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Echoes Album Review

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  • Echoes Album Review

     

    Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones strums along with a group of Jamaican Rastafarians. Say wha'? OK, he's a reggae fan of long-standing, having signed Peter Tosh to his band's label 20 years ago. He also pays guitar on Sly and Robbie's new album, but that hardly qualifies him for roots credibility. So how did this filthy rich, coke-snorting, booze-swilling, musically redundant and probably pig-chomping rock star - architect of a song called "Sympathy With the Devil" - get involved with five Rastas and a bar-room singer called Sister Maureen in the first place? Well, according to the accompanying blurb, Richard has kept a house in Jamaica since 1972, and these bredren just happen to live in the same Steer Town area.

    Incredibly, JA reggae legend Justin Hinds is one of them, although his country-style vocals play second fiddle to the overall group performance. And talking of fiddles, Richards has kindly added Irish musician Frankie Gavin's 'Afro-Celtic' licks, except thankfully they're not as prominent as initially feared. Because if Island can hand a Wailers' dub project to Bill Laswell, they'r e capable of anything. Everyone seems to be enjoying themselves anyway. There's 16 tracks listed her, but all seem to merge into one endless chant interspersed with the sound of laughter and night-time crickets.

    "Roll River Jordan Roll", "Rivers of Babylon", "Morning Train", "Bright Soul" and "I Write My Name" are Rastafarian hymns one and all, and sung with aching sincerity by these 'angels without wings', as Richards calls them. He's no fool either, is he? Because the chances of this CD selling on the strength of its musical content alone are minimal, and the opportunities for radio and dancehall play will be virtually non-existent. Better then to give it to another company rather than risking it on the Rolling Stones' own label - and who better than Island Jamaica?

    Posted by: WebCrew
WebCrew's picture
on October 18, 1997

 

Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones strums along with a group of Jamaican Rastafarians. Say wha'? OK, he's a reggae fan of long-standing, having signed Peter Tosh to his band's label 20 years ago. He also pays guitar on Sly and Robbie's new album, but that hardly qualifies him for roots credibility. So how did this filthy rich, coke-snorting, booze-swilling, musically redundant and probably pig-chomping rock star - architect of a song called "Sympathy With the Devil" - get involved with five Rastas and a bar-room singer called Sister Maureen in the first place? Well, according to the accompanying blurb, Richard has kept a house in Jamaica since 1972, and these bredren just happen to live in the same Steer Town area.

Incredibly, JA reggae legend Justin Hinds is one of them, although his country-style vocals play second fiddle to the overall group performance. And talking of fiddles, Richards has kindly added Irish musician Frankie Gavin's 'Afro-Celtic' licks, except thankfully they're not as prominent as initially feared. Because if Island can hand a Wailers' dub project to Bill Laswell, they'r e capable of anything. Everyone seems to be enjoying themselves anyway. There's 16 tracks listed her, but all seem to merge into one endless chant interspersed with the sound of laughter and night-time crickets.

"Roll River Jordan Roll", "Rivers of Babylon", "Morning Train", "Bright Soul" and "I Write My Name" are Rastafarian hymns one and all, and sung with aching sincerity by these 'angels without wings', as Richards calls them. He's no fool either, is he? Because the chances of this CD selling on the strength of its musical content alone are minimal, and the opportunities for radio and dancehall play will be virtually non-existent. Better then to give it to another company rather than risking it on the Rolling Stones' own label - and who better than Island Jamaica?

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