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Talk Is Cheap

75 customer reviews

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Audio CD, September 18, 2007
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

1988 debut solo album from the legendary Rolling Stones guitarist that was co-produced with drummer Steve Jordan. This also marked the first appearance of his backing band, The X-Pensive Winos, who provide loose but disciplined backing for the Rock hero. Veteran Funk masters William "Bootsy" Collins and keyboardist Bernie Worrell contributed their talents as well.

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It made sense that Keith Richards's first solo album offered better Chuck Berry-derived rockers than Mick "Keep Up with the Times" Jagger's, but who knew that Richards would give up more of the funk, too? His X-Pensive Winos (with estimable drummer Steve Jordan filling the Charlie Watts role) lay it down in a tight-but-loose fashion, and it doesn't hurt that Bootsy Collins and Bernie Worrell drop by, either. The best surprise of all, though, is the rueful, Cajun-tinged ballad "Locked Away." --Rickey Wright


1. Big Enough
2. Take It So Hard
3. Struggle
4. I Could Have Stood You Up
5. Make No Mistake
6. You Don't Move Me
7. How I Wish
8. Rockawhile
9. Whip It Up
10. Locked Away
11. It Means A Lot

Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 18, 2007)
  • Original Release Date: October 4, 1988
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Virgin
  • ASIN: B000000WGL
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (75 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,763 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

80 of 82 people found the following review helpful By Glenn Nippert on May 13, 2004
Format: Audio CD
This album made the top 40 album charts back in 1988 and went Gold. It got very good reviews and then was completely forgotten about. This album is a stone cold classic and every song on here is damn good.The band that Keith assembled for this project is one of the best bands ever, outside of the Rolling Stones. They have their own funky, rockin' groove, unbeatable energy and sound like they have been playing together forevor, instead of for mere weeks. If James Brown reallly wants to make a comeback, all he has to do is cover the opening song-"Big Enough". It is done in the classic J.B style and features Bootsy Collins on bass, Maceo Parker on alto sax and Bernie Worrell on organ. Ex- Stone Mick Taylor even puts in an appearance on "I Could Have Stood You Up", a rockabilly tune so authentic, it sounds like it was written for Elvis in 1956. It even features Chuck Berry's keyboard man Johnnie Johnson tearing up the keys as only he can. "Make No Mistake" is one of Keith's very best ballads and features his most soulful vocal ever. It has the Memphis Horns on it to give it real southern soul and funk. "You Don't Move Me" is a lyrical bitch slap to his old partner/nemesis Mick Jagger.(Mick retaliated with "Shoot off Your Mouth" later the same year on his limp "Primitive Cool" solo album.) He called this band the X-Pensive Winos and the other members included Waddy Wachtel on guitar, Steve Jordan on drums, Ivan Neville on keyboards and Charlie Drayton on bass. They even went on tour and released a good live album, although the album didn't come out until 1991(the tour was in '88). There is some good New Orleans cajun funk on "Rockawhile" with Sara Dash wailing soulfully on background vocals and Stanley "Buckwheat" Dural pumping away on his accordion. The band really locks into a groove on this one.Read more ›
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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Joan B. Montney on January 3, 2003
Format: Audio CD
Talk Is Cheap is an excellent example of how great a solo album can be,and it is by far the best of Keith Richards solo efforts.He rewards us with a nice blend of musical styles and creativity,the finest performers and the best recording and production expertise avaliable.The sound is clean and well balanced.This album really opened my eyes as to how good a guitar player Keith is. His playing is superb! He even demonstrates his vocal ability.Which can be weak at times.But there is so much going on within the music that you can hardly notice it. Even though every song on this album is a winner,there are still some unique favorites; Such as, Big Enough-which gives us a Funk Reggae groove,slap funk style bass,cool back up vocals and some nice alto sax. Make No Mistake-a nice balad with female vocalist Sarah Dash sharing the vocal duties along with an inspiring horn arrangement by the Memphis Horns. Struggle-a fast paced rocker that includes Great Bass and drums! For you drummers,check out drummer Steve Jordans catchy drum fills!! You Dont Move Me- another solid rocker,with solid back beat drumming and a variety of guitars.{Keith is also a wonderful acoustic player}. Next is a song called How I Wish- a stones type of rock n roller with a catchy lead vocal line,great rhythym guitar and a touch of boogie woogie piano.Last but not least is Locked Away- a beautiful melodic slow ballad that flows nicely in a dreamy kind of way.It also features acoustic guitar,smooth keyboards,violin and some accordion mixed in as well. Final thoughts; I wish Keith Richards would continue his solo efforts or at the very least collaborate with other artist of his caliber.He could have a real future in doing so. This is a good one!! BUY IT!!
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25 of 28 people found the following review helpful By David Bradley on April 28, 2001
Format: Audio CD
I waited for years for Keith to dump the Mickster and do a solo LP, and I was thrilled when he finally did.
A couple of straight Chuck Berry-ish numbers were to be expected. But the Funk of "Big Enough" came out of nowhere, and I'm pretty sure that's Bootsy Collins who makes it work.
I love the jam at the end of "It Means A Lot," but it's the two slower tunes, "Locked Away" and especially "Make No Mistake" that convinced me that this is a classic album on a par with anything the Stones released except EXILE ON MAIN STREET.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By whipitgood on January 25, 2009
Format: Audio CD
I've been reading a number of older blogs lately in which guitarists weighed in against the "100 Greatest Guitarist" list published by Rolling Stone magazine. One of the biggest knocks on the list (and there are too many criticisms to even name-many of them perfectly valid) was the inclusion of Keith Richards (at #10, I believe).

There were a number of glaring omissions to the list (such as Alex Lifeson of Rush), and some inclusions that seemed to have little to do with ANY kind of technical prowess (example: Joni Mitchell, Neil Young, Lou Reed-all great artists that never wrote ONE memorable riff that I could actually recall). But the one thing that REALLY bothered me about the overall tenure of the comments was the way guys were teeing off on Richards.

Keith Richards is one of the most prolific riff creators in rock history. "Start Me Up", "Midnight Rambler", "Satisfaction", "Beast of Burden", "Brown Sugar", "Honky Tonk Women", "Can't You Hear Me Knocking", "Paint It Black"...the list goes on and on. Every one of these classic Rolling Stones songs is built on Keith's initial guitar riff. How many guitarists have a resume' like that??

The brilliance of Keith Richards is his ability to serve the song, and the band, with his playing. He isn't a brilliant soloist. He is an expert collaborator with: 1) unique tone, 2) a great sense of rhythm, 3) an uncanny ability to "turn the beat around", 4) the ability to move around inside the structure of a song with soulful riffs.
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