Emotional Rescue

Album: Emotional Rescue (1980)
Charted: 9 3
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Songfacts®:

  • In this song, Mick Jagger is trying to get his girl back, promising to come to her "emotional rescue" if she takes him back. He comes off a little creepy, especially in the spoken part where he repeats, "You will be mine, all mine."
  • Like their hit "Miss You," this song is a sop to disco, with Mick Jagger singing much of the song in falsetto, à la The Bee Gees. Many Stones fans hated it, but the song was a hit; released as the first single from the album, it made the Top 10 in many territories, including the UK and US.

    The song didn't have much staying power, though, and was rarely heard once it fell off the charts. The next single from the album, "She's So Cold," was more typical of their sound and had a much longer shelf life.
  • Around this time, Keith Richards was less involved because he was getting cleaned up, so Mick Jagger had a lot of creative control on the Emotional Rescue album. Jagger wrote the song in the studio on an electric piano, then recorded the basic track with drummer Charlie Watts and bass player Ron Wood. Keith Richards overdubbed some guitar, but had little else to do with it. Still, per tradition, the song was credited as having been written by him and Jagger.
  • The phrase "emotional rescue" is something Mick Jagger came up with. It never entered the lexicon, but Stevie Wonder used it in the lyric to his 1982 hit "That Girl":

    She thinks in no time flat
    That she'll be free and clear to start
    With her emotional rescue of love
    That you'll leave torn apart
  • Two music videos were shot for this song. The first uses the kind of thermographic imagery used on the album cover to show the band in colorful, flickering outlines performing this song. It was cutting-edge stuff for 1980, but unwatchable for more than 30 seconds.

    The second one is easier on the eyes. That one was shot by acclaimed director David Mallett and shows the band performing it on a colorful set. It was shot at the same time as their "She's So Cold" video.
  • Jagger got the idea for the falsetto from listening to Don Covay's song "Mercy, Mercy," where Covay sings the harmony part in falsetto.
  • The song runs 5:38, but was cut down to 4:07 for both music videos.
  • There were a lot of stops and starts when recording the album. Bobby Keys' sax solo and Mick Jagger's vocals were added almost a year after the rhythm track was recorded.
  • The Stones played this for the very first time in concert on May 3, 2013, 33 years after they recorded the tune. Keith Richards was not a fan of the disco-based song and it never made a Stones setlist until the first show of their 50 and Counting tour at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.

Comments: 36

  • Brian from Oyster BayTo David from Orlando I definitely would say Bill Wyman is the much better bass player if you know what the role bass plays in a song. Bill mastered the art of elevating a song without being conspicuous way before this song. And besides that's him on Miss You, a groundbreaking bass line. Keith recently marveled at listening to what Bill is doing when he sits down and really listens. Play When the Whip Comes Down from any show from '78 and '81. That's a friggin bass onslaught right there and you would never know unless you try to listen. But its elevating the song to new heights underneath it all. That's great bass playing.
  • George from Vancouver, CanadaPaul: I only knew KISS as disco (yup, late '70s); then I figured they went rock with their first album in the '80s (& I liked it so much better -- I pretty much hated KISS before that album, as I did any trend-chasing group. . .
  • Henry from LedyardGREAT musicianship on this track. Bangin', bouncin' electric piano Nicky Hopkins. Late great Bobby Keys blowin' groovy. Ronnie Wood playing a unique, atypical bass line...grown up sound. Jazz skill. Small, tight band sound, like She's So Cold. Less is more. Stones dripping cool relevance easier during this period with Mick at the helm, reflecting the times and culture...like Picasso, or Jobim...This is also the period where many tracks show the skill and finesse of Mr. Charlie Watts...Mick's falsetto is enjoyable in small doses, and this track is the best example of it when it's good. Ronnie Wood now has quietly added an underrated layer to the Stones...more than a Blues virtuoso, like the great Mick Taylor, Woody brings fun and skill.
    I acknowledge that my love for this period and beyond is no doubt influenced by the fact that in '77, when many of these were first conceived, I was 17...
  • Goldfish from Seattle, WaThe Stones are my favorite, and I love this song (though it took at least two listens for it to start growing on me). It doesn't sound like the BeeGees at all, save for the falsetto, and it doesn't sound as disco as Miss You. It's odd that they made a disco song after the peak of disco ended, but it's still sweet ear candy. Lots of fans were mad at the disco direction they were taking, but I've always liked bands that follow musical trends, it's a lot better than just sticking with one type of music for decades. I bet that people disliked this song more out of opinion than out of reason, because the skill put into it and the work they did with the instruments was impressive in the technical sense. I've disliked my fair share of songs too, but I'm pretty sure it was just my taste, not the musicians.
  • Caleb from Los Angeles, CaI agree wit Thomas from Alabama. This was the beginning of the end for the band creatively. Tattoo You had some solid work, and was well-produced, and going back to SomeGirls, there were some good tracks there toom but you could see the s--t coming. After that, they stole all their moves from Hee Haw. Gotta root for the bad guys on this one folks. I need a good shovel.
  • Jack from Wantagh, NyIt may sound like disco, but it's the same thing the Stones did on the 2 preceding albums, Miss You on Some Girls everybody cried "The stones went disco!" Well where were they when Black and Blue came out and the 1st song and single was "Hot Stuff" released before the word "Disco" was being used to describe music. It was called Soul Rock, or just Soul. They are all great songs. Miss You, Emotional Rescue, and Tattoo You were all culled from one year of recording, that was "In the can" as they say. So for three years they just went through this collection and picked out songs for each new album, and polished them up a little, like adding an instrument. I have high quality bootlegs of Emotional Rescue with an extra measure on every verse, even the Chorus they say 4 times.I have Let me go with about a minute of extra jamming towards the end. I coud go on, but I already used a lot of room. FYI "Start Me Up" was 1st recorded in 1977, then in 81 when they were looking for a single, they tried re-recording it and there you have it.
  • Paul from Oceanside, NyI think it's a good dance tune that was released maybe a year too late. It it was in '79, it would have been perfect timing. The last straw for a lot of rock fans was Rod Stewart and Kiss recording disco songs. But I think the Stones made up for it in '81 with Tattoo You, don't you think?
  • Danny from Your Town, IaI'm a huge Stones fan and really dig this and Miss You, which is also the four on the floor disco beat. This was just another way the Stones adapted to musical changes at the time.
  • Thomas from Somerville, AlAs one of the biggest Stones fans to ever walk the planet, please let me state for the record that this was the WORST song ever done by Mick and the boys. I think this one was written in between rehabs or something. What a peice of emotional DO DO!!!
  • David from Youngstown, OhBy 1980, disco as a musical genre was essentially dead. This is NOT a disco song. The Stones experimented with disco on the 1978 "Some Girls" record, most notably "Miss You." The Stones made this as a dance song, much like they did with a number of other songs. But again to call this a disco song is wrong. The Stones were always on the cutting edge of new music. Do we think they were stupid to make a disco song after disco had peaked two years earlier? If you do, you know little about music.
  • Taylor from Wonderland, MtThis song is pretty neat, i really like the rolling stones trying diversity but i also think that they should stick to the true rock and roll they are know for.
  • David from Orlando, FlPoor Bill Wyman. It had to be hard being the third best bass player in the band. If you doubt me, listen to Ronnie Wood (who plays bass on this song) back in his days with Jeff Beck or watch Keith playing bass with Eric Clapton and John Lennon on the Rock and Roll Circus DVD.
  • George from Little Rock, ArI really like this song. Never really understood the hate. I don't even consider this disco, in my opinion Miss you (another great song) sounds more disco than this. This song just shows the versatility of Rock and Roll's greatest act.
    And for those comparing this song to the BeeGees, the only similarity is the falsetto. Even with the falsetto, this song sounds nothing like the Beegees.
  • Doug from Oakland, CaDisco was beautiful,lush music,a combination of both black and gay culture,which is why so many people hated on it.
    Rescue is good effort by The Stones but not as good as Miss You
  • Eric from Hastings, Mn60s stones are so much better than the 70s stones
  • Jess from Brisbane, Australiaim a big stones fan didnt like the song at the start much but then just kept listening to it and now i love it i know it sounds gay lol but its one of those songs you have to listen to over and over again to really really like
    ITS GOOD :)
  • Ptlover from None Ya, KsNo one who has never heard the Stones before should not hear this song early on. They shouldn't hear 2000 Lightyears From Home, eather, but that is another story. The Stones are just too good for this song.
  • Guest from Shoeville, HiWhat were the people who wrote all of these comments thinking. I mean, this song is bad, bad, bad!!!!! The only person I agree with is steph from Canada, the second one from the bottom.
  • Logan from Durham, Nhim a huge stones fan but i dont like this song
  • Andrej from Ljubljana, OtherWhy shouldnt this be on the Forty Licks,it was an experimental song which grow a big sucsses

    My opinion... its Stones and its cool
  • Barnaby from T-dot, CanadaI am a huge Stones fan and this is one of my top 3 Stones tunes of all time. The band always went through phases and hit on so many sub-genres of popular music while maintaining their own signature sound which is why they appeal to me. "Emotional Rescue" is ALL Stones. It's Stones groove, it's Stones attitude...simply put, it's dead cool (even has a smattering of sleaze which is so much a part of their legacy). I ask any Stones fan to listen to the track without prejudice and tell me it's not a quintessential Stones tune. The mix and production values are different from their typical rockers, but don't kid yourself, the record is tops!
  • Jay from Atlanta, GaLove that bass line.
  • Jhon from E.coast To W. Coast, United StatesWhen I was an even younger buck and this song been out for a couple of years with a fairly big 'pop' following inearly eighties, we all were coming down fromdisco which I could not stand as an avid fan of hard rock and roll. Yes, I remember well the critical distaste of big Stones fans and many others BUT was still pretty darn popular and actually has turned into one of my most favorite all time Sones song. Howz dat? Stones have done it all and still do it the best. Love this song and the Stones. Jhon or in American normal language John WPB, Fla at U of AZ
  • Dale from Rumford, Merubt is ruby
  • Dale from Rumford, Merolling stones did this song as a dance song same with harlem shuffle.
    mick jagger in my opinion start singing with differnt styles on rubt tuesday! most people dont know its the stones and yet its a mega hit for them
    mick jagger can play harmonica, any gutair, pianos, and sing he could be a one man band
  • Sunset from London, United StatesI don't think they tried to sound like bee gees, they just tried to make a good song. I really like it. I prefer this one instead of Angie. Mick sings with "different voices", I dare to say that's cool.
  • Ian from Lethbridge, CanadaWow Michelle! You sure Can't Get No Satisfaction from the Stones!
  • Johnny from Los Angeles, CaMichelle, you've got it all wrong! I don't hate it as much as Ace, Jo-C and Steph (due to the Saxophone, and the fact that this is an experiement) but it is a bad experiment, that failed, so the song isn't good, and deserves to be buried with all the other 80's crap tracks by other artists. But Michelle, all I can deduce is either you are a disco fan, or deaf. Don't diss my 2nd favorite band.
  • Michelle from Vancouver Island, CanadaIf the Rolling Stones were playing on my front lawn, I'd close the curtains. This is the only song of theirs I ever liked. Don't get what the big deal was. I just can't get satisfied from this band.
  • Jeanette from Irvine, Cai like this song. its not very stonesy but hey they were just experimenting guys.
  • Jake from Toronto, CanadaI'm not a fan of Disco at all, but I don't mind this song. Sure beats anything by the Bee Gees, and it's always nice to hear a Stones' song where Mick is almost understandable.
  • Dee from Indianapolis, InI for one am a fan of this song because of the memories it envokes of my childhood. I was eleven and we would have neighborhood dances during the summer. This was one of those tunes that you heard at every dance at some point throughout the night. Some of my 1st girlfriend situations are behind this tune, so I will always hold a place in my heart for this tune everyone seems to hate.
  • Ace from Kansas City, MoPretty much the only Stones song not worth a listen. I'd rather hear Michael Bolton fart in a bathtub.
  • Jo-c from Lima, PeruI agree with steph, this song sucks majorly. When I was listening to 40 licks for the first time and came across Undercover Of The Night, I thought the Stones couldn't screw up any worse. And then in came this.
  • Steph from Ottawa, CanadaThe worst Stones song ever! Trying to sound like the Bee Gee's is not a cool idea. Not now, not in 1978, either.
  • Chelsea from Nyc, OrKeith says he had a hard time fitting a guitar part on this disco groove. Ron Wood plays Bass. Jagger took a lot of pokes for his tongue-in-cheek rap at the end "I will be your knight in shining armour".
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