The Rolling Stones – Tattoo You (1981)

Perhaps this was their last classic record, one nice, less polished, Rock And Roll album. Released on 24 August, 1981, 30 years ago, “Tattoo You” was put together of outtakes from previous recording sessions to promote the band’s follow-up worldwide tour 1981/1982. The band didn’t want to kick off the road without having a new record and the time was too short to write enough new songs, one the other hand, that period was marked by tensions between Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, so working on new songs probably would be a pretty difficult task at the moment. Still, “Tattoo You” was ranked #34 on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the 100 greatest albums of the 1980s and number 211 on the list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.

The album’s producer, Chris Kimsey did actually an excellent job digging out all these recordings from the band’s vaults. Many of the songs consisted at this point of instrumental backing tracks for which vocals had not been recorded. The earliest songs used for Tattoo You are “Tops” and “Waiting on a Friend”. The backing tracks for both songs were cut in late 1972 during the “Goats Head Soup” sessions and feature Mick Taylor, not Ronnie Wood, on guitar and Taylor later demanded and received a share of the album’s royalties.
The album opens with “Start Me Up,” originally rehearsed under the working title “Never Stop” and as a reggae-influenced number in 1975 during the “Black and Blue” sessions – by the way, one of my favorite Stones album. Many songs were originally recorded during the 1978 Pathe Marconi recording sessions for “Some Girls”.

Track list:

Side one

01.”Start Me Up”
02.”Hang Fire”
04.”Little T&A”
05.”Black Limousine”

Side two

07.”Worried About You”
10.”No Use in Crying”
11.”Waiting on a Friend”

“Tattoo You” is nicely divided between the Rock And Roll tracks from the side one (“Start Me Up”, “Little T&A”, “Neighbours”, etc) and the tasty Stones ballads (“Worried About You”, “Tops”, “Heaven”, etc ) from side two, if the 70s were started by “Sticky Fingers” (1971), the 80s definitively needed this “Tattoo You”.

The Rolling Stones – Official Site

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