THE ROLLING STONES released their 17th (in the UK) and 19th (in the US) studio album Undercover on November 7, 1983 through their own label, the Rolling Stones. After their predecessor studio album, Tattoo You (1981), which was largely taken together from a select outtake, Undercover was their first release containing new recordings in the 1980s. With the development of the MTV generation, bands began to prepare themselves for a new era.
Due to the burgeoning technology industry, The Glimmer Twins (aka Mick Jagger and Keith Richards) were officially produced by Chris Kimsey, the first outside producer the Stones ever hired was Jimmy Miller. They began recording at Pathe Marconi Studios in Paris, France in in November 1982. After wrapping up the holidays, they finished the album in New York City the following summer.
Undercover released three singles: “Undercover of the Night” (1 November 1983), “She Was Hot” (23 January 1984) and “Too Much Blood”.
Undercover was generally warmly received and peaked at No. 3 in the UK and No. 4 in the US. Allmusic gave it 3.5 out of 5 stars, Blender gave it 4 out of 5 stars and The Rolling Stone Album Guide gave it 3 out of 5 stars.
Undercover was the last Rolling Stones album to be distributed in North America via Rolling Stones Records’ original distribution deal with Atlantic Records subsidiary Warner Music. The album was reissued in 1986 by CBS/Sony Music following the Stones’ deal with that label. Undercover was reissued with a remastered version by Virgin Records in 1994, and again in 2009 by Universal Music.
Track List: (1). Undercover of the Night, (2). She Was Hot, (3). Tie You Up (The Pain of Love), (4). Wanna Hold You, (5). Feel On Baby, (6). Too Much Blood, (7). Pretty Beat Up, (8). Too Tough, (9). All the Way Down, (10). It Must Be Hell, (11). I’m Going Mad.
The Rolling Stones personnel: • Mick Jagger – lead and backing vocals, electric guitar, harmonica, • Keith Richards – electric guitar, backing vocals; lead vocals on “Wanna Hold You”; bass guitar on “Pretty Beat Up”, • Ronnie Wood – electric and slide guitar, backing vocals; bass guitar on “Tie You Up” and “Wanna Hold You”, • Bill Wyman – bass guitar, percussion; piano on “Pretty Beat Up”, • Charlie Watts – drums
Additional personnel: • Chuck Leavell – keyboards, organ, piano, • Ian Stewart – piano on “She Was Hot” and “Pretty Beat Up”, percussion, • David Sanborn – saxophone, • CHOPS – horns, • Sly Dunbar – percussion, • Robbie Shakespeare – bass guitar, • Moustapha Cisse – percussion, • Brahms Coundoul – percussion, • Martin Ditcham – percussion, • Jim Barber – plays electric guitar on “Too Much Blood”. [sources/photo special]