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Review: Keith Richards – Main Offender 30th Anniversary Edition

Artist: Keith Richards
Album: Main Offender – 30th Anniversary Edition
Release Date: March 18th 2022
Label: BMG
Reviewer: Rod Strachan

2022 sees the 30th Anniversary release of Rolling Stones guitarist legend Keith Richards second solo release titled “Main Offender”. First released in 1992, this fine release was co-produced by Icons Steve Jordan & Waddy Watchel who’s resumes run longer than the Egyptians Nile river!

“999” kicks us off in a blues fuelled track that would fit right into any Stones’ live set list. Steve Jordan’s impeccable drum fills and Keith’s peerless guitar tone give us the perfect up temp rocker start! “Wicked As It Seems” has aged like a fine wine! My favourite track on the album from my teenage days playing through my cassette deck at the family home! A homage of ambient sound from the era, that has lost nothing some 30 years on and counting.

“Eileen” at the time of release was widely regarded as one of the highlights of the album. A mid- tempo classic pop rock song with soothing lyrics. A fan favourite that continues to stand the test of time. “Words of Wonder” leans heavily on Keith’s love for reggae which is not out of place at all and showcases his all-star recording entourages talents. Some amazing bass playing here from Charley Drayton (yes Cold Chisel’s drummer for the past decade!).

“Yap Yap” would be if you never gave it a listen an instant joke of a title. The song however is simply put the complete opposite. Written by the production team the song is simply an elegantly track that provides a glow with its graceful presence. “Bodytalks” is the first track for the Side B (Insert Vinyl and cassette fans) and featuring a co-write from Labelle heroine Sarah Dash who lends her amazing voice to the backing vocals here.

“Hate It When You Leave” in my opinion is a stylish tip of the hat from Keith & the crew to Motown. Only the greats can change up their style not only over a career but over a single release and this is another showcase piece. A standout among many! “Runnin’ Too Deep” is a quick reminder that Keith’s Stones sound is never too far away no matter how far and wide he may cast his solo career net. Great vocals & a punchy guitar riff run the course of the shortest track of the album.

“Will But You Won’t” is as a fellow lyric writer one I really enjoy! The play on words back and forth work extremely well in this artisan performance. A song that was a highlight of the live touring set that was to follow the album’s release. “Demon” ends the album on a moody and mellow note. That rhythm and blues feel is highlighted in this soulful track.

Main Offender is my favourite of the three solo albums thus far Keith has released with The X-Pensive Winos. This re-release is a must have an is available in a number of formats which include:

Standard 10 Track  Studio Album CD

2 Disc CD Media Book Version including a 12 track Live set recording Live In London 1992

Vinyl Editions in Standard Black & Red (10 Track Studio Album)

Super Deluxe Edition  The box set contains the album pressed on ‘smoke-coloured’ vinyl and the Winos Live in London ’92 album pressed on 2LP (also on smoke-coloured vinyl). That content is then repeated in the box on two CDs, giving the five discs in total. On top of that there is ‘stuff’ that includes an 88-page leather-bound book, and various items of memorabilia such as a Main Offender plectrum, a bumper sticker, posters, a Main Offender backstage pass and more.

Just get it in some format you will not be disappointed!

Main Offender (30th Anniversary Edition)
Special Deluxe Box Set of 2nd Solo Album Out Now via BMG

Includes the previously-unreleased
‘Winos Live in London ’92’ concert
‘How I Wish (Live)’ 

Wicked As It Seems
Words Of Wonder
Yap Yap
Hate It When You Leave
Runnin’ Too Deep
Will But You Won’t

‘Winos Live In London ‘92’ Tracklisting
Take It So Hard
Wicked As It Seems
How I Wish
Gimme Shelter
Hate It When You Leave
Before They Make Me Run
Will But You Won’t
Whip It Up

Hear2Zen Magazine
Hear2Zen is a "Non Genre Specific" publication that celebrates all things sensory.

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