Old rubber lips' solo moments, collected in one handy package!
Chris Jones 2007-10-12
Sir Michael Philip Jagger‘s solo career has, pretty much like that of his other Glimmer Twin: Keith Richards, been a little underwhelming. Maybe it’s because his full-time, day job band are really where his heart lies, or maybe it’s because he doesn’t need the money, the fact remains that these collected highlights show a man whose solo work is a lot finer that received wisdom tells us.
With only four albums to his be-knighted name since 1985, old rubber lips‘ forays into the studio have usually come at times when he and Keef weren’t getting along too well. He claims in recent interviews that his muse suddenly kicked in the 80s and he felt he HAD to make his own statements, but these tracks are mainly of the standard hard blues-rocking variety that sees little opportunity for soul bearing or self-examination. If you bought any of the albums from She’s The Boss to Goddess In The Doorway you didn’t expect mellow introspection. Instead you got hell-for –leather sub–“Jumping Jack Flash” rockers like “Put Me In The Trash”, funked-up falsetto discothons like "Sweet Thing" or plaintive blues such as "Don’t Tear Me Up". None of this was a bad thing.
And while Sir M never re-invented the (steel) wheel with this stuff, he still managed to make some classics. "(You Gotta Walk And) Don’t Look Back", with Peter Tosh, remains a reggae-lite crowd-pleaser, and the real gem here has to be his superb “Memo From Turner” taken from Nick Roeg’s Performance: A record on fire with Ry Cooder’s snaky slide.
Unfortunately his other musical film work (Ruthless People? Alfie??!!?? Presumably executed with a savvy eye on the increased returns to be had from such licensing deals) is less prestigious. His choice of co-conspirators is also often suspect when shorn of Keef’s support. The opener with Lenny Kravitz, "God Gave Me Everything" is relentlessly brain-dead and let’s not even go near the 80s charity disaster with David Bowie that is “Dancing In The Streets”, eh?
But overall this is a solid compilation, showing us that even if he really needs the Stones to shine, his voice remains a thing that deserves its legendary status. Arise, Sir Mick…