Very Best Of 8 ( 2007 )
God Gave Me Everything / Put Me in the Trash / Just Another Night / Don't Tear Me Up / Charmed Life / Sweet Thing / Old Habits Die Hard / Dancing in the Street / Too Many Cooks (Spoil the Soup) / Memo from Turner / Lucky in Love / Let's Work / Joy / Don't Call Me Up / Checkin' Up on My Baby / (You Got to Walk And) Don't Look Back / Evening Gown
Mick Jagger of course, needs no introduction.
Sir Michael Phillip Jagger was born on the 26th July 1943 in Dartford, Kent, England. He dropped out of school to be a rock star. Mick Jagger released four solo albums to differing degrees of success and married model Jerry Hall.
In the early 80s, it appeared that The Rolling Stones were running out of steam. Mick released his first solo effort, 'She's The Boss' in 1985. It soon became apparent however that both solo careers and the band career would proceed concurrently. Excerpted from 'She's The Boss' then are the songs 'Lucky In Love' and 'Just Another Night', both of which were also released as singles. Apparently, 36 different musicians and four producers helped out Mick on 'She's The Boss', when all he really needed was the four other chaps in The Rolling Stones. Having said this, the two songs featured here are fine slices of 80's pop, if not exactly what one would expect from the Jagger parent group. 'Just Another Night' shows all the signs of an 80's production, but the melody and chorus are strong. 'Lucky In Love' has slices and swathes of 80's synths and a strutting, pouting Mick Jagger vocal performance. Does it for me. In 1987, we saw 'Primitive Cool', the 2nd solo album by Mick Jagger. Taken from this release is just a single track, 'Let's Work'. It reached number thirty-one in September 1987 when released to preview 'Primitive Cool'. The essential web resource rateyourmusic.com which compiles readers ratings of various albums doesn't seem to rate 'Primitive Cool', but 'Let's Work' is a perfectly acceptable, if hideously overproduced and coated in the worst excesses of the era from which it came, catchy little stomping thing. It's pop not rock, but Jagger wanted to do pop and rock, I guess. Silly thing to say, really. I call 'Let's Work' a guilty pleasure.
I take a detour at this stage to cover the tracks on this compilation not taken from any of the Jagger solo albums. 'Memo From Turner' was a solo hit for Mick way back in November 1970. Featuring the talents of Ry Cooder on slide guitar, it was featured in the notorious Jagger flick, 'Performance'. It's a great R&B track and very nice to have. In 1985, Mick teamed up with David Bowie for their huge international smash cover of 'Dancing In The Street'. You know this cover. It's best remembered by the unintentionally hilarious video, which you can see here. One thing the song does do is show that Mr Bowie, very rarely out-sung, gets out-sung by Mick. Other notable collaborations featured include Mick's duet with reggae star Peter Tosh, '(You Got to Walk And) Don't Look Back', and music from the film 'Alfie' with David Stewart of the Eurthymics, 'Old Habits'. Also included is a great previously unreleased track, 'Too Many Cooks', produced by John Lennon. Featuring an all-star band including Al Kooper, Jack Bruce and Jimmy Keltner, it's a stupendous track that could have been a massive hit.
1993's 'Wandering Spirit' album was produced by Johnny Cash producer Rick Rubin. Taken from this album are 'Sweet Thing', 'Don't Tear Me Up', 'Put Me In The Trash' and 'Evening Gown' as well as two outtakes, 'Charmed Life' and 'Checking Up On My Baby'. A far better received set than previous solo efforts, the best tracks include the rocking 'Put Me In The Trash' and this sets closing tune, the soulful ballad 'Evening Gown'. 'Checking Up On My Baby' was recorded with an LA blues band 'Red Devils', a cover of a Sonny Boy Williamson track. Taking Jagger back to his roots, it's one of the most enjoyable tunes here. Mick's 2001 set 'Goddess In The Doorway' included 'God Gave Me Everything' and 'Joy'. 'God Gave Me Everything' features a fuzzed up Lenny Kravitz on guitar and is perhaps the most modern sounding song here. 'Joy' features Bono on co-vocals. Both the songs from the maligned 'Goddess In The Doorway' are great actually and make me want to check out that set. Having said that, 'Very Best Of Mick Jagger' containing 17 tracks is perhaps the best way to experience his career outside of The Stones. It's a decent set and should sit happily next to your Stones LPs.