By 1978’s Some Girls, The Rolling Stones had outlasted most of their British Invasion peers. That’s not to say it hasn’t been a rickety ride for the London-formed group at times, because from Brian Jones’ prima donna tendencies and death in 1969, to Keith Richards’ heroin-plagued 1970s, to Mick Jagger and Richards’ bickering in the ’80s, it has been just that — a rickety ride.
With Some Girls, their last song-for-song classic LP, the band schooled the new school, cycling through punk, disco, and more. While the 36 years since then haven’t exactly tarnished the band’s legacy, they’ve rarely scaled the heights they reached so routinely in the ’60s and ’70s. Sure, they wrote the politicized “Undercover of the Night”, but it wasn’t “Street Fighting Man”. The Neptunes remixed “Sympathy for the Devil” in 2005, but it showed the generation gap more than anything.
From time to time, though, the Stones have managed to write a song that runs at least neck and neck with the pace they set with their first string of singles, that legendary four-album run (1968’s Beggars Banquet through 1972’s Exile on Main St.), and the years between Exile and Some Girls. Of course, it’s the cumulative impact of those older songs that draw tens of thousands of fans to the band’s live shows, but 1981’s Tattoo You, 1986’s Dirty Work, and 2005’s A Bigger Bang have more than warranted touring — indeed, Jagger has said he doesn’t like touring unless there’s a new album to support.
With the band’s 20th British and 22nd American album, Voodoo Lounge, turning 20 this month, we’ve collected our 10 favorite Rolling Stones songs post-Some Girls. (Full disclosure: resurrected and partially rerecorded songs like “Plunder My Soul” and “No Spare Parts” are ineligible.)