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Some Girls:The Rolling Stones

Some Girls is the 14th British and 16th American studio album by The Rolling Stones, released in 1978 on Rolling Stones Records, catalogue COC 39108. It peaked at #1 on the Billboard 200, and became the band's top selling album in the United States, certified by the RIAA as having six million copies sold as of 2000. It was a major critical success, with many reviewers calling it a classic return to form, and their best album since 1972's Exile on Main St.


 [hide*1 History


With the advent of punk rock, The Rolling Stones, among many of their musical contemporaries, were being targeted by some in the movement as culturaldinosaurs, compromising their standing, despite the Rolling Stones early period being a major influence on British Punk groups. Mick Jagger felt invigorated by the provocations and was determined to answer them lyrically.

At least as important for the band's reinvigoration was the addition of Ronnie Wood to the line-up, as Some Girls was the first album recorded with him as a full member. His guitar playing style meshed with, and was similar to, that of Keith Richards. Wood's slide guitar playing would become one of the band's hallmarks, and his unconventional uses of the instrument are prominent on Some Girls. In addition, Jagger, who had learned to play guitar over the previous decade, contributed a third guitar part to many songs. This gave songs like "Respectable" a three-guitar line-up.

Jagger is generally regarded as the principal creative force behind Some Girls. Richards spent much of 1977 under threat of imprisonment (see below), but he was present at all of the "Some Girls" recording sessions. Jagger claimed in a 1995 interview to have written a great number of the album's songs (though when the amount was pointed out to him he denied that the record was mostly his own), including its signature song, "Miss You". In addition to punk, Jagger claims to have been influenced by dance music, most notably disco, during the recording of Some Girls, and cites New York City as a major inspiration for the album, an explanation for his lyrical preoccupation with the city throughout.

The inspiration for the record was really based in New York and the ways of the town. I think that gave it an extra spur and hardness. And then, of course, there was the punk thing that had started in 1976. Punk and disco were going on at the same time, so it was quite an interesting period. New York and London, too. Paris—there was punk there. Lots of dance music. Paris and New York had all this Latin dance music, which was really quite wonderful. Much more interesting than the stuff that came afterward.[2]

For the first time since 1968's Beggars Banquet, the core band — now Jagger, Richards, Wood, Charlie Watts, and Bill Wyman — would be the only musicians on a Rolling Stones album, with few extra contributors. Ian McLagan, Wood's bandmate from The Faces, played keyboards, and harmonica player Sugar Blue contributed to several songs, in addition to saxophonist Mel Collins and Simon Kirke, who played percussion (the three jokingly credited as "1 Moroccan, 1 Jew, 1 WASP"). Jagger's guitar contributions caused the band's road manager, Ian Stewart, to be absent from many of the sessions as he felt piano would be superfluous, making this a rare Rolling Stones album on which he did not appear. An alternate story has Stewart pointedly boycotting most of the sessions, claiming the band was sounding like "bloody Status Quo!"

A serious concern was the issue of Keith Richards and his highly publicized heroin possession bust in TorontoOntario in early 1977, resulting in a very real possibility that he might be sent to jail for years. However, due to the judgement that Richards was very separate from the usual theft and anti-social culture that is associated with heroin use, he was sentenced very lightly. He was ordered to perform a charity show for The Canadian National Institute for the Blind.[3] As a commemoration of his second lease on life following the end of his heroin addiction, Keith reverted his surname to "Richards" with an "s" for Some Girls, after fifteen years without it.

The sessions for Some Girls began in October 1977, breaking before Christmas and starting up again after New Year's before finishing in March 1978. Under their new British recording contract with EMI(remaining with Warner Music in North America only), they were able to record at EMI's Pathé Marconi Studios in Paris, a venue at which they would record frequently for the next several years. The Rolling Stones ended up recording about fifty new songs, several of which would turn up in altered forms on Emotional Rescue and Tattoo You. These sessions have also served as a prime source for many bootleg compilations over the years. Engineer for the sessions was Chris Kimsey, whose approach to recording breathed life into the somewhat dense sounding recordings like Goats Head Soup and It's Only Rock 'n' Roll albums. Kimsey's direct method of recording, together with the entrance of the then state-of-the-art Mesa/Boogie Mark I amps instead of the Ampeg SVT line of amps, yielded a bright, direct and aggressive guitar sound. In fact, there have been few Stones sessions as widely bootlegged as these.

There was some controversy surrounded the lyrics to the title song, an extended musing on women of various nationalities and races. The line "Black girls just wanna get fucked all night" drew strong protests from various groups, including Jesse Jackson's PUSH. Jagger famously replied, "I've always said, you can't take a joke, it's too fucking bad," although he was reportedly more conciliatory to Jackson in private, as he claimed the song was intended as a parody of racist attitudes. Saturday Night Live cast member Garrett Morris would have the final say on the controversy with a mock-editorial on the show'sWeekend Update segment: After giving the impression that he was going to openly criticise the Stones, he quoted a sanitised version of the "Black girls just..." line, then stated "I have one thing to say to you, Mr. Mick Jagger ... where are these black girls ... you got any phone numbers?!?"

Packaging and artwork[edit]Edit

The album cover for Some Girls was designed by Peter Corriston, who would design the next three album covers as well, with illustrations by Hubert Kretzschmar[citation needed]. An elaborate die-cut design, with colours varying on different sleeves, it featured The Rolling Stones in garish drag alongside select female celebrities and lingerie ads. The cover immediately ran into trouble when Lucille BallFarrah FawcettLiza Minnelli (representing her mother Judy Garland), Raquel Welch, and the estate of Marilyn Monroe threatened legal action.

The album was quickly reissued with a revised cover that removed all the celebrities whether they had complained or not, and were replaced with black and punk style garish colours with the phrase PARDON OUR APPEARANCE - COVER UNDER RE-CONSTRUCTION (found on most reissues since). Jagger later apologised to Minnelli when he encountered her during a party at the famous discothèque Studio 54. The only celebrity whose face was not removed was that of ex-Beatle George Harrison.

There also existed a third version of the album cover with hand-drawn women (found on the 1986 CD reissue).

A fourth amended version that included Carly SimonLinda RonstadtBritt Eklund, and Jimmy Carter in drag was not published.

Release and legacy[edit]Edit

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic link
Blender link
Robert Christgau link
Rolling Stone link
Uncut link
The A.V. Club link

In May 1978, the first single from the album, "Miss You", a prowling, moody number built on a stripped-down disco beat and bluesy pop harmonies, was released to very strong response, garnering The Rolling Stones their last US #1 hit and reaching #3 in the UK. Some Girls appeared in June to a very welcoming audience, reaching #1 in the US and #2 in the UK, becoming their biggest-selling studio album in the process (currently certified six times platinum in the US alone). "Beast of Burden", "Respectable" (in the UK) and "Shattered" (in the US) would follow as the next singles, all becoming minor hits as well.

The Stones embarked on their summer US Tour 1978 in support of the album, which for the first time saw them mount several small venue shows, sometimes under a pseudonym.

In 2003 Some Girls was ranked number 269 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.

In 1986, the first compact disc version of the album was issued by the Stones' new label distributor, Columbia Records, as Rolling Stones/Columbia CK-40449. In 1994, with the acquisition of the Rolling Stones Records catalogue by Virgin RecordsSome Girls was remastered and reissued with a partial restoration of the original cover art. The first pressing was packaged in a replica of the original vinyl packaging. In 2009, the album was remastered and reissued by Universal Music, restoring the original color scheme of the cover.


Some Girls was re-issued on 21 November 2011 as a 2 CD deluxe edition, including twelve songs originally recorded during the two sessions for the album (with the exception of "Tallahassee Lassie" from Aug-Sep 1978 and "We Had It All" from 1979). A Super-Deluxe edition also included a DVD with live footage & promo videos, a 100-page book, 5 postcards, a poster, and a 7" 180-gram replica vinyl single of "Beast of Burden".[4] Most of the backing tracks were recorded in Paris between October 1977 and March 1978 with mostly newly recorded vocals by Mick Jagger, which were recorded sometime during 2010 and 2011. The album re-entered the charts at #58 in the UK and #46 in the US.[5] "No Spare Parts" was released as a single on 13 November, which went to No. 2 on Billboard's Hot Singles Sales. "So Young" was the second single from the Some Girls reissue, released briefly for free on iTunes the same day "No Spare Parts" was released. A video for "No Spare Parts" was produced and was later released on 19 December 2011.

In 2012 it was released by Universal Music Enterprises in a Japanese only SHM-SACD version.

Track listing[edit]Edit

All songs written and composed by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, except where noted. 

Side one
No. Title Length
1. "Miss You"   4:48
2. "When the Whip Comes Down"   4:20
3. "Just My Imagination (Running Away with Me)(Norman Whitfield/Barrett Strong) 4:38
4. "Some Girls"   4:36
5. "Lies"   3:11
Side two
No. Title Length
6. "Far Away Eyes"   4:24
7. "Respectable"   3:06
8. "Before They Make Me Run"   3:25
9. "Beast of Burden"   4:25
10. "Shattered"   3:48
  • North American copies of the album on 8-track tape format contain extended versions of "Miss You" and "Beast of Burden" and edited versions of the songs "Far Away Eyes", "Shattered" and "Imagination" (aka "Just My Imagination (Running Away with Me)").

2011 bonus disc[edit]Edit

No. Title Length
1. "Claudine"   3:42
2. "So Young"   3:18
3. "Do You Think I Really Care?"   4:22
4. "When You're Gone" (Jagger/Richards/Ronnie Wood) 3:51
5. "No Spare Parts"   4:30
6. "Don't Be a Stranger"   4:06
7. "We Had It All" (Troy Seals/Donnie Fritts) 2:54
8. "Tallahassee Lassie" (Bob Crewe/Frank C. Slay Jr./Frederick A. Picariello) 2:37
9. "I Love You Too Much"   3:10
10. "Keep Up Blues"   4:20
11. "You Win Again" (Hank Williams) 3:00
12. "Petrol Blues"   1:35


The Rolling Stones
Additional personnel
Additional personnel on 2011 bonus disc
  • Ian Stewart – bonus tracks: piano on "Claudine", "So Young", "Do You Think I Really Care?", "Tallahasse Lassie", "You Win Again", and "Petrol Blues"
  • Chuck Leavell – bonus tracks: piano solo on "So Young"
  • Don Was – bonus tracks: bass guitar on "Don't Be a Stranger", handclaps on "Tallahasse Lassie"
  • John Fogerty – bonus tracks: handclaps on "Tallahasse Lassie"
  • Matt Clifford – bonus tracks: percussion on "Don't Be a Stranger"


Year Single Chart Position
1978 "Miss You" UK Top 75 Singles[6] 3
The Billboard Hot 100[7] 1
Club Play Singles[7] 6
Black Singles[7] 33
"Beast of Burden" The Billboard Hot 100[7] 8
"Respectable" UK Top 75 Singles[6] 23
1979 "Shattered" The Billboard Hot 100[7] 31
2010 "Beast of Burden" Billboard Rock Digital Songs[7] 49
2011 "No Spare Parts" Billboard Hot Singles Sales[7] 2


Peak positions[edit]Edit

Original release
Chart (1978–79) Position
Australian Kent Music Report[8] 3
Austrian Albums Chart[9] 4
Canadian RPM Albums Chart[10] 1
Dutch Albums Chart[11] 3
French SNEP Albums Chart[12] 2
Italian Albums Chart[13] 6
Japanese Oricon LPs Chart[14] 11
New Zealand Albums Chart[15] 2
Norwegian Albums Chart[16] 3
Spanish Albums Chart[17] 5
Swedish Albums Chart[18] 3
UK Albums Chart[6] 2
US Billboard 200[7] 1
West German Media Control Albums Chart[19] 6
Chart (2011) Position
Austrian Albums Chart[9] 38
Belgian Albums Chart (Flanders)[20] 83
Dutch Albums Chart[11] 25
Japanese Albums Chart[21] 46
New Zealand Albums Chart[15] 33
Norwegian Albums Chart[16] 39
Spanish Albums Chart[22] 59
Swedish Albums Chart[18] 41
Swiss Albums Chart[23] 48
UK Albums Chart[6] 58
US Billboard 200[7] 46

Year-end charts[edit]Edit

Chart (1978) Position
Australian Albums Chart[8] 9
Austrian Albums Chart[24] 10
Canadian Albums Chart[25] 3
Dutch Albums Chart[26] 22
French Albums Chart[27] 26
Italian Albums Chart[13] 25
UK Albums Chart[28] 26
U.S. Billboard Pop Albums[29] 43
Chart (1979) Position
Canadian Albums Chart[30] 89
U.S. Billboard Pop Albums[31] 22


Region Certification Sales/shipments
France (SNEP)[32] Gold 365,100[33]
Netherlands (NVPI)[34] Gold 50,000^
New Zealand (RMNZ)[35] Platinum 15,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[36] Gold 100,000^
United States (RIAA)[37] 6× Platinum 6,000,000^

^shipments figures based on certification alone

Chart succession[edit]Edit

Preceded by

City to City by Gerry Rafferty

Billboard 200 number-one album

15–28 July 1978

Succeeded by

Grease (soundtrack) by Various artists

Preceded by

Shadow Dancing by Andy Gibb

Canadian RPM 100 number-one album

5 August 1978

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