Uncut (magazine)3 stars out of 5
-- "[The album] bears the stamp of the singer's modernising zeal: a wish, above all, for the Stones to 'stay relevant'."
The Rolling Stones: Mick Jagger (vocals); Keith Richards, Ron Wood (guitar); Bill Wyman (bass); Charlie Watts (drums).
Additional personnel: Bobby Womack, Don Covay, Chuck Leavell, Jimmy Page, Patti Scialfa, Jimmy Cliff, Tom Waits, Kirsty MacColl, Ivan Neville, Anton Fig, Steve Jordan, Charley Drayton, Philippe Saisse, Dan Collette, John Regan, Alan Rogan, Ian Stewart, Janis Pendarvis, Dolette McDonald.
Recorded at Pathe Marconi Studios, Paris, France. Originally released on Rolling Stones Records.
Digitally remastered by Bob Ludwig (Gateway Mastering Studios).
DIRTY WORK includes an unlisted instrumental track.
Personnel: Mick Jagger (vocals, guitar, harmonica, keyboards); Keith Richards (vocals, guitar, keyboards); Ron Wood (vocals, guitar); Bill Wyman (vocals, keyboards, synthesizer); Don Covay, Ivan Neville, Jimmy Cliff, Kirsty MacColl (vocals); Jimmy Page (guitar); Chuck Leavell (keyboards); Steve Jordan , Charlie Watts (drums).
Recording information: Pathe Marconi Studios, Paris, France; Path? Marconi Studios, Paris, France.
Photographer: Annie Leibovitz.
Unknown Contributor Roles: Alan Rogan; Dan Collette; John Regan; Patti Scialfa; Philippe Saisse; Anton Fig; Tom Waits; Janice Pendarvis; Charley Drayton.
Three years after releasing 1983's UNDERCOVER, the Rolling Stones returned to the studio to record DIRTY WORK. During the band's sabbatical, Mick Jagger had released his solo debut SHE'S THE BOSS, sparking resentment from Keith Richards, who did not approve of Jagger making music outside of the band. A notable distinction of DIRTY WORK is Ron Wood's collaboration with the Jagger/Richards songwriting axis on four songs, "One Hit (To The Body)", "Fight," "Had It With You" and the title track, which may have been code for the Glimmer Twins' then-strained relationship.
Since Stones recording sessions are always special events, a number of famous guests made cameos on this 1986 release. Among them are Stones heroes Bobby Womack and Don Covay, Tom Waits, Jimmy Page and producer Steve Lillywhite's wife Kirsty MacColl. Despite any infighting, the Stones continued their history of interesting cover choices. A minor 1964 hit by Bob and Earl hit the top five for the Stones, while Half Pint's "Too Rude" continued the band's love affair with reggae.