The Rolling Stones – Emotional Rescue Outtakes & Demos

Defining the sounds of the 70’s by appropriating contemporary rock, funk and disco stylings on Emotional Rescue, these album outtakes and demos capture a band keeping things fresh within a changing musical landscape.


The logical continuation of their tough and focused Some Girls (1978) album was the Rolling Stones under-appreciated fifteenth studio album Emotional Rescue, released this month in 1980. Peaking at number one on both sides of the Atlantic, the album marked a farewell to a decade the Stones barely made it out of alive.

This is also when ripples of arguments between Keith and Mick would grow into a rumble and the critics were sharpening their knives. However, the disco-infused title track charted high in the US (#3), and was praised by none other than John Lennon just days before he was murdered: “Mick Jagger has put out consistently good work for 20 years, and will they give him a break? Will they ever say, ‘Look at him, he’s 37 and he has a beautiful song, “Emotional Rescue”’? I enjoyed it, a lot of people enjoyed it.” Clearly Prince was a fan too, releasing one of his best albums later in the year with the synth-funk classic, Dirty Mind.

Hey, what am I doing standing here on the corner of West 8th Street and the 6th Avenue and ah, skip it, Keith what are you doing? (whistles)

I think the time has come to get up, get out!

Emotional Rescue is both a pleasure and a scream. The title track, as well as opening the record with the irresistible pimp-swagger of ‘Dance Pt.1′, seemed to generate the misconception that this was the Stones disco album. What it is in actual fact was a Charlie Watts/Bill Wyman rhythmic masterclass, and a Ronnie Wood and Keith Richards’ staccato rock guitar weaving showcase.

The album contains a wide range of styles such as reggae (‘Send it To Me’), ballads (‘All About You’), blues (‘Down in the Hole’), straight ahead rock and roll (‘Let Me Go’), funk (Dance Pt.1), and is more playful than its intense predecessor.


The Stones recorded a lot of tracks for these sessions and some would find their way onto follow-up albums Tattoo You (1981) and Undercover (1983). With the exception of Where the Boys Go and Summer Romance, which were originally recorded Hollywood 1978, everything else on Emotional Rescue was recorded in Nassau, Bahamas early-’79, then Pathé Marconi in Paris (where Some Girls was recorded) from June to October.

With notable additions of long-time saxophonist Bobby Keys and engineer Chris Kimsey (Sticky Fingers, Some Girls), the sessions essentially included the core Stones band members and keyboardists Nicky Hopkins and the late-great Ian Stewart. The classic Stones line-up. Mick and Keith would spend time mixing and adding overdubs in November and December 1979 at Electric Lady Studios in New York before releasing the album in June 1980.

What we have here is an interesting selection of non-album, previously-circulating, tapes of outtakes and demos from the Emotional Rescue sessions (with 3 super-secret bonus tracks). This is far from a definitive collection, but what’s presented here is exactly what was on those tapes, capturing tracks and performances in-progress from this undervalued Stones era.

The Rolling StonesEmotional Rescue Outtakes & Demos mp3


Summer Romance – On the acetate made with the final tracks, this rocking demo has an alternative lead vocal and was originally intended to open the album.

Let’s Go Steady – Cover of the Sam Cooke song features a wonderful Keith lead vocal with Kristi Kimsey is on backing vocals. Taken from the early Nassau sessions.

I Think I’m Going Mad – Keith making good use of his MXR Phase 100 pedal, a late-70s signature guitar sound, this is another early recording, along with ‘She’s So Cold’ and ‘All About You’, from the Nassau sessions. Ended up as the B-side to Undercover’s 7″ single She Was Hot.

Indian Girl – Shorter than any previously known version in circulation, the spoken line, “Mr. Gringo, my father he ain’t no Che Guevara”, is missing and the take (thankfully) also features fewer horn overdubs.

Emotional Rescue – A strange mix with a prominent Keith guitar part, eventually stripped off the album version, includes keyboards and backing vocals. Also features an echoey percussion effect at the start.

No Use In Crying – A raw and better version compared to what was used for follow-up album Tattoo You. Inspired lead and backing vocals here from Mick.

Where The Boys Go – Rough and rowdy early take, this has a cockney first-take guide vocal from Mick, with Keith on background vocals. The guitar solo is unedited unlike the tidied-up album version.

We Had It All – Cover of the Troy Seals and Donny Fritts heart-breaker, first released by Waylon Jennings in 1973. Lovely version and great lead vocal from Keith.

Neighbors – This is a monitor mix with early guide vocals and is rollicking and great rocking early version. Wound up on Tattoo You.

Dance – Rough demo. White hot guitar interplay from Ronnie and Keith, it’s basically an instrumental and funky as hell. You can hear Mick in the background whooping up a storm. If this is the Stones doing “disco”, then bring it on.

She’s So Cold – All time great single from Emotional Rescue, this cracking live version was recorded in Naples in 1982 from the Bootleg Collection 1969-1982.

Little T&A – Keith ripping into the instrumental version of a track salvaged for Tattoo You.

It’s Cold Down There – Mick doing his best cod-reggae voice (see ‘Indian Girl’), it’s a mostly-instrumental grinding rhythm that may have inspired Dance Pt.1.

Linda Lu – Cool cover of the rockabilly 1959 Ray Sharpe classic.

Further Reading:

♥   The Rolling Stones – Top 5 Modern-Era Tracks

♥   The Rolling Stones – Fully Finished Studio Outtakes

♥   The Rolling Stones – Still Life

♥   Waiting on a Friend

♥   The Rolling Stones – Drift Away

♥   Stones Alone

♥   More Album Cover Outtakes

♥   #16: Rolling Stones – Dirty Work (1986)

This entry was posted in Downloads, Mixtapes, On This Day, Rolling Stones, The, Ron Wood. Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to The Rolling Stones – Emotional Rescue Outtakes & Demos

  1. paolomeccano says:

    Thanks for sharing. Do you know where the 3 extra tracks are from?

  2. Your 3 extra tracks are Everything is Turning to Gold, If I was a Dancer and Keep It Cool, all recorded around the same time but unclear which sessions.

  3. Pingback: The Rolling Stones – Fully Finished Studio Outtakes | THE PRESS | Music Reviews

  4. Badfinger (Max) says:

    I always liked I Think I’m Going Mad… I think it was the B side to She’s Hot if I remember right…which I may not.
    Love the post!

  5. Lots of great gems here!

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