Thursday, January 5, 2012
My First Album - The Rolling Stones - Tattoo You
If I’m completely honest the actual accuracy of which album was the first I ever bought with my own money is pretty hazy…we’re talking 30 odd years here!!! It could well be something by the Police or maybe even Adam And The Ants. I can say with absolute conviction though that I definitely did buy Tattoo You by the Rolling Stones with my own dosh. I can even remember the sticker on the front that said £3.50. You try buying a brand new vinyl album for £3.50 nowadays…I tell you it can’t be done!!!
Let me just give you a little background as to why I chose this album to buy in my tender years (I would have been 11, maybe 12 when I got it). All credit must go to my dear old dad. You see, my dad has been a huge influence on my listening habits. As a child the house was full of music. In the early 70’s Sunday mornings would play host to my dad’s record collection and I remember a lot of old soul and funky stuff being played. In the car we would have some prime original ska like Prince Buster or the Skatalites that I would request on every journey. My dad, however, always had two abiding passions; the blues and The Rolling Stones and had done since he was a teenager. Even now in his 60’s if a new Stones album comes out he’s right there and he’s out most weeks to check out whichever obscure blues artist is passing through town. For a man known as the “white sheep of the family” by his wayward brothers due to his outward respectability he sure has a black man’s music taste!!!
So as a kid I was exposed to some of the best music ever created and when I entered the record department that day (it would have been Woolworths or W.H Smith) and saw a Rolling Stones album I suddenly had access myself to this treasure chest of awesomeness…plus I knew my dad would be proud as hell!!! I was immediately struck by the cover…Jagger on the front and Keef on the back both covered in tribal artwork. My young mind couldn’t grasp that they hadn’t actually had their faces tattooed for the cover, my knowledge of graphic design would come later. Either way this looked like a badass album!!! At this point I wasn’t aware that bands may have purple patches and wasn’t aware that the previous album was, by all accounts a sack of shit!!! Nor was I aware that “Tattoo You” was a bit of a stop gap album cobbled together from various unreleased bits and bobs dating back nearly 10 years at that point. All I was aware of was that it rocked and was righteous!!!
The album kicked off with “Start Me Up”. Come on people, you have to admit this is one the all time classic Stones riffs!!! As soon as it kicks in the spine starts to tingle and those erogenous zones go all a quiver!! Even as a young boy I knew that when Jagger sings “you’d make a dead man cum”…it had to be some pretty hot shit he was singing about…I didn’t even know what it meant but to make a dead guy do anything is pretty incredible right? “Hang Fire”, “Little T & A” and “Neighbours” all rocked hard and fast. “Slave” was a down and dirty funky fuck of a song and “Black Limousine” brought the blues. Flip this sucker over and the Stones give us their mellow side. Now we already knew from tracks like “Angie”, “Fool To Cry” and “Wild Horses” that they could tug at the heart strings like no-one else and they proved that here. “Waiting On A Friend” even proved to be a big hit with Jagger and Richards making out like they’re best buds in the video!!!
It doesn’t matter whether this album is rated as one of the Stones best albums or not…maybe it is, maybe it isn’t. In the cold light of day it sure as hell ain’t no “Exile On Mainstream” but it was my first and like your first fuck it stays memorable and special. In fact I may go and put it on now and get my groove on to that riff…you know…”Start Me Up”!!!