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The Rolling Stones: Steel Wheels

Album Reviews:

Rolling Stone - Ranked #87 in Rolling Stone's "100 Greatest LPs Of The 80s" survey.

Q - 4 Stars - Excellent

Record Collector (magazine) (p.92) - 3 stars out of 5 -- "'Almost Hear You Sigh' holds its own in the lachrymose school of balladry that brought us 'Angie' and 'Fool To Cry.'"

Album Notes

The Rolling Stones: Mick Jagger (vocals, guitar, harmonica, keyboards, percussion); Keith Richards (vocals, acoustic & electric guitars); Ron Wood (guitar, dobro, acoustic & electric basses, background vocals); Bill Wyman (bass); Charlie Watts (drums).

Additional personnel: Bachir Attar Farafina (various instruments); Phil Beer (mandolin, fiddle); Matt Clifford (strings, piano, electric piano, harmonium, clavinet, keyboards); Kick Horns (brass); Chuck Leavell (piano, organ, Wurlitzer piano, keyboards); Luis Jardin (percussion); Sonia Morgan, Bernard Fowler, Sarah Dash, Lisa Fischer, Tessa Niles (background vocals); Master Musicians Of Jajouka.

Recorded at Air Studios, Montserrat.

Digitally remastered by Bob Ludwig (Gateway Mastering Studios).

20-plus years after "Satisfaction" the Rolling Stones were still at it, pumping out gritty rock and roll and playing to huge, adoring crowds. Later records sound fuller, the production a bit cleaner, but the Stones still sound like the Stones. STEEL WHEELS, released in 1989, was the first studio album by the band since 1986's DIRTY WORK. Mick Jagger and Keith Richards had put out solo records in 1987 and 1988 respectively, and the reformed band got back into the studio for a record they would launch a massive world tour to support. It was the last studio effort upon which original bassist Bill Wyman would play.

The album yielded two strong singles, "Mixed Emotions," which is buoyed by one of the stronger choruses of late-era Stones, and the nasty rocker "Rock and a Hard Place." Beginning with the line "The fields of Eden are full of trash," the song seems a genuine gesture of empathy for victims of a callous world. "Continental Drift" is the album's most unusual track, a powerful, Middle-Eastern-tinged number with "African instruments" played by the legendary Master Musicians of Jajouka. On the country-flavored "Blinded By Love," the Stones' show their long-standing appreciation for rootsy American music.


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