Mick Jagger all inked up
1. Start Me Up
2. Hang Fire
4. Little T&A
5. Black Limousine
7. Worried About You
10. No Use in Crying
11. Waiting on a Friend
You Can Start Me Up > and I’ll sometimes stop. Some good songs on a patchy Rolling Stones album.
- August, 1981
- Rock On Rock Recommends:
Start Me Up; Slave; Waiting on a Friend; Worried About You; No Use in Crying; Black Limousine
Tattoo You was a hit album on the back of hit single Start Me Up > with its distinctive Keith Richards guitar riff.
The album was mostly cobbled together from outtakes and other bits and pieces from past Rolling Stones recording sessions. Side one of the Tattoo You vinyl is rock/blues songs > with side B devoted more to ballads.
Start Me Up’s big guitar chords slice thru the air as the band crank it up. The Rolling Stones mightn’t be spring chickens [or Little Red Rooters] anymore, nearing their 40s > but “start me up, start me up ….. I’ll never stop, never stop”.
Necrophilia rears Mick Jagger’s ugly head [that purple one below the belt] on Start Me Up. “You make a dead man come,” he sings.
A tinnie Hang Fire hardly sets the world ablaze then Charlie Watts’ bold drums come to the rescue on blues/gospel Slave > featuring guest saxophonist Josh Redmond, who adds a fine touch to several songs on Tattoo You. Mick Jagger changes his tune on Slave > a song about the emancipation of women.
Keith Richards rasps out a lead vocal behind his rock riff on Little T&A > as in tits and ass.
Shrill harmonica starts Black Limousine > Jagger taking the mickey out of himself and his jet-setting, high-society partying ways.
There’s role-reversal on Neighbours > the biggest party band in the land telling someone else to tone it down. Mick Jagger moans about neighbours keeping him awake at night. There’s a better version of Neighbours and a great Start Me Up on Rolling Stones live recording Live Licks (2004).
Worried About You starts the softer side of Tattoo You > Jagger cranking out a falsetto [Maybe he fancied a foursome with the Three Tenors!!] The Stones singer thankfully doesn’t falsetto thru the whole song > which picks up in pace and emotion.
No Use In Crying is an effectual, slow-tempo, love gone wrong ballad.
The best ballad on Tattoo You is Waiting on a Friend > lazing in the warmth of friendship. The video shows Jagger and Keith Richards hooking up on tenement stairs in New York and pretending not to look at the women walking by. “I’m not waiting on a lady/ I’m just waiting on a friend.”
Tops and the Arab-ish Heaven round out an uneven Rolling Stones album.
KEITH RICHARDS FLAYS GUITAR AT STAGE INVADER
YOU INVADE MY SPACE, I SMASH YOUR FACE > if only I wasn’t so busy playing this guitar.
On the Rolling Stones 1981 American tour, Keith Richards spotted a youngish male fan who made it on stage. The Stones guitarist took an almighty swing with his guitar at the invader’s head > missing by centimetres.
This immortal moment is captured on Rolling Stones stage film Let’s Spend The Night Together > directed by Hal Ashby.
SUPPORT ACT PRINCE BELTED WITH BEER CANS
Rolling Stones bass player Bill Wyman tells of an incident with funk soul brother Prince on the same tour. Opening for the Stones in Los Angeles and wearing a pair of black bikini bottoms > Prince was soon pelted with beer cans by Stones fans. [A tale from Bill Wyman’s book Rolling With The Stones]
ROLLING STONES STAGE TAKES ON ADDED DIMENSIONS
IT’S like the Rolling Stones had to outdo themselves each tour > with bigger and more spectacular stadium shows.
The 80-plus show 1981/82 tour of the US and Europe had a stage over 350 feet across at full stretch > adorned with large cloth replicas of paintings by Japanese artist Kazuhide Yamazaki. Eight semi-trailers were used to transport the stage.
SUCKING IN THE SEVENTIES
THE Rolling Stones-sanctioned Sucking in the Seventies album was released the same year as Tattoo You > 1981.
It’s a mish-mash of remixes, original hits and several songs previously unreleased on a Stones album > and those songs should have stayed that way.
> WRITTEN by MALCOLM LIVERMORE