Sunday, June 23, 2013

The Other Guy: Keith Richards

Keith Richards: You Got The Silver

The Other Guy theme is about that member of the band who doesn't do/rarely does the lead vocals. Keith Richards fits the bill. As I dug around for background info for this post, I came across an online resource that credits Richards with the main vocals in only about 20 of the hundreds of songs the Stones have recorded. Yes, he frequently sings background vocals, but that's not at all the same skill. Hence, the other man.
Away from the Stones, for example on his solo Talk is Cheap album from 1988, Richards is credited with the lead vocals, and you can catch him here doing the lead vocals with X Pensive Winos. Although it is noted that he sang in a (young) boys' choir for the Queen, today, his voice sounds kind of scratchy and he doesnt exactly shine at keeping a melodious tune (post-puberty voice change, no doubt). However, there are those few and far between times when his voice is a better choice for a Rolling Stones song than Jagger’s.
And this is one. Originally recorded for 1969’s Let It Bleed, the live version of You Got The Silver linked above is tagged as being only about a month old. Having dug for several hours to research my options, I have to say that this is one of the better showcases of the man's vocal talents that I was able to locate. His singing calls to mind the quality(?) of Bob Dylan's voice.

As an additional thought, if you consider the relationship between gold and silver/Jagger and Richards, I wonder if there is more to the choice of lead vocalist for this song than meets the eye.

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