From Live Aid To Obama: Mick Jagger’s Collaborations Through The Years
Mick Jagger is not a frontman bound by the confines of his band. In addition to releasing four solo albums, the Rolling Stones singer has collaborated with his fair share of musical friends, some more likely than others. He’ll do it again this weekend when he serves as both host and musical guest on Saturday Night Live – a gig that sees Jagger performing alongside the Foo Fighters, Arcade Fire and frequent accomplice Jeff Beck instead of the Stones. In honor of this, let’s look at Jagger’s many collaborations through the years.
1978: Peter Tosh put his own reggae spin on the Temptations’ “Don’t Look Back,” renaming his version “(You Got To Walk And) Don’t Look Back.” Jagger was there to help, trading vocals with the Jamaican artist and later performing the song on SNL together.
1984: One of rock’s greatest frontmen met the King of Pop on the Jacksons’ “State of Shock” single, off their album Victory. However, Jagger was the replacement for another famous rock vocalist. The demo of “State of Shock” featured Queen’s Freddie Mercury dueting with Michael and was originally planned for Thriller, but due to timing constraints, Mercury could not re-record a final version.
1985: On Mick Jagger’s first solo album, She’s the Boss, he got by with a little help from his friends. The album featured instrumental contributions from Jeff Beck, The Who’s Pete Townshend, Herbie Hancock and Carlos Alomar. Jagger would re-team with Beck in ’87 for his second solo album, Primitive Cool.
Martha and the Vandellas’ 1964 hit “Dancing in the Street” was re-imagined 20+ years later by David Bowie and Mick Jagger. Their cover was first planned for a performance at Live Aid, but due to technical complications, Jagger and Bowie recorded “Dancing in the Street” as a charity single instead. The single reached No. 7 on the Hot 100 chart, and the video – which featured plenty of rump-shaking from both Bowie and Jagger – debuted during the Live Aid broadcast.
While Jagger’s Live Aid collaboration with Bowie didn’t work out, he squeezed in a high-profile live duet with Tina Turner at the charity concert event, backed by Hall & Oates. The two performed his new Jackson duet “State of Shock” and the Stones’ “It’s Only Rock ‘n Roll (But I Like It),” during which Jagger scandalously ripped off Turner’s skirt. The two would reunite for live duets during the ’80s.
1993: On his third solo album, Wandering Spirit, Jagger yet again enlisted his famous friends, including Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist Flea and Lenny Kravitz, who added vocals to Jagger’s cover of Bill Withers’ “Use Me.”
2001: On his fourth and final solo album (at least so far), Goddess in the Doorway, Jagger went a little crazy with the collaborations. He reunited with Pete Townshend and Lenny Kravitz (who led single “God Gave Me Everything”), and added stars like Bono, Aerosmith’s Joe Perry and Matchbox 20’s Rob Thomas to the mix. Jagger also asked rapper Wyclef Jean and Kravitz to help produce the album.
2002: On J. Geils Band singer Peter Wolf’s solo album Sleepless, Jagger and Wolf duet on a song called “Nothing But The Wheel.” Interestingly enough, Keith Richards also appears on Sleepless, but on a different album.
2004: Jagger reunited with past producer/collaborator, Eurythmics’ Dave Stewart, to write and produce the soundtrack to the film remake of Alfie. The two recruited Sheryl Crow and Joss Stone, who would later join Jagger and Stewart in their super group SuperHeavy.
2009: At the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s 25th anniversary concerts, Jagger re-teamed with Bono for performances of U2’s “Stuck In A Moment You Can’t Get Out Of” and the Stones’ “Gimme Shelter,” on which the Black Eyed Peas’ will.i.am and Fergie also assisted. Two years later, Jagger would meet will.i.am again, contributing vocals on the rapper’s “T.H.E. (The Hardest Ever)”single alongside Jennifer Lopez.
2011: At last year’s Grammy Awards, Jagger paid tribute to soul legend Solomon Burke with a duet of his “Everybody Needs Someone To Love” with modern R&B singer-guitarist Raphael Saadiq.
The Jagger-led supergroup SuperHeavy surprised some fans when it was first announced, but given Jagger’s history with Stewart and past collaboration with Joss Stone, it’s fair to say stranger things have happened (see: Jagger’s will.i.am collab). Film composer A.R. Rahman and reggae prince Damian Marley rounded out the aesthetically eclectic band, who released its self-titled debut in September 2011.
2012: During a White House salute to the blues back in February, President Obama was convinced to join Jagger, B.B. King, Buddy Guy and Jeff Beck on stage for a cover of blues standard “Sweet Home Chicago.”
–Jillian Mapes, CBS Local