Steel Wheels

Steel Wheels
The Rolling Stones
Released 29 August 1989
Recorded 29 March – 5 May, 15 May – 29 June 1989 at Montserrat
Genre hard rock
Length 53:03
Language English
Label Columbia
Producer The Glimmer Twins
The Rolling Stones chronology
Dirty Work
Steel Wheels
Voodoo Lounge
Singles from Steel Wheels
  1. Mixed Emotions
    Released: 17 August 1989
  2. Rock and a Hard Place
    Released: 4 November 1989
  3. Almost Hear You Sigh
    Released: 1990
  4. “Terrifying”
    Released: 1990

Steel Wheels is the 19th British and 21st American studio album by The Rolling Stones, released in 1989.

Heralded as a major comeback upon its release, the project is notable for the patching up of Bill Wyman‘s final studio album with the Stones, preceding the announcement of his departure in January 1993.


[edit] History

Following the release of 1986’s Dirty Work, and Jagger’s active pursuit of a solo career, relations between him and the Stones-committed Richards worsened considerably. While Jagger released the tepidly received Primitive Cool in 1987, Richards recorded Talk Is Cheap, his solo debut, which would be released in 1988 to rave reviews. The two years largely apart appeared to have healed the wounds sufficiently to begin resurrecting their partnership and their band.

Meeting in January 1989, just preceding the Stones’ induction into the Chris Kimsey to perform the same role.

Recording in Tangier, coordinated by Cherie Nutting. With much of the past disagreements behind them, sessions for Steel Wheels were fairly harmonious.

[edit] Release and reception

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3/5 stars [1]
Robert Christgau B− link
Rolling Stone 4.5/5 stars [2]

The massive, worldwide IMAX film of the tour was released the next year, which still plays sporadically at IMAX venues around the world.

Anthony DeCurtis of Rolling Stone writes “All the ambivalence, recriminations, attempted rapprochement and psychological one-upmanship evident on Steel Wheels testify that the Stones are right in the element that has historically spawned their best music — a murky, dangerously charged environment in which nothing is merely what it seems. Against all odds, and at this late date, the Stones have once again generated an album that will have the world dancing to deeply troubling, unresolved emotions.”

AllMusic writes “The Stones sound good, and Mick and Keith both get off a killer ballad apiece with “Almost Hear You Sigh” and “Slipping Away,” respectively. It doesn’t make for a great Stones album, but it’s not bad, and it feels like a comeback — which it was supposed to, after all.”

The album was the Rolling Stones’ first Universal Music.

[edit] Track listing

All songs by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, except where noted.

Side one
No. Title Length
1. “Sad Sad Sad”   3:35
2. Mixed Emotions”   4:38
3. “Terrifying”   4:53
4. “Hold On to Your Hat”   3:32
5. “Hearts for Sale”   4:40
6. “Blinded by Love”   4:37
Side two
No. Title Length
7. Rock and a Hard Place”   5:25
8. “Can’t Be Seen”   4:09
9. Almost Hear You Sigh(Jagger/Richards/Steve Jordan) 4:37
10. “Continental Drift”   5:14
11. “Break the Spell”   3:06
12. Slipping Away”   4:29

[edit] Personnel

The Rolling Stones
Additional musicians
Technical and design personnel
  • Recording engineer – Christopher Marc Potter
  • Assistant engineer – Rupert Coulson
  • Recordet at Montserrat
  • Mixed by Michael Brauer, Christopher Marc Potter, Chris Kimsey
  • Art direction and design – John Warwicker
  • Logo design – Mark Morton

[edit] Charts

[edit] Chart performance

Year Chart Position
1989 Billboard 200[3] 3
1989 UK Top 60 Albums [4] 2
Year Single Chart Position
1989 “Mixed Emotions” The Billboard Hot 100 [5] 5
1989 “Mixed Emotions” UK Top 100 Singles [6] 36
1989 “Mixed Emotions” Mainstream Rock Tracks 1
1989 “Mixed Emotions” Modern Rock Tracks 22
1989 “Sad Sad Sad” Mainstream Rock Tracks 14
1989 “Terrifying” Mainstream Rock Tracks 8
1989 “Rock and a Hard Place” Mainstream Rock Tracks 1
1989 “Rock and a Hard Place” The Billboard Hot 100 23
1989 “Rock and a Hard Place” UK Top 100 Singles 63
1990 “Almost Hear You Sigh” Mainstream Rock Tracks 1
1990 “Almost Hear You Sigh” The Billboard Hot 100 50
1990 “Almost Hear You Sigh” UK Top 100 Singles 31
1990 “Terrifying” UK Top 100 Singles 82

[edit] Certifications

Country Provider Certification
(sales thresholds)
United States RIAA 2× Platinum
France SNEP 2× Gold
United Kingdom BPI Gold
Germany IFPI Gold

[edit] References

This article uses material from the Wikipedia article Steel Wheels, which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.