When the Rolling Stones announced earlier this month that longtime associate Steve Jordan would replace Charlie Watts on drums for upcoming “No Filter” concerts, with the latter recovering from an undisclosed “procedure”, there was a collective breath holding by longtime fans of the band. Watts was 80 after all, was his time with the “world’s greatest rock and roll band” over?
Last Tuesday gave the unfortunate answer, as the senior Stones member passed away surrounded by family and close friends after a battle with an undisclosed illness. Along with frontman Mick Jagger, guitarist Keith Richards and longtime guitarist Ronnie Wood, Watts was the one audiences came to see in recent years.
It was mildly amusing to see the hyperbole from outlets like Rolling Stone magazine, which called Watts a “drumming god” in their misguided dedication to the fallen stickman, but that doesn’t take away from what he has. brought not only to her chosen outfit, but rock and roll in general. Simply put, Charlie Watts was the backbone of the Rolling Stones. He wasn’t flashy like Keith Moon of The Who or as explosive as John Bonham of Led Zeppelin, but he was just as good.
Think of your favorite band songs; whether it’s the fast snare slam of “Paint it Black”, the bluesy rhythm of “Honky Tonk Women” or the swagger of the genre “Stray Cat Blues”. Center stage was Charlie Watts, and the tracks where he wasn’t? He held everything together like no one else could.
Watts was not a “drum god”, but he was the backbone of the Stones. He was the engine that kept them humming along, long after their count, as his foundation reminded everyone why they valued the band in the first place. And no one could – or can – do better.
Steve Jordan will do a great job as the already-approved top hitter in place of Watts. The “No Filer” tour – which arrived at the Linc in 2019 – will continue, because the Stones are a brand, bigger than each of its members, perhaps. But they won’t take away the soul, smirk or feel of the person who sat in the front seat.
Charlie Watts once said that when he took his place in the kit it led to “four decades of seeing Mick’s butt running past me”. Now the rest of the Stones are watching him. Rest in peace Charlie, you’re the one who started everyone.
VINYL OF THE WEEK
Keep an eye on this place as each week we’ll be reviewing new or upcoming vinyl from a variety of artists. It can be a reprint of a historical recording, a special edition or a new collection of a legendary act. This week is the widely acclaimed second album from a band of Britpop/alt-rock specialists.
SUPERGRASS: FOR THE MONEY
Originally released in April 1997 to critical and commercial acclaim, “In It for the Money” saw “Supergrass reach No. 2 on the charts in England, passing platinum status there and selling over one million copies worldwide Unavailable since its initial release, it now sees an extended edition in vinyl format – and more.
Shedding their skins as cheery kid audiences met in their teenage debut “I Should Coco,” its sequel “In It for the Money” was dark, evil, and bristling with barely suppressed anger. It’s the sound of Supergrass creating a world that is both reassuring and strange.
To crystallize this bold and assured step since their debut, with “In It for the Money”, the group now performs themselves. Adding to hit singles “Going Out” (UK #5), the dark, dense and heavy “Richard III” (UK #2), “Sun Hits the Sky” (UK #10) and the lush, languid longing for ” Late In the Day” (UK #18), the LP also spawned a series of classic videos in its wake.
This brand new extended edition of “In It for the Money” features sound remastered from analog tape on 180 gram black vinyl and 140 gram turquoise vinyl. The LP also includes the 12-inch single “Sun Hits the Sky (Bentley Rhythm Ace Remix)” / “The Animal” on 140 gram white vinyl. And for those who want the compact disc, this one includes 43 tracks on two CDs of B-sides, rarities, outtakes and live tracks, many of which are previously unreleased.
The extended edition of “In It for the Money” can be found online and in the stores of all respectable retailers that sell vinyl.
To contact music columnist Michael Christopher, email email@example.com. Also check out his blog at www.thechroniclesofmc.com