People should know that I'm not making a blues album," said Mick Jagger. "As far as I know, I'm not."
Rumors have been flying about Jagger and the new solo album that he's been working on with, among others, producer Rick Rubin. There have been regular Mick sightings in the Los Angeles press – news that he jumped onstage at the King King club with the local blues favorites the Red Devils, even that Jagger was seen dining with Rubin at a local Thai restaurant.
"Oh, yes, from dinner to King King to home to bed, with a little work in there somewhere," said Jagger with a laugh. In fact, by all accounts Jagger has been hard at work on the album, which is due on November 16th on Atlantic Records (with a single to be released October 27th). "I cut a bunch of things on my own in England and France, then came to L.A. and have done between twelve and fifteen things with Rick," he said. "I'm in the process of figuring out what will be on the album."
Jagger and Rubin did end up inviting the Red Devils in for an extended one-day recording session. "We cut fourteen tracks in one day," said Jagger. "Even in the early days it took the Stones two weeks to record an album, so that's pretty good."
Asked to name some tracks he's fond of, Jagger offers the titles "Wired All Night," "Mother of a Man" and a cover of James Brown's classic "Think," which he reports is "in a slightly heavy-metal mood." Most of the album has been recorded with a core band that Jagger selected after an extensive audition process – guitarists Jimmy Ripp and Frank Simes, drummer Curt Bisquera and bassist John Pierce. "By the way, the stories about me auditioning for a new bass player for the Stones were wrong," he said. "I was just auditioning for my band." Some of the other players on the sessions include Billy Preston, keyboardist Benmont Tench, drummer Jim Keltner and members of the Jayhawks.
"Rick and I have gotten along pretty well," said Jagger. "He likes everything pretty basic. We did a lot of rock & roll, a bit of funk and some ballads." What about the musician who reported that one track reminded him of the classic Stones in their "Dead Flowers" country-honk mode? "Well, I did write a couple country songs," Jagger said. "I'm always writing country songs."
In other Stones-related news, the second studio album by Keith Richards and the X-Pensive Winos is set to be released October 20th by Virgin Records. Main Offender was produced by Richards, Steve Jordan and Waddy Watchtel, and a brief American tour by the group is expected to follow.
Meanwhile, Ron Wood's latest solo effort, Slide on This – produced by Wood and Steel Wheels tour mate Bernard Fowler – was released September 8th on the same Continuum label that put out the recent solo work of the Charlie Watts Quintet. Wood is also planning a tour in support of his new album.
This story is from the October 1st, 1992 issue of Rolling Stone.