The Very Best Of Mick Jagger [W/Bonus Tracks]
Mick Jagger is one of rock's greatest singers and songwriters. That is common knowledge. This should be: He has written and recorded superb work outside the double-guitar tangle of the Rolling Stones, and this collection proves it, going back to the sneering evil of 1970's "Memo From Turner" and climaxing with the sublime country soul of "Evening Gown," from 1993's Wandering Spirit. Many of these songs are about having it all and realizing that still isn't enough: the pneumatic rock of "God Gave Me Everything" the dark jangle of "Old Habits Die Hard," from the Alfie soundtrack; the ironic jump of the 1992 demo "Charmed Life." That is also a recurring theme in Jagger's determined R&B modernism, from the synth drums that time-stamp 1985's "Just Another Night"to the wiry funk of Spirit's "Sweet Thing" and Jagger's pop-gospel romp with Bono, "Joy," from 2001's Goddess in the Doorway. But it is in the ballads — the dynamic climb of "Don't Call Me Up," the heated devotion in "Evening Gown" — where confession and exploration quietly meet and burn. In comparison, the rarities here are straightforward fun: a 1973 soul fling with John Lennon and a Sonny Boy Williamson cover from Jagger's all-blues "˜92 session with L.A. band the Red Devils, which still deserves to be an album in its own right.
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