Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Retro Video of the Week: "Hang Fire" by The Rolling Stones

Thirty-five years ago today, The Rolling Stones released the Tattoo You album, which was an album comprised mostly of studio outtakes from the '70s, but also featuring a couple new songs.  It was the Stones' ninth studio album to hit #1 on the Billboard charts and eighth in a row, and of course, features the iconic album cover pictured herein.

I think this was the first Stones studio album I ever bought.  The album is pretty damn good and has some great songs, not all of which are very well-known.  "Start Me Up" has become an ubiquitous sports anthem.  I've always liked "Waiting On a Friend."  "Little T&A" is a wonderful Mick-sung gem about, well, T&A.  "Black Limousine" is a bluesy, barroom number.  "Neighbours" is a fast-paced rocker about Mick's penchant for getting evicted from apartments.

But I'd have to say my favorite song on the album is "Hang Fire," a song openly mocking England's economic woes and apparently ambivalent attitude of the English towards those woes.  It's an uptempo song that could almost be a punk song with some slight tweaks, and it got up to #20 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #2 on the Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks chart. The band made a promotional video for the song, which I am presenting for your viewing and listening pleasure.  What's interesting to note is that, when this video was made, Mick Jagger and Keith Richards were both basically the same age as I am now.  Apparently, being a rock star and treating your body like a rental car with the max insurance makes you look a bit older at 38 than being a mediocre lawyer.  Charlie Watts, on the other hand, looks pretty much the same now as he did then, but just with a better haircut now.

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