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Rolling Stones: Keith Richards Got Pissed Off By 1 Group of Music Fans Who Criticized the Band



Rolling Stones lead guitarist Keith Richards has always spoken his mind. He said The Who singer Roger Daltry was all flash and that the band’s drummer Keith Moon was a hopeless performer with any other group. He has never cared if his words offend, even if they alienate his audience. Richards said a certain group of fans pissed him off when they criticized the Stones’ album Some Girls and the song “Miss You.”

Keith Richards was pissed off with purists who called The Rolling Stones sellouts over ‘Some Girls’

The Rolling Stones practically created the blueprint for edgy, boozy, blues-based hard rock. They reached their apex between 1968 and 1973. Their five albums — Beggars Banquet, Let It Bleed, Sticky Fingers, Exile on Main St., and Goats Head Soup — produced a slew of glowing reviews and signature songs.

Understandably, the band’s pace slowed down after that. By the time The Rolling Stones released Some Girls in June 1978, disco and punk ruled the music landscape.

“Miss You,” the album’s lead single, was a sort of bluesy, strutting, slow-disco song with a funky bass line. Beatles collaborator Billy Preston helped write the tune. It’s as strong as any entry in the band’s catalog. Still, at the time, some music purists accused The Rolling Stones of selling out, and it pissed off Richards (per Yahoo):

“Purists of any kind really piss me off. Of course, there are some who are gonna think this or that. But that’s their privilege; it’s cool with me. Not everyone’s gonna get it the first time.”

Keith Richards

Richards said the purists pissed him off. He might as well have said myopic music fans missed the point. While they focused on the Stones going full mainstream with the disco-lite “Miss You” or proto new-wave of “Shattered,” they missed the blue-blooded rockers right in front of them. “When the Whip Comes Down,” “Some Girls,” “Lies,” and “Respectable” rocked as hard as anything from a decade earlier. Meanwhile, tracks like “Just My Imagination (Running Away With Me)” and “Faraway Eyes” harked back to the countrified tones the Stones perfected early in their career.


Looking back on Some Girls’ 45th anniversary, Stones singer Mick Jagger hit the nail on the head when he described the sellout outcry.

“It’s a bit like Bob Dylan going electric, isn’t it? It’s ridiculous to even think that people made a fuss about it,” Jagger told Yahoo. “Now you look back and think, ‘How stupid was that?’ There were a lot of people that were very narrow-minded about it.”

Forty-five years after Some Girls hit record stores, the “Stones go disco” debate is almost laughable. And that rock purists that pissed off Richards were clearly in the minority as the album was the best-performing Stones record by at least one metric.

How did ‘Miss You’ and ‘Some Girls’ perform on the charts?

Some Girls rubbed Rolling Stones purists the wrong way, which upset off Richards. Yet the record went to No. 1 in the United States and, by one measure, became their most successful studio album. Though 1981’s Tattoo You lasted longer atop the Billboard charts (nine weeks vs. two), Some Girls’ 88 weeks on the chart gave it the longest tenure of any Stones album among the top 200.

“Miss You” holds a similar place among the Stones No. 1 hits. It sat on top of just one week, but it lasted 20 weeks on the singles chart. That was longer than any Stones tune except for “Start Me Up” and its 24 weeks.

The outcry from rock purists about The Rolling Stones “going disco” on “Miss You” pissed off Keith Richards. Yet judging by how well the song and its parent album, Some Girls, performed on the charts, those purists were a very small portion of the band’s fanbase.


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Source: Cheat Sheet

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