Wednesday, December 20, 2023

Songs I'd Forgotten Existed, Let Alone Loved: Special "Power Pop is Where You Find It" Edition

From his eponymous 1979 solo album, please enjoy legendary Rolling Stones guitarist Mick Taylor and the goose-bump inducing lead-off track "Leather Jacket."

I remember adoring that song when it first came out -- giving it countless repetitive spins under the headphones in my office at the Magazine Formerly Known as Stereo Review (yes, I had the best job in the world!) -- and I also think I didn't much care for the rest of the record, although it's possible I simply never got past the gorgeousness of the above and didn't give it a fair shake. In any case, I don't believe I reviewed the album, although I'm gonna research that.

Bottom line: "Leather Jacket" is a minor classic -- lyrically poignant, and exquisitely played (those inter-weaving guitars!) and sung, the more so because stylistically it's far afield from the kind of music you would have expected Taylor to make. I mean, it could pass for Big Star or Nick Lowe, fer crissakes.

BTW, the album is still available, by which I mean you can stream it at Amazon, and I plan to listen to it toot sweet. Hell, I just discovered that Lowell George is playing featured slide guitar on one track, so what am I waiting for?.

I should add that apparently the song itself dates back to Taylor's early days with the Stones; here's an unfinished instrumental track of it he did with Keith and the rest of the gang...

...which is pretty damn good in its own right. Why didn't they finish it? I leave that to Stones scholars to elucidate, but if I had to take a guess, it would be that they didn't want to give Taylor a writing credit on whatever album they were working on at the time.


steve simels said...

Testing…1 2 3…

Is this thing on?

MJConroy said...

The Stones version sounds promising, but no way they were going to give him a writing credit as a hired gun.

Anonymous said...

Keith/ Mick - egocentric like Harry James w/ Sinatra- no way that they were going to give credit - started buying Stones disc's since Ya- Yas - Taylor was it's foundation
much like Danny Kirwin.