Talk Is Cheap

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Talk Is Cheap
Studio album by Keith Richards
Released 3 October 1988
Recorded August 1987 – May 1988
Genre Rock and roll, hard rock, funk rock
Length 47:01
Language English
Label Virgin
Producer Keith Richards, Steve Jordan
Keith Richards chronology
Talk Is Cheap
Main Offender

Talk Is Cheap is the debut album by Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones, released in 1988. Recorded and released during a long standing fallout with Mick Jagger, Talk Is Cheap received positive reviews upon its release.[citation needed]

Relations between Jagger and Richards had grown tense into the third decade of the Rolling Stones as they began to differ on the musical direction of their famous band; "You Don't Move Me" would be written about their feud. The image-conscious Jagger was keen to follow the trends and keep the Rolling Stones current, while Richards wanted to preserve their reputation and roots. When Jagger was more interested in pursuing his solo career instead of touring for Dirty Work in 1986, Richards began a solo project for the first time.

Richards teamed up with Steve Jordan, who had worked on Dirty Work, and the pair wrote several new songs (one of which, "Almost Hear You Sigh", would be placed on the Rolling Stones' Steel Wheels in 1989 with lyrical modifications by Jagger). Recording began in August 1987 at Le Studio in Morin Heights, Quebec, and continued sporadically until the following May with visits to Montserrat and Bermuda. In order to assert his independence further, Richards signed with Virgin Records, while the Rolling Stones were under contract to Sony Music (they followed him to Virgin in 1993).

The core of the band, called the X-Pensive Winos, consisted of Waddy Wachtel, Ivan Neville, Charley Drayton and Steve Jordan, with many guest artists taking part in the recording, including Sarah Dash, Bootsy Collins, Maceo Parker, the Memphis Horns and Patti Scialfa, and the only musician from the Stones to appear, guitarist Mick Taylor. Outtakes later surfaced that included an eight-minute version of "Struggle" and two passes at "Almost Hear You Sigh," as well as two unreleased jams, the 14-minute "She Put the Mark On Me" and the 12-minute "Breakin'."

Released in October 1988, Talk Is Cheap was released to a very receptive critical reaction (many reviewers half-jokingly called it the best Rolling Stones album in years) and it peaked at #37[citation needed] in the UK and #24[citation needed] in the US, where it went gold.[citation needed]

"Make No Mistake" was later featured in an episode of The Sopranos and on the 2001 soundtrack album The Sopranos: Peppers & Eggs: Music from the HBO Original Series.

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4.5/5 stars link
Rolling Stone 3.5/5 stars link

Track listing[edit]

All songs by Keith Richards and Steve Jordan.

Side one[edit]

  1. "Big Enough" – 3:17
  2. "Take It So Hard" – 3:11
  3. "Struggle" – 4:10
  4. "I Could Have Stood You Up" – 3:12
  5. "Make No Mistake" – 4:53
  6. "You Don't Move Me" – 4:48

Side two[edit]

  1. "How I Wish" – 3:32
  2. "Rockawhile" – 4:38
  3. "Whip It Up" – 4:01
  4. "Locked Away" – 5:48
  5. "It Means a Lot" – 5:22


Additional musicians


  • Produced by Keith Richards and Steve Jordan
  • Engineers: Robert Berry (also assistant engineer), Joe Blaney, David Dorn (also assistant engineer), Richard Ealey (also assistant engineer), Joe Ferla, David Kennedy, Paul Milner (also assistant engineer), Julio Pena (also assistant engineer), Don Smith, Roger Talkov (also assistant engineer)
  • Mixing: Joe Blaney, Don Smith
  • Mastering: Greg Calbi

Sales chart performance[edit]

Year Chart Position
1988 UK Top 100 Albums 37[citation needed]
1988 The Billboard 200 24[citation needed]
1989 The Billboard 200 54[citation needed]
Year Single Chart Position
1988 "Take It So Hard" Mainstream Rock Tracks 3[citation needed]
1988 "You Don't Move Me" Mainstream Rock Tracks 18[citation needed]
1989 "Struggle" Mainstream Rock Tracks 47[citation needed]