The Rolling Stones’ Some Girls is widely regarded as a watershed moment in the iconic British band’s career. It followed albums such as Black and Blue and It’s Only Rock and Roll both of which would’ve felt and sounded like mere holding patterns even if they had not come out subsequent to the alternately raucous and haunting Goat’s Head Soup and what is arguably the Stones’ finest title ever: Exile on Main Street. Some Girls Live in Texas reaffirms the strength of The Stones as a performing unit.
Some Girls’ music sounded all the more true to life as a reaction to the punk and new wave movement of the times. The Stones abhorred the thought of being out of fashion. Even more important, though, the mechanism of the band improved with the recruitment of guitarist Ronnie Wood; though he looks like a rock star wanna-be on stage, his instrumental presence allowed the reinstatement of a truly fluid instrumental partnership with charter member Keith Richards.
Originally recorded in 16mm (and resoundingly remastered in audio here by Bob Clearmountain) on the day the album hit number one on the sales charts, Some Girls Live in Texas documents The Rolling Stones were as tight and committed on stage as they had sounded in the studio. The band’s tours at this point had become multi-media extravaganzas but the drama of the interaction of musicians in the spontaneity of the moment, distinguish this video shot at Will Rogers Auditorium in Fort Worth Texas in July ’78, one of a series of theatre-sized venues alternated with stadiums on this tour. The immediacy of the 3,000 set venue elevates the atmosphere for both the audience and the band, particularly when Mick Jagger plays guitar; as becomes relatively stationary with the instrument, his vocals improve dramatically. Though he hardly gets as much camera time as Jagger, drummer Charlie Watts is arguably the centerpiece of the unit, as his chemistry with Richards is undeniable, while the latter moves constantly, seemingly reckless, but always in perfect time with the music.
With the benefit of hindsight, Jagger’s much more self-deprecating in the 2011 interview included as a bonus on the DVD, along with performance footage of The Stones on Saturday Night Live and a skit from the perennial comedy. With the bulk of the Some Girls record included in the set that is main content of the package (also available on Blu-Ray and in combo sets with a CD), there’s no more revisionism at work here than in the contrast between songs such as “When the Whip Comes Down,” “Respectable” or “Honky Tonk Woman.”