Thursday, March 2, 2017

ROLLING STONES-Dirty Work (1986)


I once heard that papa was a rolling stone.....and I heard that Mick Jagger was a pretty good one, too. In my continued joyride through the rockin' 80's, I felt it was time to finally plunge in head first with the legendary British band and its long-time frontman. Add THE ROLLING STONES to the list of decades-old bands who've been recording since forever, yet has taken me forever to take one of their many successful albums out for a full spin. Being a child of the 80's, I was at least introduced to Mick Jagger and company by exposure of a couple of memorable hits: "State Of Shock", where Mick performs with the late King Of Pop, Michael Jackson, and "Jumpin' Jack Flash", which I know oh so well from the soundtrack of my all-time favorite Whoopi Goldberg spy movie by the same title and which had also been performed by the Queen Of Soul, Aretha Franklin. Besides that, plus knowing that they band was active way back in the 60's (before my time) and well known for their popular "Rolling Stone" magazine, any other knowledge about them and their career accomplishments is practically zero. Made a small dent in overcoming that today with my first ever listen to an album I'd randomly selected from their discography, "Dirty Work". Well, maybe not so randomly; I did want to hear something they recorded in the 80's because the nostalgic hair band rock lover in me is still alive and kicking. Making immediate impressions on me were the catchy hit of an opener, "One Hit (To The Body)"., followed by the fast-tempo "Fight", which is one of those jams that I get a real charge out of and one that is so 80's with its simple hook 'gotta get into the fight' (it's almost a funny song, but does capture that carefree hard rocker's spirit that I like). "Harlem Shuffle": I feel like I'd heard a song with this exact title before I started listening, and I'm sure it's not classified a rock song at all. Actually, this ROLLING STONES take isn't the hard rock I was expecting, per se, but rather a more bluesy, smooth soft rock number that too becomes catchy with its hooks of 'yeah, yeah, yeah, do the Harlem shuffle' and 'yeah, yeah, yeah, shake your tail feather baby'. The soft rock side of Mick Jagger and company emerges again on what instantly became a keeper for me: "Too Rude". This is a nice mellowed-down tune that came totally unexpected to my ears; I think I'd been too geared up for the loud voices and screaming guitars. There's a pleasantly fluid reggae vibe that appeals to me here, which belies the negative theme about a girl that's simply too bad to be good to him. That feel-good 80's pop spirit filled me up on "Winning Ugly" and "Back To Zero", the latter one getting a few more praises from me because of the colorful instrumental funk/jazz party that erupts in the closing movements. Some of the best words sung on this album are delivered on the fast-tempo, drum-banging title track: 'let somebody do your dirty work'. Sounds totally bad, but I see his point. Why do all the hard work when you can stay clean and let somebody else do it? And besides that, I just like Mick's gritty and growling vocals on this one, especially during the chorus. "Had It With You": Knew this would be a breakup song of sorts, as in the phrase ' I've had it with you '. The fast-tempo dancey beat drives this one along nicely, highlighted by the harmonica instrumental break and the secondary beat drop break where Mick speaks the frustrated words loud and clear. All of it is topped off with the concluding ballad, "Sleep Tonight", which is what I will do well after a long day of good tunes:

1. One Hit (To The Body)
2. Fight
3. Harlem Shuffle
4. Hold Back
5. Too Rude
6. Winning Ugly
7. Back To Zero
8. Dirty Work
9. Had It With You
10. Sleep Tonight

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