Ranking the 5 Best Songs on The Rolling Stones Album ‘Some Girls’

The Rolling Stones made the bold decision to embrace the more rhythmic sounds that were all the rage in 1978 when they made their album Some Girls. This decision alienated some fans, critics, and maybe even their guitar player, but it turned into another triumph for the band.

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Looking back on Some Girls, you’ll notice a record with a lot of undeniable high points. Here’s our ranking of the five finest songs on the album.

5. “Just My Imagination (Running Away with Me)”

Digging back into the Motown catalog might not have seemed like the riskiest move for the band. Hearing this track in the context of the rest of Some Girls, however, it’s clear it served an important purpose. Amid all the other harsher, darker songs on the album, it adds a necessary light touch. The original is unassailable, so the Stones went the wise route of trying something a little bit different. They juiced up the tempo just enough, giving the song a little bit of a rock edge while also keeping that fantastic melody intact.

4. “Before They Make Me Run”

Keith Richards’ issues with legal problems caused him to miss out on a lot of the preparation and decision-making related to Some Girls. That allowed Mick Jagger to sneak through some of the dance grooves that Richards likely would have fought tooth and nail. But Richards wasn’t about to let an entire Stones’ record go by without putting his imprint on the thing. “Before They Make Me Run” may seem like it’s beamed in from another record. But it’s still Richards in charismatic ne’er-do-well mode, subtly winking at his outlaw status in defiant yet humorous fashion.

3. “Beast of Burden”

Some Girls was the first Stones’ album where Ronnie Wood was around for the making of it from start to finish. On “Beast of Burden,” he and Richards show that their chemistry was already rock-solid, as they weave around each other and in and out of the open spaces between Jagger’s emoting. The soulful interplay within the rhythm section of Bill Wyman and Charlie Watts also helps to define the song. From there, it’s up to Jagger, pleading with a woman who just can’t seem to give him a break and insisting there’s only so much more he can take.

2. “Miss You”

Bill Wyman usually underplayed as the Stones’ bassist, although it says something about his contributions that the band generally delivered rhythmic pockets that were the envy of their rocking contemporaries. On “Miss You,” he had the chance to show out, and he came through with the necessary shimmy. Jagger is having a ball throughout, seemingly triumphant at the fact he can make his own kind of music. Don’t forget Charlie Watts, who played the disco beat with his typical effortless cool. Who cares what the genre is? This is quintessential Stones.

1. “Shattered”

Richards might not have agreed with everything on Some Girls, but he makes his presence felt when given the chance. Here, it’s with a grimy riff that’s thrown even further into the gutter by the effects he ladles on top of it. Some Girls spends far more time in New York City than London, and “Shattered” is the band’s twisted tribute to the Big Apple, maggots, and all. Jagger is at his funniest here. But he never loses the plot in terms of his narrator’s nervous breakdown, which might just be way more than his 19th, considering the darkness at the heart of this city.

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Photo by Evening Standard/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

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