Emotional Rescue (song)

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"Emotional Rescue"
RollStones-Single1980 EmotionalRescue.jpg
Single by the Rolling Stones
from the album Emotional Rescue
B-side"Down in the Hole"
Released20 June 1980
Recorded1–19 October 1979
Genre disco-rock
Length5:39 (LP version)
3:41 (Forty Licks Edit)
LabelRolling Stones
Producer(s)The Glimmer Twins
The Rolling Stones singles chronology
"Emotional Rescue"
"She's So Cold"
Emotional Rescue track listing
10 tracks
Side one
  1. "Dance (Pt. 1)"
  2. "Summer Romance"
  3. "Send It to Me"
  4. "Let Me Go"
  5. "Indian Girl"
Side two
  1. "Where the Boys Go"
  2. "Down in the Hole"
  3. "Emotional Rescue"
  4. "She's So Cold"
  5. "All About You"
Music video
"Emotional Rescue" - OFFICIAL PROMO on YouTube

"Emotional Rescue" is a song by the English rock and roll band, the Rolling Stones. It was written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards and is included on their 1980 album Emotional Rescue.

Recorded between June and October 1979, "Emotional Rescue" is a disco-influenced number, somewhat similar to the band's 1978 hit "Miss You". The song is notable as one of the earliest songs by the group to show the growing rift between Jagger and Richards. Although Richards plays guitar and added backing vocals towards the end of this track, he is believed to have disliked the disco-like direction in which Jagger was trying to take the band, although this may have been exaggerated by the media.[citation needed]

Composition and writing[edit]

Mick Jagger wrote the song on an electric piano and from the beginning it was sung in falsetto (similar to Marvin Gaye's lead vocal on his 1977 hit "Got to Give It Up"). When the song was brought into the studio they kept the electric piano and falsetto lead. With Ronnie Wood on bass and Charlie Watts on drums they worked out the song. They then added the saxophone part[2] played by Bobby Keys.[3] Bass guitarist Bill Wyman plays synthesizer on the record, while Jagger and Ian Stewart play electric piano. Wyman's synthesizer can be heard faintly during the verses on the right channel/speaker and plays a simple pattern of a few notes using a string-synth set up.

Jagger said the song was about "a girl who's in some sort of manhood problems", not that she was going crazy but she's "just a little bit screwed up and he wants to be the one to help her out".[2]

Released as the album's lead single on 20 June 1980, "Emotional Rescue" was well received by some fans. Other fans of the Rolling Stones' work took note of the change in direction and were disappointed by it. Reaching No. 9 on the UK Singles Chart and No. 3 in the U.S., "Emotional Rescue" became popular enough to feature on all of the band's later compilation albums.

Cash Box said that it was influenced by the music of "Curtis Mayfield and the Impressions, Thom Bell and (on the U.K. side) Eric Burdon," but is brought up-to-date by the "heavy beat."[4]

Despite touring extensively since the song's release in 1980, the Stones had never performed the track in concert until May 3, 2013, when the band debuted the song in their set list with a slightly different arrangement, during the first show of the 2013 leg of the 50 & Counting... tour, in Los Angeles, California.

Music video[edit]

Two music videos were produced to promote the single; one shot on traditional video,[5] directed by David Mallet and one shot with thermal imaging,[6] directed by Adam Friedman.


The Rolling Stones
Additional personnel


Chart (1980) Peak
Australia (Kent Music Report)[7] 8
Austria (Ö3 Austria Top 40)[8] 9
Canada (RPM)[9] 1
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders)[10] 16
Germany (Official German Charts)[11] 15
Netherlands (Single Top 100)[12] 5
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)[13] 16
Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)[14] 11
UK Singles (OCC)[15] 9
US Billboard Hot 100[16] 3
Year-end chart (1980) Rank
US Top Pop Singles (Billboard)[17] 53


  1. ^ Song Review by Stewart Mason. "Emotional Rescue - The Rolling Stones | Listen, Appearances, Song Review". AllMusic. Retrieved 2014-03-12.
  2. ^ a b The Rolling Stones - Off The Record by Mark Paytress, Omnibus Press, 2005, page 297. ISBN 1-84449-641-4
  3. ^ "Ultimate Classic Rock".
  4. ^ "CashBox Singles Reviews" (PDF). Cash Box. July 5, 1980. p. 22. Retrieved 2022-01-01.
  5. ^ "Rolling Stones - Emotional Rescue.mpg". YouTube. 2012-01-24. Archived from the original on 2021-12-19. Retrieved 2014-03-12.
  6. ^ "Rolling Stones - Emotional Rescue (Full Thermo-Vision Version) - 1980". YouTube. 2011-12-09. Archived from the original on 2021-12-19. Retrieved 2014-11-06.
  7. ^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992. St Ives, NSW: Australian Chart Book. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.
  8. ^ "The Rolling Stones – Emotional Rescue" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40. Retrieved 18 June 2016.
  9. ^ "Image : RPM Weekly - Library and Archives Canada". 17 July 2013. Retrieved 12 February 2018.
  10. ^ "The Rolling Stones – Emotional Rescue" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50. Retrieved 18 June 2016.
  11. ^ "The Rolling Stones – Emotional Rescue" (in German). GfK Entertainment charts. Retrieved 18 June 2016.
  12. ^ "The Rolling Stones – Emotional Rescue" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved 18 June 2016.
  13. ^ "The Rolling Stones – Emotional Rescue". Top 40 Singles. Retrieved 18 June 2016.
  14. ^ "The Rolling Stones – Emotional Rescue". Swiss Singles Chart. Retrieved 18 June 2016.
  15. ^ "Rolling Stones: Artist Chart History". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 18 June 2016.
  16. ^ "The Rolling Stones Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved 18 June 2016.
  17. ^ "1980 Talent in Action – Year End Charts : Pop Singles". Billboard. Vol. 92, no. 51. December 20, 1980. p. TIA-10. Retrieved 5 April 2020.