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Music DVD Review: The Rolling Stones – Some Girls – Live in Texas ‘78

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The Rolling Stones were losing their edge. By the late ‘70s, amid the throes of punk’s rebellious angst and disco’s ribald decadence, the Stones—who had long personified both such distinctions—seemed atypically tame.

It had been a long six years since the band’s last really big deal, Exile on Main Street, and even that wasn’t considered the classic then that it generally is today. Critics had begun to dismiss the Stones as obsolete, a relic of a bygone age. If they failed to harness their collective talent, stave off their detractors, and deliver the goods with their next album, the world’s greatest rock ‘n’ roll band stood to get knocked off its proverbial cloud.

Some Girls, released in June 1978, heralded the Stones’ brazen return to form and, moreover, to artistic relevance. Simmering with loose groove and swagger, the album seethed with all the spunk and splendor of New York’s urban jungle.

By the time the Stones rolled into the Lone Star State the following month on a tour stop in Fort Worth, Some Girls was the number one album in America. Their performance at the Will Rogers Memorial Centre, captured in the concert film, Some Girls – Live in Texas ’78, reveals just how hard they were pushing to stay on top.

Watching them here, not so much playing but working—the band performs seven of the new album’s 10 tracks in one block, bookended by a smattering of older hits and favorites—is riveting.

Mick Jagger prowls the stage with a feral, no-bounds libido—during “Tumbling Dice” he cops a feel of guitarist Ronnie Wood’s crotch—and striking, in-the-moment conviction. Fronting the band with impassioned, soulful urgency one moment (“Beast of Burden”) and savage ferocity the next (“Shattered,” “When The Whip Comes Down”), he rules the roost throughout this stunning performance.

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About Donald Gibson

Donald Gibson is the publisher of www.writeonmusic.com and a freelance music journalist whose byline has appeared in such publications as No Depression, Spinner, The Seattle Post Intelligencer, Cinema Sentries, Blinded by Sound, and Blogcritics, where he was the Senior Music Editor (2011-2012) and Assistant Music Editor (2008-2011). He has interviewed and profiled such artists as Tony Bennett, Lucinda Williams, Jakob Dylan, Allen Toussaint, Boz Scaggs, Charli XCX, Justin Hayward (The Moody Blues), Susanna Hoffs, Bruce Hornsby, Delbert McClinton, Jonny Lang, Alan Parsons, Bill Frisell, Joan Armatrading, Christina Perri, Don Felder (The Eagles), Jimmy Webb, Katie Melua, and Buddy Guy, among many others.
  • seth

    Excellent review ! Good to see Mick with the guitar too. The show energy is fantastic. In the parlance of our times, the band kills it. ‘Shattered’ captures 70’s NYC malaise and documents the time…much like the grim movies of the time.