Dirty Work (2009 Remaster)
No one will ever mistake Dirty Work for one of the Rolling Stones’ classic albums. That the band was able to craft an album at all after a three-year hiatus, in-fighting between the band’s creative team of Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, and Jagger having used up most of his ideas on a solo album, is further proof that an exceptional band’s most trying moments are still more interesting than an average band’s best. “One Hit (To the Body)” delivers the band’s standard knockout punch and suggests that after 1983’s horn-laden, experimental Undercover the band was once again ready to rock, an inference that gains ground as the fiery power of “Fight,” “Winning Ugly” and “Had It With You” all survive the grandiose ‘80s record production. “Too Rude” sports a solid reggae groove. “Sleep Tonight” is the strong, if obligatory, Richards ballad that closes the album. Only “Harlem Shuffle” really sounds garish and out of place, which as the album’s first single established Dirty Work’s reputation before it hit the streets. Look past the single and there are tight, angry tunes to hear.