August 5 – Dancing, Err, Rolling Stones

Maybe you can’t teach an old dog new tricks but you can at least get them to put a new spin on the old ones. Or at least you could the Rolling Stones as they forged on well into their second decade. They hit #1 in the U.S. on this day in 1978 with “Miss You.”

It was the first single off their Some Girls album, the first to have Ronnie Wood onboard as a full-time member and guitarist. Despite Keith Richards’ deepening drug problems in that time period, it was seen as one of their most creative albums of the decade and a return to form after a few less-than-brilliant records.

Considering that by then they used Richards and Wood as guitarists and Mick Jagger played some guitar on the single as well, it wasn’t as much a blow-the-walls down rocker as one might have expected. The Stones were taking note of what was going on in the music world and didn’t want to get left behind. It was the height of the disco revolution and old-style rock and roll wasn’t in vogue. So the Stones set out to get with the times… but do so in their own style.

“’Miss You’ was heavily influenced by going out to the discos,” drummer Charlie Watts confirms. “you can hear it on the four-to-the floor and the Philadelphia-style drumming.” Keith Richards says it “was a damn good disco record.” To whit, the band took the song which is just under five minutes on the LP, under four on the single and put in a bit more dance beat and extended it to eight-and-a-half minutes in their first 12” single.

If you could dance to it, the song about the dude pining for his lost love and his buddies just wanting him to stop his moping didn’t exactly scream “Studio 54” like some other rockers crossover disco hits of that era (think Rod Stewart’s “Do Ya Think I’m Sexy” or Kiss’s “I Was Made For Loving You.”) Part of that probably is owing to the fine, and prominent bluesy harmonica played by Sugar Blue, a New York bluesman Mick found busking in Paris! Ian McLagan, formerly of Faces joined in the fun adding some electric piano to the song Mick apparently wrote with a bit of help from Billy Preston when they were jamming in Toronto the year before. (Unfortunately for Preston, he wasn’t credited for writing while Keith Richards was, per the Stones’ norm.)

Miss You” spent a week on top in the States before being deposed by the Commodores, and also made #1 in Canada. It was their seventh U.S. #1 single, but only the second of the ’70s. It got to #3 in the homeland which wasn’t very much home to them at that point, the UK.

Beast of Burden” was the next single off Some Girls and was also a North American top 10 making the album the last of theirs to produce two major hit songs.

18 thoughts on “August 5 – Dancing, Err, Rolling Stones

  1. This is such a great Stones album Dave. Love how they went back to the basics in regards to the stripped back rock sound. A few years back they released a killer one off track called Doom And Gloom which could have squeezed onto this record as it has that garage like rock vibe.
    Great post.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Some Girls and Tattoo You are great rock records from the Stones. I also have a soft spot for Voodoo Lounge as I caught that tour twice (Toronto and Minneapolis) and its one of the best shows I have seen.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. The TO show and Minneapolis show set lists I believe are the same except in Minnie they added Rocks Off, what song was dropped I can’t remember what was played in TO but it wasn’t Rocks Off!
        The opening acts were different as well. Stone Temple Pilots in TO and Spin Doctors in Minnie.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. badfinger20 (Max)

    I just did a post on the Stones not giving Marianne credit on a song. That is just wrong. I do like this album…Before They Make Me Run…is my favorite off of this album…and the title track. To me this was their last great album…although Tattoo You came close.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. badfinger20 (Max)

        Oh no…I’m sorry it’s coming up later in August. Yea like I said Tattoo You was very good but not great. Steel Wheels was good also but just to me…a notch below Tattoo You

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  3. This is the last stones album that has an albums worth of good to great songs on it. ‘Beast of Burden’ and the all time shitkicking piss-take drawl of ‘Faraway Eyes’ are up there for me, as is their version of ‘Just My Imagination.’
    Not to say they didn’t still scale the heights- occasionally- ‘Saint Of Me’ and ‘Doom and Gloom’ soar but theres a lot of turgid stuff on the later albums; Ie ‘Streets Of Love,’ anyone. Anyone?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh yeah – I thought I remembered the LP back then doing something like that so you could change the faces around… pretty cool type gimmick you can get done if you are the Stones.

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