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Bill Wyman - Back to Basics

  by Lisa Torem

published: 12 / 8 / 2015



Bill Wyman - Back to Basics
Label: Proper Records
Format: CD

intro

Multi-instrumentalist ansd ex-Rolling Stone Bill Wyman’s new release features a dozen originals which explore the blues musically and thematically


Bill Wyman’s CV is an astonishing one — the former member of the Rolling Stones went on to produce an impressive list of solo albums and art books, but throughout his career, he never lost sight of the blues. On his new album, ‘Back to Basics,’ you can see through his twelve originals that he has remained extremely faithful to the genre. ‘What & How & If & When & Why’ opens the collection, boasting a fierce Hendrix-type ninth chord as a leit motif. “You end up hiding even though you’re law abiding,” Wyman asserts. The spoken word song explores a myriad of tense situations with a curious lightness. The bright saxophone and backing singers embellish with sheen. ‘I Lost My Ring’ is more of an R & B shuffle and it begins with a lovely guitar passage. Wyman’s attention to structure shines through. It’s rife with playful modulations and sax that comes across as more simmering than in the previous ballad. The first two songs are precisely the same length. The pacing on the album is another perk — it’s really well balanced as far as the song lengths. Wyman’s lament begins with the losing of his ring, but as he pours his heart out in the subsequent verses we realize he has been hit by the blues even harder emotionally. ‘Love, Love, Love’ is a light-hearted romp spearheaded by piano. “It’s not the grass/It’s not the heather/It’s not the sweet/It’s not the sour/It’s love, love, love…” There’s something about this song that brings to mind a gorgeous day, a stroll in the woods and a picnic basket. The killer line? “Take me home to love.” ‘Stuff (Can’t Get Enough)’ begins with an infectious dance rhythm. “I could buy a limousine/I could drink myself to death…” “I can’t can’t can’t oooh that stuff…” It’s really fun to follow Wyman’s vocalizations that follow the main theme. ‘Running Back to You’ begins with Wyman’s vocal drawl and continues with rolling keys and biting guitar. ‘She’s Wonderful’ relies on some predictable lyrics, but the charm comes across clearly. This one is a superb love song, full of optimism and clarity. “She shares my life without trouble and strife,” he concludes. He really brings his loved one to life. ‘Seventeen’ takes a surprising turn. Unlike most heady songs about this age, this one hinges on disappointment. “She’s made a break with reality/She’s a has-been.” The crisp licks of ‘I’ll Pull You Through’ follow. “There’s one girl lights my candle—that’s you.” Another delight. ‘November’ is more wistful and reflective. “I wonder what tomorrow brings/Is it a Monday, Tuesday or November?” He ponders, “Things I had got a lot of people mad,” but it all comes out well in the end. “Just A Friend of Mine’ features marimba-sounds and expressive guitar. On ‘It’s a Lovely Day’ Wyman’s voice rises above the typical whisper. ‘I Got Time’ is a real blueser. Unlike the mostly optimistic fare he showcases throughout most of the album, this is more a ‘St. Louis Blues’ kind of tune, which is accentuated, with the wail of blues harp, organ and pedal steel echoes. “I got time, but most times I can’t win,” he moans. All in all, Wyman has really turned the blues inside out on this new release and his hard work shines through from beginning to end.



Track Listing:-
1 What & How & If & When & Why
2 I Lost My Ring
3 Love, Love, Love
4 Stuff (Can't Get Enough) [Back to Bas
5 Running Back to You
6 She's Wonderful
7 Seventeen (Back to Basics Version 20
8 I'll Pull You Through (Back to Basics
9 November
10 Just a Friend of Mine
11 It's a Lovely Day
12 I Got Time
13 Exciting


Band Links:-
https://twitter.com/bill_wyman
http://billwyman.com/
https://www.facebook.com/BillWymanOfficial


Label Links:-
http://www.proper-records.co.uk/
https://www.facebook.com/ProperRecords
https://twitter.com/ProperRecords
https://www.youtube.com/user/propertv
http://www.properdistribution.com/
http://instagram.com/properblog



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Interview (2016)
Bill Wyman - Interview
In this archival interview from 1990, Bill Wyman talks about his career with the Rolling Stones, his controversial marriage to Mandy Smith and his then biography, 'Stone Alone'


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