Hell has just frozen over. The World’s most elegantly wasted human being, Keith Richards, is rumored to release an album of "soft music" containing standards by Hoagy Carmicheal, Fats Domino, Andy Williams, Judy Garland, and Elvis Presley.
The never before released tracks, recorded during various phases of his storied 40-odd year career, can be found on the fansite Captiansdead.
As a personal fan of Richards, I have various outtakes and bootlegs of the said recordings, and they would indeed make a nice collection for release. For people who will think that Richards is pulling a Rod Stewart on them, think again.
The Rolling Stones guitarist is no stranger to soft music — he’s been recording various easy listening tunes since the days of "You Got The Silver" off 1968’s Let It Bleed, continuing with songs such as "Coming Down Again," "Memory Motel," "Slipping Away," and most recently, "This Place Is Empty," off 2005’s A Bigger Bang.
Moreover, on his two solo efforts, Talk Is Cheap (1988) and Main Offender (1992), Richards has shown his softer side with the ballads "Make No Mistake" and "Hate It When You Leave."
It would be fun however to see public attention to the rumored album. Whilst many of the tracks as I have heard them would probably need polishing and re-mixing, there is ample time to do so, as the Rolling Stones have scheduled their next album release for autumn of 2009, with their next world tour scheduled for 2010.
Between now and then, I’m hoping that Keith will be able to release something substantial enough. Michael Buble and Josh Groban have nothing to fear though, as Richards’ voice as a crooner is an acquired taste, only for the most discriminating.