The ROLLING STONES – ” Tattoo You ” 40th Anniversary Edition

Posted: November 11, 2021 in MUSIC

The Rolling Stones’ 1981 album, “Tattoo You”, is receiving expanded deluxe editions for its 40th anniversary. The newly remastered set, which came out on October 22nd, 2021, via Polydor/Interscope/UMe, in a variety of formats, includes nine previously unreleased tracks from the era. On September 30th, they released a lyric video for their cover of a Chi-lites song, “Troubles A’ Comin” It follows the video for the rocker “Living In the Heart of Love” that arrived on earlier and that features some vintage footage of the band.

The announcement for the expanded edition came 40 years to the week since the chart-topping, multi-platinum album was first released on August 24th, 1981, and as the Stones prepare to return to the road with 13 new dates on the “No Filter” tour in the U.S. The 40th anniversary remaster of the original 11-track album includes such enduring favourites as “Hang Fire,” “Waiting On a Friend” (showcasing jazz saxophone giant Sonny Rollins) and of course “Start Me Up” the opening track that’s been a band signature ever since.

Given the way the Rolling Stones “Tattoo You” came together, this 1981 album could have easily ended up as a disjointed mess. The group needed a successor to 1980’s “Emotional Rescue” to fulfill contractual obligations and because they had a U.S. and European tour set to start in September of 1981. But time was short, and the band’s members were reportedly not getting along particularly well. As a result, “Tattoo You” wound up being patched together from recordings left over from earlier sessions. Some were outtakes from “Emotional Rescue” (which itself included leftovers) and its 1978 predecessor, “Some Girls“; others dated from as far back as 1972.

The deluxe formats will also include “Lost & Found: Rarities and Still Life”: Wembley Stadium 1982. The “Lost & Found” disc contains nine previously unreleased tracks from the period of the album’s original release, newly completed and enhanced with additional vocals and guitar by the band.

The video for “Living in the Heart of Love” shot in glorious black-and-white in Paris, was directed by Charles Mehling and stars Marguerite Thiam and Nailia Harzoune.

Those vault picks were well chosen, however, and the Stones improved them by going into the studio to enhance their vocals and instrumentation. As a result, “Tattoo You“—which on the original vinyl delivers six rockers on the A-side and five mellower numbers on the flip—turned out to be pretty darn good. No, it’s not quite as focused or as satisfying as the Stones’ 1960s and early 1970s classics. But the record—which topped charts in the U.S. in 1981 and spawned several hit singles—is understandably often cited as the group’s last great album (though this writer would give that distinction to Some Girls).

While many fans and critics consider the lead-off track, “Start Me Up,” to be a highlight of the album, it has never seemed like one to yours truly, its memorable opening Keith Richards guitar riff notwithstanding. More interesting are numbers like the funky, Jimmy Reed–influenced “Black Limousine”; the soulful “Worried about You” which incorporates Jagger’s falsetto; “Tops,” a “Goats Head Soup” reject from 1972; and “Slave” which features Billy Preston’s organ and jazz saxophonist Sonny Rollins. (There are apparently also backing vocals by Pete Townshend, though you’d never know that without reading the credits.) And then there’s “Waiting on a Friend,” the album’s closer and best track, which features excellent vocal work by Mick Jagger, Nicky Hopkins on piano, and two terrific sax solos by Rollins.

Other highlights of “Lost & Found” include a killer version of “Shame, Shame, Shame,” first recorded in 1963 by one of the band’s blues heroes, Jimmy Reed; their reading of Dobie Gray’s soul gem “Drift Away” and a reggae-tinged version of “Start Me Up”

“Troubles A’ Comin” was originally recorded by the Stones in Paris in 1979. The guitar-driven track is an infectious cover of the Chi-Lites original and is one of the nine newly completed songs and rarities featured on “Tattoo You’s Lost & Found” disc.

The outtakes disc is consistently good, though there’s probably nothing here that many fans would consider essential to own. It includes a markedly different early version of “Start Me Up”; several other hard-rocking originals; a likable piano-based Jagger/Richards ballad called “Fast Talking, Slow Walking”;

The deluxe collection’s Still Life: Wembley Stadium 1982 is a memento of the band’s London show in June of that year on the “Tattoo You” tour. The 26-track set is packed with Stones mega-hits, including an opening “Under My Thumb” and classic rock greats such as “Let’s Spend the Night Together” “Honky Tonk Women” and “Brown Sugar”.

The Wembley concert on the final two discs delivers more thrills than the outtakes CD—and many more than Still Life (American Concert 1981), a 1982 LP that draws on material from the same tour. For one thing, the Wembley recording is three times as long as the earlier 40-minute LP and, as such, it makes room for a much more expansive program, one that includes everything on “Still Life” plus another 15 numbers. And the performances suggest that months on the road left the Stones machine well-oiled.

The Wembley show has covers of the Temptations’ “Just My Imagination,” Eddie Cochran’s “Twenty Flight Rock,” the Miracles“Going To A Go Go” and early rock ‘n’ roller the Big Bopper’s “Chantilly Lace.” It also features early live workouts for tracks from the then-new Tattoo You such as “Start Me Up,” “Neighbours,” “Little T&A” and “Hang Fire”.

When first released, Tattoo You, produced by the Glimmer Twins with associate producer Chris Kimsey, topped the charts in the U.S. (where it went quadruple platinum), Canada, Australia and across much of Europe, with gold and platinum awards around the world.

Tattoo You celebrates 40 years with the release of a brand new deluxe remastered edition of the chart topping, multi platinum album. The Super Deluxe 5LP Boxset includes the newly remastered version of Tattoo You, Lost & Found, Still Life: Wembley Stadium 1982 and a 124 Page Book featuring over 200 rare photos from recording sessions & world tour + interviews with producer Chris Kimsey & photographer Hubert Kretzscmar. The package includes a special lenticular sleeve.

The Lost & Found disc contains no fewer than nine previously unreleased songs from the period of the album’s original release, newly completed and enhanced with additional vocals and guitar by the band. Among these, ‘Living In The Heart Of Love’ is a quintessential Rolling Stones rock workout with all of the group on top form, complete with urgent guitar licks and fine piano detail.

Still Life: Wembley Stadium 1982 is an unmissable memento of the band’s London show in June of that year on the Tattoo You tour. The mighty 26-track set is packed with Stones mega-hits.

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