RECORD CRACK: P.S. I Love You – The Rolling Stones’ “Miss You”

The Rolling Stones are a group of my mom’s generation, but as a kid I’d always hear their music on the radio. The first time the band became a band that was not of my past was in 1978, and it was due to this song. “Miss You” was the first single from Some Girls, and back then the complaint was that the song was “too disco”, it wasn’t traditional Stones. Many said that it’s trademark disco rhythm, the “four on the floor” was either too lazy or “too black”, as if the Rolling Stones ever shied away from their love of black music. Nonetheless, at 8 years old I wasn’t into the technical, it was just a song that sounded good. Even now, it remains one of my all time favorite Rolling Stones songs. When I hear it on the radio, I leave it on.

Unfortunately, as is the case with many hits from the 60’s, 70’s, and 80’s, most radio stations these days do not play the “single edit” of the song. I like the single edit a lot, for it eliminates the saxophone solo and fades out before Mick Jagger does his harmonica solo coda as the song fades out. The single edit is perfect, but the release of greatest hits albums and compilations have made radio stations play the album version.

Looking back, this picture sleeve seems to try to be of the times, with the band in their leather gear, standing by a brick wall. Very punk rock, very Ramones, very much Rolling Stones being cocky enough to say “we were sleazy before you punks were even punks”. Plus, you have a street-attitude photo in a pink tint? That’s even more punk! This sleeve was used in a number of countries, and was also used for some pressings of the 12″ single which featured an extended remix of the song.

When my dad got his paycheck, he might get me a record. Or if I had good grades, a record would be my reward, and that was prompted by mom. I loved “Miss You”, but when I played the B-side, I thought the 8-year old equivalent of “what the hell is this?” I didn’t grow up in a household with country music, so this seemed weird and in my mind, unlike the Rolling Stones. Was this a joke? It being an “oddity” made me play the song, and I’d play it again, and again. Soon, I’d be miming Jagger talking about driving home early Sunday morning through Bakersfield, listening to gospel music on that colored radio station. I had been attracted to the power of radio since a kid, so maybe this song about a man driving long distances and finding that his radio gave him a bit of comfort was comforting to me. The songs true sentiment, about a man longing for a woman with “Far Away Eyes”, really didn’t click until I started finding women attractive, and I understood what Jagger was singing about.

There’s probably a generation who have no idea how this record was sold to fans, or their only association is the Some Girls album. For me, I sometimes think of this “sleazy” sleeve, which looks less sleazy these days and more a reflection of a time long gone.

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