This week, Rolling Stone ranked the 100 Greatest Rolling Stones Songs, as determined by the magazine’s editors and some all-star artists. Even with so many slots, the list was predictably heavy on offerings from the 1960s and 1970s, with just a handful of tracks included from subsequent decades making the cut.
One song egregiously missing from the tally is one of my favorite Glimmer Twins creations, the (now) mid-period riffage of “Mixed Emotions,” from 1989’s Steel Wheels. From the fantastic opening lyrics, “Button your lip, baby, button your coat,” the whole track comes together and rolls along like a well-oiled machine. Lisa Fischer, recently featured in the documentary Twenty Feet From Stardom, is among those heard on backing vocals.
Twenty-four years ago, The Rolling Stones were sitting at #5 on the Billboard Hot 100, holding the peak position that “Mixed Emotions” had established seven days earlier. Watching the song’s music video, you just know Mick, Keith, Ronnie, Bill, and Charlie knew they had a huge hit on their hands (they’re having way too much fun on camera). But good times don’t last always. “Mixed Emotions” is the band’s last appearance in the top ten to date.