Rolling Stones - Undercover
Label: Rolling Stones Records
Catalog#: 79 01201
Format: Vinyl, LP, Album
Cover in shrink extra Stones sticker on back of shrink
Style: Classic Rock
A1 Undercover Of The Night 4:31
A2 She Was Hot 4:40
A3 Tie You Up (The Pain Of Love) 4:12
A4 Wanna Hold You 3:12
A5 Feel On Baby 5:03
B1 Too Much Blood 5:46
B2 Pretty Beat Up 4:03
B3 Too Tough 3:46
B4 All The Way Down 3:40
B5 It Must Be Hell 5:03
A.1979's Emotional Rescue was pretty much made up of Some Girls outtakes
B.1981's excellent Tattoo You was in reality an odds and sods release made up of half forgotten gems recorded throughout the 70's, rescued from the vaults and polished up.
C.1982's Still Life was the ragged glory live album documenting the 81-82 tour which was probably the most hyped rock extravaganza in history and re-positioned the Stones as arguably the most loved band in the world
D.In '85 Mick would go solo with She's The Boss
E.1986 brought arguably the lamest album in the Stones cannon, Dirty Work
So that leaves us to consider Undercover, the first batch of newly written tracks since 1978's Some Girls (although Too Tough had been hanging around in the vaults since the mid `70's). This was also the first studio release since the universally praised glory of Tattoo You and the '81 tour. Interestingly, the band did not go out of their way to replicate the classic rock sound of Tattoo You but instead tried to re-invent themselves for the 80's, exploring some new and "Modern' sounds. Thankfully, it was a little too early in the Miami Vice decade for the "Modern" production techniques of the era to doom this record to sounding embarrassingly dated (see She's The Boss and Dirty Work for examples of this kind of unfortunate excess). Some of the highlights:
1. Undercover of the Night: Title track, first single and centerpiece. Definitely the sound of the Stones re-inventing themselves for the 80's. Phased guitars, jungle rhythms and vaguely politically-themed lyrics suggesting the Central American bloodshed dominating the headlines at the time. This song is very catchy, quite rocking, not embarrassing or dated and earns the band points for trying something new and not just phoning in their performance. The band has been known to pull this one out for live performances over the years and is a welcome addition to their concerts.
2. She Was Hot: Fun, lusty rocker that is good without being great. A little overproduced, this song would have benefited from a more raw production style. This one screams for inclusion in their live set, where it would potentially come into its own as a barn burner ala Respectable or Rip This Joint.
3. Wanna Hold You: A decent rocker but not one of Keith's greatest songs; not bad either. I'd like to see Keith trot this one out for their next tour.
4. Too Much Blood: The most `80's song here but in a good way. This is really a Mick song (the bizarre violence story lyrics recorded when he was drunk) with a guitar tech playing the main riff. Definitely intended for the dance floor, this track works and is considered by some Stones freaks as the best song on the record. Surprisingly, this still sounds fresh and not dated although it certainly is of its era.
5. Pretty Beat Up: This has become my favorite track on the album. Don't believe the Jagger / Richards / Wood credits, this is a Ronnie song that those greedy bastids tacked their names onto. A totally cool 80's dance funk groover that manages to swing and rock at the same time, put this song on loud at your next blowout and watch your guests go nuts. Ronnie has been known to play this live in his solo sets and this is another one that just begs to be played live by the Stones. This is one of the great unappreciated Stones songs, ripe for rediscovery
Producer - Chris Kimsey , Glimmer Twins, The
℗©1983 Promotone B.V.
Manufactured and distributed by WEA Music of Canada, Ltd.
Barcode and Other Identifiers
Barcode: 0 7567-90120-1
Rolling Stones UNDERCOVER OF THE NIGHT 1989
Best Stones song written, recorded and performed
This is the best song I have ever heard live. The guitar riff was so loud and hard it got in my bones and is still there today. The crowd chiming in with the doo doo doot da doo 30,000 strong sounded so raw and primitive