Rollingtimes - Tattoo You

Tattoo You

Tattoo You (1981)

Album Info

Released: 24 August 1981
Recorded: November 1972-January 1973; January-March 1975; September 1977-March 1978; January-October 1979; October 1980-June 1981
Genre: Rock
Length: 44:23
Label: Rolling Stones/Virgin
Producer: The Glimmer Twins
"It's rockers vs. ballads in this epic album, but I guess it works out as a tie for best."

History and recording

The idea of an album comprised of outtakes from previous albums came from long-time associate of the Stones and producer, Chris Kimsey. He sifted through studio outtakes dating back to the early 70s and presented them to the band. Most of the tracks had no vocals/lyrics, so some creative work was demanded from Jagger. A lot of the tracks also had parts missing or needed to be reworked completely (an example of this would be "Start Me Up", which started off as a reggae tune under the working title "Never Stop". "Start Me Up", along with "Slave" and "Worried About You", dates back to the 1975 Black and Blue sessions. "Tops" and "Waiting On A Friend" are from the Goats Head Soup sessions, "Black Limousine" and "Hang Fire" from the Some Girls sessions, "Little T&A" and "No Use In Crying" from the Emotional Rescue sessions and "Heaven" and "Neighbours" from after the release of Emotional Rescue. The tracks on Tattoo You were arranged in such a way so that the first half is mainly comprised of rockers, and the second half of ballads.

Release and aftermath

The release of "Start Me Up" as a single took Tattoo You to #1 in the US album charts, where it would remain for nine weeks. "Hang Fire" and "Waiting On A Friend" also became minor hits.


Peter Corriston designed the album artwork, winning a Grammy Award under the category of "best album package".

Chart Performance

In 1981 the album reached #2 in the UK album charts and #1 in the US Billboard Pop Albums chart.


The Rolling Stones
Mick Jagger - lead and backing vocals, electric guitar on "Heaven", and harmonica on "Black Limousine"
Keith Richards - electric guitar, backing vocals, lead vocals on "Little T&A", and bass guitar
Charlie Watts - drums
Ronnie Wood - electric guitar and backing vocals
Bill Wyman - bass guitar, electric guitar, and synthesizer on "Heaven"

Additional personnel
Ollie Brown - percussion
Nicky Hopkins - piano and organ
Chris Kimsey - piano on "Heaven"
Wayne Perkins - electric guitar on "Worried About You"
Billy Preston - piano and organ
Sonny Rollins - saxophone on "Slave", "Neighbours", and "Waiting on a Friend"
Ian Stewart - piano
Mick Taylor - electric guitar on "Tops" and "Waiting on a Friend"
Pete Townshend - backing vocals on "Slave"

Who is your favourite Stone?

Mick Jagger
Keith Richards
Ronnie Wood
Charlie Watts