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Friday Night Videos

June 6th, 2014 - 10:06 pm

Around ’86 or ’87, The Rolling Stones kinda sorta unofficially broke up over disappointing sales of Dirty Work and so that Mick Jagger could be free to do some comically awful solo work. It didn’t help that Mick and Keith Richards had spent the previous five years trying to poison each other, setting bear traps in one another’s homes, and in one underreported incident, taking control of a pair of nuclear-tipped ICBMs in what can only be described as the world’s most macabre attempt at a murder-suicide.

OK, I might have made up all that murder stuff, but the Glimmer Twins had stopped being quite so glimmery.

Sure enough though they got back together to record Steel Wheels in 1989, probably because Mick wised up after Keith’s solo album (1988′s Talk Is Cheap) turned out to be pretty frickin’ awesome in exactly the way Mick’s hadn’t been. The album and the supporting tour both went on to be monster successes. That’s not to say Steel Wheels ranks among the best of the Stones — far from it. But “pretty good” Stones is still better than most bands’ best work.

I was DJing at KXGO in northern California when the album came out, and the station dutifully played the four single releases. “Mixed Emotions” made it to #5 and is still a really solid cut; it’s on the regular rotation here at Casa Verde. The next release was “Rock and a Hard Place,” formulaic and mostly forgettable. But the two final songs are just good old rock and roll. “Almost Hear You Sigh” is one of those rare ballads that manages to combine sadness with just a touch of bitter. It’s a really good cut.

But Wheels wouldn’t be a Stones album if it didn’t contain at least one song of preening sexual braggadocio — and so I present you with “Terrifying.”

Is it great Stones? No, but it’s still pretty dang good — and this was probably their last outing when Mick could still get away with this stuff.

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All Comments   (5)
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Hmm, no Keith Richards jokes yet...
20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
Could there possibly be any new ones?
20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
Not much of a Stones fan myself, but yesterday on the way home from work I heard “Gimme Shelter” on the radio, and was reminded of just how good they could sound, and what a great run they had from “Beggar’s Banquet” to “It’s Only Rock 'n Roll”.
20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
Is it just me or would this song be tons better with a different vocalist?
20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
Steel Wheels Tour, 1989.

We had "floor" seats for their show in Montreal's Big Mistake, a/k/a Olympic Stadium. Didn't matter how many cubic dollars they poured into the sound rig in that never-lamented concrete bowl but I could have produced better sound with a mid-'70s Jensen car tape player and a pair of sun-beat 6x9s under the rear glass. Worst concert spend ever. The only reason I knew Living Colour was the warm-up band is because the tickets said so.
20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
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