1)”. The real horrors await the listener on side 2, with “Where The Boys Go”, which one feels sure is an attempt to generate a pub/R&B style championed by Dr Feelgood and yet comes across as a bad Chas & Dave tribute act with Jagger ridiculously hamming it up to become the new cockney whine boy. Richards closes the album out “singing” the most dreary, downcast song the band had ever committed to vinyl in “All About You”.

There seems a glimmer of self parody on “Emotional Rescue”, and a suggestion that even they knew how ridiculous they’d become by 1980.


Track Listing
1.”Dance (Pt. 1)” – 4:23
2.”Summer Romance” – 3:16
3.”Send It to Me” – 3:43
4.”Let Me Go” – 3:50
5.”Indian Girl” – 4:23
6.”Where the Boys Go” – 3:29
7.”Down in the Hole” – 3:57
8.”Emotional Rescue” – 5:39
9.”She’s So Cold” – 4:12
10.”All About You” – 4:18

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