Ranked: Rolling Stones Albums From Worst to Best

The Stones are having a busy year, so we're taking a look back at their body of work.

by Keno

Keno is the author of Rolling Thru The Stones, and the webmaster of the longest-running online Stones message board (Gasland), the web's biggest Stones fan site. The Rolling Stones are celebrating fifty years as a band this year, releasing two new songs, and playing a handful of shows, so we asked Keno to assess the recorded legacy of the everybody's favorite leathery blues-rockers.

 

25. Dirty Work (1986)

Things weren't going well between Mick Jagger and the rest of the band during the recording Dirty Work. He was thinking of leaving the Stones, and he was putting more effort into his solo album, which pissed off Keith Richards and the rest of the group. Also, Charlie Watts was fighting his heroin habit and missed many sessions. There isn't a single Jagger/Richards song on this album that I would call "very good," though "One Hit to the Body" does come close.

Listen: "One Hit to the Body"

 

24. Steel Wheels (1989)

Perhaps their most overrated album; there's just nothing that exciting on here. Though Steel Wheels has plenty that you'll want to skip over, "Mixed Emotions" and "Rock in a Hard Place," are very nice indeed.

Listen: "Mixed Emotions"


 

 

23. Metamorphosis (1975)
This rarities compilation is worth checking out, mainly because of all the unreleased songs (dating from '64-'72) that you get to hear. The best one is the Bill Wyman-penned "Downtown Suzie," from 1968.  "Jiving Sister Fanny" is another winner.

Listen: "Downtown Suzie"

 

22. Bridges to Babylon (1997)

Unfairly maligned, Bridges to Babylon isn't the Stones best album, but it's not that bad. "Saint of Me" might be the only great song on here, but there are several good ones, like "Low Down" and "Anybody Seen My Baby." Mainly, Babylon seems to suffer from too many different producers — it just can't  decide what it wants to sound like.

Listen: "Saint of Me"

 

21. Undercover (1983)

A very consistent album — the tracks flow together well, and the title cut is easily the best one. "Wanna Hold You," sung by Richards, sounds like a Beatles song from '66, and I mean that as a compliment.  "Too Much Blood," on the other hand, is one of the strangest songs ever written by Jagger/Richards: you'd expect these kinds of lyrics from Alice Cooper.

Listen: "Undercover of the Night"

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