Main Offender (BMG)
Late 1980s, and with the Rolling Stones on a hiatus and Mick Jagger working on his solo recordings, guitarist Keith Richards decided to form another band rather than twiddle his thumbs. Richards’ new comrades in arms, named the X-Pensive Winos, helped Richards complete his solo debut Talk Is Cheap. Though the Stones were soon back in action, releasing and touring Steel Wheels in 1989, Richards worked on his next solo outing, with Main Offender emerging in 1992, which has now received a re-release.
The blues and soul influences at the heart of the Stones remain here, without the production bells and whistles of that time that fleshed out Steel Wheels’ grooves, and the result is that Main Offender doesn’t sound at all dated 30 years on. Tracks like 999 and Wicked As It Seems are effortlessly up there with what Richards does best with Jagger and co, while soul-soaked ballad Hate It When You Leave is pure bliss – and solid proof Richards can sing.
words DAVID NOBAKHT
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