Thursday, November 29, 2018

Songs of '78: "Shattered"

The fifth and final song from Some Girls that my pop radio memories of 1978 present me with--following "Miss You," "Far Away Eyes," "Running Away with Me," and "Beast of Burden"--is the wonderfully punky "Shattered," released 40 years ago today. It's actually the final single released from Some Girls, the Rolling Stones album I love the most and think most highly of (and which I think I can critically defend as their best, or at least one of their very best, my own biases not withstanding--it's sleazy and misogynistic, but also filled with stripped-down power and creativity, as well as a defiant exuberance, something which, I think, they just couldn't generate any more as the 1980s progressed, thus heralding their gradual transformation, with the occasional exception, into the Oldest Established Permanent Floating Rolling Stones Tribute Band in the world). The only released single of theirs from Some Girls that didn't make my list of memories is "Respectable," which is a nice rocking tune but probably my least favorite cut on the whole album. As for "Shattered"--why? Well, why not?

Maybe my love for it goes back to the fact I grew up reading Marvel comics. While the maturity level of the tales of Spider-Man and other in the late 70s and through the 80s was nothing like what became standard in later years, the close reader--and I'd like to think that included me--couldn't help but pick up all sorts of rather adult clues about how tawdry and broken-down New York City was in the era of Ed Koch. Trying to decipher Jagger's slurred lyrics made me feel like I was unlocking a key to a cool, crazy, dirty, dangerous world that was a universe away from me. Plus, you can't but love that crunching bass line (played by Ron Wood, stepping into his new role with the Stones with great confidence), over which Richards is playing all sorts of cool, phased-out chords. It wasn't punk music, really, but it was close.

Of course, it can also be a sweet Julie Andrews song. Really.


Doug said...

There's no Like button, so I just wanted to say I have enjoyed this series all the way through.

Russell Arben Fox said...

Thanks, Doug!