Tattoo You Review

artist: rolling stones date: 08/14/2008 category: compact discs
rolling stones: Tattoo You
Release Date: Aug 30, 1981
Label: Virgin
Genres: Rock & Roll, Hard Rock, Pop/Rock
Number Of Tracks: 11
Tattoo You captures the Stones at their best as a professional stadium-rock band.
 Sound: 6
 Lyrics: 7
 Overall Impression: 7
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review (1) 6 comments vote for this album:
overall: 6.7
Tattoo You Reviewed by: Zooropean11, on august 14, 2008
0 of 3 people found this review helpful

Sound: As the cliche goes, this is the Rolling Stones' best album since "Exile On Main St.", bar none, except perhaps "Some Girls" and their latest, "A Bigger Bang". Note that I say "best" and not "greatest", however. Tattoo You was cobbled together from outtakes that dated all the way back to the "Goat's Head Soup" sessions. For example, Waiting on a Friend has Mick Taylor playing guitar, rather than Ronnie Wood. Start Me Up and Black Limousine, were from the "Some Girls" sessions, While only Neighbors and Heaven were originals from the sessions for this album. The Stones explore a few different styles of music, such as reggae and boogie-woogie, with Start Me Up being one of the few true rock songs on the album. In fact, the album is split in two sides, one with staight ahead rock songs, and the other comprised of mostly ballads and mellower material. Sadly enough, though, this album is far from exceptional. Certainly, there are a few stand-out tracks, such as the lead single, Start Me Up (which has one of the most infectious beats in a rock song), Waiting on a Friend (One of their truly best ballads), Slave (a slower rocking piece of menace), and Black Limousine (a boogie number that, interestingly, is one of the few songs credited to Jagger/Richards/Wood). The rest of the album borders on passable, as it is weighted down by, in my opinion, garbage such as Hang Fire (Reggae gone wrong) and Neighbors (Which just doesn't sound like the Stones, any way you put it). All in all, it is undeserving of its label as one of their best, and, personally was a big let-down for me, what with the expectations that Start Me Up had created. // 6

Lyrics: Thankfully, Mick Jagger can sing, and sing he does on this album. In fact, the feeling one gets from this album is that it's largely a Jagger afair, as his presence is dominant, both in the lyrics and the songwriting. Lets start in the order of the songs on the album. I will skip the ones that mean nothing for me. Lets get started. Start Me Up is rather straightforward, using motorcycle talk as a metaphor for sex, typical Rolling stones style. Hang Fire, despite the fast tempo and generally upbeat, cheesy style, is actually a political commentary on the economic decline of England in the late 70's, and is one of the group's more political songs in the style of Gimmie Shelter and Street Fighting Man. Keith Richards describes the lyrics of Little T&A as being about all those one-night stands that he, and the band has had. In other words, it gets a bit introspective. Not very interesting, at least to me. Black Limousine offers a more mature look on the relationship between a man and a woman, and doesn't paint a mysogynistic picture, unlike most other stones songs that have been written on the subject. Neighbors essentially deals with Keith Richards' frustration at being evicted from his New York City apartment, and was written for him by Mick Jagger. Finally, we have Waiting on a Friend. This song has been placed in a very strategic spot on the album, as the closer. Apart from the fact that it is a musical masterpiece with brilliant guitar and saxophone parts, the lyrics might just be some of the best Jagger has ever written. The way I see it, this song is the ultimate ode to friendship, giving it a value above relationships with the other sex and many other things. Truly, it was the only song that touched me off this album. // 7

Overall Impression: Truth be told, at this point, the Rolling Stones were starting to fray at the edges. Already, the bands that had drawn the biggest amount of their influence from them, such as Aerosmith, had surpassed them in raunch and swagger. This album is of historical significance to the band as it would be their last to be a true blockbuster and also their last to have a huge hit single, with Start Me Up. There aren't too many things to love about this album but, truth be told, those that can be loved are truly deserving and worthwhile. What irks me though is that it could have been so much better if there were more originals and not so many outtakes. Truth be told, I should have buoght Let It Bleed instead, and if this album was stolen, I would not replace it. // 7

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