20. Emotional Rescue (1980)

The title cut is the best song on here, though the playful "She's So Cold" is also excellent. But beware: this one contains the dreaded "Indian Girl," too.

Listen: "Emotional Rescue"

 

19. Black and Blue (1976)

Several of the songs on Black and Blue were taken from audition outtakes recorded when the band was looking around for a replacement for Mick Taylor. Three of the guitarists who tried out, Harvey Mandel, Wayne Perkins, and Ron Wood, had their lead-guitar playing used on several tracks. (Of course, Wood ended up getting the job in the band.) Even with all the fancy axe-men on tape, the best-sounding number on the album is "Crazy Mama," coincidentally the only one featuring Richards' trademark guitar sound.

Listen: "Crazy Mama"

 

18. Tattoo You (1981)

Tattoo You was put together in pieces, mainly from old, rejected, or just forgotten outtakes from the 1970s, but it ended up pretty good. One track from the early '70s, "Waiting on a Friend," is one of the songs the Stones just forgot about after a few early takes. Just as good is "Start Me Up," which was first recorded in 1975 as a reggae tune.

Listen: "Waiting on a Friend"

 

17. December's Children (And Everybody's) 1965)

This one was the band's third U.S. release in 1965. Brian Jones' twelve-string lead guitar on "Get Off Of My Cloud" is a riff you'll never forget, while the exquisite, mellow "As Tears Go By" features only the Glimmer Twins. 

Listen: "Get Off Of My Cloud"

 

16. 12 x 5 (1964)

The second U.S. release for the Stones, 12 x 5 features lots of covers, including "It's All Over Now", which is full of energy. The best thing about 12 x 5 (and all of their early '60s albums) is that it's just the five original Stones plus Ian "Stu" Stewart (who was a full-time Stone at one point ). Even as a bare-bones rock group, these boys knew how to play together in a grand way, and it shows on this LP. 

Listen: "It's All Over Now"

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