So this once amazing solo record from Keif Richards hit the streets like a stick of dynamite and exploded on stereos and record players across the globe. The Stones had stopped communicating and it looked like it might be terminal as Richards, Wood, Watts, and Jagger were reportedly busy doing their own things. Now Stones aficionados were sad but not I for I was quite excited as to what they might come up with on their own without having to fit into the tight Stones regime and to be fair whilst Jaggers ‘Wandering Spirit’ was a real diamond of a record it was ‘Talk Is Cheap’ that blew me away and I’ve since owned a couple of copies on Vinyl and CD over the years that it came out. I can remember when the needle hit the grooves and Richards familiar telecaster tone hits the speakers it was a total mind fuck and blew me away. ‘Struggle’ had the funk and from the choppin’ riff it was cool as and the sax was just so cool but it was Keith’s vocal delivery that is warm and absolutely on point and nothing like he’d really done before but still totally Keith -most of all it was exciting and the band he’d assembled was amazing the spirit and vibe they were cutting up was amazing. ‘Take It So Hard’ was a riff-a-rama as Keith traded with waddy wactel as the rhythm section just laid back and drove the song on to something special and again the vocal delivered by Richards is still stunning.
to be fair the whole record is still pretty mind-blowing and fresh as even now all there years later. Had Richards day job gotten a hold of songs like ‘Struggle’ and ‘How I Wish’ it would have been stunning but we’ll never know if these were ever attempted by a Jagger Richards combo. The record still makes regular trips to my record player and throwing shapes along to ‘You Don’t Move Me’ is a joy. Easily some of the latter-day Stones camp finest tunes and a more complete solo album from any single member of the band ever and that’s a fact!
I’m always a little skeptical about deluxe and super deluxe reissues of classic albums especially when it comes to bands like the Stones as I certainly wondered how hands-on Mr Richards was and did he really moot the idea about giving this a makeover and including all the extra bits n bobs? Anyway, it’s here there’s no point in moaning about it but I peek through my fingers at the screen to see how much the company wants for the deluxe version and then the super duper version and I did chuckle when it was explained that it was made out of the same wood that Telecasters are lovingly manufactured. righto, I thought just under £600 that’s hilarious.
So the Deluxe edition clocking in at anything from £100 to £140 you get the two records on 180g one the remastered original and the bonus material (to be honest what a load of cobblers) Blues Jam with no lyrics exactly what you might think it’s going to sound like a few covers bla bla bla. Inside a wallet, you get a load of stuff like the singles a laminate tour pass replica and a bunch of other guff like postcards, etc there is also a cool poster but not a lot of quality as the CDs are exactly the same as the records it could have had a vastly different version or mix maybe a couple of live shows or DVD even they’re not busting a gut here on content other than a plectrum and some paper lyric sheets its pretty cheap stuff not really justifying the cost of a box set and I don’t believe its super limited either so maybe wait a few months and pick it up for half the price somewhere which happened for the Guns N Roses box set. The Book at the back of the set is half decent but still doesn’t in any way justify the outlay. My advice would e to pick up the CD version as its a mini Telecaster case replica with some pics from the book and the album plus bonus disc of the extra material that doesn’t hold any hidden gems the only thing that crossed my mind when playing it was how most things always surface in time yet I’d never heard these songs the ones that have been bootlegged to death from the ’70s are much more interesting but being a stones completist is a tough job with something cropping up all the time – you need deep pockets and be able to turn a blind eye to quality at times and whilst there are aspects of this that are cool. The version you want is so overpriced its a real shame because something as good as ‘Talk Is Cheap’ deserves so much better than what it gets. the recent Strummer box set was a lot cheaper and the value for money was so much greater. Shame really but them is the choices innit? what remains a fact is the album ‘Talk Is Cheap’ is still the best solo record by any member of the Rolling Stones ever and that’s a fact! Maybe a reissue of ‘Main Offender’ will put all the faults of this to bed and will have a lot more content – we’ll wait and see.
Author: Dom Daley
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