Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

The Rolling Stones: Some Girls: Deluxe Edition [Universal Republic, 2011]
A major album, you knew that. But my grade is for the bonus disc, which--as I'd never have guessed after those drab Exile extras--has dibs on major as well. It outstrips not just It's Only Rock 'n Roll and Goats Head Soup but Tattoo You and probably Emotional Rescue (which several advisors insist I revisit). Where the regular album is musically quirky and lyrically either risky ("Some Girls," "Far Away Eyes") or generalized ("Respectable," "Beast of Burden," damn right "When the Whip Comes Down"), the bonus disc is musically classic-Stones and lyrically small-scale, including NYC specifics that warm my heart. Beginning with the Stu-does-Jerry-Lee bootleg fave "Claudine" and ending with the atypically near-political "Petrol Blues," its star player is a horny guy who just got divorced--a familiar character the classic Stones were made for. Mick's Hank Williams cover trumps Keith's Waylon Jennings cover. His Freddy Cannon cover trumps them both. A-