Sunday, 21 June 2015

Art of the Cover - Bill Wyman's "Back To Basics" (2015)

Bill Wyman is back with his first solo album in 33 years! Hardly prolific --- and it is only his fourth solo album in total. He has been been busy though as he is the Stones official archivist, is an expert metal detector and has his band the Rhythm Kings, who record and tour regularly. Many will remember him for his early 80′s hit ‘Je Suis Un Rock Star’ and of course his time in the Rolling Stones, who he left in 1993.

On this album Bill Wyman is joined by amongst others Robbie McIntosh (Paul McCartney), Andy Wright (Eurythmics/Jeff Beck) and Guy Fletcher (Mark Knopfler). There are a couple of his older songs re-recorded on this album including ‘Seventeen’ and ‘I’ll Pull You Through’ (shades of Ray Davies in the overall style of the song).

If Radio 2 latches onto ‘November’ you could see him having another hit, albeit an airplay based one. The song has a nice gentle beat, including some splendid Spanish guitar playing and of course Wyman’s distinctive lower range vocals. He does remind me of Ian Dury at times, particularly on ‘What & How & If & When & Why’. One of the album’s highlights and his vocal draws you in to the song.

Given the quality of the musicians involved in the music it is of the high standards you would expect. Overall the music is very gentle, no pounding drums, more a gentle brush of the cymbals here and some understated guitar there. ‘I Got Time’ sums this up, a gentle drum shuffle, some harmonica and a gentle blues guitar solo, perfect.

Given the rarity of a Bill Wyman solo album and the masses of Rolling Stones fans around the world, this album will be of interest. He has nothing to prove after such an illustrious career and on this album he is just enjoying making music in the company of some top notch musicians.


 by Jason Ritchie @ getreadytorock


01. What & How & If & When & Why [3:38]
02. I Lost My Ring [3:37]
03. Love, Love, Love [3:41]
04. Stuff (Can't Get Enough) [4:05]
05. Running Back To You [4:01]
06. She's Wonderful [3:56]
07. Seventeen [3:50]
08. I'll Pull You Through [3:07]
09. November [3:45]
10. Just A Friend Of Mine [3:42]
11. It's A Lovely Day [2:05]
12. I Got Time [3:54]

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