Like Emotional Rescue before it, Tattoo You was comprised primarily of leftovers, but unlike its predecessor, it never sounds that way.
Like Emotional Rescue before it, Tattoo You was comprised primarily of leftovers, but unlike its predecessor, it never sounds that way. Instead, Tattoo You captures the Stones at their best as a professional stadium-rock band. Divided into a rock & roll side and a ballad side, the album delivers its share of thrills on the tight, dynamic first side. "Start Me Up" became the record's definitive Stonesy rocker, but the frenzied doo wop of "Hang Fire," the reggae jam of "Slave," the sleazy Chuck Berry rockers "Little T&A" and "Neighbours," and the hard blues of "Black Limousine" are all terrific.
Tattoo You is the 16th British and 18th American studio album by The Rolling Stones, released in 1981. The follow-up to Emotional Rescue, it proved to be a big critical and commercial success. A very popular album upon release, it is the last Rolling Stones album to reach the top position of the US charts, ending a string of #1's dating back to 1971's Sticky Fingers.
After bum-rushing the '80s with EMOTIONAL RESCUE, the Stones released TATTOO YOU, the second half of a potent one-two album punch that showed the band asserting themselves as they entered their third decade of music-making. Essentially made up of songs dating as far back as 1972 sessions for GOATS HEAD SOUP, the Stones' 1981 release is still a potent slab of swagger and sass. "Hang Fire" is a tight two-minute and twenty second redefinition of surf music, and "Start Me Up" is classic Stones, replete with Jagger's sexual braggadocio and Keith's patented "Honky Tonk Women"-style riffs. The bluesy shuffle that is "Black Limousine" is only surpassed by the cocky "Little T & A," sung by an endearingly raspy Keith Richards. Most impressive on TATTOO YOU is the wistful "Waiting On A Friend," featuring jazz giant Sonny Rollins wailing away on his saxophone as the song fades out.