Saturday, September 19, 2020

"Let's Work" by Mick Jagger

Song#:  3262
Date:  09/12/1987
Debut:  75
Peak:  39
Weeks:  9
Genre:  Rock

Pop Bits:  While still fronting The Rolling Stones, Mick Jagger stepped out on the side and recorded his first solo album, 1985's She's the Boss. It was a good success hitting #13 and going platinum on the strength of the #1 Rock/#13 single "Just Another Night." After completing the Stones' 1986 Dirty Work album, Jagger got back in the studio to record a second solo disc. He would work with producer Keith Diamond on five songs while Dave Stewart (of Eurythmics) would handle four including this first single. The tune would do well at Rock getting to #7, but it didn't meet expectations at Pop where it just barely made the Top 40. It also got to #32 at Dance. The lack of a better performing single hurt album sales and Primitive Cool would top out at a low #41 and miss the gold sales mark.

ReduxReview:  I didn't care much for Jagger's first solo album, so news of a follow-up didn't really excite me until I heard that Dave Stewart was on board. That piqued my interest. Then this kooky single came out. At first, I wasn't really sure about it. The production definitely had Stewart's touch and as co-writer (with Jagger) I could hear his influence. After a couple of listens I began to hook into it, but I thought it would be a crap shoot with pop radio listeners. The track sounded like a march to rally the troops. A bit of "rah-rah!" encouragement to get folks going and doing something. People were either going to hook into the quirky chorus or say "what the hell is this?" It seems like it was a bit of both, but in the end the tune just didn't connect with a big audience. I ended up liking the tune well enough to buy the album, which was miles better than Jagger's debut. Critics seemed to like the LP better too, but since this single crapped out early, not a lot of people got to hear it.

ReduxRating:  7/10

Trivia:  The relationship between Mick Jagger and fellow Stones Keith Richards was always a bit up 'n' down, but one of their low points was around the time of this Jagger solo disc. Since Jagger's solo career had kind of taken off with She's the Boss and a couple of other non-album singles like the #7 duet with David Bowie "Dancing in the Street," he wanted to keep going and get out another solo effort as soon as possible. Therefore, after recording Dirty Work with the Stones, Jagger told the band he wasn't going to tour in support of the album and would instead focus on his second solo disc. This, of course, didn't set well with Richards who spouted off a bit in the press about the situation. Jagger then put his feelings about Richards in a couple of songs on Primitive Cool. During the whole time the pair stopped talking to each other. The ice was finally broken a bit when the band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame early in '89. With that thawing, the band got back to work and recorded Steel Wheels, which would become #3 double-platinum hit.


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