Mick Jagger Recorded And Scrapped Solo Album With Charlie Watts
Mick Jagger‘s former solo right-hand man, guitarist Jimmy Rip, says that he and Jagger recorded a full solo album with the late-Charlie Watts. Rip revealed that the original version of the Jagger’s third album, 1993’s Wandering Spirit, was recorded with the Stones’ drummer behind the kit.
Jimmy Rip, who in 1988 handled guitar duties on Jagger’s one and only solo tour hitting Australia and Japan, recalled working on the material with the Stones frontman, telling Ultimate Classic Rock: (“Mick) and I went to his big chateau in France. We had the Rolling Stones mobile truck come down and park in the parking lot. He and I and Charlie Watts, who lives not far away, the three of us, recorded an entire version of Wandering Spirit. Which for me, is the best version of Wandering Spirit. (Bassist) Doug Wimbish came and played on a few tracks. I played bass on a lot of it and guitar. But that version of the record is blindingly great.”
Rip went on to explain, “The problem with it was that it sounded so much like a Rolling Stones record! It really sounds just like a Stones record. To the point where sometimes I play it for people and I say, ‘Hey, have you ever heard these Stones outtakes?’ And they go, ‘Wow, how come they never put this out?’ It’s like, this is not a Stones record! But Mick at the end of it said, ‘If I want to make a Rolling Stones record, I’ll make it with the Rolling Stones.'”
Rip, who eventually recorded a new version of the album with Jagger remembered, “He and I, there were a bunch of years when we were kind of inseparable, going everywhere and doing a lot of work together.”
He shed light on why the album was ultimately put on ice for several years: “He said that his manager had talked to Keith (Richards)‘ manager and they had set up a meeting for the two of them in Barbados. Mick said, ‘Y’know, I’m going to go meet with Keith, and then if we get on alright, I’m going to make a Rolling Stones record. If it all blows up, we’ll go do this record.’ I was like, ‘Man!'”
Following the completion of Wandering Spirit, Jagger started work on the Stones’ 1994 Voodoo Lounge album, putting any plans for a solo tour on ice, with Rip and Jagger only making a handful of promotional appearances, including NBC’s Saturday Night Live.
While promoting 1993’s Wandering Spirit, Mick Jagger said he didn’t feel the need to chase trends or focus so intently on the charts: “I don’t really take pop music that seriously. Writing’s really important to me, ’cause I like writing. It’s much more enjoyable to perform your own songs than always performing other people’s. But I think enough people know that I write, y’know? I do (laughs).”