August 1988: La Fourchette, Mick Jagger's home studio, Posť-sur-Cisse, France
August 1991: Los Angeles, California, USA
October 1991: studio, Paris, France
December 1991: Olympic Studios, London, England
January 17-24, 1992: S.I.R. Studios, Los Angeles, USA
February 23-Late March 1992: Capitol Studios, Los Angeles, USA
Early May-May 22, 1992: Capitol Studios, Los Angeles, USA
Late May-June 14, 1992: Capitol Studios, Los Angeles, USA
Late June-July 1992: studio, London, England
Early August-Late September 1992: Capitol Studios, Los Angeles, USA
Rick Rubin & Mick Jagger
Chief engineer: David Bianco
Mixer: David Bianco
Released: February 1993
Original label: Atlantic Records
Contributing musicians: Mick
Jagger, Jimmy Rip, Curt Bisquera, John Pierce, Billy Preston,
Frank Simes, Flea, Brendan O'Brian, Courtney Pine, Lynn Davis,
Jeff Pescetto, Jim Keltner, Doug Wimbish, Lenny Kravitz, Matt
David Bianco, Lenny Castro, Robin McKidd, Jaydee Maness, Sweet
Wired All Night
Out of Focus
Don't Tear Me Up
Put Me in the Trash
Mother of a Man
Hang on to Me Tonight
I've Been Lonely for So Long
Angel in My Heart
I guess a solo album is my chance to express some other musical things, because the Stones is such a big project, especially if you're thinking about touring behind it... With a solo album you can do a folk song with just a fiddle if you want, because no one's going to say anything.
Doing a solo album, it's more relaxed than doing the Rolling Stones. With a solo album, no one's going to get on my case. It's just free and easy... (I)t can get a bit incestuous if you just play everything with one band. But, you know, I'm still me. It's still going to sound like me. I'm the singer of the Rolling Stones. I can't completely change.
What happened was that there was about three months in between the Primitive Cool Japanese tour and the Australian tour. In that three months (1988), (Mick) and I went to his big chateau in France. We had the Rolling Stones mobile truck come down and park in the parking lot. He and I and Charlie Watts, who lives not far away, the three of us, recorded an entire version of Wandering Spirit. Which for me, is the best version of Wandering Spirit. Doug Wimbish came and played on a few tracks. I played bass on a lot of it and guitar. But that version of the record is blindingly great. The problem with it was that it sounded so much like a Rolling Stones record! It really sounds just like a Stones record. To the point where sometimes I play it for people and I say, Hey, have you ever heard these Stones outtakes?ĒAnd they go, Wow, how come they never put this out? Itís like, this is not a Stones record! But Mick at the end of it said, If I want to make a Rolling Stones record, Iíll make it with the Rolling Stones. So he loved it, but he realized that, and it was the right thing to do. I agreed with him after a while, although it hurt when he said that.
I don't put on any songs I've written on five-string guitar, which sounds like Keith's writing... In the writing, there were a couple of songs where I said, Oh, that's going to sound great with the Stones, so I won't use it. I don't even develop it up anymore: I just leave it as a basic idea or one verse and chorus. I'll then play it for Keith and he'll maybe embellish it with something else.
I just write all the time. And you have to sing every day, too, so you can build up to being, you know, Amazingly Brilliant at the end. If you don't do it every day, then you lose it - you lose the ability to sing HARD for very long. I did three songs today, just practicing. I threw everyone out of the studio. I do that sometimes, especially when I don't know what I'm doing, so I can make a fool of myself more privately. Then when I know what I'm doing, I can make a fool of myself in front of everyone. I don't mind.
The process never seems to happen the same way twice. It's really funny to watch when it happens to him because the song just seems to fall out of the sky onto his head. But it usually starts with a beat on the drum machine or something. He wrote with Charlie Watts for years like that. Charlie would just bash away, and Mick sould say, Play a shot there, and by the time the beat starts happening, Mick is yelling and banging on some chord and all of a sudden it's there. Sometimes he's singing words, sometimes just one word.
This is an era when everyone lets everything out - which is a very un-English thing to do. But... no. I more or less let everything come, and I'll just get a bit indirect if I think it's getting too close to something or it's going to hurt somebody very much. I go off slightly or embellish it or just use my imagination.
I (also) did the first solo album (when) I already had a deal to do the next Stones album. In fact I was going to do it straight after. What is (different) is that I was much more relaxed about this album. It wasn't being done in an atmosphere of hostility. The rest of the band all made records, didn't they? Charlie made his Charlie Parker record, Keith made his second album and Ronnie made a record. In fact even Bill made a record. (laughs) It never got released in America but he did actually make one!
(Rick Rubin and I) had a few rows. I respect his opinions, but when we disagreed I said, It's my record, I'm singing it, and it's my opinion that counts.
The thrust of this album is... Actually, it's not really a rock album per se. I don't want to put anyone off, but if you look at it, there are only maybe three rock songs on it in the traditional form. The rest is R&B, or country or gospel influenced, or rockabilly, or whatever, whereas with most Stones albums - though they contain other things - the thrust has really been harder rock.
To me this is like a '92, '93 record. I'm not trying to go into any new form of music, because there's nothing out there that I want to push or get involved with that I'm not already involved in. You know, rockabilly goes into gospel because those styles are very close, and then country music goes into blues and goes into rock and so on and so on. It's all part of one kind of popular music that has existed for about 50 years.
(Many music) styles I've done at one time or another, successfully or not. I've just never done them all on one record... (It) can be slightly worrying, if it flies in too many directions. But when I play it in its entirety - whichy not too many people really do, honestly - it manages to hold together, hopefully... I think the sequence is key when you've got a lot of different styles - I'm trying to avoid using the word eclectic.
Jagger doesn't show any signs of wear on his third - and by far best - solo album. If anything, his voice seems to have developed a deeper bottom end without sacrificing any of the highs. This is not always an advantage - the forced falsetto and rhythmic pulse of Sweet Thing causes a nightmarish flashback to the Stones' disco flirtations in the mid-'70s. But more times than not, this disc works. A lot of the credit goes to Jagger's backing band and producer Rick Rubin who keep things lean, mean, and simple. The economy of performance allows Jagger to remain credible on a wide variety of styles - he delivers a groovin', sultry version of Bill Withers' soul classic Use Me, a passionate country ballad on Evening Gown, and even pulls off an Irish traditional folk piece with Handsome Molly. (4.5/5 STARS)
Given the feckless posturing of Mick Jagger's solo output ≠ She's the Boss (1985) and Primitive Cool (1987) traded substance for style ≠ the sheer punch of Wandering Spirit is staggering. Flexing the professional savvy that has long been his trustiest gift, Jagger nabbed as producer the rap & rock storm trooper Rick Rubin, and with deft players new and old (Billy Preston, Lenny Kravitz, Jimmy Rip, Jim Keltner), the pair deliver high-voltage goods. From rock (Wired All Night) to funk (James Brown's Think), Mick stalks the Stones' turf with renewed attack ≠ but he ranges, too (from country to folk to faux-Elizabethan elegance), far more adventurously than those titans have roamed of late...
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