It may appear to be a little trite to think now nearly sixty years from their beginning, but in 1978, many people thought The Rolling Stones were finished. It wasn’t until new songs like ‘Beast of Burden’ that they once again clicked back into gear and continued as rock and roll powerhouses.
Now, it’s true that the Stones were still a massive selling act in 1978. They were far from out of the spotlight. But a decade of drink and drugs had taken its toll and with punk on the rise, suddenly The Rolling Stones were a bit passe.
The Rolling Stones had the air of a band who could quite easily fade away when the server of punk began to sweep the globe. The genre’s energy and disgust for anything from the past meant the Stones had a lot of keeping up to do. After Black and Blue and It’s Only Rock and Roll both relatively flopped, the word on the street was the Stones were old news.
Mick Jagger, speaking with Rolling Stone, put the band’s creative lull down to one thing, “Everyone was using drugs, Keith [Richards] particularly,” said the frontman in 1995 “So I think it suffered a bit from all that. General malaise. I think we got a bit carried away with our own popularity and so on. It was a bit of a holiday period. I mean, we cared, but we didn’t care as much as we had. Not really concentrating on the creative process.” For the new record, they would have to get their head in the game.
Jagger found room to think when he began spending a lot of his free time in New York. “The inspiration for [Some Girls] was really based in New York and the ways of the town,” he said. “I think that gave it an extra spur and hardness. And then, of course, there was the punk thing that had started in 1976. Punk and disco were going on at the same time, so it was quite an interesting period.”
Not only did the album get infused with the sweet smoke of the burning embers of punk but it also had a little French sophistication added to. In late 1977 when the group came back together in Paris to record Some Girls in the hope of that je ne seis quois being added.
The debut single from Some Girls, ‘Miss You’ was always on the radio in May 1978 and their other huge hit from the record, ‘Beast of Burden’ also stood out as an iconic tune when it arrived in September1978. When the below footage was shot in July, it was still in its embryonic stage.
The video clip comes from the band’s concert film Some Girls Live in Texas and sees the group treat the audience at the Will Rogers Auditorium on Fort Worth, Texas, on July 19th 1978, to a preview of one of The Rolling Stones’ most notable musical moments.
Watch below as The Rolling Stones bounce back with ‘Beast of Burden’ live in Texas, 1978
Source: Rolling Stone