Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Ian McLagan - Troublemaker - 1979

Ian McLagan's Troublemaker is a sequel five years in the making to the Ron Wood 1974 disc I've Got My Own Album to Do. Guitarist Johnny Lee Schell augments Keith Richards and Ron Wood here, while Stanley Clarke and Paul Stallworth provide the bass (it was the wonderful Willie Weeks holding the bottom on the Wood disc), with Ringo Starr and Jim Keltner on drums (Wood's album had Andy Newmark). Though McLagan's third album, 2000's Best of British, is the real phenomenon, Troublemaker has lots to rave about. There's a tremendous Ronnie Wood tune which concludes the album, "Mystifies Me," a bit of gospel, a bit of reggae, these veteran rockers giving it that intangible which keeps kids in their garages banging away to find the same magic. Six of the ten tunes are Ian McLagan compositions, the opener, "La De La," a perfect choice for when Rod Stewart and the boys put the Faces back together. "Headlines" follows the opener with rowdy guitars and solid production. It could be mistaken for Mott the Hoople doing the Rolling Stones' "Shattered." Well, what the heck, with Keith Richards, Ron Wood, and Bobby Keyes participating on different portions of this disc, it's going to lean as much towards the Stones as it will the Faces. This version of Carl Levy's "Truly" borrows heavily from the 1973 Johnny Nash reggae hit, "Stir It Up," and at almost six minutes, it is pretty much double the two-and-a-half to three-and-a-half minute range framework that the other nine tunes stay within. Speaking of Mott the Hoople, McLagan's closing number on side one sounds like a distant cousin to that band's "Jerkin' Crocus." The title track tumbles off of side two with enthusiasm and spirit, the keyboard player for Small Faces has his friends from the Beatles and the Rolling Stones creating some instant fun all over this very musical disc. Another McLagan original, "If It's Alright," has that "Country Honk" ragged edge that served the Stones so well, the record with just enough of a laid-back attitude to avoid the sterile atmosphere some of the Faces tracks got bogged down with. "Sign" is one of the more polished tunes, McLagan co-writing with guitarist Schell, nice organ runs bubbling under the beat. There are no surprises on this amazing musician's debut solo disc: It is what you expect, and fans of the Beatles and the Stones will consider it a must-have for the collection, but one that you won't mind pulling out and playing when your party guests want a nice change of pace at 3 a.m. -AMG

If you like "Troublemaker" get it here! (Direct from Ian McLagan and direct and remasterd with SEVEN extra tracks and retitled 'HERE COMES TROUBLE')

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Gyro1966 said...

i never gave this a listen back in the day- thanks for giving me a chance to hear it now.

side3 said...

Always wanted to hear this one...thanks!

Ian McLagan said...

Hi Curty, Thanks for your welcome comments, but to hear it at its best you might tell your readers that they can purchase it from me direct and remasterd with SEVEN extra tracks and retitled 'HERE COMES TROUBLE'. It's on my Manica Records label. Listen to all SEVENTEEN tracks at http://www.maniacrecords.net/
All the very best,
Ian 'Mac' McLagan.

Curty Ray said...

I Agree! Go to www.maniacrecords.net
and buy this excellent set. I did last year and he even autographed it foe me!!!


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