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Back To Basics does exactly what it says on the sleeve. It is unashamedly stripped back. The snappy lyrics are refreshingly audible and the instrumentation is clean, subtle and accomplished.
Bill Wyman’s first solo album in 33 years wears its influences on its sleeve – Tom Waits, Leonard Cohen, JJ Cale – and there’s more than a passing nod to Bill’s own English background. It is that rare thing, a melt of styles and genres that actually work together - uplifting in a jaunty, dancey way and pensive in a bluesy, narrative way.
Bill Wyman’s last solo UK album, Bill Wyman, was released in 1982. Back To Basics comprises only his fourth UK solo release. But Bill has not been idle of course. 31 years as a recording artist, author of seven learned books, globally exhibited photographer, metal detecting expert with his own brand of metal detector, producer, composer for film and TV and founder of the very successful Rhythm Kings who release albums and tour regularly - he has had a pretty full calendar. It was only when archiving old demos last year he realised he had around 60 songs he’d never released. He chose three songs that needed reworking and did just that. He put them together with brand new songs and went into his studio to record them. The album comprises 12 tracks in total, eight of which are new songs. Musicians joining Bill in the studio include long-time collaborator/guitarist Terry Taylor, Guy Fletcher (Mark Knopfler), Graham Broad and Robbie McIntosh while co-production credit goes to Andy Wright (Jeff Beck, Eurythmics, Simply Red). On Bill Wyman’s ‘Back To Basics’ you get music that’s the real deal!