In her classic song “Holdin’ On To You,” Miranda Lambert sang “I’ve seen the Rolling Stones/Got real high on rock and roll,” but it seems that she’s also familiar with the solo career of frontman Mick Jagger. Earlier today, Lambert announced her new album Palomino, which will be released on April 29, 2022. The tracklist includes “Wandering Spirit,” the title song of Mick Jagger’s third solo album, released in 1993.
Jagger, rightfully, is mostly celebrated for his career with the Rolling Stones — who got their start in 1962 and are still playing shows and releasing music today. But he’s amassed a pretty solid solo career as well. After doing a few solo songs through the ’70s, he released his debut album, She’s The Boss, in 1985, at a time when the Stones’s future seemed shaky. Co-produced by Nile Rodgers of Chic (who has worked with Keith Urban in recent years), it was a pretty successful album, yielding two hits: “Lucky At Love” and “Just Another Night.” From there, things with the Stones got even worse, and Mick’s follow-up, 1987’s Primitive Cool, produced by Dave Stewart of the Eurythmics, seemed focused on aiming at the pop charts. However, it was a solid miss. Mick’s bandmate Keith Richards responded with his first solo album, 1988’s Talk Is Cheap, which was very Stonesy… and most of the lyrics were aimed at Mick. It also got a lot of rock radio play, unlike Primitive Cool.
Happily, Mick and Keith made up; their induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1989 may have helped. Later that year, the band released their comeback album, Steel Wheels, and kicked off their first tour in seven years, which saw them selling out multiple nights in football and baseball stadiums. The Stones were back and bigger than ever. Mick was pushing 50, and probably realized that top 40 radio wasn’t in his future, and he didn’t need to cater to that audience, anyway. So he hooked up with producer Rick Rubin, whose resume at the time included albums by LL Cool J, Run-D.M.C., the Beastie Boys, the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Slayer. The mission was to make a great rock and roll album. That album was Wandering Spirit, which is probably the best effort of Jagger’s solo career. It includes a cover of Bill Withers’ “Use Me” with Lenny Kravitz, a cover of James Brown’s “Think” and a number of originals, including “Sweet Thing,” “Don’t Tear Me Up,” “Put Me In The Trash” and the title track, which is the song Miranda is covering. It’s a great song that didn’t get enough attention at the time: hopefully, Miranda’s cover will change that. Check out Mick’s original version below.