Monday, June 08, 2009

The story behind… The Rolling Stones’ Some Girls

The Rolling Stones have risen and fallen many, many times in their 46 years in rock and roll. Some Girls was probably their greatest musical comecback ever.

The seventies was a difficult decade for the band. After all-time classics like Sticky Fingers (1971) and Exile On Main St (1972), the Stones released three records that weren’t bad at all, but didn’t reach the quality of the previous ones. Goats Head Soup (1973), It’s Only Rock And Roll (1974) and Black And Blue (1976) showed a band out of focus. Jagger, Richards & co. were in their late thirties and were looked as dinosaurs by a new generation of angry young men and women who were called punks. It was time to revitalize the Stones’ music.

Some Girls (1978) was the first studio record with Ron Wood as permanent member of the band. He excels as pedal steel guitarist in a country song named “Far Away Eyes”, one of the highlights of the album, along with “Beast Of Burden”, “Before They Make Me Run” and a Temptations’ cover, “Just My Imagination”.

For this new record, two recently-born genres were added to the musical palette: punk and disco. The band took them and played in a personal and interesting way. The songs “Respectable” and “Lies” showed the energy and sarcasm of punk, while “Miss You” was an immediate hit with its disco beat, an amazing bass line and Jagger’s falsetto vocals. This Stones’ approach to disco music was criticized by some fans and journalists, but the song is still hailed today as one of their greatest.
The album cover was designed by an artist called Peter Corriston,. An elaborate die-cut design, with colors varying on different sleeves, it originally featured the five members of The Rolling Stones and select female celebrities in garish drag, as well as a bunch of lingerie ads and the name of the ten songs of the album.

The cover immediately ran into trouble when some of those celebrities featured in it threatened legal action. Lucille Ball (star of I Love Lucy, a classic sitcom of the fifties), Farrah Fawcett (then starring Charlie’s Angels), Liza Minnelli (representing her mother Judy Garland), Raquel Welch, and the estate of Marilyn Monroe were not happy with the cover…

Corriston would design the next three album covers as well, but Some Girls remains as his most famous (and polémica) work. At ilovewaterloo we love this record and the cover, so we decided to create a T-shirt as a tribute, featuring some of one of those designs that scandalized the celebrities mentioned above. You can find it in Visit our website!

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