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The Rolling Stones – Tattoo You (Remastered 2021) (1981/2021) [Official Digital Download 24bit/44,1kHz]

The Rolling Stones – Tattoo You (Remastered 2021) (1981/2021)
FLAC (tracks) 24bit/44,1kHz | Time – 00:44:21 minutes | 541 MB | Genre: Rock
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Front Cover | © Polydor Records

40 years after it’s original release, Tattoo You returns with an all-new 2021 master. Tattoo You is the 16th British and 18th American studio album by the English rock band the Rolling Stones, released on 24 August 1981 by Rolling Stones Records. The album is mostly composed of studio outtakes recorded during the 1970s, and contains one of the band’s most well-known songs, “Start Me Up”, which hit number two on the US Billboard singles charts.

In the wake of the release of Emotional Rescue in 1980, the future of the Rolling Stones seemed in the balance. Sure, they’d survived the wild 1960s and even wilder ’70s, but as the new decade dawned, they were in uncharted territory. No rock and roll band had lasted nearly 20 years. Still, plans were afoot.

With preparations proceeding for a massive tour of the United States at the end of 1981 and another the following year in Europe, a new album was urgently required. But the band’s future was anything but certain. Reflecting on the relationships between the various Stones during the Tattoo You period, Mick says, ‘The difficulty in growing up in a rock and roll band, I think, is that you start with this gang of people and, as anyone knows that’s been in a gang, that gang simply can’t last forever.’

The Stones, however, were determined to carry on. With everyone on a much-needed break after the completion of Emotional Rescue, but with an album owed to the powers that be, the band hit on a novel approach to make it. Chris Kimsey – a veteran of Stones sessions – relates how he knew that some of the band’s outtakes from the 1970s had the potential to be powerful masters. He was tasked with uncovering the best of whatever might be buried in the band’s rich archive.

‘For Tattoo You,’ recalls Ron Wood, ‘we realised that there was a lot of great music that we had recorded in the past that had never been released, particularly from all the material we had amassed during the Some Girls and Emotional Rescue sessions’.

Tattoo You starts off strong, very strong, even. Right from the opening track, Start Me Up, the Stones do what they do best, and despite your best efforts you’ll be shimmying and tapping your foot to the rhythm in no time. The first part of this album, which was released in August 1981, follows suit with rock jams (Little T&A) as well as blues jams (Black Limousine), all of which are upbeat. The second part is like a well-earned rest after the amped-up first half. While it may seem a bit bland in comparison, some of the highlights are the atmospheric and surprisingly modern ballad, Heaven, and the more classic, Waiting On A Friend. The album nevertheless maintains a sense of coherence and is still considered one of the most iconic albums of the time – something that isn’t often said about the Stones’ later material – so it’s easy to forget it’s made up of recordings that didn’t make it into their previous albums. – Iskender Fay

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