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Keith Richards: Vintage Vinos
Keith Richards’ first solo album Talk Is Cheap for the most part, swayed critics when it was released in 1988 and with good reason: this was a rare and raw, unadulterated slab of Keef that peeled back a few layers of rock star to reveal a trickster poet thoroughly at ease in his own skin. Plus, the songs were gut-ready, starting with the leadoff single “Take It So Hard,” with its slinky riffs, garage-rock beats and the trademark sandpaper vocals that Stones fans had come to know since Richards stepped to the fore on Exile On Main Street’s “Happy.”
The musicians that comprised his X-Pensive Winos band were no slouches either. Longtime friends Steve Jordan (drums), Charley Drayton (bass), Ivan Neville (keyboards) and Waddy Wachtel (guitars) simply clicked—yet another aspect of what makes the new “hits” package Vintage Vinos such a welcome gust of familiarity. “You Don’t Move Me” encapsulates the Jagger-Richards love-hate feud that still fuels the Stones today, while “Eileen” and “Wicked as It Seems” (both from 1992’s Main Offender ) bring out the tender and destructive sides that Richards has probed extensively in his recent autobiography. Topped off by some rousing live cuts from the Winos’ first tour (released in 1991 as Live at the Hollywood Palladium ) and the hard-to-find Dylanesque acoustic ballad “Hurricane,” Vinos is not just for Keef completists, but for anyone who missed out on this vital four-year burst of creativity from the darker half of the “Glimmer Twins.”
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