Keith Richards, Nirvana, Suzi Quatro and more REVIEWED | Music | Entertainment

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Keith Richards
Talk Is Cheap
(BMG)
★★★★★

Recorded during a hiatus in Rolling Stones activities and a frosting of relations between himself and Jagger, Richards came up smelling of roses on this his first solo outing.

Outselling any of Jagger’s solo records, riffs firing from those legendary fingers sound so sweet on this re-mastering. A bounty of bonus tracks also reveals a relaxed studio atmosphere. Backed by his X-pensive Winos band, plus stellar stars including Bootsy Collins, there is a tight but loose feel permeating throughout.

Riotous rockers Take It So Hard, Whip It Up and How I Wish are balanced by brimful ballads Make No Mistake and Locked Away, making this million-selling album the best Stones related recording of the 80s.

In fact, unused songs from these sessions found a home on The Rolling Stones’ Steel Wheels album.

Mike & The Mechanics
Out Of The Blue
(BMG)
★★★★

Proving they still have plenty of miles left on the clock, Mike Rutherford’s musical vehicle returns with a finely tuned refit of some of their most loved songs plus three brand new tunes to boot. Of the trio of new songs, single Out of the Blue has already gained substantial radio airplay to gently rock drivetime listeners happily home in time for tea.

Soulful vocals by both Andrew Roachford and Tim Howar add a new lease of life to these re-imagined classics. The stripped back unplugged feel, especially on Over My Shoulder and One More Cup of Coffee, make this album worthy of a thorough career re-evaluation.

Suzi Quatro
No Control
(SPV/Steamhammer)
★★★★

Sweet little rock ‘n’ roller Quatro keeps the faith on this rocktastic release. The lady who rocked Top of the Tops with Can The Can and Devil Gate Drive, is back on top form with an album of diverse songs and stonking rockers.

The stone cold grit of title song No Control, Macho Man and Heavy Duty rock out and do exactly what they say on the tin. Moreover, her timeless voice and the reggae lilt to Love Isn’t Fair and Strings prove that this undisputed Queen of Rock remains in total control.

Don Felder
American Rock ‘n’ Roll
(BMG)
★★★★★

Big rifs abound on this soft-rock classic. Reminding of his platinum status credentials, this erstwhile member of The Eagles takes a solo flight with a stunning set of songs on a near-faultless album of finely crafted country-rock ballads and hefty hard rocking tunes.

The title track followed by Charmed let rip as Felder’s raspy vocals mix with his soaring guitar to roll back the years to the heady mid-70s California rock sound. Rock You and Limelight follow in the same vein with their big anthemic chorus’ ready for heavy rock radio rotation.

However, it’s the country rock influence on Sun and You’re My World, plus the Spanish influenced Little Latin Lover, that add balance to fully display Felder’s deft songwriting on this career-best solo album.

Nirvana
Live at the Paramount
(Geffen)

★★★★

Recorded on Halloween 1991 at Seattle’s Paramount Theatre, this infamous grunge band’s seminal live performance is finally captured on double heavyweight vinyl.

With a track listing that screams and shouts with thrashy gusto, the songs performed are seared into the collective brain of most alternative music seeking fans. You can hear, and almost smell, the emotional energy poured into each song as Cobain’s cohorts create a cacophony of scorched earth noise.

The riotous reception given to Smells Like Teen Spirit alone leaves little doubt that this committed trio caused a categorical sea change of tsunami proportions; whose ripples and tremors are still felt in the music industry to this day.

Bonus extras including a poster insert and a replica VIP backstage pass from the night complete this treasured artefact from these kings of grunge.

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