A Bigger Bang – The Rolling Stones

Most overused phrase in rock journalism is, a return to form. Well this is not quite a return to form, but it is a pretty decent album. If The Stones were to really produce a return to form album it would have to be at least as good as Some Girls. This is a good album though and is easily the best thing they have done for 20 years (imagine not making a decent album for 20 years and still having a career) Back of my Hand is the real return to form and it is nice to hear them doing this stripped back acoustic blues again.
I think you can trace the highs and lows of the Stones career through the stimulants they used. Satanic Majesties is LSD, the 70s albums, Sticky Fingers and Exile on Main Street it’s cocaine and the 80s albums it’s Perrier and Lattes. After listening to this album maybe they have gone back on the gear.
Hidden gem: It Won’t Take Long
Micro review: Not exactly Let it Bleed, but not too shabby either

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Some Girls – The Rolling Stones

Back in the day (which, based on my age could be anywhere between 1978-1998, but I think it would have been around the late 1970s) I hung around with a guy one summer, he moved away and I never saw him again. His father wasn’t around and it was just him and his mother and an absent older brother, who I suspected was in prison. His mother always smelled of cigarettes and Avon perfume, a heady mix. I have smelled this aroma since, usually when walking through a bus station. Anyway, unlike any other adults I knew she owned a fair whack of Rolling Stones albums (although she was the correct age, I always thought it was weird).
She had this album, as back then, it was the most recent. I decided to listen to Some Girls today as I want to be controversial. And here is is, this is the last great Stones album, there I have lit that touch-paper. There have been some good albums (Emotional Rescue, Tattoo You), and also many terrible ones since, but Some Girls is the last great one.
Miss You was the first thing I heard by the Stones, and it is still a great track, and a great single. The title track is where it is at though, classic Stones, sleazy blues with racist overtones.
Micro review: Here’s a line you won’t hear at a Stones gig in 2012, now we are going to play 3 or 4 from our new album.