Tuesday, January 10, 2023

"Mixed Emotions" by The Rolling Stones

Top 10 Alert!
Song#:  4023
Date:  09/02/1989
Debut:  47
Peak:  5
Weeks:  12
Genre:  Rock

Pop Bits:  After their 1986 album Dirty Work (#4), the Stones entered into a period that Keith Richards titled "World War III." He and Mick Jagger had not been getting along and it came to a bit of a head when Jagger decided not to go out on tour to support Dirty Work. Instead, he chose to tour on his own and then record a second solo album. Richards would answer by doing his first solo LP. It seemed that the Stones were kaput. However, in early '89 the Stones would be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Jagger and Richards set aside their differences to attend the ceremony. The truce seemed to do a lot to melt the ice between the two and it wasn't long before the pair were back together and writing. Once they had material ready to go, the Stones all went into the studio and emerged with the album Steel Wheels. This first single was issue out and it shot to #1 on the Rock chart while reaching #22 at Modern Rock. It would also do well at Pop becoming the band's twenty-third Top 10. Unfortunately, it would prove to be their last Pop Top 10. Along with good critical reception, the hit helped the album reach #2. It would eventually go double platinum. This song would earn the Stones a Grammy nod for Best Rock Performance, Duo or Group with Vocal.

ReduxReview:  I think the break the band took helped them. When Jagger and Richards got back together, they seemed to do so with renewed energy. While Steel Wheels wasn't a great album, it was better than anything they had released since '81's Tattoo You. I remember digging this first single and thinking that it sounded like a return to form for the band. They sounded invigorated and back to their old selves, which was a good thing. The song may not rank among their best hits, but it was a nice reset for the band and showed they had the ability to still do quality work.

ReduxRating:  7/10

Trivia:  While the majority of the album featured the Stones' signature sound, one track was a bit different. "Continental Drift" was a Middle Eastern flavored track that the band recorded in Morocco. It was sort of a call back to the band's experiments in the late 60s with various genres including world music. Featured on the track were The Master Musicians of Jajouka led by Bachir Attar. The collective of Sufi trance musicians had been around since the 50s. The collective split in two in the 60s with both factions working to preserve their traditional music. The group led by Bachir Attar got the attention of former (deceased) Rolling Stones member Brian Jones in 1968 when he visited Morocco. Jones would go on to produce an album for the group prior to his death in 1969. The LP would finally be released in 1971 as Brian Jones Presents the Pipes of Pan at Joujouka. Following the added exposure via the Stones' "Continental Drift," the group would start recording world music albums in 1992. Several members of the group are the sons of previous members.


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