Mick Jagger tries to look unfazed by Keith Richard’s bad breath as Bill Wyman looks from yonder in disgust.
1. Hot Stuff
2. Hand of Fate
3. Cherry Oh Baby
4. Memory Motel
5. Hey Negrita
7. Fool to Cry
8. Crazy Mama
Black And Blue
The Stones may have been feeling black and blue > and there’s no feeling glad all over about this album
- April, 1976
- Rock On Rock Recommends:
Memory Motel; Hey Negrita; Crazy Mama
THE sudden departure of guitarist Mick Taylor turned these recording sessions into an audition for a replacement.
So in come Rod Stewart and The Faces guitarist Ron Wood, jazz/rock improviser Harvey Mandel and US southern rock axeman Wayne Perkins.
Brilliant but tempestuous British blues and jazz guitarist Jeff Beck was also said to be in the mix, but his parts never made it onto the album.
Punk rock had exploded on the scene between the Rolling Stones previous album It’s Only Rock and Roll and Black and Blue, with the Stones coming under attack for heading the multi-millionaire rock establishment.
This album did little to burst that bubble > the band replying with a mish-mash of mostly mediocrity.
The Hollywood billboard campaign for the album kicked up more fuss than the songs (See report below).
Having said that, a fellow hard-core Stones friend of mine > a tattoo touting Harley Davidson riding Pommie “love my bevvy” boy > rates this his favourite Rolling Stones album. And “Buna” knows his rock and roll.
BLACK And Blue opener Hot Stuff is a funk number that ends up going funking nowhere much. Funk soul brother Billy Preston and percussionist Ollie E. Brown feature heavily on Black and Blue > and joined the band on stage. Harvey Mandel is on guitar.
Wayne Perkins takes over from Mandel on Hand of Fate and his two guitar bursts are the highlights of an ordinary song. Of the three guest guitarists, it was Perkins who most sounded like predecessor Mick Taylor.
The memorable Memory Motel swoons with harmony vocals and blended piano, synthesiser, electric piano > as a fleeting romance is remembered. Keith Richards kicks in vocals on a couple of verses.
The closest to a rock gem on Black And Blue is Hey Negrita > Ron Wood duelling guitar licks with Keith Richards around a rock/funk beat.
Album closer Crazy Mama is another decent rocker.
Black And Blue’s first single > Fool To Cry > is a weepy ballad about dear old dad Mick missing the company of his daughter. Hardly the “in your face, punk rock” answer Rolling Stones fans were looking for.
Billy Preston features on piano, organ and backing vocals on soul/blues number Melody.
The remaining track is the unremarkable reggae of Cherry Oh Baby.
Oh > and Ronnie Wood got the guitarist’s job.
BONDAGE BILLBOARD STIRS FEMINIST IRE
A BILLBOARD on Hollywood’s Sunset Boulevard for Black and Blue featured model Anita Russell in bondage and straddling the album.
This incurred the wrath of the prickly feminist movement, including Women Against Violence Against Women.
The billboard > with the slogan “I’m Black and Blue from the Rolling Stones – and I love it” > was eventually removed.
> WRITTEN by MALCOLM LIVERMORE