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Re: UNDERCOVER 40 years !!
Posted by: bakersfield ()
Date: November 11, 2023 08:56

Disagree. Even Keith admitted the album was ‘dull, it didn’t happen at all’ in an interview with Mat Snow for NME in ‘86. ‘we just took turns to go into the studio and piss around with the tapes’ he said. So if Keith doesn’t rate it, I’m well within my rights to find it less than great. Too Tough is loud and fast somehow completely lifeless. It and and All the Way down sound weak, formulaic to me, Stones-by Numbers. Sticking with NME, they reviewed Undercover under the heading ‘This Should Be The Last Time’ and welcomed ‘Dirty Work’ three years later as a return to form. More importantly, taste is difficult to explain. there are some things on the first side of the album that I enjoy, but I was disappointed when I played side two 40 years ago and I still find it disappointing. I love the stones. I play the albums constantly and I love Hackney diamonds to bits. It is perfectly possible to be a genuine stones freak and dislike ‘Undercover’!

Re: UNDERCOVER 40 years !!
Posted by: Whale ()
Date: November 11, 2023 09:33

Quote
jahisnotdead
There are no skips on Undercover for me. I think it's a great album. I'll need to check out the demos sometime and see if they truly are better.
there are no skips on any stones album for me

Re: UNDERCOVER 40 years !!
Posted by: Doxa ()
Date: November 11, 2023 15:15

Quote
Witness
Quote
Doxa
Quote
Mathijs


The production always was a bit dated, but for the last couple of years it has aged quite well. The production of Hackney Diamonds is closer to Undercover than anything else.

Mathijs

I find this an interesting claim. But with respect, I need to disagree to an extent.

As far as production goes, I think UNDERCOVER is not very cohesive album: some of it very contemporary, the Stones most radically using the sounds of the day - "Undercover Of The Night", "Too Much Blood" and to an extent "Feel On Baby" - but the rest of - the bulk of it, that is - is pretty traditional Pathe Marconi stuff, the Stones actually sounding dated even back then in 1983. Some of it even half-arsed produced (the very retro-sounding "Must Be Hell"). I never bought the idea that the Stones actually were that experimental or re-inventive in that album. They pretty much continue from they had left in EMOTIONAL RESCUE, just adding some contemporary touches there into a couple of tunes. Like adding make-up (especially the title track). True that there were some interesting new ideas deriving from some of those Pathe Marconi-era loose jams, but not that much differing from they had already done in SOME GIRLS or EMOTIONAL RESCUE (with better and more fresh results I think) And true that there is a certain charm in all those tieyouups, allthewaydowns and prettybeatups, since the Stones would never sound so loose, dirty and sexy again (that is a retrospective insight: all that sounded obvious still back then, and it needed a few albums to really recognize its unique value - that the band and that sound was gone).

But I think in the big picture the Stones lost the touch to the contemporary music scene with that album after having enjoyed a sort of new relevance since SOME GIRLS (the one they managed to keep up with EMOTIONAL RESCUE and TATTOO YOU). They probably should have been more radical in reinventing their sound order to keep up with the times (probably using more the style of "Undercover of The Night" and "Too Much Blood"). The times they were really a-changin' rapidly at the time...

I think the contrast or assumed novelty factor is due to differing a lot from a shamelessly retro-sounding TATTOO YOU. Hell, even the idea of the flip side is like an opposite: instead of having full of slow numbers, it is full of rockers. But I think UNDERCOVER altogether is more like an end of an era type of album than that of them coming up with something novel. A kind of IT'S ONLY ROCK'N'ROLL of the 80's.

Anyway, if the production of HACKNEY DIAMONDS is compared to the past, I think it resembles more STEEL WHEELS (like I tried to argue in its thread), since that album is more cohesive in its attempt to sound contemporary than UNDERCOVER.

But hey, 40 years... Damn I still recall going to buy my first brandnew Stones studio album at its release day (after being hooked by TATTOO YOU two years earlier). And, of course, due to that fact alone, UNDERCOVER has a special place in my heart. Memories...

- Doxa

I wonder if it might be advantageous to make a distinction between the arrangements and the production in your discussion, but maybe not.

I would say that UNDERCOVER was an eclectic album, not their first at that. But I think their few more or less contemporary songs contribute to define the album's impact as contemporary at least to the ears of Stones fans. An objection for part of their fanbase, a revelation to a large minority of it. Whereas you, Doxa, describe the other songs as traditional Pathe Marconi stuff, I then disagree about that adjective "traditional". Rather I would call it their continued development of that kind of music. In my view, the Stones were still able to do explore that subgenre of their music, without the songs sounding repetitive or retro. I guess it is this continued development that allows the contemporary songs to colour the impression of the album as quite contemporary. That is, within the musical universe of the Rolling Stones, they were still progressive. The thread that unites SOME GIRLS, EMOTIONAL RESCUE and UNDERCOVER was still moving ahead in my outlook on the side of creation, even if the reception to this album was to become a problem at these fatal crossroads for the band's existence.

Thank you for your great insights. I think we are on the same page about the progressive nature of UNDERCOVER. It is not a repetitive album at all. The album still works and develops further the sound and ideas they'd been inspired since SOME GIRLS (now we are talking about the tracks I called earlier 'traditional' unlike "Undercover of The Night" and "Too Much Blood" that probably 'shocked' their older fans at the time). But I still think they started running out of fresh ideas by then. Like they had pretty much emptied their pockets. The real Pathe Marconi inspiration - the muse that gave a birth to SOME GIRLS - had gone. Like only the handcraft was left - you know - put the band, once again, into studio to jam a riff or something, and some variant will occur (technically different to anything they had done before, but still the differences started to be in nuances). That's why I think UNDERCOVER resembles, say, IT´S ONLY ROCK'N'ROLL a decade earlier: technically developing further the ideas they had mastered already earlier (from BEGGARS BANQUET on), but missing the real inspiration.

So in way I think UNDERCOVER, if anything, is like a closing chapter of (great) Pathe Marconi era: this is as far we can go with this working scheme. DIRTY WORK tried to reach out, to reinvent their sound - and as the consensus seems to be, not succeeding very well in that. STEEL WHEELS altogether belongs to a new era, the band sounding drastically different than in Pathe Marconi era albums.

This all might sound that I am highly critical of UNDERCOVER, or that I do not like the album. Oh no. I think it is a great album in its own terms. Just trying to spell those terms out in order to see the album in the context of their career.

- Doxa



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2023-11-11 15:25 by Doxa.

Re: UNDERCOVER 40 years !!
Posted by: Witness ()
Date: November 12, 2023 01:40

Quote
Doxa
Quote
Witness
Quote
Doxa
Quote
Mathijs


The production always was a bit dated, but for the last couple of years it has aged quite well. The production of Hackney Diamonds is closer to Undercover than anything else.

Mathijs

I find this an interesting claim. But with respect, I need to disagree to an extent.

As far as production goes, I think UNDERCOVER is not very cohesive album: some of it very contemporary, the Stones most radically using the sounds of the day - "Undercover Of The Night", "Too Much Blood" and to an extent "Feel On Baby" - but the rest of - the bulk of it, that is - is pretty traditional Pathe Marconi stuff, the Stones actually sounding dated even back then in 1983. Some of it even half-arsed produced (the very retro-sounding "Must Be Hell"). I never bought the idea that the Stones actually were that experimental or re-inventive in that album. They pretty much continue from they had left in EMOTIONAL RESCUE, just adding some contemporary touches there into a couple of tunes. Like adding make-up (especially the title track). True that there were some interesting new ideas deriving from some of those Pathe Marconi-era loose jams, but not that much differing from they had already done in SOME GIRLS or EMOTIONAL RESCUE (with better and more fresh results I think) And true that there is a certain charm in all those tieyouups, allthewaydowns and prettybeatups, since the Stones would never sound so loose, dirty and sexy again (that is a retrospective insight: all that sounded obvious still back then, and it needed a few albums to really recognize its unique value - that the band and that sound was gone).

But I think in the big picture the Stones lost the touch to the contemporary music scene with that album after having enjoyed a sort of new relevance since SOME GIRLS (the one they managed to keep up with EMOTIONAL RESCUE and TATTOO YOU). They probably should have been more radical in reinventing their sound order to keep up with the times (probably using more the style of "Undercover of The Night" and "Too Much Blood"). The times they were really a-changin' rapidly at the time...

I think the contrast or assumed novelty factor is due to differing a lot from a shamelessly retro-sounding TATTOO YOU. Hell, even the idea of the flip side is like an opposite: instead of having full of slow numbers, it is full of rockers. But I think UNDERCOVER altogether is more like an end of an era type of album than that of them coming up with something novel. A kind of IT'S ONLY ROCK'N'ROLL of the 80's.

Anyway, if the production of HACKNEY DIAMONDS is compared to the past, I think it resembles more STEEL WHEELS (like I tried to argue in its thread), since that album is more cohesive in its attempt to sound contemporary than UNDERCOVER.

But hey, 40 years... Damn I still recall going to buy my first brandnew Stones studio album at its release day (after being hooked by TATTOO YOU two years earlier). And, of course, due to that fact alone, UNDERCOVER has a special place in my heart. Memories...

- Doxa

I wonder if it might be advantageous to make a distinction between the arrangements and the production in your discussion, but maybe not.

I would say that UNDERCOVER was an eclectic album, not their first at that. But I think their few more or less contemporary songs contribute to define the album's impact as contemporary at least to the ears of Stones fans. An objection for part of their fanbase, a revelation to a large minority of it. Whereas you, Doxa, describe the other songs as traditional Pathe Marconi stuff, I then disagree about that adjective "traditional". Rather I would call it their continued development of that kind of music. In my view, the Stones were still able to do explore that subgenre of their music, without the songs sounding repetitive or retro. I guess it is this continued development that allows the contemporary songs to colour the impression of the album as quite contemporary. That is, within the musical universe of the Rolling Stones, they were still progressive. The thread that unites SOME GIRLS, EMOTIONAL RESCUE and UNDERCOVER was still moving ahead in my outlook on the side of creation, even if the reception to this album was to become a problem at these fatal crossroads for the band's existence.

Thank you for your great insights. I think we are on the same page about the progressive nature of UNDERCOVER. It is not a repetitive album at all. The album still works and develops further the sound and ideas they'd been inspired since SOME GIRLS (now we are talking about the tracks I called earlier 'traditional' unlike "Undercover of The Night" and "Too Much Blood" that probably 'shocked' their older fans at the time). But I still think they started running out of fresh ideas by then. Like they had pretty much emptied their pockets. The real Pathe Marconi inspiration - the muse that gave a birth to SOME GIRLS - had gone. Like only the handcraft was left - you know - put the band, once again, into studio to jam a riff or something, and some variant will occur (technically different to anything they had done before, but still the differences started to be in nuances). That's why I think UNDERCOVER resembles, say, IT´S ONLY ROCK'N'ROLL a decade earlier: technically developing further the ideas they had mastered already earlier (from BEGGARS BANQUET on), but missing the real inspiration.

So in way I think UNDERCOVER, if anything, is like a closing chapter of (great) Pathe Marconi era: this is as far we can go with this working scheme. DIRTY WORK tried to reach out, to reinvent their sound - and as the consensus seems to be, not succeeding very well in that. STEEL WHEELS altogether belongs to a new era, the band sounding drastically different than in Pathe Marconi era albums.

This all might sound that I am highly critical of UNDERCOVER, or that I do not like the album. Oh no. I think it is a great album in its own terms. Just trying to spell those terms out in order to see the album in the context of their career.

- Doxa

Thank you for generous words, Doxa. Most posters though and many readers as well will consider you as representing insight. Myself I am more the blind hen that still sometimes may find grain.

Assessing UNDERCOVER, I think we must agree to differ somewhat in point of view. To me there is no running out of inspiration about that album. Controversially to many, in fact, in a hindsight judgement I find both EMOTIONAL RESCUE and UNDERCOVER slightly, slightly better than SOME GIRLS, even if SOME GIRLS had a larger importance for the career of the Stones than the other two. For many years I have considered UNDERCOVER as their latest great studio album, of which there to me are approximately twelve that I do not rank between, IT'S ONLY ROCK'N'ROLL not included. Not having yet concluded if there in addition is another great album.

Instead it was the later following and last Pathe Marconi album that, I call it, broke the thread started with SOME GIRLS, continued by EMOTIONAL RESCUE and UNDERCOVER, during the process interrupted by TATTOO YOU. For many posters, I think, although with some exceptions that we have to acknowledge, DIRTY WORK meant a breakdown and in my perspective broke the said thread of development. But no fading until then.

Re: UNDERCOVER 40 years !!
Posted by: GasLightStreet ()
Date: November 16, 2023 06:53

Quote
Doxa
Quote
Mathijs


The production always was a bit dated, but for the last couple of years it has aged quite well. The production of Hackney Diamonds is closer to Undercover than anything else.

Mathijs

I find this an interesting claim. But with respect, I need to disagree to an extent.

As far as production goes, I think UNDERCOVER is not very cohesive album: some of it very contemporary, the Stones most radically using the sounds of the day - "Undercover Of The Night", "Too Much Blood" and to an extent "Feel On Baby" - but the rest of - the bulk of it, that is - is pretty traditional Pathe Marconi stuff, the Stones actually sounding dated even back then in 1983. Some of it even half-arsed produced (the very retro-sounding "Must Be Hell"). I never bought the idea that the Stones actually were that experimental or re-inventive in that album. They pretty much continue from they had left in EMOTIONAL RESCUE, just adding some contemporary touches there into a couple of tunes. Like adding make-up (especially the title track). True that there were some interesting new ideas deriving from some of those Pathe Marconi-era loose jams, but not that much differing from they had already done in SOME GIRLS or EMOTIONAL RESCUE (with better and more fresh results I think) And true that there is a certain charm in all those tieyouups, allthewaydowns and prettybeatups, since the Stones would never sound so loose, dirty and sexy again (that is a retrospective insight: all that sounded obvious still back then, and it needed a few albums to really recognize its unique value - that the band and that sound was gone).

But I think in the big picture the Stones lost the touch to the contemporary music scene with that album after having enjoyed a sort of new relevance since SOME GIRLS (the one they managed to keep up with EMOTIONAL RESCUE and TATTOO YOU). They probably should have been more radical in reinventing their sound order to keep up with the times (probably using more the style of "Undercover of The Night" and "Too Much Blood"). The times they were really a-changin' rapidly at the time...

I think the contrast or assumed novelty factor is due to differing a lot from a shamelessly retro-sounding TATTOO YOU. Hell, even the idea of the flip side is like an opposite: instead of having full of slow numbers, it is full of rockers. But I think UNDERCOVER altogether is more like an end of an era type of album than that of them coming up with something novel. A kind of IT'S ONLY ROCK'N'ROLL of the 80's.

Anyway, if the production of HACKNEY DIAMONDS is compared to the past, I think it resembles more STEEL WHEELS (like I tried to argue in its thread), since that album is more cohesive in its attempt to sound contemporary than UNDERCOVER.

But hey, 40 years... Damn I still recall going to buy my first brandnew Stones studio album at its release day (after being hooked by TATTOO YOU two years earlier). And, of course, due to that fact alone, UNDERCOVER has a special place in my heart. Memories...

- Doxa

The production on UNDERCOVER is miles above SOME GIRLS and EMOTIONAL RESCUE in terms of intent and difference. SG suffers from too much high end - it's too clean. ER sonically made up for that - it sounds more like LET IT BLEED and STICKY FINGERS sonically.

Keith's playing on UNDERCOVER is incredible: he didn't sit on Oh I'll just punk up Chuck Berry.

There's more detail on UNDERCOVER than any other album they've done. The vocals alone are incredible. The guitaring going on all over the album is different - it's not punk, it's not "rock", it's free, freedom.

Of course it's dated - yet some of it sounds current. Modern. The effects, the spacing of the backing vocals... they were way ahead, with Too Much Blood, Feel On Baby and Pretty Beat Up giving the album that deep in the couch yet viewing Saturn with binoculars: newly Stoned.

Keith said what he said because he was probably told to dismiss the chart results by someong that won't settle for less than #1. If it really is as bad or aimless etc as Keith says then why the hell was he so excited and happy about it coming?

Re: UNDERCOVER 40 years !!
Posted by: 24FPS ()
Date: November 16, 2023 08:11

To quote Bugs Bunny, 'It stinks'.

Re: UNDERCOVER 40 years !!
Posted by: saintmick ()
Date: November 16, 2023 08:19

Last three songs: Too Tough, All The Way Down, It Must Be Hell

Which other record has so much Stones energy at the end?

Re: UNDERCOVER 40 years !!
Posted by: cimaz ()
Date: November 16, 2023 10:29

Quote
bakersfield
Disagree. Even Keith admitted the album was ‘dull, it didn’t happen at all’ in an interview with Mat Snow for NME in ‘86. ‘we just took turns to go into the studio and piss around with the tapes’ he said. So if Keith doesn’t rate it, I’m well within my rights to find it less than great. Too Tough is loud and fast somehow completely lifeless. It and and All the Way down sound weak, formulaic to me, Stones-by Numbers. Sticking with NME, they reviewed Undercover under the heading ‘This Should Be The Last Time’ and welcomed ‘Dirty Work’ three years later as a return to form. More importantly, taste is difficult to explain. there are some things on the first side of the album that I enjoy, but I was disappointed when I played side two 40 years ago and I still find it disappointing. I love the stones. I play the albums constantly and I love Hackney diamonds to bits. It is perfectly possible to be a genuine stones freak and dislike ‘Undercover’!

Totally agree with you. You can be a Stones fan for over 40 years and dislike Undercover It's funny how some members of this board can be aggressive and sometimes insulting when you express a different opinion of theirs. If Undercover songs are that great how can you explain that the Stones never bothered to play them live but Undercover in 1989.

Re: UNDERCOVER 40 years !!
Posted by: ekelundh ()
Date: November 16, 2023 13:12

I also think that sonically and productionwise Hackney Diamonds is closer to Undercover than anything else. In the context of time both albums sounds fresh and contemporary but both albums fail to go the extra mile compared to Stones' most classic albums, I think, mainly because the solid top notch song material is not there to begin with. On Undercover, the band squeeze out everything from the song material whereas on Hackney Diamonds, I think, more effort could have gone into it or maybe it's just due to the inherently sad absence of Bill and Charlie. Both albums are great but not classic. I rate them at the same level. Hackney Diamonds is the best output of original material since Wandering Spirit.

Re: UNDERCOVER 40 years !!
Posted by: Mathijs ()
Date: November 16, 2023 16:47

Quote
Doxa

As far as production goes, I think UNDERCOVER is not very cohesive album: some of it very contemporary, the Stones most radically using the sounds of the day - "Undercover Of The Night", "Too Much Blood" and to an extent "Feel On Baby" - but the rest of - the bulk of it, that is - is pretty traditional Pathe Marconi stuff, the Stones actually sounding dated even back then in 1983.

- Doxa

I don't agree here -to me Undercover doesn't have the Pathe Marconi sound, which in my mind is open, warm but with crackling drums. Most songs they recorded there have this 'live' sound, with the band recording the basic tracks live in the room.

Undercover has much more separation, the guitars have a much harder rocking sound, the drums sound compressed, gated and full of the digital reverb of the day.

It is the Stones most 'hard rock' album, the least blues album they have made.

Mathijs

Re: UNDERCOVER 40 years !!
Posted by: GasLightStreet ()
Date: November 23, 2023 19:59

Quote
bakersfield
Disagree. Even Keith admitted the album was ‘dull, it didn’t happen at all’ in an interview with Mat Snow for NME in ‘86. ‘we just took turns to go into the studio and piss around with the tapes’ he said. So if Keith doesn’t rate it, I’m well within my rights to find it less than great. Too Tough is loud and fast somehow completely lifeless. It and and All the Way down sound weak, formulaic to me, Stones-by Numbers. Sticking with NME, they reviewed Undercover under the heading ‘This Should Be The Last Time’ and welcomed ‘Dirty Work’ three years later as a return to form. More importantly, taste is difficult to explain. there are some things on the first side of the album that I enjoy, but I was disappointed when I played side two 40 years ago and I still find it disappointing. I love the stones. I play the albums constantly and I love Hackney diamonds to bits. It is perfectly possible to be a genuine stones freak and dislike ‘Undercover’!

That might be why I stopped buying NME because of their stupidity.

Re: UNDERCOVER 40 years !!
Posted by: GasLightStreet ()
Date: November 23, 2023 20:06

Quote
cimaz
Quote
bakersfield
Disagree. Even Keith admitted the album was ‘dull, it didn’t happen at all’ in an interview with Mat Snow for NME in ‘86. ‘we just took turns to go into the studio and piss around with the tapes’ he said. So if Keith doesn’t rate it, I’m well within my rights to find it less than great. Too Tough is loud and fast somehow completely lifeless. It and and All the Way down sound weak, formulaic to me, Stones-by Numbers. Sticking with NME, they reviewed Undercover under the heading ‘This Should Be The Last Time’ and welcomed ‘Dirty Work’ three years later as a return to form. More importantly, taste is difficult to explain. there are some things on the first side of the album that I enjoy, but I was disappointed when I played side two 40 years ago and I still find it disappointing. I love the stones. I play the albums constantly and I love Hackney diamonds to bits. It is perfectly possible to be a genuine stones freak and dislike ‘Undercover’!



Totally agree with you. You can be a Stones fan for over 40 years and dislike Undercover It's funny how some members of this board can be aggressive and sometimes insulting when you express a different opinion of theirs. If Undercover songs are that great how can you explain that the Stones never bothered to play them live but Undercover in 1989.

Have you heard the Stones live post-1989?

Re: UNDERCOVER 40 years !!
Posted by: GasLightStreet ()
Date: November 23, 2023 20:09

Quote
Bjorn
If it isn´t Thief In The Night - then it is All The Way Down and Pretty Beat Up? What is it with people - always half baked two-chord songs on top of their lists...Cringe...cool smiley But I really like Undercover, have lots of sweet teen memories from that period...

Stupid two-chord baked songs like Happy suck. They obviously didn't put any work into them. Street Fighting Man only has two changes in it. Not very good. Weak.

Re: UNDERCOVER 40 years !!
Posted by: Bjorn ()
Date: November 23, 2023 20:16

Big difference. If you dont understand that - too bad for you. I cant seem to find Thief in the night, Pretty beat up and All the way down on any Best of/Greatest hits compilation - or in any setlist - hardly ever (Thief when it was new). Mick, Keith and I understand why Streetfighting man is way better. Satisfied? Happier now?

Re: UNDERCOVER 40 years !!
Posted by: GasLightStreet ()
Date: November 23, 2023 20:17

The amount of work Keith put into U flies in the face of his comments, which the Stones are famous for bad talking something when it didn't sell enough.

If you listen to the early demos, and then the original studio takes compared to the album versions, a lot of work was done, originating with Mick and Keith writing and recording demos in Paris.

The guitar work by Keith on U is miles above anything he did on DW in terms of creativity and inventiveness.

Re: UNDERCOVER 40 years !!
Posted by: treaclefingers ()
Date: November 23, 2023 20:18

Quote
Bjorn
Big difference. If you dont understand that - too bad for you. I cant seem to find Thief in the night, Pretty beat up and All the way down on any Best of/Greatest hits compilation - or in any setlist - hardly ever (Thief when it was new). Mick, Keith and I understand why Streetfighting man is way better. Satisfied? Happier now?

Wait, do you Keith and Mick hang out? Come on, I wasn't bjorn yesterday!

Re: UNDERCOVER 40 years !!
Posted by: GasLightStreet ()
Date: November 23, 2023 20:28

Quote
Bjorn
Big difference. If you dont understand that - too bad for you. I cant seem to find Thief in the night, Pretty beat up and All the way down on any Best of/Greatest hits compilation - or in any setlist - hardly ever (Thief when it was new). Mick, Keith and I understand why Streetfighting man is way better. Satisfied? Happier now?

You won't find 100 Years Ago, Fingerprint File or Loving Cup on any best ofs either - or in any setlists, except for the occasional performance of them.

What logic comes to your mind about songs not being on any hits comps? Waiting On A Friend wasn't a top ten single but it's on a lot of hits albums. Not every song on a hits comp is a top ten single.

What a pointless point.

So you and the Stones are happy with the half-baked 2 chord Street Fighting Man.

It's strange how Satisfaction became such a huge hit - the song doesn't really do anything, it doesn't go anywhere. It's two chords...

So werid.

Re: UNDERCOVER 40 years !!
Posted by: cimaz ()
Date: November 23, 2023 20:47

Quote
GasLightStreet
Quote
cimaz
Quote
bakersfield
Disagree. Even Keith admitted the album was ‘dull, it didn’t happen at all’ in an interview with Mat Snow for NME in ‘86. ‘we just took turns to go into the studio and piss around with the tapes’ he said. So if Keith doesn’t rate it, I’m well within my rights to find it less than great. Too Tough is loud and fast somehow completely lifeless. It and and All the Way down sound weak, formulaic to me, Stones-by Numbers. Sticking with NME, they reviewed Undercover under the heading ‘This Should Be The Last Time’ and welcomed ‘Dirty Work’ three years later as a return to form. More importantly, taste is difficult to explain. there are some things on the first side of the album that I enjoy, but I was disappointed when I played side two 40 years ago and I still find it disappointing. I love the stones. I play the albums constantly and I love Hackney diamonds to bits. It is perfectly possible to be a genuine stones freak and dislike ‘Undercover’!



Totally agree with you. You can be a Stones fan for over 40 years and dislike Undercover It's funny how some members of this board can be aggressive and sometimes insulting when you express a different opinion of theirs. If Undercover songs are that great how can you explain that the Stones never bothered to play them live but Undercover in 1989.

Have you heard the Stones live post-1989?

Sure I did. I saw them on a few tours between 1990 and 2017 and none of the Undercover songs were in the setlist.

Re: UNDERCOVER 40 years !!
Date: November 23, 2023 21:21

Quote
cimaz
Quote
GasLightStreet
Quote
cimaz
Quote
bakersfield
Disagree. Even Keith admitted the album was ‘dull, it didn’t happen at all’ in an interview with Mat Snow for NME in ‘86. ‘we just took turns to go into the studio and piss around with the tapes’ he said. So if Keith doesn’t rate it, I’m well within my rights to find it less than great. Too Tough is loud and fast somehow completely lifeless. It and and All the Way down sound weak, formulaic to me, Stones-by Numbers. Sticking with NME, they reviewed Undercover under the heading ‘This Should Be The Last Time’ and welcomed ‘Dirty Work’ three years later as a return to form. More importantly, taste is difficult to explain. there are some things on the first side of the album that I enjoy, but I was disappointed when I played side two 40 years ago and I still find it disappointing. I love the stones. I play the albums constantly and I love Hackney diamonds to bits. It is perfectly possible to be a genuine stones freak and dislike ‘Undercover’!



Totally agree with you. You can be a Stones fan for over 40 years and dislike Undercover It's funny how some members of this board can be aggressive and sometimes insulting when you express a different opinion of theirs. If Undercover songs are that great how can you explain that the Stones never bothered to play them live but Undercover in 1989.

Have you heard the Stones live post-1989?

Sure I did. I saw them on a few tours between 1990 and 2017 and none of the Undercover songs were in the setlist.

Not even Wanna Hold You or She Was Hot?

Re: UNDERCOVER 40 years !!
Posted by: cimaz ()
Date: November 23, 2023 22:07

Quote
DandelionPowderman
Quote
cimaz
Quote
GasLightStreet
Quote
cimaz
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bakersfield
Disagree. Even Keith admitted the album was ‘dull, it didn’t happen at all’ in an interview with Mat Snow for NME in ‘86. ‘we just took turns to go into the studio and piss around with the tapes’ he said. So if Keith doesn’t rate it, I’m well within my rights to find it less than great. Too Tough is loud and fast somehow completely lifeless. It and and All the Way down sound weak, formulaic to me, Stones-by Numbers. Sticking with NME, they reviewed Undercover under the heading ‘This Should Be The Last Time’ and welcomed ‘Dirty Work’ three years later as a return to form. More importantly, taste is difficult to explain. there are some things on the first side of the album that I enjoy, but I was disappointed when I played side two 40 years ago and I still find it disappointing. I love the stones. I play the albums constantly and I love Hackney diamonds to bits. It is perfectly possible to be a genuine stones freak and dislike ‘Undercover’!



Totally agree with you. You can be a Stones fan for over 40 years and dislike Undercover It's funny how some members of this board can be aggressive and sometimes insulting when you express a different opinion of theirs. If Undercover songs are that great how can you explain that the Stones never bothered to play them live but Undercover in 1989.

Have you heard the Stones live post-1989?

Sure I did. I saw them on a few tours between 1990 and 2017 and none of the Undercover songs were in the setlist.

Not even Wanna Hold You or She Was Hot?

Scarcely played. I would have liked to listen to a live version of She was hot. The only track I really like on Undercover.

Re: UNDERCOVER 40 years !!
Date: November 23, 2023 23:41

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cimaz
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DandelionPowderman
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cimaz
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GasLightStreet
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cimaz
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bakersfield
Disagree. Even Keith admitted the album was ‘dull, it didn’t happen at all’ in an interview with Mat Snow for NME in ‘86. ‘we just took turns to go into the studio and piss around with the tapes’ he said. So if Keith doesn’t rate it, I’m well within my rights to find it less than great. Too Tough is loud and fast somehow completely lifeless. It and and All the Way down sound weak, formulaic to me, Stones-by Numbers. Sticking with NME, they reviewed Undercover under the heading ‘This Should Be The Last Time’ and welcomed ‘Dirty Work’ three years later as a return to form. More importantly, taste is difficult to explain. there are some things on the first side of the album that I enjoy, but I was disappointed when I played side two 40 years ago and I still find it disappointing. I love the stones. I play the albums constantly and I love Hackney diamonds to bits. It is perfectly possible to be a genuine stones freak and dislike ‘Undercover’!



Totally agree with you. You can be a Stones fan for over 40 years and dislike Undercover It's funny how some members of this board can be aggressive and sometimes insulting when you express a different opinion of theirs. If Undercover songs are that great how can you explain that the Stones never bothered to play them live but Undercover in 1989.

Have you heard the Stones live post-1989?

Sure I did. I saw them on a few tours between 1990 and 2017 and none of the Undercover songs were in the setlist.

Not even Wanna Hold You or She Was Hot?

Scarcely played. I would have liked to listen to a live version of She was hot. The only track I really like on Undercover.

Wanna Hold You was a staple in the setlist on the B2B and (euro) ABB tours

Re: UNDERCOVER 40 years !!
Posted by: cimaz ()
Date: November 23, 2023 23:48

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DandelionPowderman
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cimaz
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DandelionPowderman
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cimaz
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GasLightStreet
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cimaz
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bakersfield
Disagree. Even Keith admitted the album was ‘dull, it didn’t happen at all’ in an interview with Mat Snow for NME in ‘86. ‘we just took turns to go into the studio and piss around with the tapes’ he said. So if Keith doesn’t rate it, I’m well within my rights to find it less than great. Too Tough is loud and fast somehow completely lifeless. It and and All the Way down sound weak, formulaic to me, Stones-by Numbers. Sticking with NME, they reviewed Undercover under the heading ‘This Should Be The Last Time’ and welcomed ‘Dirty Work’ three years later as a return to form. More importantly, taste is difficult to explain. there are some things on the first side of the album that I enjoy, but I was disappointed when I played side two 40 years ago and I still find it disappointing. I love the stones. I play the albums constantly and I love Hackney diamonds to bits. It is perfectly possible to be a genuine stones freak and dislike ‘Undercover’!



Totally agree with you. You can be a Stones fan for over 40 years and dislike Undercover It's funny how some members of this board can be aggressive and sometimes insulting when you express a different opinion of theirs. If Undercover songs are that great how can you explain that the Stones never bothered to play them live but Undercover in 1989.

Have you heard the Stones live post-1989?

Sure I did. I saw them on a few tours between 1990 and 2017 and none of the Undercover songs were in the setlist.

Not even Wanna Hold You or She Was Hot?

Scarcely played. I would have liked to listen to a live version of She was hot. The only track I really like on Undercover.

Wanna Hold You was a staple in the setlist on the B2B and (euro) ABB tours

We could have done without it. Not the most inspired Keith song.

Re: UNDERCOVER 40 years !!
Posted by: frenki09 ()
Date: November 24, 2023 05:28

Oh, boy. This is getting messy and pointless. All these arguments about nothing.

Who went to which concert? Do you know your Rolling Stones? It was played. It was not played. Two chords. Three chords. I hate NME. ...

GasLightStreet has no mercy when it comes to educating and bashing others...

Re: UNDERCOVER 40 years !!
Posted by: Mathijs ()
Date: November 24, 2023 09:40

Quote
cimaz

Sure I did. I saw them on a few tours between 1990 and 2017 and none of the Undercover songs were in the setlist.

Undercover, She Was Hot, Wanna Hold You. Wood has played Pretty Beat up many times on his solo tours.

Mathijs

Re: UNDERCOVER 40 years !!
Posted by: Meise ()
Date: November 24, 2023 09:53

I must admin that 'Undercover' is one of my least favourite albums. I tried several times to get into it but the magic spark never appeared.
Of course, the album featutes true gems but overally I rate this album rather weak ... although DW three years later has been even weaker.

I really like 'She Was Hot' and wonder why it's only been played occasionally during the Bigger Bang Tour. The same goes for 'Undercover' (Steel Wheels Tour but dropped for the Urban Jungle Tour).

Of course, everyone rates an album differently, after all it depends on personal taste. You like it or not. I don't ... that much than other albums.

Re: UNDERCOVER 40 years !!
Posted by: matxil ()
Date: November 24, 2023 11:13

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saintmick
Last three songs: Too Tough, All The Way Down, It Must Be Hell

Which other record has so much Stones energy at the end?

Funny you mention exactly those three songs. I strongly feel that without those three (and without Wanna Hold You), the album would be much much better. Great even.
The rest of the songs vary from very good to excellent.

Re: UNDERCOVER 40 years !!
Posted by: matxil ()
Date: November 24, 2023 11:20

Quote
Bjorn
Big difference. If you dont understand that - too bad for you. I cant seem to find Thief in the night, Pretty beat up and All the way down on any Best of/Greatest hits compilation - or in any setlist - hardly ever (Thief when it was new). Mick, Keith and I understand why Streetfighting man is way better. Satisfied? Happier now?

To each his own, of course. I think "Thief in The Night" is one of the last times the Stones really did something fantastic (and people should check out the live versions!), I think "Pretty Beat Up" is great fun, a jam only the Stones could pull off but I think "All The Way Down" is one of those pop-rock light-weight thingies the latter-day Stones should stop making (like Get Close on HD).

But your "greatest hits" argument doesn't make any sense. There are loads of excellent songs by the Stones that never end up on Greatest Hits Compilations or on their setlist. Too many to mention, but just from the top of my head: "Heaven", "Tops", "Slave", "Sway", "No Expectations", "Monkey Man", pretty much any song on Exile, etc. etc. etc.

Re: UNDERCOVER 40 years !!
Posted by: GasLightStreet ()
Date: November 25, 2023 06:23

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cimaz
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DandelionPowderman
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cimaz
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DandelionPowderman
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cimaz
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GasLightStreet
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cimaz
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bakersfield
Disagree. Even Keith admitted the album was ‘dull, it didn’t happen at all’ in an interview with Mat Snow for NME in ‘86. ‘we just took turns to go into the studio and piss around with the tapes’ he said. So if Keith doesn’t rate it, I’m well within my rights to find it less than great. Too Tough is loud and fast somehow completely lifeless. It and and All the Way down sound weak, formulaic to me, Stones-by Numbers. Sticking with NME, they reviewed Undercover under the heading ‘This Should Be The Last Time’ and welcomed ‘Dirty Work’ three years later as a return to form. More importantly, taste is difficult to explain. there are some things on the first side of the album that I enjoy, but I was disappointed when I played side two 40 years ago and I still find it disappointing. I love the stones. I play the albums constantly and I love Hackney diamonds to bits. It is perfectly possible to be a genuine stones freak and dislike ‘Undercover’!



Totally agree with you. You can be a Stones fan for over 40 years and dislike Undercover It's funny how some members of this board can be aggressive and sometimes insulting when you express a different opinion of theirs. If Undercover songs are that great how can you explain that the Stones never bothered to play them live but Undercover in 1989.

Have you heard the Stones live post-1989?

Sure I did. I saw them on a few tours between 1990 and 2017 and none of the Undercover songs were in the setlist.

Not even Wanna Hold You or She Was Hot?

Scarcely played. I would have liked to listen to a live version of She was hot. The only track I really like on Undercover.

Wanna Hold You was a staple in the setlist on the B2B and (euro) ABB tours

We could have done without it. Not the most inspired Keith song.

What a strange way to admit you've heard She Was Hot and Wanna Hold You live after declaring they never played them live, which, uh, they did.

Re: UNDERCOVER 40 years !!
Posted by: Doxa ()
Date: November 25, 2023 12:14

Some strange debating here... So is it the conclusion that UNDERCOVER must be a great album, since Keith has played "Wanna Hold You" pretty regularly during two tours..? grinning smiley

That said, I am afraid that the only source to support the greatness of UNDERCOVER derive from one's own taste and judgement. Let the music speak for itself. Namely, the statistics of any kind do not look very good for UNDERCOVER. It sold okay, like any Stones album, at the time (although weakly compared to the previous albums). But, for example, it is the least streamed Stones album to date, losing even to DIRTY WORK (and of singular tracks, the discussed "Pretty Beat Up" has a tough battle with "Back to Zero" for being the least streamed major album studio cut ever).

So we are pretty much discussing a hardcore fan item here, the album being pretty much forgotten by the rest of the world. And within the hardcore circles - us, that is - it has a very mixed reception, as we can see from this thread. My estimation, based on opinions here for decades, is that it might be the most controversial album by them ever. The opinions seem to diverse so much. But it is, interestingly, one of their most discussed albums here as well.

- Doxa



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2023-11-25 12:16 by Doxa.

Re: UNDERCOVER 40 years !!
Posted by: Doxa ()
Date: November 25, 2023 13:09

This made me thinking why UNDERCOVER is such a forgotten album? I don't quite buy the explanation that 'well, it is not very good", since I think it is! Besides, do people even know it being good or bad, since they don' t, for god's sake, even listen it!

I think the explanation is more to do with the recieved view of legacy artists having such a damn long career. Writing history is cruel: the big get bigger, the small get smaller. Only the highlights will be remembered. A standard reading of the Stones recorded career is that there is the Big Four and SOME GIRLS the last real masterpiece. TATTOO YOU was the last 'very good Stones album' - except the new one if there is one. This mantra is always repeated when a new Stones album arrives. We have heard this so many times. "Best since TATTOO YOU", sometimes even "Best since SOME GIRLS".

The down side of this reading is that 'okay, UNDERCOVER is the album signifying the moment when the Stones started to release albums that were not so good in quality any longer (GOATS HEAD SOUP has a similar reputation). In today's world of extremes that means: this is the moment when the Stones started to suck. So why the hell I would listen it?

I think both UNDERCOVER and GOATS HEAD SOUP are much better albums than their reputation is. They both injustly suffer from the unfair comparison to the the previous albums, something the lazy historical reading and journalism emphazises. However, as I have gladly noticed, sometimes some sort of re-reading and re-evaluation happens. I think to an extent the unique greatness of GOATS HEAD SOUP has been recognized, probably the deluxe edition having a role there. The same has happened to THEIR SATANIC MAJESTIES that for decades had been probably the most bashed album by anyone ever, a kind of paradigm of artistic flop (c'mon, it's not that bad...)

Maybe something like that will happen to UNDERCOVER some day as well? Probably when there is no longer "best since TATTOO YOU" album in sight, and people will start more carefully to listen what this band has actually done?

- Doxa



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2023-11-25 13:12 by Doxa.

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