Some Girls: When Rock Met Disco And Disco Met Rock

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Rent money is for posers anyway.
Tonight for one night only at the Houston Marq*E Stadium 23, Rolling Stones fans can finally catch The Rolling Stones: Some Girls Live In Texas, a 1978 concert from the band's Fort Worth stop. The tour came on the heels of the May 1978 release of the band's Some Girls record, and the set list relies heavily on that album.

Then next month, Some Girls, the Stones' first foray into the punk and disco waters of the late '70s will get the deluxe reissue treatment. The album was last remastered in 2009 in the second batch of Stones remasters that hit stores. The Some Girls resissue comes a year and a half after the massive Exile On Main Street job last May. Obviously, the myths around Exile are way more legendary.

As with Exile, the band, namely Mick Jagger, are going back and cleaning up and or finishing some rough tracks from that period. Exile's new cuts included the great "Plundered My Soul," for one.

Some Girls is seen as the Stones' response to the punk and disco that was making waves in 1978. Bands like the Sex Pistols, The Clash, and others were lashing out at the prog-rock bands at the time, but saved some love for guys like the Kinks and the Stones who were punks in their own right in the early '60s, and punks were weaned on garage rock anyway.

The disco slant of Some Girls, though, get blamed on Mick Jagger's flirtation with dance music at Studio 54, and the remnants of the band's short-lived obsession with reggae rhythms - like on Black And Blue - were also factors. The title track, however offensive it was, was an awfully honest view of the personal issues surrounding the band, especially in regards to Jagger's personal life.

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But Some Girls also had vintage Stones moments like the dumbo-country of "Far Away Eyes" and the Keith cut "Before They Make Me Run." The album reinvigorated the band for a new generation, and it would be followed by dark-horse favorite Emotional Rescue and the stadium jolt of Tattoo You.

Almost every song on the 10-track Some Girls could have been a single. The most well-known cuts, like "Shattered," "Beast of Burden" and "Miss You" can still be heard almost on the hour on classic-rock radio. Our own favorite, "When The Whip Comes Down," is a sorely overlooked slice of Stones sleaze.

The album marked the beginning of rock bands, previously known probably for their aggressive bluster and mostly manly posing, diving into the waters of dance music, disco, and the slinkier sounds coming from the clubs and danceterias around the world where they had been spending their time.

That's why the mid-'70s to early '80s saw acts like Paul McCartney, Queen, Kiss, the Stones, Rod Stewart, Pink Floyd, John Lennon and others adding a dance-y drum beat to their singles. Producer Bob Ezrin goaded Floyd into funking up The Wall in places, and Queen started getting static for a late '70s dance turn that was pushed along by Freddie Mercury's manager Paul Prenter. Also, maybe, you know, Mercury, um, was more inclined to make disco music at this point in time.

Perhaps the most popular rock-turned-disco band was the Bee Gees, who began their time as a Beatles-biting brother act known for singles like "I Started A Joke" and "Massachusetts" and by 1975's Main Course they were embodying everything people loved and hated about the disco sound. For our money, the Bee Gees are underrated for their early works, and the sheer military-grade brilliance of their disco stuff is unbeatable.



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4 comments
MASSMURDERMEDIA
MASSMURDERMEDIA

the last great stones record...  remember the "controversy" over mick and keith frenching during one of the songs on SNL when promoting "some girls"?...  they allegedly snorted coke openly on set the whole week they were there...

Anse
Anse

"Beast of Burden" has the distinction of nailing the sweet spot between slow r&b and hard rock. But I find myself digging Keith Richards's tracks the most on any Stones album. That dude is living, breathing, walking and talking stone-cold fucking rock and roll. The only reason he hasn't killed himself with excess by now is God knows we still need the rock star by which the very term is defined, just in case all these affected indie softboys make us forget.

smoke faster than you can roll
smoke faster than you can roll

I met Keith Richards by chance at Warrens' a few years ago, he asked me what album I liked the best 1. Some Girls 2. Beggars Banquet 3. Exile on Main St. he said I had excellant taste !!!This is why you always wanna hang around bars all day while everyone else works on a bike in a bar

Wyatt
Wyatt

"they allegedly snorted coke openly on set the whole week they were there..."

Doesn't sound like a big deal for early SNL

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