Talk Is Cheap

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Talk Is Cheap
Studio album by
Released3 October 1988
RecordedAugust 1987 – May 1988
Keith Richards chronology
Talk Is Cheap
Main Offender

Talk Is Cheap is the debut solo album by Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones, released in 1988. Recorded and released during a long-standing falling out with Mick Jagger, Talk Is Cheap received positive reviews upon its release.


Relations between Jagger and Richards had grown tense into the third decade of the Rolling Stones as they began to disagree on the musical direction of the 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'".

"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
Allmusic4.5/5 stars link
Rolling Stone3.5/5 stars link

Released in October 1988, Talk Is Cheap was met with critical acclaim (some reviews half-jokingly called it the best Rolling Stones album in years) and it peaked at No. 37[1] in the UK and No. 24 in the US,[2] where it went gold.[3]

Track listing[edit]

All songs by Keith Richards and Steve Jordan.

Standard edition[edit]

Side one
  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
  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

2019 reissue bonus tracks[edit]

  1. "Blues Jam" (Keith Richards / Steve Jordan / Mick Taylor / Joey Spampinato / Johnnie Johnson / Chuck Leavell / Bobby Keys) – 4:39
  2. "My Babe" (Willie Dixon) – 3:13
  3. "Slim" (Richards/Jordan/Taylor/Spampinato/Johnson/Bobby) – 10:18
  4. "Big Town Playboy" (Little Johnny Jones) – 4:19
  5. "Mark on Me" – 5:51
  6. "Brute Force" – 4:00

The 2019 reissue features six previously unreleased tracks.


The X-Pensive Winos


Year Chart Position
1988 UK Top 100 Albums[1] 37
1988 The Billboard 200[2] 24
1989 The Billboard 200[2] 54
2019 Polish Albums (ZPAV)[4] 44
UK Top 100 Albums[1] 43
Year Single Chart Position
1988 "Take It So Hard" Mainstream Rock Tracks 3
1988 "You Don't Move Me" Mainstream Rock Tracks 18
1989 "Struggle" Mainstream Rock Tracks 47


  1. ^ a b c "KEITH RICHARDS | full Official Chart History | Official Charts Company". Retrieved 13 November 2016.
  2. ^ a b c "Keith Richards - Chart history | Billboard". Retrieved 13 November 2016.
  3. ^ "Gold & Platinum - RIAA". RIAA. Retrieved 13 November 2016.
  4. ^ "Oficjalna lista sprzedaży :: OLiS - Official Retail Sales Chart". ZPAV. Retrieved 11 April 2019.