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Keith Richards’ Solo Debut Made Him Appreciate Mick Jagger More

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Keith Richards revealed that recording his 1988 solo set Talk Is Cheap, made him appreciate his then-estranged partner Mick Jagger. On Friday (March 29th), Richards with release the six-disc 30th anniversary super deluxe edition of Talk Is Cheap, his debut solo album. Richards recalled to The Los Angeles Times, “I did find out in the process that I appreciated Mick’s job much more in being the frontman. With the Stones, I can step back with Charlie (Watts) and play, or if I feel like it I can go out. I have an option. I realized working with the Winos there’s no option, I have to be out there all the time. I enjoyed it, but it made me have greater appreciation for Mick’s job. I got a finer insight into that.”

Richards, who has carried the weight of the Rolling Stones’ 1986 Dirty Work album, has long insisted he never wanted to make a solo album — which was the main bone of contention between him and Jagger during the mid-’80s. He eased into the project after working with drummer and chief collaborator Steve Jordan on the Chuck Berry concert film Hail! Hail! Rock ‘N’ Roll: “It was never, ‘Let’s make an album.’ It kind of came about in bits. We had all my favorite guys: (guitarist) Waddy Wachtel, (bassist) Charley Drayton, (keyboardist) Ivan Neville and (longtime Stones saxophonist) Bobby Keys. It all fell together so naturally, it was really quite a joy.”

When pressed as whether he would dare include any of the Talk Is Cheap material on the Rolling Stones’ upcoming tour, Richards laughed, and said, “I’m tempted, man. I’ve gotta test the temperature (within the band). But why not? I’m not averse to it.”

At the time, Keith Richards spoke about the strength of the X-Pensive Winos on the road: “I figured that with a band like that, that the only weak link would be me, because I’m pulling off a new job. But, I figured with the band that I had I could always fall back on that and we could always get into the music. And the voice croaked a bit for the first few dates. But it got better and better. And to me — I didn’t know . . . I mean, either the voice was going to disappear totally, y’know, I’m gonna mime it (laughs) — or the voice would come back and I’d be able to. . . But it came back and it was okay. For the first bash of it, I was very happy with it, y’know?”

Photo Courtesy of Sante D’Orazio

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