Emotional Rescue

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Emotional Rescue
Studio album by
Released23 June 1980 (1980-06-23)
Recorded22 January – 19 October 1979
  • Compass Point (Nassau)
  • Pathe Marconi (Paris)[1]
  • Electric Lady (New York City)
  • The Hit Factory, New York City
LabelRolling Stones
ProducerThe Glimmer Twins
The Rolling Stones chronology
Time Waits for No One: Anthology 1971–1977
Emotional Rescue
Solid Rock
Singles from Emotional Rescue
  1. "Emotional Rescue"
    Released: 20 June 1980
  2. "She's So Cold"/"Send It to Me"
    Released: 22 September 1980

Emotional Rescue is the fifteenth studio album by English rock band the Rolling Stones, released on 23 June 1980 by Rolling Stones Records.[2] Following the success of their previous album, Some Girls, their biggest hit to date, the Rolling Stones returned to the studio in early 1979 to start writing and recording its follow-up. Full-time members Mick Jagger (vocals), Keith Richards (guitar), Ronnie Wood (guitar), Bill Wyman (bass) and Charlie Watts (drums) were joined by frequent collaborators Ian Stewart (keyboards), Nicky Hopkins (keyboards), Bobby Keys (saxophone) and Sugar Blue (harmonica).

Upon release, the album topped the charts in at least six countries, including the United States, UK, and Canada. Hit singles from it include the title track, which reached No. 1 in Canada, No. 3 in the United States, and No. 9 in the UK and "She's So Cold", a top-40 single in several countries. The recording sessions for Emotional Rescue were so productive that several tracks left off the album would form the core of the follow-up, 1981's Tattoo You.


Recorded throughout 1979, first in Compass Point Studios, Nassau, Bahamas, then Pathé Marconi, Paris, with some end-of-year overdubbing in New York City at The Hit Factory, Emotional Rescue was the first Rolling Stones album recorded following Keith Richards' exoneration from a Toronto drugs charge that could have landed him in jail for years. Fresh from the revitalization of Some Girls (1978), Richards and Mick Jagger led the Stones through dozens of new songs, some of which were held over for Tattoo You (1981), and picked 10 for Emotional Rescue.

Several of the tracks on the album featured just the core Rolling Stones band members: Jagger, Richards, Ronnie Wood, Charlie Watts, and Bill Wyman. On others, they were joined by keyboardists Nicky Hopkins and co-founder Ian Stewart, sax player Bobby Keys and harmonica player Sugar Blue.

Songs left off the album appeared on Tattoo You ("Hang Fire", "Little T&A" and "No Use in Crying"). "Think I'm Going Mad", another song from the sessions, was released as the B-side to "She Was Hot" in 1984. A cover song sung by Richards, "We Had It All", was released on the 2011 deluxe Some Girls package.

Packaging and artwork[edit]

The album cover for Emotional Rescue had concept origination, art direction and design by Peter Corriston with thermographic photos taken by British-born, Paris-based artist Roy Adzak using a thermal camera, a device that measures heat emissions. The original release came wrapped in a huge colour poster featuring more thermo-shots of the band with the album itself wrapped in a plastic bag.[3] The original music video shot for "Emotional Rescue" also utilised the same type of shots of the band performing. A short time later a second video for "Emotional Rescue" was shot, directed by David Mallett (produced by Paul Flattery & Simon Fields) as well as one for "She's So Cold".[4]

Release and reception[edit]

Retrospective professional reviews
Review scores
Christgau's Record Guide: The '80sB+[7]
MusicHound Rock[8]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide[9]
Smash Hits5/10[10]
Tom Hull – on the WebA−[11]

Released in June with the disco-infused hit title track as the lead single, Emotional Rescue was an immediate smash. The title track hit No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100. The album gave the Rolling Stones their first UK No. 1 album since 1973's Goats Head Soup and spent seven weeks atop the US charts. The follow-up single "She's So Cold" was a top 30 hit while "Dance Pt. 1" reached No. 9 on Billboard's Dance chart.

Critical reception was relatively muted, with most reviewers considering the album somewhat formulaic and unambitious, particularly in contrast to its predecessor. Writing in Rolling Stone, Ariel Swartley stated that "as far as the music goes, 'familiar' is an understatement. There's hardly a melody here that you haven't heard from the Stones before".[12] The Village Voice critic Robert Christgau summarized it as "an ordinary Stones album" in an essay accompanying the annual Pazz & Jop critics poll of 1980's best albums, in which Emotional Rescue finished 20th, a result which he deemed "so far out of the money" for "the world's greatest rock and roll band".[13]

Retrospective assessments have been kinder, with several critics praising the band's performance, despite the sometimes lightweight material. Stephen Thomas Erlewine of AllMusic states that the album "may consist mainly of filler, but it's expertly written and performed filler".[14] In Christgau's Record Guide: The '80s (1990), Christgau said that, while not "great", the album boasts a "mid-'60s [lyrical] charm" in "such tossed-off tropes as 'Where the Boys Go' and 'She's So Cold'", alongside a musical style "looser" than other less-than-great Stones records like It's Only Rock 'n Roll (1974): "[The music is] far more allusive and irregular and knowing: for better and worse its drive isn't so monolithic, and the bass comes front and center like Bill was James Jamerson."[7]

In 1994, Emotional Rescue was remastered and reissued by Virgin Records, and again in 2009 by Universal Music. In 2011, it was released by Universal Music Enterprises in a Japanese-only SHM-SACD version. The 1994 remaster was initially released in a Collector's Edition CD, which replicated many elements of the original album packaging, including the colour poster.

Track listing[edit]

All tracks are written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, except where noted

Side one
1."Dance (Pt. 1)"4:23
2."Summer Romance" 3:16
3."Send It to Me" 3:43
4."Let Me Go" 3:50
5."Indian Girl" 4:23
Side two
1."Where the Boys Go"3:29
2."Down in the Hole"3:57
3."Emotional Rescue"5:39
4."She's So Cold"4:12
5."All About You"4:18


The Rolling Stones

  • Mick Jagger – lead vocals (all but 10), electric guitar (2, 4, 6, 8, 9), backing vocals (1, 2, 6), electric piano (8), percussion (1)
  • Keith Richards – electric guitar (all but 5), backing vocals (1, 2, 6, 10), acoustic guitar (5), bass guitar (10), piano (10), lead vocals (10)
  • Bill Wyman – bass guitar (3-5, 7, 9), string synthesizer (5, 8)
  • Charlie Watts – drums (all tracks)
  • Ronnie Wood – electric guitar (1-4, 6, 7, 9, 10), bass guitar (1, 2, 6, 8), pedal steel (4, 5, 9), backing vocals (6, 10), saxophone (1)

Additional personnel




Certifications for Emotional Rescue
Region Certification Certified units/sales
Australia (ARIA)[36] Platinum 50,000^
France (SNEP)[37] Gold 100,000*
Japan (RIAJ)[38] Gold 100,000^
Netherlands (NVPI)[39] Gold 50,000^
New Zealand (RMNZ)[40] Platinum 15,000^
Spain (PROMUSICAE)[41] Gold 50,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[42] Gold 100,000^
United States (RIAA)[43] 2× Platinum 2,000,000^

* Sales figures based on certification alone.
^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.


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  3. ^ Yoe, Charles. "Emotional Rescue" (PDF). It's Only Rock'n Roll.
  4. ^ "Rolling Stones - Emotional Rescue.mpg". YouTube. 24 January 2012. Archived from the original on 19 December 2021. Retrieved 12 March 2014.
  5. ^ Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Emotional Rescue – The Rolling Stones". AllMusic. Archived from the original on 21 October 2023. Retrieved 21 October 2023.
  6. ^ link Archived 7 December 2010 at the Wayback Machine
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  9. ^ "The Rolling Stones: Album Guide". rollingstone.com. Archived version retrieved 15 November 2014.
  10. ^ Hepworth, David. "Albums". Smash Hits (10–23 July 1980): 31.
  11. ^ Hull, Tom (n.d.). "Grade List: The Rolling Stones". tomhull.com. Retrieved 11 February 2020.
  12. ^ Swartley, Ariel (20 June 1980). "Emotional Rescue". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 30 December 2021.
  13. ^ Christgau, Robert (9 February 1981). "The Year of the Lollapalooza". The Village Voice. Retrieved 18 March 2022 – via robertchristgau.com.
  14. ^ "Emotional Rescue - The Rolling Stones | Songs, Reviews, Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved 28 August 2019.
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  22. ^ Oricon Album Chart Book: Complete Edition 1970–2005 (in Japanese). Roppongi, Tokyo: Oricon Entertainment. 2006. ISBN 4-87131-077-9.
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  25. ^ Salaverri, Fernando (September 2005). Sólo éxitos: año a año, 1959–2002 (1st ed.). Spain: Fundación Autor-SGAE. ISBN 84-8048-639-2.
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  38. ^ "Bill Wyman Japanese In-House Award". Retrieved 12 March 2023.
  39. ^ "Dutch album certifications – The Rolling Stones – Emotional Rescue" (in Dutch). Nederlandse Vereniging van Producenten en Importeurs van beeld- en geluidsdragers. Enter Emotional Rescue in the "Artiest of titel" box.
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  43. ^ "American album certifications – The Rolling Stones – Emotional Rescue". Recording Industry Association of America.

External links[edit]