Their last masterpiece

By Sergio Ariza

By the end of the seventies, the Stones had become - in the eyes of a young, untapped and futureless youth - the maximum example of a dinosaur group. Punk splashed like spit in the face of the great rock and roll bands. Mick Jagger wanted to respond with one of the rawest records of the band, Some girls. Another fundamental fact of the album is that Mick Taylor was no longer around and in his place had entered the former Faces guitarist Ron Wood. Wood is not as good a guitarist as Taylor but of course he is more willing to live like a Stone, and Richards found in him a lost friend who would become his companion in endless revelry. The chemistry of the band became great again.  

In top of that, Jagger had become a regular at Studio 54 and his passion for disco music, and Jerry Hall, would be reflected in one of the greatest hits of the band, Miss You. Although the true heart of the album is to be found in songs like Respectable, Shattered, Beast of Burden - one of his best ballads - Before They Make Me Run - one of the best songs sung by Keith - Lies, the title track, or When the Whip Comes Down. The album saw a band in top form, which recorded more than 50 songs that would reappear on following albums such as Emotional Rescue and Tattoo You, as well as on the splendid Deluxe reissue that appeared in 2011.

The album opens with the aforementioned Miss You, which highlights the adventures of Jagger and Charlie Watts in the New York nightclubs of the time. The second song is the beast When The Whip Comes Down, in which Ron Wood adds a delicious Pedal Steel, which is followed by their fierce cover of Just My Imagination (Running Away with Me) by the Temptations. In the title song they laugh at their own image as misogynists, while Lies closes the first side with the strength of three guitars, with Jagger joining forces with the six strings of
Keith Richards and Wood.

If the first side opened with the nod to Jagger's disco music, the second opens with Richards' love for honky tonk and the Bakersfield sound, and Wood shines again with the pedal steel in Far Away Eyes. Respectable sees them charged with energy, again with the three guitars, in a kind of Chuck Berry song played by a punk group. In Before They Make Me Run Richards takes the lead vocal and plugs in his favourite guitar, his 53 'Micawber' Fender Telecaster, to the Mesa / Boogie Mark 1 he used throughout the record, to talk about his controversial arrest, a year earlier in Toronto, for heroin possession. Beast Of Burden is one of the best examples of how well Richards and Wood combine on guitar, exchanging 'licks' without clearly highlighting who is the lead guitar and who the rhythm. Shattered closes the album with the most punk song in the history of the Stones and shows that Jagger and company had their ears wide open to what was happening in London and New York at that time.


In short, Some Girls was the last great album of the band, a necessary injection of energy and the definitive work of Ron Wood’s period with the band. It is the album with which all those that came after are measured, since every time a critic wanted to highlight one of the last works of the Stones it has been with the following phrase "the best album of the band since Some Girls"