Recording information: Chapel Studio, Wimbledon (1984); Helicon Mountain Studios, London, England (1984); MJ Studio, France (1984); Montreux Jazz Festival (1984); Octopia Studio, Weymouth (1984); One East Studios, New York, NY (1984); Owermoigne Cricket Club (1984).
Photographer: Andrew Callaghan.
In Life, his 2010 autobiography, Keith Richards makes clear that boogie-woogie pianist Ian Stewart was the organizing principle in the Rolling Stones, calling the first audition/rehearsal that led to the formation of the band, even though, when the group was offered a recording contract, he was shunted aside as an unnecessary sixth member who didn't look the part. (Amazingly, the self-effacing Stewart agreed to continue to play on their records and serve as their road manager.) Ben Waters pays tribute to "Stu" on this album largely given over to boogie-woogie, and he has enlisted a star-filled set of guests including Stones members Richards, Mick Jagger (who sings and plays harmonica on a cover of Bob Dylan's "Watching the River Flow"), Charlie Watts, Bill Wyman, and Ronnie Wood, as well as other notable musicians such as PJ Harvey and Jools Holland. The result is an album Stewart no doubt would have liked better than any of the Rolling Stones albums he played on. ~ William Ruhlmann