Nick Dent-Robinson reflects on Keith Richards' 1992 debut solo a;bum 'Main Offender', which has just been re-released in a thirtieth anniversary edition.
The Rolling Stones have recently announced their first tour since the death last year of drummer Charlie Watts. Included on the itinerary are two shows in London's Hyde Park plus their first live Liverpool appearance in fifty years. Mick Jagger, Ronnie Wood and Keith Richards are all raring to go, apparently.
Meanwhile, Keith Richards has also announced the 30th anniversary reissue and repackaging of his 1992 album 'Main Offender”'- part of his ongoing trawl through all his solo archives. It is sometimes forgotten that Richards made two highly accomplished solo LPs (and more recently a third) - and he used to like to tour with his “other” band, the X-Pensive Winos.
This latest reissue follows the previous repackaging of his first solo album, ‘Talk Is Cheap’ and demonstrates very clearly once again just how impressive is Richards' mastery of bluesy rock 'n' roll riffs. The rhythm of ‘999’ is undeniably reminiscent of ‘Jumpin' Jack Flash,’ and other tracks on ‘Main Offender’ include detours into reggae and soul. There is also the bonus of some live recordings from a gig with the X-Pensive Winos on the occasion of Richards' 49th birthday in 1992 - and these include solo versions of several Stones’ classics.
The sheer power of this re-released work and Richards' stunning musicianship are really impressive. ‘Main Offender’ is an album that should whet fans' appetites for the return of the Rolling Stones this summer.