Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Keith Richards - Take It So Hard

Man, it is hard to figure out how to start a blog post about Keith Richards.  Aside from the fact the he is seemingly indestructible (from a drug standpoint, at least), we are talking about one of the greatest rock songwriters ever.  [I'm particularly partial to the guitar lines in "Happy," "Brown Sugar," "Satisfaction," and "Gimme Shelter," just for starters.]

However, the mid-1980's were a difficult time for the Rolling Stones.  Mick Jagger wanted to move towards a more updated, poppy sound, and when Richards resisted, Jagger effectively went out on his own.  [Regular ERV readers will recognize that truckloads of lead singers go out on their own, almost always to the detriment of themselves and their band.]  By 1986, the situation came to a head, and Jagger refused to tour or support the Stones Dirty Work LP, instead focusing on his solo record.  I think at that time it was unclear if the Rolling Stones would continue as a band.

This led to Richards deciding to do his own solo record (his first); the result was the 1988 album, Talk Is Cheap.  While the songs do not measure up to the late 1960's / early 1970's masterpieces (what does?), the record produced some of the best Richards material in years.  He co-wrote the album with Steve Jordan, and set up a band (the Xpensive Winos) to record and tour.

"Take It So Hard" was the lead single and does a great job of recapturing some of the Richards magic (man, does he have a feel for great riffs ...)  The video is a shot of the band performing after a nuclear holocaust has presumably destroyed everything except Keith and the band.  (Given Richards apparent invulnerability  this seems like a shockingly plausible scenario, actually ...)

Of course, the Stones were able to get it together and have continued to periodically record and tour as of this writing.  Richards released one additional solo album, 1992's Main Offender, before re-focusing his efforts on the Stones.

The Stones dark and cool video for "Undercover of the Night" was posted on ERV in June, 2015.

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