Reason #245: Tattoo You

Rolling Stones, the - Tattoo YouThere’s an interesting discussion over at Kamer Tunes blog in regards to the merits of latter day Rolling Stones albums, particularly Dirty Work. The conversation gets really interesting in the comments section, and Rich and his readers make some valid points about finding the gems among the ruins. Me, I’ve always been of the mind that Tattoo You was their last great album, and truth be told I stopped caring about new Rolling Stones albums after that. The wonderful thing about the discussion going on over at Rich’s place is that it made me think that perhaps I was missing something. So I am now delving deeper than I ever have previously in all their albums to see what I missed. Instead of starting at the beginning I am starting with the first Rolling Stones album I ever heard, Tattoo You.

Along with Back In Black  by AC/DC, Tattoo You was among the first LP’s I ever bought with my own money, and thus I am sure I’ll always have a special place for them on my shelf and in my heart. I understand that Tattoo You was a compilation of outcasts from prior albums, but it sure doesn’t sound that way to me. Of course you’ve got Start Me Up, one of the dirtiest songs to ever reach near the summit of the US charts, and Waiting On A Friend is one of their best ballads. But Little T & A is probably my favorite Keith Richard vocal, and Slave (the long version, not the edited one) is a terrific piece of blooze sleaze that is, unforgivably, left off every compilation of the Stones “greatest”. Hang Fire, too, is terrific classic Stones, containing those great “do do do do doo’s” that they do so well. Worried and Tops, from the “ballad” side (2) are pretty terrific, too. That’s not to say there is no filler, though, because there is. I can’t think of a Stones album that doesn’t contain at least one “meh” song. Here that honor falls to Black Limousine (I know some rate this one…not I) and No Use In Crying. But for a late addition Tattoo You remains a favorite and I think deserves a mention.