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Keith Richards – Talk Is Cheap

Hand signed in bold silver paint pen by Keith Richards

Measures: 30” x 40” x 2”.

Talk Is Cheap is the solo album debut by Keith Richards of The Rolling Stones, released in 1988. Recorded and released following a brief creative and personal fallout with Mick Jagger, Talk Is Cheap received glowing reviews upon its release.

Relations between Jagger and Richards had grown tense over the course of the 1980s, as they began to differ on the musical direction of their famous band; “You Don’t Move Me” would be written about their feud. The image-conscious Jagger was keen to follow the trends and keep The Rolling Stones current, while Richards wanted to preserve their reputation and roots. When Jagger was more interested in pursuing his solo career instead of touring for Dirty Work in 1986, Richards was stung by Jagger’s move and began contemplating a solo project for the first time.

Richards teamed up with Steve Jordan, who had worked on Dirty Work, and the pair wrote several new songs (one of which, “Almost Hear You Sigh”, would be placed on The Rolling Stones’ Steel Wheels in 1989 with lyrical modifications by Jagger). Recording began in August 1987 at Le Studio in Morin Heights, Quebec and continued sporadically until the following May with visits to Montserrat and Bermuda. In order to assert his independence further, Richards would sign with Virgin Records, while The Rolling Stones were currently under contract with Sony Music. The band would follow to that label in 1993.

The core of the band, to be called The X-Pensive Winos, consisted of Waddy Wachtel, Ivan Neville, Charley Drayton and Steve Jordan, with many guest artists taking part in the recording, including Sarah Dash, Bootsy Collins, Maceo Parker, The Memphis Horns and Patti Scialfa, and the only musician from the Stones to appear, guitarist Mick Taylor. Outtakes later surfaced that included an eight-minute version of “Struggle” and two passes at “Almost Hear You Sigh,” as well as two unreleased jams, the 14-minute “She Put the Mark On Me” and the 12-minute “Breakin’.”

Released in October 1988, Talk Is Cheap was released to a very receptive critical reaction (many reviewers half-jokingly called it the best Rolling Stones album in years) and it peaked at #37in the UK and #24in the US, where it went gold.


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