Emotional Rescue is the 15th British and 17th American studio album by The Rolling Stones, released in 1980. Upon release, it topped the charts in both the US and UK.


Recorded throughout 1979, first in Nassau, Bahamas (Compass Point), then Paris (Pathe Marconi), with some end-of-year overdubbing in New York CityEmotional Rescue was the first Rolling Stones album recorded following Keith Richards' exoneration from a Toronto drugs charge that could have landed him in jail for years. Fresh from the revitalization of Some Girls, Richards and Mick Jagger led the Stones through dozens of new songs, some of which were held over for Tattoo You, picking only ten for Emotional Rescue.

While several of the tracks featured just the core band of Jagger, Richards, Ronnie WoodCharlie Watts, and Bill Wyman, keyboardists Nicky Hopkins and co-founder Ian Stewart, sax playerBobby Keys and harmonica player Sugar Blue joined the Rolling Stones on Emotional Rescue.

The song "Claudine" was rumored to be a part of the original album, but didn't make the cut most likely due to the fear of litigation and controversy. The lyrics dealt with the light sentence (30 days in jail) singer-actress Claudine Longet received after she killed her live-in boyfriend, Olympian ski racer Vladimir "Spider" Sabich, in their Aspen, Colorado home. The song was eventually released as part of the deluxe version of Some Girls in 2011. Some other songs left off the album would find their way onto the next album, Tattoo You ("Black Limousine", "Start Me Up", "Hang Fire", "Little T&A", and "No Use in Crying"). "Think I'm Going Mad", another song from the sessions, was released as the B-side to "She Was Hot" in 1984. Two cover songs were sung by Richards: "We Had It All", now released on the 2011 deluxe Some Girls package, and "Let's Go Steady", still only available on bootlegs.

Other songs recorded in these sessions but never released are "Going Mad" "I Can See It" "Rotten Roll" "Fiji Jim" "Misty Roads" "I Like it Too Much" "Need a Yellow Cab" and "Nanker Phelge". These songs can be found on some vinyl bootleg albums of that era.

Packaging and artwork[edit]Edit

The album cover, designed by Peter Corriston, features a selection of thermographic photos taken by British-born, Paris-based artist Roy Adzak using a thermo camera, a device that measures heat emissions. The original release came wrapped in a huge colour poster featuring more thermo-shots of the band with the album itself wrapped in a plastic bag. The music video shot for "Emotional Rescue" also utilized the same type of shots of the band performing.

Release and reception[edit]Edit

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic link
Blender link
Robert Christgau (B+) link
Rolling Stone (1980) (Negative) link
Rolling Stone (2004) link

Released in June with the disco-infused hit title track as the lead single, Emotional Rescue was an immediate smash. The title track hit #3 on the Billboard Hot 100. The album gave the Rolling Stones their first UK #1 album since 1973's Goats Head Soup and spent seven weeks atop the US charts. The follow-up single "She's So Cold" was a top 30 hit while "Dance Pt. 1" reached #9 on Billboard's Dance chart.

The album closer, "All About You (song)," featured Keith Richards's increasingly gravelly lead vocal, presaging a tradition that would begin in earnest in the late '80s of ending Stones studio albums with a track sung by Richards. (Tattoo You (released the following year), Undercover (released in 1983) and the CD version of 1994's Voodoo Lounge have subsequently been the only exceptions.)

In 1994, Emotional Rescue was remastered and reissued by Virgin Records, and again in 2009 by Universal Music. In 2011 it was released by Universal Music Enterprises in a Japanese onlySHM-SACD version.

Track listing[edit]Edit

All songs by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, except where noted.

Side one
No. Title Length
1. "Dance (Pt. 1)" (Jagger/Richards/Ronnie Wood) 4:23
2. "Summer Romance"   3:16
3. "Send It to Me"   3:43
4. "Let Me Go"   3:50
5. "Indian Girl"   4:23
Side two
No. Title Length
6. "Where the Boys Go"   3:29
7. "Down in the Hole"   3:57
8. "Emotional Rescue"   5:39
9. "She's So Cold"   4:12
10. "All About You"   4:18


The Rolling Stones
Additional personnel
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