Mick Jagger released two new solo songs with music videos on 27th July, the day after his 74th birthday. This came as a surprise and with a sense of urgency, which is understandable when considering the political message of both tracks.
Although obviously well-produced, ‘England Lost’ and ‘Gotta Get a Grip’ are not about the music. Rather, they’re a vehicle for Jagger to comment on the current political turmoil in the United Kingdom and beyond, with an emphasis on the uncertainty surrounding Brexit. They share a sinister atmosphere and feature electronic beats, hardly chanelling the Rolling Stones vibe.
The first song uses the metaphor of a disappointing football game to talk about a country that’s struggling to find and define itself: “I went to see England but England lost / I went round the back but they said piss off.” ‘Gotta get A Grip’ has a more global reach and talks about “fake news”, “policy shams” and nations ruled by “lunatics and clowns”.
Unlike the two unexpected tracks by Jagger, this month also saw a couple of very much anticipated new releases. Alice Cooper‘s 26th album ‘Paranormal’ stepped out of the darkness on 28th July, containing the kind of creepy and fun hard rock songs that he’s a master of. The 69-year-old reconnects with his classic sound with the help of three musicians from his original late 60s and early 70s band, and departs from the heaviness of his more recent material. Deep Purple’s Roger Glover plays the bass on the title track and U2 drummer Larry Mullen provides the rhythm throughout.
‘Power of Peace’, the second chapter in the collaboration between Santana and the Isley Brothers also came out on 28th July. It features one original song, ‘I Remember’, written and sung by Carlos Santana’s wife Cindy Blackman Santana. The covers include the Chambers Brothers’ ‘Are You Ready People’ and ‘Love, Peace, Happiness’, Eddie Kendricks’ ‘Body Talk’, Leon Thomas’s ‘Let the Rain Fall on Me’ and Curtis Mayfield’s ‘Gypsy Woman’.
Some noteworthy releases by lesser known bands are ‘IV’ by multi-instrumentalist Chris Schlarb’s eclectic project Psychic Temple, ‘Death Express’ by English rock ‘n’ roll trio Little Barrie and ‘Negative Boogie’ by adventurous avant-garde musician David Nance. As it was already pointed out in an earlier post, this month was great for psychedelic music!