The Rolling Stones
Emotional Rescue



by Jared H. USER (25 Reviews)
June 17th, 2015 | 9 replies

Release Date: 1980 | Tracklist

Review Summary: “Get up, get out, into something new.” How ironic.

It’s no overstatement that every Rolling Stones studio album from their 1964 debut to 1973’s release of Goats Head Soup had impressed the public so much that they left behind a massive legacy which had at least two all time classic songs per album, if not more. However, their subsequent releases of It's Only Rock 'n Roll (1974) and Black and Blue (1976) showed the band’s first signs of weakening in which even their biggest hits failed to truly be standouts. Despite these signs, 1978’s Some Girls turned this all around by incorporating catchy disco and punk elements to freshen their act. The album was so successful and beloved that The Rolling Stones of course had to replicate the exact same ideas on their 1980 release Emotional Rescue.

This time around, the implementation of these themes was noticeably poor. It’s not that Emotional Rescue is a hard listen, or even cringe worthy, it’s just a safe and uninspired replication of past ideas that show how strained The Rolling Stones’ creative process had become. Sure “Dance (Pt. 1)” is catchy and even memorable, but it’s so lyrically simplistic and shallow when compared to its far better Some Girls counterpart opener “Miss You.” This is even worse since the music is so uninteresting that it forces the attention on the vocals and lyrics, which luckily are delivered well by Mick Jagger. To make matters worse, lyrically, “Dance (Pt. 1)” is actually one of the most memorable songs with its anthemy chorus “get up, get out, into something new” which is oddly ironic for reasons stated before. Some of the album’s worst tracks fail to even deviate from The Rolling Stones’ typical rock and blues style and are equivalents to the worst moments on It’s Only Rock ‘n Roll.

Sure some of the themes of the weaker tracks were interesting like ones of communism and how it affects children on “Indian Girl” or the idea of getting out and enjoying life in “Dance (Pt. 1),” but the songs these ideas were paired with are so unoriginal sounding that it makes it difficult to care about them in the slightest. Not to forget that the other five tracks are even blander. Take this lyric from “All About You” for instance: “Tell me those lies, let me think they're true, I heard one or two, and they weren't about me, they weren't about her, they're all about you,“ which is sung slowly and robotically. It’s filled with lazy rhymes and cliches in the worst of ways. In no way is its quality comparable to the stylistically similar “Beast of Burden” from Some Girls.

With that said, the album does have its highlights, in which the band cleverly released all as singles. “Send It to Me,” “Emotional Rescue,” and “She’s So Cold” are more than just catchy, but also manage to have memorable instrumentation, vocals, and lyrics. Whether it’s the floaty guitar and chanting of “Send It to Me,” the smooth saxophone and high-pitched disco vocals of “Emotional Rescue” or the fast-paced riff and passionate vocals of “She’s So Cold” these three songs help to keep the album interesting and could even be likened to discography highlights. Because they’re all successfully humorous, such as the hyperbolic lines “I'm the burning bush, I'm the burning fire, I'm the bleeding volcano!” from “She’s So Cold,” they end up being incredibly amusing and memorable in the best way possible. In a way, they overshadow the rest of the album to a point where it makes the lowlights look weak, rather than just average. It’s as if The Rolling Stones still had the capability to write great songs, but deliberately chose to release seven rushed sounding b-side worthy songs alongside their singles.

Despite all of these problems, Emotional Rescue was not the worst album they had released at the time, and not even close to their worst album overall since it still had at least two (in fact three) classic tracks. Which is something that both It's Only Rock 'n Roll and Black and Blue completely failed to achieve. For anyone that’s a completionist or is absolutely enamored with Some Girls, Emotional Rescue is probably worth checking out, but for those that only care for The Rolling Stones’ highlights, steer clear of this lazy album.

Album highlights: "Send It to Me", "Emotional Rescue", "She's So Cold"

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user ratings (160)

Comments:Add a Comment 
June 17th 2015


Album Rating: 3.0

Thanks JohnnyOnTheSpot for the proofread!

I decided to go with a 3 instead of 2.5 because I really still enjoy the highlights.

Digging: The Knife - Deep Cuts

June 17th 2015


Album Rating: 3.0

this doesn't read like a 3 ars and too many comparisons to Some Girls imo....and since we are comparing, She's So Cold trumps all


June 17th 2015


Album Rating: 3.0

What's it read like? And yeah the 3 singles from it are amazing.

Also, I compare it to Some Girls because it literally uses the same ideas, but worse.

June 17th 2015


Album Rating: 3.0

ahhh, rock and roll by numbers dude.....either way, glad you gave the Stones some focus, the site needs it

Staff Reviewer
June 17th 2015


this isn't a good album. it's not Undercover or Dirty Work bad but it's outshined by Tattoo You.

Digging: Kelela - Take Me Apart

June 17th 2015


Album Rating: 3.0

Worth a 3 because of Send It to Me, the t/t, and She's So Cold all rule though.

June 18th 2015


Album Rating: 2.0

Nice review--It's funny how this album contains the same elements as Some Girls, but for some reason they don't work on this one. With the exception of the singles, it's sort of boring.

Digging: Mappe Of - A Northern Star, A Perfect Stone

Contributing Reviewer
June 21st 2015


Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

Remember jamming this one almost every day back during the summer of 2012, haven't even heard it again until now. Not their best, but I still find it pretty enjoyable.

Digging: Destroyer - Ken

January 25th 2016


Album Rating: 2.5

solid review ;) for me, only down in the hole, emotional rescue and she's so cold make it worthwhile

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