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Rolling Stones
"Dirty Work"

© Rolling Stones Records Rating:

track listing
  • One Hit (To The Body)
  • Fight
  • Harlem Shuffle
  • Hold Back
  • Too Rude
  • Winning Ugly
  • Back To Zero
  • Dirty Work
  • Had It With You
  • Sleep Tonight
  • Untitled

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    Rolling Stones
    "Dirty Work"

    The 1980s were a hit and miss for The Rolling Stones. Mostly misses, only two albums from this decade seemed to get a lot of praise: 1981's Tattoo You, and 1989's Steel Wheels. The remaining albums from this decade were compilations, live concerts, and only 3 new studio releases. 1980's Emotional Rescue, received mixed reviews. 1983's Undercover and 1986's Dirty Work received poor reviews, having very few hits, and not achieving great status as their previous decades' releases.

    This week we review 1986's Dirty Work. Is it as bad as they say it is? Read on...

    In observing the song titles, there are only two that I recognize: The remake of Bob & Earl's "Harlem Shuffle," a not-so-famous rant-and-raving remake, where the song was quite enjoyable, but not a classic. "One Hit (To The Body)" is more a of Stones original song, yet it still lacked the greatness of previous hit singles from the Sixties and Seventies. (The latter song probably would of better released on Steel Wheels, where it relates to "Rock And A Hard Place," with the hard rocking Stones style.) Yet, with these two minor popular singles, it seems that the remaining songs from Dirty Work would receive the same observation.

    "Fight" is weak; despite its hard rock style as in "One Hit (To The Body)," Mick Jagger's voice is too rough, and does get distracting. "One Hit (To The Body)" would be a better choice over this one. We can also say the same for "Hold Back"; its good to rock, but this style just doesn't seem to grab your attention to become a Classic Rock favorite.

    "Too Rude" is way different. Listening to this one, you can't easily define it's the Rolling Stones. Probably because the song is not written by Jagger and Keith Richards, and I often wonder who is singing. It's not even a hard rocking tune as "One Hit"; it's more of a pop style, and again, it's not easily defined in sound as a Rolling Stones tune.

    "Winning Ugly" does have potential; in fact this song did get some radio exposure, and it is a pretty decent Stones tune. "Back To Zero" is funky and decent, but nothing really to rant-and-rave about.

    The title track is similar to "Fight" and "Hold Back." These songs can easily be skipped, despite the hard rock Stones style, they all don't have the excitement to include on regular radio playlists.

    "Had It With You" is another good potential; it returns to the late Sixties/Seventies Stones style -- typical rock 'n' roll, as heard on such albums on Exile On Main Street, Sticky Fingers.

    "Sleep Tonight" is more of a ballad, and again, the question is, "Who's singing on this one?" I would take a guess that Keith Richards handles the vocals on this one. Plus, it doesn't sound like a typical Rolling Stones song.

    There is an extra track at the end, consisting of 32 seconds, of what sounds like an old piano blues tune, all instrumental. It does sound promising, yet it fades out too soon.

    Dirty Work is not an album to recommend. Half of the songs, (if not even that many), can easily be recommended somewhat for radio playlists. The remaining are least favorites, yet to some, they could be either hit or miss. The Stones had their share of praised and negative albums. However, they still recorded albums throughout the 1990s, with mixed reviews as well.

    In fact, they are still performing today. Reaching close to 60 years of age for Mick and the boys, some would say they have had their fame and glory. Grace Slick said it best, that Rock & Roll is for the young. Despite the young rockers today may not be as exceptional as those from previous decades, today's styles of music has changed dramatically. Yet for those who still rock in their "close to their golden years", it's hard to imagine that even though they are still performing, they will always remain young at heart.

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    Pink Floyd--A Momentary Lapse Of Reason
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    Elvis Presley--Spinout/Double Trouble