'Start Me Up' was released as a 7" single in the UK on August 14, 1981, where it peaked at #7.
Its US counterpart, released on August 17, 1981, reached #2.
'Start Me Up' was first recorded during the 1975 sessions for the 1976 album 'Black And Blue'. The song was at first cut as a reggae-rock track, but after dozens of takes the band stopped recording it and it was shelved. The band would again try to re-record 'Start Me Up' during the 1977 'Some Girls' and the 1979 'Emotional Rescue' sessions under the working titles 'Never Stop' and 'Start It Up' respectively. These recordings would feature a more apparent rock sound, stripped of the earlier reggae influences. Of the song's history, Richards has commented: "It was one of those things we cut a lot of times; one of those cuts that you can play forev... [+]
About the songs
Nearly 80 songs recorded by the Rolling Stones entered either the UK or US charts since 1963, twelve of them peaking at #1 ['Satisfaction', 'Get Off Of My Cloud', 'Paint It, Black' and 'Honky Tonk Women' were #1 in both countries].
The early years also were the most prolific and, whereas most titles were not yet penned by the Jagger-Richards tandem, record labels Decca [in the UK] and London [in the US] would issue singles at a frantic pace, building the band's reputation as the Beatles' most serious threat.
However, no global marketing strategy would emerge before the 70's, and both countries cultivated their differences in their respective discographies, as would their affiliates in other parts of the world.
The richness and diversity of the Rolling Stones singles discography is mainly due to the fact that, during the 60's, Decca would consider singles an independent market from the LPs' one, whereas London would use this format as a 'lift' for album sales. Therefore, British singles would offer non-album tracks [except for compilations], and Decca England would pass on a few US releases, while the US would opt for different B-sides and be a little more productive.
US exclusive couplings and singles would however often be released on Decca in Europe, notably in Scandinavia for which UK would exclusively press 'export' singles [Scandinavian countries also pressed their own records and imported regular UK releases, see the Danish, Swedish and Norwegian discographies].
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