- Dirty Work (album)
Infobox Album | Name = Dirty Work
The Rolling Stones
Released = 24 March 1986
Recorded = 8 April - 17 June 1985,
16 July - 17 August 1985
Genre = Rock
Length = 40:03
Label = Rolling Stones/Virgin
The Glimmer Twins
AllmusicRating|3|5 [http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=10:7jd8vwpva9qk link]
Rolling Stone" (not rated) [http://www.rollingstone.com/artists/therollingstones/albums/album/113198/review/5946484/dirty_work link]
Robert Christgau(A) [http://www.robertchristgau.com/get_artist.php?name=rolling+stone link]
Last album = "
This album = "Dirty Work"
Next album = "
"Dirty Work" is
The Rolling Stones' 18th studio album (or the 21st, counting their US releases). It was released on 24 March 1986 on the Rolling and Stones label by CBS Records. Produced by Steve Lillywhite, the album was recorded during a period when relations between Mick Jaggerand Keith Richardssoured considerably,Fact|date=April 2008 and is often regarded as a low point for the band. cite web |url=http://www.rollingstone.com/rockdaily/index.php/2007/05/14/rolling-stones-15-worst-albums-by-great-bands/ |title= Rolling Stone’s 15 Worst Albums By Great Bands |publisher= Rolling Stone Magazine]
The album produced a hit for the Rolling Stones - their cover of "
Harlem Shuffle" - and features a number of guest appearances, including contributions by Tom Waits, Jimmy Page, Patti Scialfaand Bobby Womack.
"Dirty Work" was remastered and reissued by
Virgin Recordsin 1994.
The sessions for "Dirty Work", the first album under the Rolling Stones' recording contract with CBS Records, began in April 1985 in
Paris, running for two months before breaking for a short spell.cite web |last =Zentgraf |first=Nico |title=The Complete Works of the Rolling Stones 1962-2008 |url=http://www.nzentgraf.de/books/tcw/works1.htm|accessdate=2008-03-20 | ] Mick Jagger had just released his first solo album, " She's the Boss", much to Richards' annoyance, since the latter's first priority was The Rolling Stones and he was stung that Jagger was pursuing a career as a pop star.Fact|date=March 2008 Jagger was often absent from the "Dirty Work" sessions while Richards recorded with Ronnie Wood, Bill Wymanand Charlie Watts; Jagger's vocal parts were added later on.Fact|date=March 2008 The divide between Jagger and Richards was on public view on 13 July 1985, when Jagger performed a solo set at Live Aidwhile Richards and Wood supported Bob Dylan's set on acoustic guitars.
Charlie Watts' involvement in the recording sessions was also limited: in 1993 Watts told
Ed Bradleyon " 60 Minutes" that during the 1980s he had been addicted to heroin as well as alcohol, and that this is why replacement drummers are credited on both "Undercover" and "Dirty Work". Steve Jordan and Anton Figdo the drumming on some tracks; Ronnie Wood takes over the sticks on " Sleep Tonight". Jagger would later cite Watts' personal state as one of the reasons he vetoed a tour in support of "Dirty Work" in 1986, preferring to start work on his second album, " Primitive Cool".Fact|date=March 2008
Four of the album's eight original compositions are credited to Jagger/Richards/Wood and one to Jagger/Richards/
Chuck Leavell. Only three are credited to Jagger/Richards, the lowest number since on any Rolling Stones album since " Out of Our Heads" (1965). "Dirty Work" is the first Rolling Stones record to feature two tracks with Richards singing lead vocals ("Too Rude" and "Sleep Tonight").
Following a further month of final recording in July and August 1985 (which saw guest appearances by Jimmy Page, Bobby Womack and Tom Waits), co-producer Steve Lillywhite supervised several weeks of mixing and the creation of 12 inch remixes. On 12 December, Ian Stewart - one of the founding members of the Rolling Stones and their longtime pianist and road manager - died suddenly of a heart attack at the age of 47. In remembrance of their friend, a hidden track of Stewart playing
Big Bill Broonzy's "Key to the Highway" was added to close the album.
In March 1986, The Rolling Stones' cover of "Harlem Shuffle" (their first lead single from a studio album not to be a Jagger/Richards original since the earliest days of the band) was released to a receptive audience, reaching #13 in the UK and #5 in the US, though it did not receive the same amount of exposure as previous hits.Fact|date=March 2008 The follow-up single "
One Hit (to the Body)" was a Top 30 hit and featured a revealing video of Jagger and Richards seeming to trade blows.
"Dirty Work" was released a week after "Harlem Shuffle", reaching #4 in the UK and the US (going platinum there), but the critical reaction was less than enthusiastic.Fact|date=March 2008 Some reviewers felt the album was slight in places, with weak, generic songwriting from Richards and Wood and puzzlingly abrasive vocals from Jagger.Who|date=March 2008 Some felt Jagger was saving his best material for his solo records, though the critical reaction to those releases was muted as well.Fact|date=March 2008 "Dirty Work"'s critical standing has only marginally improved over the years, in part because it lacks any notable hits, and in part because of the plastic, recognizably mid-80s production.Fact|date=March 2008 To this day, the album is regarded by some as perhaps the weakest Rolling Stones record.
However, in 1986
Robert Christgaucalled "Dirty Work" "a bracing and even challenging record [which] innovates without kowtowing to multi-platinum fashion or half-assed pretension. It's honest and makes you like it." [ cite web | url=http://www.robertchristgau.com/xg/music/stones-86.php | last= Christgau | first= Robert | title= Winning Ugly: An Essay on "Dirty Work" |publisher= Village Voice |date= 15 April 1986] In 2004 Stylus Magazine's "On Second Thoughts" feature assessed the album as "a tattered, embarrassed triumph, by far the most interesting Stones album since " Some Girls" at every level: lyrical, conceptual, instrumental." cite web | url= http://www.stylusmagazine.com/articles/on_second_thought/rolling-stones-dirty-work.htm | last= Soto | first= Alfred | title= On Second Thought: Rolling Stones - Dirty Work | publisher= Stylus Magazine |month=September | year=2004 |] The re-evaluation of the album finds that despite its 80s-style production, the album features "the most venomous guitar sound of the Stones’ career, and Jagger’s most committed vocals."
Artwork and packaging
Breaking with Rolling Stones tradition, "Dirty Work" was the first of their studio albums to contain a lyric sheet in the U.S., apparently at the insistence of then-distributor CBS Records,Fact|date=March 2008 who also pushed for the atypical colourful band-photo cover.Fact|date=March 2008 The album was also noteworthy as the first major release to be issued simultaneously on
One Hit (to the Body)" (Jagger/Richards/Wood) – 4:44
#* "Featuring Jimmy Page on guitar, and Patti Scialfa and Bobby Womack on backing vocals"
#"Fight" (Jagger/Richards/Wood) – 3:09
Harlem Shuffle" (Bob Relf/Ernest Nelson) – 3:24
#* "Featuring Bobby Womack and Tom Waits on backing vocals"
#"Hold Back" (
Jagger/Richards) – 3:53
#"Too Rude" (
Lydon Roberts) – 3:11
#"Winning Ugly" (Jagger/Richards) – 4:32
#"Back to Zero" (Jagger/Richards/Leavell) – 4:00
#* "Featuring Bobby Womack on guitar"
#"Dirty Work" (Jagger/Richards/Wood) – 3:53
#"Had It with You" (Jagger/Richards/Wood) – 3:19
Sleep Tonight" (Jagger/Richards) – 5:11
#"Key to the Highway" (Big Bill Broonzy/Charles Segar) – 0:33
#* "A hidden and uncredited recording performed by Ian Stewart, who died just after the album's completion"
Mick Jagger- Vocals, Backing Vocals, Harmonica
Keith Richards- Electric Guitar, Backing Vocals, Vocals, Acoustic Guitar, Piano
Charlie Watts- Drums
Ronnie Wood- Electric Guitar, Backing Vocals, Bass, Acoustic Guitar, Pedal Steel Guitar, Drums, Tenor Saxophone
Bill Wyman- Bass, Synthesizer
Jimmy Cliff- Backing Vocals
* Dan Collette - Trumpet
Don Covay- Backing Vocals
* Beverly D'Angelo - Backing Vocals
Anton Fig- Shakers
Chuck Leavell- Keyboards
Kirsty MacColl- Backing Vocals
* Dollette McDonald - Backing Vocals
Ivan Neville- Backing Vocals, Bass, Organ, Synthesizer
Jimmy Page- Electric Guitar
* Janice Pendarvis - Backing Vocals
Patti Scialfa- Backing Vocals
* Ian Stewart - Piano
Tom Waits- Backing Vocals
Bobby Womack- Backing Vocals, Electric Guitar
* [http://www.rollingstones.com/archive/index.php?av=lal&v=&a=1&id=24 "Dirty Work" on the Rolling Stones' official website]
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