Song Review: The Rolling Stones – “Rock and a Hard Place”

“Rock and a Hard Place” was released as the second singles from The Rolling Stones’ 1989 album, Steel Wheels. The single was released on November 4, 1989, peaking at number 23 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

I have to admit that when the song was promoted as a single, I didn’t really like it that much. Back then, I was 14 years old and hadn’t really built an appreciation for The Rolling Stones. After meeting my now-husband, he exposed me to The Rolling Stones’ catalog and I realized that the band was better than I had given them credit for when I was a teenager. “Rock and a Hard Place” isn’t one of their better songs, but it’s not that bad, either. I’ve grown to appreciate this song over the years, even if it’s not one of my favorite songs by the band.

I watched the music video for the first time in about 25 years before I wrote this blog post, and there’s only one word I can use to describe it: “cluttered.” Basically, there’s concert footage of band that’s has words and images laid on top of that footage. The problem, though, is that the images and words cover up so much of the concert footage most of the time that it made me wonder why the concert footage was even there. I think the director must have found or gotten a new effect on his editing bay and decided he wanted to play with it to the point that it was overused. Instead of being a cool effect, it just made the video look messy and hard to watch.

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