10 Great 1980’s Rolling Stones Songs

1980's Rolling Stones Songs

Photo: Michael Conen / CC BY-SA (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)

Our 10 Great 1980’s Rolling Stones Songs list may very well be quite surprising to the average Stones fan. In this list your not going to see any of the big hits of the 1980s that you know so well. There nothing wrong with the big hits. Those songs were released for a reason. They had great hooks and melodies that were friendly to the masses. However with age comes wisdom and depth for the most part. Many of the Rolling Stones albums they released in the 1980s had great songs that remain undiscovered or at least forgotten. Everyone knew the hits, everyone remembers the hits. Many old fans didn’t like the 80s hits and so many ignored the albums.

Its tough to turn old fans onto new music by their heroes. Its the old “set in your way,” philosophy. Compounding that is once one critic or fan deems an album lame, there is this entire bandwagon of fans that start to agree because that’s what everyone else says. Well that’s rubbish The Rolling Stones released five really good albums in the 1980s. They may not have had the same cultural impact that their 1960s and 70s albums had, but the 1980s was a far different time period. Fans listened to music differently in the 1980s.

With the advent of the CD and wide scope of music television, the day of listening to vinyl albums over and over again in your room were gone. So albums did not have the shelve lives that they once had. And of course, fans who were in their teens or early twenties in the 60s and 70s were raising families in the 80s and paying less attention to music as opposed to when they were kids.  Teenagers growing up in the 80s had their own heroes. No one wants to listen to their parents music. So the Rolling Stone catalog of the 1980s was subject to a great deal of changes in society.

This is not a best of list. This is a list of 10 great Rolling Stones songs released in the 1980s. It was written for the purpose of trying to get fans to give those 1980s albums another chance and listen to the album tracks. We have all heard “Start Me Up, She’s So Cold, Waiting On A Friend, Mixed Emotions,” enough that there’s no reason for us to repeat them here. Of course, there will be those who look at the list and not read one word and then comment that we are out of our minds and call us every name in the book. We really don’t give a hoot. This is for those who are curious or just want to see what they have forgotten and of course those who actually read what an article is all about. So here’s 10 great 1980’s Rolling Stones songs………..

# 10 – Summer Romance

We thought it would be nice to open up with a track from the Rolling Stones first album of the decade. The album Emotional Rescue was released in 1980. The album served as the follow up to their incredible 1978 record Some Girls. The album’s big hits were the singles “Emotional Rescue,” and the follow up single “She’s So Cold.” However a track that we liked instantly that we always thought would have been a great single was the rocking tune “Summer Romance.” The song was issued as the second track on the album.

# 9 – Sleep Tonight

As we continue with our 10 great 1980’s Rolling Stones songs we turn to the Dirty Work album. The record was released in 1986. “Sleep Tonight,” was written by Keith Richards although the Stones  songwriting agreement had it credited as Jagger/ Richards. But make no mistake about it, this one is all Richards with help from Ronnie Wood who also played drums on the track. Keith Richards’ lead vocal is brilliant as also his piano playing. This is great stuff. There is a reason why Keith Richards is sitting center on the couch on the album cover.

# 8 – “Black Limousine

The great track “Black Limousine” was released on The Rolling Stones very successful 1981 album Tattoo You . The song is a blues based number that is reminiscent of their early 1960s work when they were releasing albums full of blues covers. The songwriting credits on “Black Limousine” were credited to Mick Jagger, Keith Richards and Ronnie Wood. The Rolling Stones had been working on the songs for years, but finally recorded it for release on the Tattoo You album.

# 7 – Almost Hear You Sigh

The Rolling Stones song “Almost Hear You Sigh,” is one of the few singles that the Rolling Stones released as a single that we have placed on this list. It’s just to good of a song not too mention here on this 80s Rolling Stones songs list. “Almost Hear You Sigh,” was released on the Rolling Stones album Steel Wheels. It was issued as the third single from the record. The song also revived a Grammy Nomination. However it’s one of those Rolling Stones singles that have kind of flown under the radar for the last thirty years.

# 6 – Wanna Hold You

Many of the best Rolling Stones Songs released in the 1980s featured lead vocals by Keith Richards. Many of them were ballads but some were uptempo. This is one of the great ones. The song was released on the Rolling Stones album Undercover Of The Night. The album was released in 1983.

# 5 -Terrifying

Everything we love about the Rolling Stones is featured front and center immediately in this song. The classic Keith Richards guitar riff, the very tasty Ronnie Wood guitar licks, Charlies Watts incredible time and groove and of course Mick Jagger’s iconic vocal phrasing. There is no big time chorus on this one, it’s just all about groove and playing. A real musician’s song. Ronnie Wood’s playing really shines on this one.

# 4 – Little T & A

This is probably the most popular Rolling Stones songs on this list. However, it was never released as a single. Another great Keith Richard vocal from the great Rolling Stones album Tattoo You. This one always sounded like it belonged on Exile On Main Street.

# 3 – Where The Boys Go

This great song opened up side two of the Emotional Rescue album. The song’s groove and feel was probably the most reflective the Stones had ever come to the new wave era in which was the time period this album was released in. However, its still all Stones delivered on a party platter.

# 2 – Slave

The combination of Keith Richards smoking and grooving guitar link flanked by Ronnie Wood’s lead licks fueled by the legendary rhythm section of Charlie  Watts and Bill Wymann is simply to die for on this great Rolling Stones track. Add Mick Jagger’s splendid falsetto on top of all that and one has a killer Rolling Stones song. “Slave,” was released on the album Tattoo You.

# 1 – Worried About You

Tattoo You was by far the best Rolling Stones album of the 1980s. “Worried About You,” was the opening track on side two of the record. It has always been one of our favorite Rolling Stones songs in their entire catalog.

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