Tuesday, 30 July 2019

Mick Jagger - Wandering Spirit (1993)

Wired all night....

  

Released on 9 February 1993

Running time 54.05

Before The Rolling Stones' Voodoo Lounge, Mick Jagger released this, which many say is the best of his solo albums. They may have a case. It entertains a variety of styles but it was released in the days when, because a CD allowed at least seventy minutes of music, it would be packed with tracks. Value for money, I guess, but sometimes I much prefer a seventies-style forty minute offering. While good, it does go on maybe three tracks too long. Credit must be given to Jagger for writing nearly all the material on here as well. It has a verve and ebullience that maybe some of The Stones' lateeighties material lacked.

Like Keith Richards albums, however, take the best tracks from both and mix them together and you would actually have better albums, possibly, than the Stones put out around the same time.

TRACK LISTING


1. Wired All Night
2. Sweet Thing
3. Out Of Focus
4. Don't Tear Me Up
5. Put Me In The Trash
6. Use Me
7. Evening Gown
8. Mother Of A Man
9. Think
10. Wandering Spirit
11. Hang On To Me Tonight
12. I've Been Lonely For So Long
13. Angel In My Heart
14. Handsome Molly                                        

Wired All Night is a Stonesy (yes some of the tracks are), upbeat and solid rocking opener. Jagger's voice is sounding committed and strong. This could easily have been on Voodoo Lounge. Sweet Thing was criticised by some for Jagger's high-pitched voice and its cod-disco rhythm, but I have to say I quite like it. It is a funky number in the Fingerprint File/Dance, Pt. 1 style. It is full of sleazy atmosphere. Out Of Focus has an odd, gospelly-piano intro before it launches into a mightily catchy number. It has a searing guitar solo in it too. It is a catchy, enjoyable track. Don't Tear Me Up is a typical mid-pace Jagger-written Stones song, both in its sound and his vocal. Put Me In The Trash is in the same vein, but faster and riffier, almost as if Keith was there. The "oo-eee" backing vocals sound like one of the tracks on one of Keith's solo albums (I can't remember which one).


Mick's cover of Bill Withers' Use Me is as funky as the original. His voice suits it. Mick has always liked a cod-country tearjerker where he can use his awful country accent. He does just this on Evening Gown. I still like it, though, bizarrely. The muscular Stonesy rock returns, however, on Mother Of A Man. Think is an excellent, staccato, slightly contemporary-sounding rocker. It was a 1957 hit for an artist called Lowman Pauling. No? Me neither. Time for some blues, maybe, now? Indeed, we get some, albeit very upbeat, on the Americana-influenced and lively Wandering Spirit. It bursts out into a rocky, rousing beat half way through.

Hang On To Me Tonight is another appealing, very typically Jagger-sounding number, with a fetching vocal and lovely deep bass line. Not forgetting a killer harmonica solo. The quirky I've Been Lonely For So Long reminds me, for some reason, of a Ringo Starr solo song. Something about the self-deprecating lyrics maybe. A bit like The Stones' Bridges To Babylon would do in a few years' time, the album ends with two slower, different tracks. Firstly Angel In My Heart is a solemn ballad, backed by sweeping strings and that harpsichord sound The Stones used to use in the sixties. Handsome Molly sees Jagger going traditional Irish folk, an unusual move.

As I said earlier, the album is probably a few tracks too long, but let that not detract from the fact that is a very enjoyable album.

B-