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Paying for the King

by Eddy Bonte, Belgium

If you rank BB King among the world's top blues performers, his latest CD may be just for you. Moreover, it features a duet with The Rolling Stones, BB King's own composition Paying The Cost To Be The Boss. In fact, Decuces Wild is just duets - 17 of them in all!

Don't let your imagination run wild though: Mick Jagger sings exactly one of the three verses of 'Paying the Cost To Be the Boss' and regretfully his voice is no match for BB's powerful, raw and loud vocal range. Mick's vocals are too thin and they come nowhere near the type of blues shouting that typifies the King. If only Jagger could have given this song a twist, but then he didn't. If only he could have persuaded BB to record a Jagger-Richards song or a type of blues he excells in (Slim Harpo for instance), but then that didn't happen. Jagger sounds uncertain and immature, very much the way he did when sharing the stage with Muddy Waters at the Checkerboard Lounge in 1981! (see 2CD 'Sweet Home Chicago', TSP 115-2)

As far as the guitars of Keith Richards and Ron Wood are concerned, one wonders where these could be. Besides, it's hard to compete with Lucille herself. Part-time Stone Darryl Jones is on bass, but I'm afraid his contribution does not have any real impact on the sound. Good old Charlie Watts is clearly present: unlike many other white drummers he does not play too fast, too wild or too loud but keeps to a strict, straightforward and functional rhythm. Mick is also on harmonica, doing a much better job than on vocal chords.

All in all, the Stones leave a rather disappointing impression and stand for one of the weakest guest roles. Overall though, Deuces Wild is a brilliant record with both BB and Lucille in top form and many creative and pleasant surprises (e.g. Tracy Chapman and Dionne Warwick).

BB King: Deuces Wild, MCA, 1997, cat. no. MCD 11722. Other duets are with Van Morrison, Eric Clapton, Tracy Chapman, Mick Hucknall, Bonnie Raitt, D'Angelo, Jools Holland, Dr John, Marty Stuart, Dionne Warwick, Paul Carrack, Zucchero, Joe Cocker, Heavy D, David Gilmour & Paul Carrack, Willie Nelson.

The author can be contacted at the following address: Eddy Bonte, Molenstraat 15, B 9890 Gavere, Belgium e-mail: [email protected] Phone and fax: +32 9 384 89 69.


Paint it Blue (1CD) (HOB 51416 13152) is a collection of Stones-songs covered by a wide range of blues and R&B artists, stars (Taj Mahal), newcomers (Alvin 'Youngblood' Hart) and lesser-known performers (Larry McCray) alike. The tracks are: You Can’t Always Get What You Want (Luther Alison)/ Tumbling Dice (Johnny Copeland)/ Satisfaction (Junior Wells)/ Wild Horses (Otis Clay)/ Honky Tonk Women (Taj Mahal)/ Sway and Moonlight Mile (Alvin ‘Youngblood’ Hart)/ Ventilator Blues (Clarence ‘Gatemouth’ Brown)/ Beast Of Burden (The Holmes Brothers)/ Under My Thumb (Lucky Peterson)/ It’s All Over Now (Bobby Womack)/ Midnight Rambler (Larry McCray)/ Heart Of Stone (Joe Louis Walker)


Stone Country (1CD) (BYCD 3055) is country artists performing the songs of the Rolling Stones. Check it out!!!

Previous page Next page First page IORR home It's Only Rock'n Roll no. 31 - Jan. 1998 - © The Rolling Stones Fan Club Of Europe