1985 SHE’S THE BOSS
In the mid-80’s, Mick Jagger ventured away from the Rolling Stones for a few memorable solo projects. State Of Shock with the Jacksons and Dancing In The Street with David Bowie were great collaborations but Mick released the first of four solo CD’s during their period. She’s The Boss was produced by Niles Rodgers of Chic. Jeff Beck, Pete Townshend (The Who), Jan Hammer (Miami Vice) and Herbie Hancock each contributed to Mick’s best selling solo album. The lead single, Just Another Night, had major MTV airplay. One shining highlight was the sensitive, personal ballad Hard Woman which showed the softer side of Jagger often lacking on Stones albums.
1987 PRIMITIVE COOL
The Stones 1986 album, Dirty Work, was a commercial failure and the rift between Jagger and Richards was reaching a breaking point. Mick took the opportunity to take a break and worked on his second solo album, Primitive Cool. Lightning didn’t strike twice this time. Mick chose Dave Stewart from the Eurythmics to produce the disc and cameos by David Sanborn and Jeff Beck highlight Mick’s backing band. No singles made much of a dent on the charts. The brilliant 80’s sound on Throwaway, Say You Will, and Kow Tow (directed at Keith Richards) stand out as the CD’s best work.
1993 WANDERING SPIRIT
Rick Rubin was chosen as producer for the third album. Following the Stones epic Steel Wheels World Tour, the boys took a break. Keith Richards worked on a solo disc, Main Offender, and Jagger rejoined Atlantic Records for his new album. You could hear Rubin’s influence, gone was the retro 80’s synthesizer sound that dominated his first two solo CD’s. The harder rock sound was amplified by the addition of Flea from the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Benmont Trench from Tom Petty’s band, and Lenny Kravitz’ vocals on a cover of Bill Wither’s Use Me.
2001 GODDESS IN THE DOORWAY
Eight years between solo albums, Goddess In The Doorway, is the last solo album by Mick Jagger although I have a hunch he’s due for a new CD in the next few years. Mick wasn’t looking to make a solo album in 2001 but he had written so many songs for a new Rolling Stones record that he needed an outlet to share the new material. These songs were the most diverse collection of musical genres on any of Mick’s solo albums. The all-star lineup of contributors crosses the full spectrum of music: Wyclef Jean, Rob Thomas, Bono from U2, Joe Perry of Aerosmith, Lenny Kravitz, Missy Elliott, Mick’s daugher Elizabeth, and Ruby Turner (a 60’s R&B legend). God Gave Me Everything is the perfect blend of the Stones mixed with Lenny Kravitz!