1. Undercover of the Night
2. She Was Hot
3. Tie You Up (The Pain of Love)
4. Wanna Hold You
5. Feel on Baby
6. Too Much Blood
7. Pretty Beat Up
8. Too Tough
9. All the Way Down
10. It Must be Hell
Dripping in nasty sex and revolutionary violence > goes off with a bang on some songs > a bit limp on others
- November, 1983
- Rock On Rock Recommends:
Undercover of the Night; Tie You Up (The Pain of Love); Pretty Beat Up; It Must be Hell
SANDWICHED between the chaotic Latino revolution of Undercover Of The Night and the struggles of ordinary life on final song It Must be Hell, > the Rolling Stones Undercover album overdoses on sex-love-lust.
Take Tie You Up (The Pain of Love): “Bust you ass, lie for it, cheat for it” and the immortal lines: “Feel the hot cum; dripping on your thighs from it”.
Tie You Up gets a bit S & M at the end with Mick Jagger begging to tie him up and at the same time pleading “Don’t hurt me, don’t hurt me” [Geez, make your mind up, will ya. Yeah, right > sure you don’t wanna be tied up!! > I bet you say that to all the girls]
Then there’s Pretty Beat Up > snarling about injuries to the heart and face, cut with a razor. Solid beat and hot sax from session musician David Sanborn.
Too Tough talks the talk on who’s top dog in a relationship revolving around poison and kitchen knives poised “above your head”.
All the Way Down gets back to basic desires [yes, it is about THAT if that’s the first thing that popped into your, um, mouth]. But Mick Jagger’s not appreciative: “Still I play the fool and strut; Still you’re a slut”.
She Was Hot has a similar throb > all “burning flesh, dripping sweat”. Stilted rhythm but a lot of people really like it > and the song found its way on to the Rolling Stones live list.
Meanwhile, in Latin America, there’s an armed revolution in full flight. Undercover Of The Night’s staccato funk rhythm is surrounded by guitar bursts as “the opposition’s tongue is cut in two”. Despite the carnage > sex manages to rear its ugly head.
Too Much Blood > with a girlfriend’s head cut off in a Paris apartment and “a bloke running around with a fucken chainsaw” > has Mick Jagger rapping > long before that style took off and helped ruined singing. It doesn’t help rescue this tune either.
Feel on Baby is a fairly feeble gospelish song and I Wanna Hold You is the by now on album obligatory Keith Richards vocals ballad.
Album closer It Must Be Hell > with its steady riff > has Jagger well aware that rock and roll royalty can no longer claim to be united with the workers’ struggle.
He instead sings that “It must be hell, suffering in the world like YOU!!!” [Well, geez > thanks for the sympathy]
This is a patchy album with the Rolling Stones unafraid to explore different musical directions > partly down a funk road with a troupe of percussion players corralled into the studio.
The good tunes on Undercover are testament to a Rolling Stones still capable of musical invention.
> WORDS by MALCOLM LIVERMORE