Rollingtimes - Dirty Work

Dirty Work

Dirty Work (1986)

Album Info

Released: 24 March 1986
Recorded: 8 April - 17 June and 16 July - 17 August 1985
Genre: Rock, Reggae, Dance
Length: 40:03
Label: Rolling Stones/Columbia Records (initial release), Rolling Stones/Virgin (1st remaster), Universal Music (2nd remaster)
Producer: Steve Lillywhite and The Glimmer Twins
"Although it's not considered the best album, it contains a few hidden gems."

History and recording

Recording for Dirty Work began in April 1985 in Paris, but then broke up for a short while. When the band got back to the studio, Mick Jagger was often missing from recording sessions due to him promoting his recently released solo album, She's the Boss. Replacement drummers were required for Charlie Watts who was also absent from a lot of sessions because of his alcohol/drug addiction throughout the 80s. After all the recording was done in August 1985, a final 30-second clip of pianist Ian Stewart playing "Key to the Highway" was added at the end of the track-list as a tribute to the musician, who had recently died.

Release and aftermath

The album was not critically well received, with some reviewers declaring it the Stones's worst ever album. Others claimed that Jagger was saving his best material for his solo work. Despite this, the album contains a few hidden gems like "One Hit (to the Body)", "Harlem Shuffle" (which was a top 30 hit) and "Sleep Tonight".


The band were not enthusiastic about the cover, which shows the Rolling Stones dressed in extravagant clothing in a colourful room, however the distributor of the record, CBS Records, pushed for it.

Chart Performance

The album reached #4 in both the UK album charts and the US Billboard 200 chart in 1986.


The Rolling Stones
Mick Jagger - lead and backing vocals, harmonica
Keith Richards - electric and acoustic guitars, backing vocals, piano
Charlie Watts - drums
Ronnie Wood - electric, acoustic and pedal steel guitars, backing vocals, bass guitar, drums, and tenor saxophone
Bill Wyman - bass guitar and synthesizer

Additional musicians
Jimmy Cliff - backing vocals
Dan Collette - trumpet
Don Covay - backing vocals
Beverly D'Angelo - backing vocals
Anton Fig - shakers
Chuck Leavell - keyboards
Kirsty MacColl - backing vocals
Dollette McDonald - backing vocals
Ivan Neville - backing vocals, bass guitar, organ, and synthesizer
Jimmy Page - electric guitar
Janice Pendarvis - backing vocals
Patti Scialfa - backing vocals
Ian Stewart - piano
Tom Waits - backing vocals
Bobby Womack - backing vocals, electric guitar on "Back to Zero"

Who is your favourite Stone?

Mick Jagger
Keith Richards
Ronnie Wood
Charlie Watts